Moving America Forward

At This Prison, Puppies and Inmates Give Each Other Purpose

August 15, 2018
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At This Prison, Puppies and Inmates Give Each Other Purpose
Hallie Steiner, Joseph Darius Jaafari
Puppies Behind Bars pairs prison inmates with puppies to raise and train as service animals. In the process, they find so much more than a furry companion.

At this women’s prison in upstate New York, puppies are proving to be more than just woman’s best friend.

“They make you feel like you’re worth something,” says Dunasha Payne, an inmate at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. “And they make you wake up every day, that you have a purpose in life and that you’re not just a prisoner.”

Payne is part of Puppies Behind Bars, a program that teaches inmates to train puppies as service animals for veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD. Not only do the dogs bring comfort to the people they serve, but the inmates participating in the program are “the most well-behaved” in the prison, according to one guard. Watch the video above and read our full article to see how Puppies Behind Bars is making a difference for people in and out of prison.

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