Segments in this Video

Fishkill Correctional Facility (02:56)


In many jails, inmates train service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At Fishkill, inmates receive their puppy assignments.

Training Dog Cell Block (02:38)

Luis Diaz, serving 25 to life, is nervous about training his puppy; he sees the puppy as a second chance. Luis Martinez, serving 20 years, hopes he can train his puppy well enough to find a home with a war veteran; he wants to be an example.

Training Session for Advanced Dogs (02:14)

Inmates have two years to train their dogs 100 commands. Dogs respond to their trainers thrashing on their beds.

Second Chances (02:59)

Gloria Gilbert Stoga discusses working with the tough population in the prison. Martinez feels a connection with his puppy Fethra. He explains why he is in prison and discusses gaining his puppy's trust and showing love.

Learning Commands (02:34)

Inmates teach their puppies several commands including "look." Stoga discusses teaching the inmates people skills as well as dog skills. Shannon Gambe, serving 12 years, discusses guard reactions to the puppy trainers and raising a puppy for the first time.

Working with Other Men (04:06)

Three months after the inmates receive their puppies, Stoga gets tougher on training demands; Gambe's puppy Skye is not behaving well. Diaz reflects on Stoga's displeasure. Gambe shares his concerns about Skye and asks a fellow inmate about working together more often.

Remembering Afghanistan (03:24)

Chief Warrant Officer Mark Beam views footage of insurgents with explosives and the explosion that occurred 100 yards away; a seven hour gunfight ensued. Beam recalls the episode that revealed the severity of his PTSD.

Beam and PTSD (01:45)

Beam smokes a cigarette and drinks coffee with his wife Stefanie Beam. They discuss his nightmares and trying to live normally.

Stoga's Expectations (04:41)

Diaz's dog Seal is 10-months-old and testing his limits. Stoga announces she is removing inmates, including Gambe, from the program. John Rivera, serving 16 years, takes over the training of Skye.

McGrath and PTSD (03:09)

Chief Warrant Officer Chris McGrath and his wife Ginger explain how Chris changed since joining the military and experiencing rocket attacks. McGrath does not go out in public without his wife.

Wounded Soldiers and Service Dogs (02:41)

Groups of veterans come to the prison to be paired with a service dog every four months; Martinez witnesses the interaction. Stoga discusses Martinez's improvement. Martinez reflects on Fethra graduating training.

Christmas in Prison (02:52)

The dogs and puppies in the program receive toys at Christmas. Stoga tells the inmates how rewarding working with them has been. Inmates sing Christmas carols.

Pennycuick and PTSD (03:12)

Lieutenant Colonel Tracy Pennycuick enlisted as a medic and flew in Desert Storm. She retired in 2010 and experienced immense anxiety; Pennycuick and her husband have PTSD. Pennycuick reflects on 12 years of war.

Team Training Preparations (03:56)

Veterans will spend two weeks at the prison; inmates prepare for their arrival. Martinez, Diaz, and Rivera reflect on giving up their dogs. Beam, Pennycuick, and McGrath arrive in Fishkill, New York; Pennycuick recalls her anxiety when entering the prison.

Team Training (03:36)

Beam, Pennycuick, and McGrath receive their dogs, scarves, and kibble bags. Inmates teach the veterans how to collar the dogs and give initial commands; Fethra barks. Seal demonstrates "help."

Restaurant Training (03:01)

The veterans spend the night in the hotel with one of the dogs. At the prison, they practice taking service dogs into a "restaurant."

Practice Dinner Outing (02:49)

Stoga accompanies the veterans and their dogs to a restaurant. Beam takes Seal outside for fresh air. Stoga talks with Beam about using Seal as a service dog rather than a companion.

Practice Outing (02:37)

Inmates and the service dogs visit a war museum; Pennycuick discusses working with Fethra. Staff members pair the veterans with new dogs, but Fethra will be released as a pet. Martinez hopes Fethra will go with Pennycuick.

Veterans and Their Service Dogs (04:08)

Pennycuick pairs with Murphy and Beam pairs with Skye. Martinez learns that Fethra will be released as a pet; he feels sad but thankful.

Successful Pairings (02:57)

Pennycuick slept the best she has in 10 years with Murphy by her side. The veterans continue practicing with the inmates and their dogs, and reflect on their experiences; Diaz hesitates to take pride in working with Seal.

Graduation Day (02:36)

Inmates reflect on their dogs graduating the course and leaving with their new owners. Beam receives a journal about Skye.

End of Graduation (03:11)

Diaz presents McGrath with a journal about Seal. Beam expresses his appreciation to Rivera. A guard searches Beam.

Veteran and Inmate Updates (02:21)

Pennycuick and McGrath reflect on the changes in their lives after receiving their service dogs. Martinez and Diaz are on parole; Rivera continues to train service dogs in prison.

Credits: Prison Dogs (01:19)

Credits: Prison Dogs

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Prison Dogs

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Incarcerated for murder and armed robbery, hardened New York criminals learn to love again by raising puppies behind bars. In this inspirational tale, three selected prisoners battle self-doubt, anger and regret in their attempt to transform dependent pups into service dogs for injured US veterans. Bound together by fate, this uniquely vulnerable trio of puppy, prisoner and veteran come to discover the redemptive power of second chances.

Length: 72 minutes

Item#: BVL118324

ISBN: 978-1-63521-448-2

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video customers.