Inmates at a California prison recently had the chance to learn rehabilitation through the act of caring. The men at the prison located in Lancaster provided love, care and relief to deaf dogs that had to be evacuated from their shelter due to sand fire.
Deaf Dogs Rescue of America in Acton, California, sent 45 dogs to the prison because of a sand fire that occurred at their shelter. The dogs were sent to inmates involved in Paws 4 Life, a program that matches inmates with dogs that are at high risk for euthanization.
The prisoners not only care for the dogs, but they also work with trainers to teach the dogs obedience and social skills. They hope to get the dogs to be able to respond to basic commands and act peacefully with others so they can pass the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen test.
If the dogs pass the test, then they have a better chance of being adopted by a safe and loving home. Lisa Tipton, one of the directors of the shelter, expressed how pleased she was with the interaction between the dogs and the inmates.
"When we came by the next morning, every single dog had a smile on their face and was enjoying themselves," Tipton said. "Even the pretty difficult dogs I thought would get snappy were thriving."
The inmates themselves love the program so much. One even said, “Paws 4 Life restored my faith in humanity — that I'm a person, that I matter. It gave me the opportunity to care for something, love something."
(Photo: California Department of Corrections via Facebook)