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These are just a handful of testimonials selected from adoptees and inmates.  First names only and all identifying facts have been removed.

Marian Being part of this program I found healing and I felt human again. We [Marian and her prison dog] were both broken in every sense of the word…. Like [prison dog], I can relate to abuse. He showed me that I do matter, I am lovable, and I can give love without fear. We accept each other. He helped me find my confidence and he, along with Paws in Prison has given me a purpose.

Melissa These dogs are loved and cared for and in return, these broken women are loved and cared for by the dogs! It’s an awesome program.

Elizabeth I believe this is an exceptional program for both inmates and animals. It reduces recidivism and the costs associated with too many unadoptable dogs.

Patti I believe this [PIP] to be an essential program that helps dogs, inmates, and the whole community.

Sarrah : I was in the program for almost 2 years. The PIP program taught me a lot about responsibility, and it saved me….It has been such an important part of my life, and my own personal recovery.

Lisa My sweet boy [dog’s name] was the beneficiary of such a program. He was transformed from a stray with little hope of adoption into the perfect companion. I owe that entirely to inmates who taught him how to be a good canine citizen. Prison programs like that at the Lockhart Correctional Facility save dogs’ lives and benefit the participating inmates in innumerable ways, including compassion for other living creatures and lessons on unconditional love (which many of these participants have never had in their lives).

Darline : This was the single most life changing program I was a part of. Healing love, compassion, responsibility and accountability were buried until those little brown button eyes and swimming tails reminded me life can be good. This program changes lives.

Paige Most of us come into prison with serious trust issues. The dogs as well. When you see a seriously neglected and abused animal be able to put their life back together because of your part in his life it gives you the strength and courage to trust again. When you believe in yourself you are able to make a transformation that you thought impossible. Thank you for your time and patience with me.

Jeri :  We adopted our dog about 10 years ago. Our previous dog had serious behavior issues and I was determined to find a dog that was well behaved. Our sweet [dog's name] is the most lovable and well-behaved dog I have ever had. Everyone who comes over our house falls in love with her. She came from a rural kill shelter into the PIP program and it breaks my heart to think she may have been euthanized without the PIP program.

Jill :  When I went to jail I really believed there was no hope for me.  Living in a 25 year cocaine/meth addiction for so long, life had passed me by.  But God had a plan.  ...[After her release] I was blessed with a job at a Veterinarian office. ...Three years later I was managing a doggie daycare.  I groomed for 4 years at Petco.  We [she and her husband] own a pet resort.  We offer grooming, daycare, and boarding. I really just wanted to say thank you. ....  With God all things are possible!

Dani: Working with shelter animals and sheltered people is another world unto itself.  A world where "respect" must be earned through one's actions at being fair, consistent, and firm.  A level of professionalism is expected of me and my peers.  The challenges of learning and teaching in this setting has been accomplished by using only the kindest and gentlest methods.  Each small step forward is celebrated and each step backwards has been a learning experience. ... Then we share what we have learned with our family and friends, bringing a positive impact to many levels of life, including service to the community by saving a dog's life and enriching the lives of families who adopt.

Tammy...the program changed my way of thinking about not only dogs/animals but about life in general.  ...  I couldn't have dreamed this up, my life now.

Racquel:  We all came to the program, dogs and women alike broken, defeated, and angry. Most of us didn't know how to love because we had never been shown love, but through the faith in us Ms. G had, and the unconditional love given by some pound dogs who no matter what kind of hell they had to endure still loved with all they have, loyal to the end! We started to mend the broken places, found our worth, and for the first time in our lives loved another creature more than words could ever explain. More importantly, we learned to trust not only in ourselves and our ability to be more than our past mistakes but in others! These things are what will take us anywhere we want to go and become anything we want to be, and in the end, find TRUE HEALING!! All it took was one person to take a chance on us when everyone else said we would never be anything, she taught us that's a lie! We would be AMAZING!!! 


Saving more than dogs

Do you have a Paws in Prison story to tell?  If so email it to [email protected].