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prisoner-coached dogs give veterans a lot of love

Jim Stanek, co-founder of Paws and Stripes in Rio Rancho, gives a rescued dog a treat. Paws and Stripes, based in Rio Rancho, provides service dogs for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. (Courtesy photo)

Except for cat individuals who imagine their kitties are probably the most elegant creatures on Earth, I feel the remainder of us can agree that canines are man’s, and quite a lot of girls’s, finest pals.

The query is whether or not that friendship and loyalty are simply transferable?

The reply seems to be “sure” primarily based on the expertise of Puppies Behind Bars, a program that pairs service canines, educated by jail inmates, with navy veterans affected by post-traumatic stress dysfunction.

The switch of allegiance to the veterans from the inmates, who’ve sometimes spent at the least two years with the canines, happens over a 16-day interval when the teams work collectively.

“It’s instantaneous,” mentioned Gloria Gilbert Stoga, the founder and president of Puppies Behind Bars. “The canines know who they’re supposed to connect themselves to.”

It might have one thing to do with the breed—all are Labrador retrievers—and the actual fact the canines know that each executed command comes with a deal with. “Ronald, you need to kibble her each time,” Ms. Stoga chided a participant who forgot to reward his canine when it used a twine to open a door.

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