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Prisoners share their cells with a dog and it has a magical effect

2 min read

Better Society
Gevangenen delen hun cel met een hond. Het effect is magisch.
Source: None

Giving people more instead of less responsibilities can work wonders.

Better man thanks to a dog

Dogs are known as one of people’s best friends. I even know people who might love dogs more than they do fellow humans…

Dogs are very loyal to their owners, have no prejudices and unconditionally love their caregiver. Dogs can also have a magical effect on their owners. They can even serve as sort of a life line, helping people in difficult situations to bounce back.

Dogs behind bars

In the US the Canine Cell Mates foundation runs a program with the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta where shelter dogs are cared for and trained by inmates for a period of two months.

Source: Canine Cell Mates

The dogs mean the world to their temporary owners. The benefits to the inmate handlers are many, including: learning responsibility by caring for a living being, accountability in working towards a goal, experiencing the joy of unconditional love, gaining confidence in working toward a positive outcome and skills that will allow them to become law-abiding, productive members of society.

At the same time, the chances that these well-trained dogs can find a home, has increased considerably.

Dogs behind bars Lifes change when dogs and inmates live together Source: YouTube CNN

50% less violence

The incidence of violent outbursts in prison and jail facilities where jail dog programs operate has shown a dramatic decrease, sometimes as much as 50%. Recidivism rates have also shown drastic improvements.

Pitbull turns drug addict into top artist

John Dolan from London used to either sleep in the streets or in prison. But since he has been taken care of the pitbull George the dog his life has been completely transformed.

They are inseparable from each other. John is mainly to be found in trendy Shoreditch.

John Dolan and George the dog They are inseparable from each other. John is mainly to be found in trendy Shoreditch. Source: Facebook John Nolan

When John got George the dog, he felt responsible for taking care of him. And in order to continue providing care to George, he had to stay out of prison.

In his early day John was a talented draftsman; a gift he neglected for tens of years. But thanks to George he decided to go back to the streets, making and selling his art.

Picture taken in the London Gallery 'Howard Griffin Prints' who sells John's drawings.

George, the dog that changed my life Picture taken in the London Gallery ‘Howard Griffin Prints’ who sells John’s drawings. Source: Howard Griffin Prints

One of his many drawings. Not bad ;-)

Skyscrapers One of his many drawings. Not bad 😉 Source: Howard Griffin Prints

Interview with John DolanSource: YouTube

Giving responsibility instead of taking it away

These examples show perfectly how a sense of responsibility for dogs can turn people’s lives 180 degrees. Instead of taking away responsibility, it argues in favour of giving responsibility instead as an effective tool to create positive change.

Sources:

Note

Note: this article was posted on BrightVibes originally in oct 2015

Make an Impact

English initiative - Paws for Progress

In the UK the NGO Paws for Progress runs the Dog Training Rehabilitation Programme in Scotland