Puppies Behind Bars: Training Puppies to Change Lives

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The excellent Puppies Behind Bars is the dog charity I've selected to benefit when people make purchases through my favorite products “widget”. Puppies Behind Bars pairs eight-week-old puppies with prison inmates, who train and live with the dogs 24/7 for 18 months. When they graduate, the dogs take jobs as service animals, assisting the handicapped with the basic tasks we sometimes take for granted - such as turning the house lights on and off - or working in explosives detection all over the world, from New York City to The Vatican to Iraq. There's no more powerful celebration of the canine-human bond than this unique training process, in which so many lives are permanently, positively touched by the magical partnerships that form between dogs and their teachers.
Jaymie Powers, a 43-year-old mother of three grown children who is in prison for second-degree murder, is seated in a wheelchair pretending to be a disabled person shopping at a supermarket. She is working on getting a Labrador retriever, Devon, to fetch a box of cereal from a counter and place it in a straw bag.