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Missouri Puppies for Parole program earns national award

A program keeping Missouri prisons safer has earned national honors.

The Puppies for Parole program was selected for the Innovations in American Government award sponsored by Harvard University.

Since it started in 2010, more than 3,500 dogs have been trained at no expense to taxpayers, and these dogs would have otherwise been euthanized.

The Director of the Missouri Dept. of Corrections said the program also improves prisoner behavior.

“Certainly, the offenders who are dog handlers have been transformed in may ways. A lot of them come to prison with very little compassion for others. But by working with the dogs, they learn the quality of compassion, which I believe makes us human and humane, and really transforms them,” said Director George Lombardi.

Prisoners who enroll in “Puppies for Parole” can earn a certificate in animal handling that is recognized by all 50 states.

Read more about the program here.

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