New Life K9s partners with two state prisons, California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo and Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, where inmates teach future service dogs. Each dog has 2 inmate handlers who are able to offer more time and consistency in teaching the dogs than would otherwise be possible. On weekends, the dogs go home with volunteer puppy raisers for community socialization.
Inmate handlers and puppy raisers significantly reduce costs, which allows New Life K9s to place more dogs and save more lives. The positive impact on the inmates, the prison staff, and the overall prison culture is truly transforming.
Watch the amazing video below of one of the inmate handlers who is now released from prison:
Here are a few words from some of the inmates:
“Being amongst the dogs as they’re being taught and witnessing their unconditional love is therapeutic. For me to get to interact with them offers healing. New Life K9s provides an avenue for us to give back to the community. It gives us an opportunity to put others first. It tells me that, even though I’m a prisoner, I still have value, worth, and I still matter.” -CTF Inmate (U.S. Marine Corp)
"The NLK9 dog program here at CTF-Soledad has deeply impacted my life. I have been given a tremendous responsibility in being entrusted with my puppy Jett. I have been given the honor to teach him how to be a service dog for a U.S. Veteran or First Responder suffering from PTSD or other physical disability." -Prado, J.
"I feel very fortunate to be participating in this wonderful teaching program. It is contributing to a more equitable living environment, and by extension, a better work environment for the Correctional Officers and Staff. Thank you New Life K9s for leading the charge in the fight for our Service men and women, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of the team." -Treadaway, E.
"To say that I am teaching and bonding with my gentle and loving yellow lab, Sonny, would only be half the story. Sonny is actually teaching me more about myself than I could have ever imagined." -Kube, R.
These are only just a few of the numerous letters that New Life K9s receives from those whose lives are being reformed in many ways.