JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s a story that’s Paws-itively JAX.
K9s For Warriors on Tuesday celebrated its third graduating class of its Paws For Change program, which gives inmates the opportunity to train future service dogs. Each inmate is hand-picked by prison staff and must spend three to four months training rescued dogs.
Carlos James, a recent graduate of Paws For Change, says the dogs aren’t the only ones who learn from the training.
“I learned just how to cope and how to deal with different things in different ways, how to problem solve because dealing with the dogs is like dealing with people. If you didn’t socialize the puppy the correct way, it may grow up to be all types of problems, and it’s the same way with us as humans,” James said. “So instead of looking at somebody who is angry all the time, I might try to find out what happened to this person to make them so angry.”
James is now a dog trainer for K-9s For Warriors, which is the nation’s largest provider of trained service dogs for military veterans.
The Paws For Change program began last September and is made possible through a partnership with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.