Melodie Davis column about inmates training puppies for the blind

Have you heard of dogs going to prison? No, not a dog pound or a shelter for homeless pets, but living in a real prison?

Melodie Davis

Well, I hadn’t but learned of a heartwarming program that helps at least a trio of creatures: two or more people and one dog.

At a number of medium to high security prisons where some inmates are doing life sentences, some are involved in a program that rescues young puppies who might otherwise be euthanized. Inmates spend a year teaching a dog how to follow the commands of their eventual blind owner.  

Leader Dogs for the Blind, a program of Lions International (my husband and I belong to a local Lions Club), provides training for these service dogs. There are many individuals involved in this training. Not all breeds of dogs are suitable and the program works carefully to make sure the service dogs have the right personalities for the job.

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