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Healing Behind Bars
"We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the right of what they suffer." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
On the Inside
Our Prison Program pairs inmate dog handlers with formerly abused and neglected dogs who are up for adoption and in need of socialization. These dogs arrive with wagging tails and loving hearts, moving inmates to open up and explore their own wounded hearts and broken lives. The dogs become a living message that “What happens to you in life is not what defines you. What defines you is your heart and how you respond.” We know that 99% of inmates will be released back into society—into our communities—and this program helps them heal and become more compassionate individuals through saving the life of a dog nobody else wanted. Not only are we reaching violent offenders, but we are also able to rescue 100% more dogs than can be housed at our Woodland Sanctuary in Orangeburg, SC. Thus we are seeing not only the lives of inmates changed for the better, but also the lives of many more dogs. Having handlers who are with our dogs 24/7, we are able to take in special needs cases, severe abuse and neglect cases, and dogs who we would not have the resources to save without the help of our inmate dog handlers. The dogs that come out of our prison program are socialized and confident, house-trained, know basic training cues and commands, and are shown to have a much higher rate of placement success!
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