Puppies Behind Bars
Service Dogs for Veterans with [PTSD] [TBI] and/or Physical Injuries post 9/11
Located in Upstate NY
Contact: (212) 680-9562
Service Area: NY
Serving: Veterans with [PTSD] [TBI] and/or Physical Injuries post 9/11
Description: Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders, as well as explosive-detection canines for law enforcement. Puppies enter prison at the age of 8 weeks and live with their inmate puppy-raisers for approximately 24 months. As the puppies mature into well-loved, well-behaved dogs, their raisers learn what it means to contribute to society rather than take from it.
On average, PBB accepts only one out of every seven applicants and pairs only fifteen to twenty service dogs per year. In order to receive one of our dogs, a veteran must download our application (see link below), read through the criteria, and submit the application to the PBB administrative office for consideration. Although we contact you within two weeks to tell you that we have received your application, the entire review process takes approximately four to six weeks.
If selected, the veteran must participate in our 14-day “team training” in upstate New York. PBB pays for 100% of the travel and boarding costs associated with the training. Over the course of the 14 days, each client is matched with a dog, learns the commands that the dog knows and learns how to care for the dog. About half the team training is conducted in prison, where the veterans can learn directly from the inmate puppy raisers who trained their dogs. In order to graduate from team training, veterans must pass our Public Access Test to demonstrate that the client/dog match makes for an appropriate service dog team. Each graduate of our program returns to his/her home and family as a fully certified service dog handler, with paperwork, identification, and a very special service dog that is trained in 90 commands.