Healing Companions, Inc. believes in saving lives on both ends of the leash – not just with individuals who receive Psychiatric Service Dogs, and the shelter dogs themselves, but also with the inmates who assist in training our PSDs. Healing Companions, Inc. takes great pride in the recovery efforts of those inmates who are enrolled in our training program. There, they not only learn positive reward-based dog training, but they also learn relaxation and stress reduction techniques for humans and their animals. Plus, they become certified in canine First Aid and CPR! These inmates grow their confidence in their ability to do a job, get in the habit of committing to work, and leave prison with the opportunity to have real-world job skills.
At Healing Companions, Inc., we believe in compassionate mentoring and allowing these inmates to prove themselves, reducing potential recidivism and improving their own outlook, as well. Inmates get an opportunity to embrace hope and actively participate in society. After being imprisoned, these individuals can trust themselves again, bringing their skills to work and playing a role in the world – in this case, the crucial role in the recovery of a person with mental health issues.
Here Leo* gives us his take on his experience. Leo was able to witness the powerful impact of his basic training for a client’s dog. Leo was able to empathize in a meaningful way with the client, finding similarities in her story and his own daughter’s life with Asperger syndrome.
Watch his testimonial here: