Families Receive Service Dogs Trained By Offenders

State of Tennessee Newsroom

Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Department of Corrections

Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Department of Corrections

Friday, nine service dogs graduated from the Retrieving Independence Program at the Turney Center Industrial Complex.  This is an innovative program in which specially screened offenders train puppies to be service animals.

The graduation marks the end of a nearly 18-month program where the dogs underwent an intensive training process,  teaching them everything from seizure detection and wheelchair assistance, to opening and closing doors and loading laundry.  A recipient for each dog is matched early on and the training program is tailored to meet that person’s specific needs.

Families receiving the dogs, offenders and representatives from the Turney Center Industrial Complex and Retrieving Independence attended today’s event.  During the program these special dogs also demonstrated their newly acquired skills.  To learn more about the Retrieving Independence program click on the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUVJ6BeVbjs.

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