Prisoners Training Puppies Behind Bars

Published 02/26 2013 06:16PM

Updated 02/26 2013 10:08PM

HAGERSTOWN, MD - Puppies are growing up behind bars in Hagerstown, where inmates are training them to be service dogs.

Eight dogs are being raised at MCI-Hagerstown. The inmates are training them, with supervision from intructors. They'll be sent to New York for more training after 14 months.

Only the inmates who have earned the right through good behavior can participate. No inmates with a history of child or animal abuse, or gang violence are allowed.

The dogs will go to wounded veterans through America's VetDogs.

"I thought about my grandfather, he was a World War II vet, I've seen the impact with him having a dog," says inmate trainer Douglas Riley, who is serving 15 years for second-degree murder. "He didn't have a veteran's dog, a vet's dog specially trained, but it was difference in his attitude and everything just having the dog."

A trained service dog from America's VetDogs is also helping Representative Gabrielle Giffords recover from severe brain injuries after she was shot.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.