Review: Dogs on the Inside

Ah, rain. How lovely. What a great day to laze on the couch and watch something entertaining. On Netflix, I found Dogs on the Inside, a documentary filmed in a Massachusetts prison about inmates partnered with rescue dogs in a program with the goal of working toward a second chance at a better life for both inmate and stray dog.

If you don't subscribe to Netflix, it's also on Amazon.

Don't Throw Us Away

With more than 2 million inmates behind bars in this country, recidivism is more common than prisoners who build better lives. At the same time, between 6 to 8 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters in a year. Of those, more than half are euthanized each year.

The end result of both of these events are lives thrown away. The goal of Don't Throw Us Away is a partnership between prisons and rescue shelters to give both inmates and shelter dogs a new lease on life.

As a dog lover, I was immediately captured by the premise of the program. If someone can learn to love and unselfishly care for a dog and relate to that dog with kindness, then that person can do the same with people.

Heartwarming and inspiring, the documentary will make you see the inmate dog trainers as people, not as convicts. They learn to love the dogs they train, but then they must give up the dog they love when it is adopted. That's an important part of love: being able to sacrifice one's personal wants and desires for the greater good of the loved one. In this case, "giving up" the dog to be adopted by a family who will give it a good life. This life lesson teaches one to manage their emotions, and that is a lesson that will help them build a better life.

Behind The Story

Dog fostering and training programs in prisons have spread to many prisons in the U.S. One of the best known is New Leash on Life USA, based in Philadelphia. Through their work in prisons, they have successfully showed "prison inmates coming out of the Philadelphia prison system goes down about 50% by comparison to the average." (Read more about this.)

Don't miss this. It will make you think...make you view people differently when they have made mistakes in life rather than lumping them all together as losers. They're people, and they can re-enter society and live rewarding lives when they have the emotional skills needed to deal with life.

Takeaway Truth

Great documentary that shows people can change. Internal change begins with learning to love selflessly and to have a greater vision of yourself and your life.

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