Dogs graduate inmate training program

Dogs graduate inmate training program
Photo provided by NBC33 staff.
All About Animals

POSTED: Friday, May 3, 2013 - 5:09pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 3, 2013 - 5:23pm

Friday was graduation day for three of Dixon Correctional Institute residents. Three young dogs are well on their way to becoming service dogs.

Staff Inmates at Dixon Correctional Institute teamed up with Canine Companions for Independence to start a basic training program at DCI.

Inmates spent more than a year training the dogs. Every day the trainers exercised the dogs, teaching them tricks. the dogs even sleep next to their trainers. The dogs help build prisoner's self esteem.

James Ficco, Venture's trainer, explained: "Gave us a sense of companionship while we were in here. Just to know that they are going to someone else that needs the help is just such a pride to help someone else. "

Now, the dogs are headed off to florida for a graduate school of sorts, where they'll become fully certified service dogs.

The inmates just got three new puppies to start training.

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