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MIKE AND ANNIE, A FOUR-MONTH-OLD LABRADOR -- Mike is in prison for manslaughter in the first degree for 10 1/2 years. He has served 8 1/2 years. MIKE: "The ability to help someone in need has inspired me to do more with myself and my life. I got into PBB because I always loved dogs and to contribute my life to help raise dogs who will help people on the outside who are blind or handicapped and show that I could do more with my life meant a lot to me. As for my plans, when I come home I am going to pursue this field of work. I like helping people. This is the first time in my life that I can actually say I succeeded in anything, and it is a wonderful feeling. I've raised a breeder and an active bomb sniffing dog for the CIA, and this is a product of my work and achievement. I am proud of myself. "..The Puppies Behind Bars (PPB) Program works with prison inmates in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to train service dogs, including ones who help injured soldiers. The puppies arrive at 8 weeks-old and remain at the prisons, mostly working with one inmate, for 20 months. Fishkill Correctional Facility is a medium security prison in New York with 22 men in the puppy program. The emotional element of caring for the puppies breaks down the hard façade that most prisoners create for themselves to survive prison life.  Prisoners learn responsibility and pride in helping others. The program often gives them a new outlook on their crimes, their time in prison, and goals when they are released. ..
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