We've barked quite a bit about the Missouri Puppies for Parole program and are pleased that it is now operating in 13 of Missouri's prisons. It's definitely a winning proposition for everyone involved. Dogs from animal shelters get another chance for a good home by receiving training which can include house breaking, basic obedience, and some even learn sign language. Offenders get a chance to contribute to society, engage in something positive and learn a new skill. And the program doesn't cost taxpayers a dime. All the pet food and supplies are donated.
To date over 250 dogs have been trained and adopted. Notable success stories include Sparky, a dachshund that was scheduled for euthanasia because he is deaf. Missouri prison offenders took the dog and taught him sign language. They then raised the money to pay for the dog's adoption fee and donated Sparky to the Missouri School for the Deaf. Students there continue Sparky's lessons.
Another is the case of Knuckles who was returned to animal shelters twice due to behavior problems. After his Puppies for Parole training, he was placed in a home as a companion for a little girl with Autism. The little girl bonded with Knuckles immediately and is now able to sleep through the night.