Dogs can soften the hearts of every person, even the meanest persons in the world. Dogs have a unique ability to show kindness to people even though they seem to be unlovable.
A Michigan prison has decided to try something new by getting a live-in therapy dog. The therapy dog will provide prisoners with comfort and companionship.
Corrections Officer John Hassen of Woodland Correctional Facility, Michigan, has thought of bringing in a therapy dog to help the prisoners cope with emotional distress. He strongly believed that having a therapy dog around will make the prisoners feel better.
At first, prison warden Jodie DeAngelo is doubtful of the idea. Later on, he got convinced to give it a try.
Sadie is the first live-in prison therapy dog in the United States. She works with the most dangerous prisoners at Woodland Correctional Facility who are suffering from mental illnesses. Every day, Sadie visits the prisoners in their hospital beds to lift their spirits. She also interacts with everyone she meets at the prison.
Sadie has not only provided emotional support to the prisoners, but she has also helped Woodland Correctional Facility save hundreds of thousands of dollars by lowering the emergency room cases compared with other prison facilities in Michigan. The number of self-injuries made by the prisoners has also decreased.
Prison officials observed that the prisoners are doing their best to have a chance to see and interact with Sadie. Having a moment with Sadie is a privilege; if prisoners want to have time with her, they must show outstanding behavior towards the prison guards and fellow inmates.
The prisoners at Woodland Correctional Facility are thankful for the presence of Sadie. She has given them joy and happiness. It is not difficult to love Sadie; she is a smart, loving, and compassionate dog.
The program has been successful, and the Woodland Correctional Facility is thinking of getting another therapy dog. Other prisons in Michigan might also follow suit.
Congratulations, Woodland Correctional Facility for this achievement!
Photo courtesy of MiDOC via Facebook