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Encouragement for Students from Prison Pups

August 15, 2019 12:30 AM
By: DOC Staff

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Whether a student, teacher or parent, starting a new school year can be scary. The same is true for the puppies in our prison programs. Help calm the nerves of any anxious student with these letters from three of our newest pups:

A puppy at SCI DallasName: Colonel Dave

Facility: SCI Dallas

Hi, my name is Colonel Dave. I am training to be a service dog for a disabled American veteran. I am part of the American VET Dog Program at SCI Dallas. I came to SCI Dallas from Long Island, New York, with my brother, Maxwell. I get to learn new things every day and cannot wait to graduate to my advanced training before I get my forever home. I have two teachers here that are great. They teach me new things all the time.  On my first day of training, I was really scared. Maxwell and I arrived after a really long trip.  When I woke up, I was greeted by giant humans picking us up and carrying us through many fences. These giant humans kept telling us how cute we were. When we arrived at our classroom we met large dogs who scared us, but are now our friends. They help us with our training by watching how to act.

I have been able to explore and found all sorts of fun stuff. My new teachers gave me toys and a nice bed to sleep on. Thinking back on my new place, it was not so scary. It was just new. I have learned to trust my teachers. Like me, you will have fun in school and meet new friends who will help you along your way. Here is a High-Paw to you for your future success! Be like me and pay attention—not like my brother, Maxwell! Woof woof.

Good luck,

Colonel Dave

A puppy at SCI DallasName: Maxwell

Facility: SCI Dallas

Hi! My name is Maxwell. I am training to be a service dog for a disabled American veteran. I am part of the American VET Dog Program at SCI Dallas. I came to SCI Dallas from Long Island, New York, with my brother, Colonel Dave.  I was so excited to get here. There was so much to see. I thought I would see cowboys and tumbleweed, but I am in Dallas, Pennsylvania, not Dallas, Texas. Like my brother, Colonel Dave, told you, we were taken to a classroom to meet our new teachers. Our classroom had so many new smells and things to get into. My favorite was the trashcan. I would not recommend this to you, because I was told "NO! NO!" I guess there are bad things in that can.

My teachers are really great! They are teaching me new things each day when I listen. Remember to listen to your teachers. I hope to graduate from school just like you so that I can be a helper to a hero who risked his or her life to protect you and me from harm.

My best advice to you is listen to your teachers and have fun. Meet new people who will become good friends to you.  Do not be afraid of the big dogs, they will become your friends and can teach you new things.  Also, be chill like me and not uptight like my brother! Ruff Ruff!

All the best,


A dog at SCI Cambridge SpringsName: Roman

Facility: SCI Cambridge Springs

Hi! I'm Roman! I arrived at SCI Cambridge Springs this week to start at my new school as the newest Canines Achieving Miracles in Prison (CAMP) member. I'm 1 ½ years old, and I'm a pit bull mixed with hound.

I had a pretty rough life as a puppy. The ANNA Shelter found me abandoned in a wooded area, tied to a tree. I was so hungry and in terrible condition, with overgrown nails that hurt my paws. I was also so skinny, and my skin and ears were infected. Needless to say, I was happy when the ANNA Shelter found me and began treating me to help me get back to good health. They did an excellent job!

Once I was healthy, I started to feel like myself again. I have lots of energy! Sometimes I don't get along with the other dogs though—the shelter said I need to learn manners and how to play well with others. It's hard, but it's important to get along with other kids.

When I started at my new school at Cambridge Springs, I was so scared I was shaking! I didn't like my new place. Fortunately one of my teachers, Mr. Schneider, carried me when I was too scared and helped me calm down. He passed me off to my new teachers, two lady inmates, who introduced me to Sammi.  She was a very nice dog, and once we got to know each other I started to calm down and be more brave! I even smiled for the camera!

A dog at SCI Cambridge Springs

After my first day, I realized I didn't need to be so scared. I was just starting a new school in a prison; it's not that scary! I have amazing teachers and new friends, and all the adults want to take such good care of me. When I finish with school, I will be up for adoption by my forever family. I can't wait to meet them, but until then I'm loving school!

Good luck, and remember to mind your manners and be nice to the other kids!


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