OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Eight dogs, ranging in age from 9 weeks to 2 years, are in training to become working companions. And, their training ground might surprise you. Inmates at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution are responsible for caring for and training the animals to become guide dogs through the organization Paws Forward. Six yellow and black labs, a poodle and a Golden retriever rotate between handlers in the prison and weekly volunteers who take the dogs out into the community to socialize them.
Paws Forward volunteers join the inmates for training sessions and help with grooming. Warden Judy Smith says the program is an opportunity for the inmates to give back to the community and develop empathy for others.