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Camp Hill Reentrant Reflects on HOPE Dog Program

Tags: Camp Hill
November 28, 2018 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

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CAM - 2018 Nov - HOPE Dog Adoption6.jpgThe following was written by a former SCI Camp Hill inmate who participated in the HOPE dog program—and was able to adopt the very dog he trained.

I joined the HOPE dog program over three years ago, and Reggie came into the program a little over two and a half years ago. Reggie was from the ACCT Philly Shelter. He was picked up as a stray in a bad neighborhood of Philadelphia and had a lot of issues when he first got here. He was covered in scars and scabs and appeared to have been used as a bait dog or for something equally as bad.

Through the course of time, I was able to build a bond with Reggie that is indescribable. As Reggie learned through his training, I learned from Reggie as well. To be able to see Reggie grow and overcome so many obstacles through training, love, and the common bond we shared is great to see. To live in a prison cell with a dog isn't easy at times, but the end result was all worth it. I don't regret one moment of it. I will always have the everlasting memories of the time Reggie and I shared in prison.

CAM - 2018 Nov - HOPE Dog Adoption2.jpgWhen my release neared, I couldn't bear to think about leaving Reggie behind. I was sick to my stomach the day that I left Reggie behind, and I actually cried because he became a part of my heart. I always told the HOPE program that I was going to adopt Reggie once I was released and that dream came true this past week.

I was reunited with Reggie a recently. I'm so happy that I was able to adopt him and give him a forever home that he's so much deserved. To be with Reggie on a daily basis is a constant reminder to me of where we came from and how far we've come and to never go back. I cannot thank the HOPE program enough for giving me the opportunity to adopt Reggie and being able to see him be a dog outside of the prison walls. The HOPE program was the best program that I ever participated in while in prison. It taught me a whole new sense of responsibility and to put something other than myself first for once that being Reggie. As I write this, he is lying next to me on his back getting belly rubs with his paws in the air enjoying his life in his forever home.

The HOPE program has been such a positive experience in my life that I will never forget about. I'm truly grateful that I was able to be a part of HOPE at SCI Camp Hill. I would like to thank the HOPE volunteers and prison staff for allowing me to participate in this program. Thank you, Kaitlin, for giving me the opportunity to spend my life with Reggie. I can never thank you enough.   

Sincerely, 

Phillip C.


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