Therapy Dogs in prison!

I work with our local therapy dog organization, Paws with a Purpose, who visit hospital and nursing home patients as well as many community agencies and schools. Recently, Paws fulfilled an unusual request, to visit inmates at the Craggy Correctional Center. The dogs were a huge hit with the inmates and staff, bringing a bit of normalcy as well as comfort and unconditional love. The following heartwarming note, signed by 150 inmates, was received after the visit.

“I just want to express how appreciative we all are that you would take the time and come into the facility with the dogs. You all were the talk of the town for several days afterwards. In here, we are all on emotional guard duty…we have no outlet for expressing emotions, especially an outlet to show genuine love and affection, plus to have that genuine love and affection reciprocated. It made us all feel human and normal if only for a little while.

You wouldn’t believe the response we have had to the dogs. I witnessed hardened criminals who rarely speak to anyone come to the event, waiting for one of the dogs to come his way. Particularly the Basset Hound, I heard him speaking quite fondly of a Basset he had as a child.

Over the next several days, inmates became more sociable toward one another and toward the staff. I heard a staff member remark on how different the inmates were who came to the event.

Paws with a Purpose really did serve a good and noble purpose: they boosted the morale, lowered the stress levels, and made all who attended the event a much needed outlet to show our humanity.

We pray for you that the Lord will bless you, your people, and all your efforts for good.”

There truly are no limits to the power of the human-animal bond to change lives!

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