‘Puppies for Parole’ making a difference
Jul 23, 2010
Puppies for Parole, as the Missouri Department of Corrections calls the program, is at work in eight state prisons, where offenders have the time and patience to give dogs from shelters basic obedience training.
Missouri’s corrections director, George A. Lombardi, said the program began almost a decade ago when a St. Louis group asked if the inmates of a women’s prison in Vandalia could train service dogs to help the disabled with tasks such as opening doors and turning on lights.
Since then, Lombardi said, more than 45 service dogs have graduated from Vandalia. The program has spread to other institutions, giving Missouri one of the largest prison dog programs in the nation, Lombardi said.