Graduation ceremony held for future service dogs trained by inmates

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The last time FOX 29’s Bill Anderson went to Camden County Correctional Facility, he got an exclusive look at a program that allows inmates to train service dogs for veterans.

Monday brought the result, as months of training came to fruition and veterans suffering from PTSD were presented there soon-to-be service dogs as they graduated from their training.

The program is in its third year and was established as a win-win for all involved.  The inmates get to serve society, and the veterans get much needed support and companionship at no cost to them.

Meanwhile and the government gets a chance to develop and highlight a program that puts nonviolent offenders on the path to rehabilitation through developing a skill and demonstrating patience and compassion.

As for the dogs, all of them came from local shelters where they were hoping to be adopted. The program gives them a new home, a new friend, and a special purpose.

The program is the first of its kind in New Jersey and one of the few in the country.

As representatives from the department of corrections, freeholders and shelter community gathered it was clear that they all shared hope the program would be copied at other correctional facilities.