In 2013, the Dogs for the Disabled was approached by Irish Prison Governors interested in getting involved with the charity. After initial talks it was felt that the buddy dog programme would benefit all parties: the charity, inmates and the prison. Shortly after, four young adult dogs were placed with four handlers within Shelton Abbey Open Prison, for a trial project and our community programmes developed from there.
We are the only charity globally we know of that have a prison breeding programme and it’s a hugely successful programme now, running almost 4 years. The first puppies born in the Dochas women’s prison in Dublin are now all working assistance dogs, very placid happy dogs.
Newborn puppies need a lot of love and 24hour care to become the super stars we need. There are lots of children walking and adult wheelchair users living more independently today because of the women, staff and the Dochas centre breeding programme and on behalf of all our partners I would like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU!