Puppies Behind Bars is a wonderful organization that trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement.
In July of 1997 Puppies Behind Bars came into existence as a way for puppies to be raised for service dogs for returning war veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and to train dogs in the specialty field of explosive detection for law enforcement personnel.
Prison inmates are perfect choice for raising and training these puppies – they have unlimited time to spend with the puppies, and in addition, inmates learn responsibility, patience, how to give and receive unconditional love and how to work as a team.
The dogs are rescued from high-kill animal shelters throughout the Midwest and brought to Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, Kansas. Over 100 inmates have been trained as dog handlers and the dogs and inmates create a strong bond that is healing for both the prisoner and the rescued dog.
The inmate/handlers take great pride in working with the dogs and the first job they do with the dogs is to address social behavior with these animals. Many of these dogs have been abused, neglected or treated badly in other ways and have lost trust in humans. Many of the prisoners have had rough lives as well – and the socializing behavior works for both the inmates and dogs.
Dogs with poor social skills meet prison inmates with poor social skills and what is born is DAWGS in Prison. DAWGS is an acronym for Developing Adoptable Dogs With Good Sociability. The DAWGS in Prison program is in partnership with the St. Joseph Humane Society and the Gulf Correctional Institution in Florida.
The mission for the DAWGS in Prison program is to provide training and education for both inmate and dog, resulting id permeant homes for the dogs, viable job skills for the inmate and productive jobs and a law-abiding life upon release.
Everything changed in my life in order for me to be responsible enough to take care of one of God’s precious creations. DAWGS gave me the wisdom to see what kind of changes were needed in my life
Greyhound racing dogs have very limited social skills as they have spent all of their lives in very sheltered and regimented lives. These dogs have never been exposed to normal daily sights and sounds, cars, children, television, stairs, kitchen and street noises. As a result, once Greyhounds are retired from the track, usually around 2 years of age, they are curious and frightened of their world beyond the racetrack.
Greyhound dogs make wonderful pets as they are very loving and gentle. However, for a retired race dog to go straight from the racetrack into an adopted home they need a transition place to learn social skills.