Culture

'Dogs On the Inside' Teaches Prisoners About Unconditional Love

Dogs truly are man’s best friend, offering unconditional love and devotion to their owners. They become a part of us and become our closest confidants, always there when we need them. A new documentary, “Dogs on the Inside,” shows just how powerful the love of a dog can be. The documentary follows inmates at the North Central Correctional Institution located in Gardner, Massachusetts as  they care for abused stray dogs inside the prison in an attempt to prepare the men for life on the outside

It shows the true kindness of the human spirit and how the love of a dog can change a person for the better, even in an unlikely place such as a prison. The dogs, which most likely would have been euthanized because of behavioral problems or extreme shyness, find a home inside the prison, where their needs are met by the inmates. Bathing, feeding, walking, and training the dogs are all part of the program.

The prisoners develop bonds of trust with the dogs, something many of these men have never felt before. The inmates are screened and must qualify by displaying signs of having trusting and caring instincts. The filmmakers said, “When the dogs arrive at the prison, they’re rather timid and scared, so the inmates begin with correcting these issues before they can begin teaching the dogs basic obedience. What’s so cool and unique about this type of program is the focus and emphasis is on how can we help give the dogs a better life rather than only on what can the dogs do for us.”

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