Hazard Wilson's new cellmate is a hairy bundle of energy whose playful zeal can't be contained by steel doors: a five-month-old golden retriever. Yardley is one of three canines assigned since September to inmates at a maximum-security prison in western Maryland for training as service dogs for disabled military veterans.
The number of programs nationwide using inmates to train service dogs is growing, but the program at Western Correctional Institute might be the first to use incarcerated veterans to train dogs for other veterans.
Professional trainers say prison-raised dogs tend to do better than those raised traditionally in foster homes, because puppies respond well to consistency and rigid schedules. That's just what they get in prison.
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