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Watch how shelter dogs are helping prison inmates rebuild their lives (VIDEO)

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These at-risk dogs and prison inmates are saving each other thanks to this non-profit organization.

Within five years of release, three-quarters of prisoners are rearrested. Of those prisoners, more than half are rearrested within the first year, according to the National Institute of Justice.

Of all dogs placed in a shelter, 1 in 5 will be euthanized due to lack of adoptability and restricted resources.

What if both of these problems could be addressed at the same time? What if there were a solution that helped both inmates and at-risk shelter dogs? Now, there is.

New Leash On Life USA is a non-profit organization based in Pennsylvania that pairs at-risk dogs with an inmate handler who cares for them, trains them, and socializes them to increase their adoptability. Previously untrained or hostile dogs leave the program able to interact with humans, and inmates leave with an experience of relationship and responsibility.

Each dog stays with their assigned handler in their cell around the clock, making the handler completely responsible for the training and wellbeing of the dog, and some of the dogs are even trained as assistance and service dogs.

One graduate of the program said, “This program taught me how to be a man. How to accept responsibility.” The relationship each handler has with their dog provides companionship, physical affection, and a social outlet that they would not otherwise find in jail.

“It’s a match made in heaven,”Chris, another graduate of the program, says. New Leash On Life affirming human life and providing the opportunity for people to save themselves, and to save another life in the process.

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