At one prison in America, something incredible is happening: Prisoners are being put in charge of shelter dogs, training them to be reintroduced to the world.
Here’s how it works: The inmates are matched up with a dog who is waiting to be adopted. The duo spend a couple of months together, and are with one another 24/7. The inmates’ job is to get the dogs to relax, listen to commands, and house train them. The dogs’ job is to provide companionship.
It’s an interesting program, and it turns out that it’s working incredibly well. See the photos and more of the story below.
The dogs share cells with the prisoners, who become their trainers and companions. These dogs have been abandoned in shelters, so they need all the love they can get.
The dogs’ presence also benefits the inmates: According to the director of Canine Cellmates, the presence of the animals help give prisoners a purpose where they otherwise had none. “Most of these guys gave up believing that there was very much of value to them a long time ago,” she said. “But when that dog loves them and trusts them that starts to change how they feel about themselves.”