“Taking care of puppies is like taking care of children; you have to be mature, responsible, and available at all times outside of being able to train puppies.”
Incarcerated: 9 years
Housed: San Quentin
I’ve been in San Quentin for three years now. When I heard they would have a dog program, I quickly applied for a transfer and was fortunate enough to be accepted. My dog’s name is Artemis, but I call him “Artie” for short, and he came to San Quentin at four months old. Artie came from Canine Companions, a service dog program that raises puppies for a year to become service dogs for someone in need. Being in this program has taught me compassion, awareness, and accountability. Taking care of these puppies is like taking care of children; you have to be mature, responsible, and available at all times outside of being able to train puppies. This has also helped residents like myself and staff communicate more normally versus the “us vs. them” old communication style. Canine Companions is an agent of change in San Quentin, and I’m glad to be a part of it. We have great camaraderie among all the trainers, staff, and San Quentin. When people see the dogs, it’s a morale booster for everyone, and I want to help advance this program in any way I can.