Dogs Trained by Prisoners Help the Disabled

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A remarkable story is developing in some U.S. prisons. It involves rehabilitating prisoners, and helping the disabled, all at the same time.

Training a dog to do complicated tasks takes an enormous chunk of time.

"The dogs are trained to pick up dropped items, turn lights on and off, carry packages, get things off grocery store shelves, get a phone in an emergency," said one prisoner.

And who has more time on their hands than men who are serving time.

"I never imagined I'd be able to be in a program like this, especially in prison, so it's been a blessing," another inmate said.

The inmates at a minimum security facility join a growing number of prisoners, who are training puppies to serve people with special needs.

The inmates spend day and night with the pups for 18 months

"It has changed the atmosphere of this facility it's almost as if, you can't help but smile," said one prison guard.

Once the dogs are trained, they are matched with special needs individuals like these visually impaired children.

Introductions can take a while.

Nine-year-old Brett, who suffers from blindness, has been scared of dogs, but not any more.

"They're cool," he said.

The kids had no idea the dogs could help them so much.

"Can these dogs be on metro busses?," one older teen asked one of the handlers.

"They sure can," came the reply.

Thanks to the extensive training by prisoners, the dogs are well prepared to care for those who need them.

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Lorie  Johnson

Lorie Johnson

CBN News Medical Reporter

Lorie Johnson reports on the latest information about health and wellness. Since medicine is constantly changing, she makes sure CBN News viewers are up-to-date on what they need to know in order to live a healthy life.  Follow Lorie on Twitter @LorieCBN and "like" her at Facebook.com/LorieJohnsonCBN.