Skip to main content

“Introducing dogs into an environment that, at times, could be incredibly depressing and hopeless has brought about a transformative change in our community. Simply put, it has brought us all a touch of humanity.”

Canine Companions is a non-profit that has been providing service dogs to people in need at no charge to them. These highly trained service dogs will help their lucky recipient navigate their life by performing many tasks, including retrieving dropped items off the floor, hitting elevator buttons, turning on and off lights, or simply being there to wake them up during a nightmare. We receive these dogs for training at 16 weeks old and have them for one year. My dog was one of the first puppies here, and his name is Artemis. Artemis will leave me for professional training in April of this year. While at San Quentin, we teach the puppies 32 commands and proper social etiquette, including house manners and how to greet people and other animals. We also train them to walk correctly on a leash, even in a wheelchair. The impact these puppies have had on not only the ones directly involved but the population as a whole is staggering. Introducing dogs into an environment that, at times, could be incredibly depressing and hopeless has brought about a transformative change in our community. Simply put, it has brought us all a touch of humanity. We started with two dogs in April of 2023 and have since grown to six dogs. I am so grateful to be a part of this life-changing program and hope others get involved. We are behind these walls for the crimes we have committed, and I am awarded this opportunity to give back in an enormous way.

 

Leave a Reply

Receive more inspiring stories and news from incarcerated people around the world.