Rescued dogs sent to prison but for rehabilitation, not punishment

Companion Pet Rescue (CPR) specializes in rescuing abandoned or neglected dogs and rehabilitating them so they’ll once again be able to build loving, trusting relationships with people. The group relies on a network of volunteers and foster homes. The good news is that the people at CPR are great at what they do. The bad news is that there’s such a huge number of dogs in need. The group found itself with too many dogs and not enough foster homes for them.

Fortunately, an innovative program allowed CPR to place some of their dogs in foster homes of a sort, a most unusual sort: minimum security prisons. You might wonder if entrusting convicted criminals with the care of dogs is really such a good idea. But so far it seems to be working. While they and the dogs took very different paths to prison, the inmates seem to identify with the dogs. As one put it, “When you’re in here, people forget about you. I’m sure that a lot of these dogs feel the same way. People forgot about them, you know?”

Thanks to the dogs, the prisoners have a chance to drop their macho facades while also taking on some responsibility. It may give them a new perspective on life and encourage them to reform themselves. According to one prisoner, “The very first dog that I had, he’s gone through so much and has changed drastically. And I know, seeing that, nothing’s impossible.” It may be that poet, novelist, and Nobel Prize winner Anatole France was right when he said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

To learn more about this unique program, have a look at the video posted below. As you’ll see, it isn’t just good for the prisoners but also makes a world of difference for the dogs.

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