At SCI Chester, which is a part of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, there is a very special dog-training program. The results of the program have been life-changing, not only for the dogs and their future owners, but for the inmates as well.
For the inmates, it is a big privilege to get accepted into the WAGs Rescue Dog training program. If accepted to the program, these men will be allowed to live in their jail cells with the dog as their fellow inmate, on a 24/7 basis.
The dogs get to sleep in the inmates cells, becoming their sole responsibility. There a very strong focus on one-on-one training, where the inmates are given the task of teaching the dogs basic commands and tricks.
The program helps to free up the WAGs’ network of foster dogs, meaning that there is more room for rescues in the process. Many of these shelter dogs rescued, were close to death by euthanasia. Now, they’re alive and happy, thanks to the inmates who help.
One inmate, Larry, said to FOX29, “The dog is a reflection of what we teach them. So if we can teach them to be good dogs, like we would ourselves, the reward is right there.”
In the video, Larry and his fellow dog training inmates, are preparing to say goodbye to the dogs – who are going off to their forever homes – they’ve spent a lot of time training and getting to know.
As you’ll see, each dog goes home with a letter to the new owners — one that was written by the men who got to know the dogs very closely.