A Second Chance For Pups and Prisoners

By: Lauren Squires Email
By: Lauren Squires Email

Friday morning seven dogs are slated to graduate from the Second Chance Pups program at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. The nine week program is giving prisoners and pups a second chance at life.

It's early morning inside the walls of the Nebraska State Penitentiary and you’ll find Hunter and his handler, Dan Stetter.

“It's hard, it's hard you know,” said Stetter. “I sleep better at night being able to do this.”

Stetter is in here serving a life sentence after he was involved in a drunken driving accident that killed someone.

“I need something to keep me going and this is what keeps me going,” said Stetter.

Hunter is an old female lab. She is here because she was sitting in a shelter, needing attention.

“She had been abused all her life. Which was like 8-9 years and when I first got her she was afraid of everybody,” said Stetter.

Now, thanks to the program Second Chance Pups, the two are paired together in hopes for a better life.

“Not only does it help the inmates give back to society but it gives them a second chance to learn some new skills,” said volunteer Kim Ostermann.

The nine week program pairs prisoners like Stetter, who want to give back, with dogs like Hunter, who might otherwise sit in a shelter because of behavior.

“It's made a better person out of me,” said Stetter.

And it’s made a better dog out of Hunter.

“She's like an onion, the longer you have her she exposes this personality,” said Stetter.

But it's no walk in the park. These inmates have their work cut out.

“It's a lot of work, a lot of responsibility. If your dog doesn't perform right, that reflects back on you,” said Stetter.

But at the end of nine weeks these lucky dogs get a second chance at joining a family. The inmates get a chance to make a difference.

Three of the dogs are already adopted but four are still available. If you are interested in adopting one of the dogs, visit www.secondchancepups.com for an application.

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