Hero Pups is an organization providing support dogs for military veterans and first responders. Now, prison inmates are helping train them – with great results.
In this video, Freethink reporter Michael O’Shea meets a veteran of the Iraq War who was struggling with PTSD. He was fortunate enough to receive a service dog from Hero Pups, and it’s helped relieve the stress and anger that used to keep him from leaving the house. Hero Pups founder Laura Barker explains that training a shelter dog to be a therapy dog for a soldier or first responder can be extremely valuable for everyone involved. The veteran or first responder gets a fantastic companion to help them stay in the moment and regain happiness; the dog gets a great home; and now that they are being trained with the help of inmates at the Merrimack County Department of Corrections, the prisoners benefit as well.
We visit the correctional facility and talk to a prisoner training puppies to be support dogs. He and Laura explain how bonding with the puppy and doing a great deed for a person in need brings much-needed positivity and hope, and helps the inmates to heal.