November 12, 2015

Castaways: Both Man and Canine

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It is common knowledge that there are certain humans, like convicted felons and certain animals, like pits, rottweilers and those that have been abused all tend to be thrown away.  Things that we just don't want to deal with.
Ramblings Thoughts, Saving Castaways, Prisoners, K9, Canine, Rehabilitation, Programs, Discussion, Current Events, Change, Movement, Prison Systems

I have watched numerous episodes of the television show, Locked Up, just because it intrigues me.  The show goes into detail of all aspects of those who are locked up, from the positives to the negatives.  One thing I have learned from this show is that there is a great need for our prison systems to do better.  Not only are there just a few prisons that are actually working to provide for their own operation, whether it is manufacturing license plates (that the prisoners make) or running a garden big enough to feed the entire prison population (which the prisoners tend).  But there are also only a few prisons that actually offer programs for prisoners to attend to learn skills that will help them be a better person.  What happened to rehabilitating people?  I understand costs could be a factor but those prisons that have implemented constructive programs have instructors that are volunteering their time.  Those prisons that are providing an income for their prisons are making a whole lot more by selling those license plates than what they are paying their prison workers.  And those who have gardens, well, they are able to cut down on their food cost.  Let's not forget that these few prisons are ultimately offering their prisoners something to do with their time other than sitting around causing fights or coming up with new plans to commit crimes when they are released.

Then there are those canines that are doomed to be put to sleep because of what their owners did to them.  I also watched more than enough animal rescue shows to know that a bunch of abused animals are not always given a second chance.  Those pit bulls that have any sign of being involved in dog fighting or those that do not pass a behavioral test are put to sleep.  I do not agree with this practice, however, the reality is animal shelters only have so much resources and space, which means some dogs just cannot get the help they they are put down.

Well, thankfully, there is hope!  I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other night and stumbled across this amazing and inspiring story.  There is a documentary series rightfully called, Castaways, that involves prisoners who rehabilitate castaway dogs to help them get ready to be adopted.  Many dogs are severely abused and even after being rescued do not know how to respond to love because they are expecting to be abused and hurt.  In the particular video I watched, The National Mill Dog Rescue teamed up with Prison Trained K9 Companion Program to help dogs and ultimately prisoners (click here to watch).  Prisoners have to invest time and love into their K9 and train them which makes both canine and prisoner care and establish trust in each other.  In fact, they end up getting attached to each other.  I personally think this is a great idea because not only are they turning castaway dogs into lovable family pets or even service dogs but it is also helps the prisoners to have something constructive to do with their time and develop skills like patience, compassion and determination.  I do believe that we need to implement this program in all our prison systems.  After all, studies have shown that animal therapy can help in a number of areas such as depression, anger management and trust issues.

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-Rambling Holly

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