In selected correctional institutions across the U.S. (and in other countries as well), inmates can sign up for dog-training duty, a privilege they have to earn. Depending on the specific institution/organization collaboration, some train dogs to become assistance or service animals, while others, as this story showcases, work with shelter dogs so they can be adopted and find their forever homes. For dogs (and inmates), the programs can be a path to a better life.

Of all the dogs I have trained, none of them challenged or changed me more than Reba. I am currently incarcerated at the Maine State Prison (MSP) and part of a dog-training program called K9 Corrections. We work in partnership with a local shelter that sends us dogs of all ages, from puppies to adults. Our duties not only include basic obedience training, house-training and getting a dog used to a crate for prolonged periods…

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