Animals

Woman Overjoyed Thanks to Efforts of Prison Inmates

They got her "a little dog with a big personality" after she lost hers in a fire.


When Amanda Ritneour lost her home to a fire in February, she lost more than just her possessions. Her two beloved dogs died in the fire, even though Amanda, who has cerebral palsy, tried to crawl back into the burning house to save them.

A lieutenant at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution in Fayette County, PA, is one of Amanda's neighbors. He had a great idea: why not have the inmates in the prison's dog training program train a new pet for Amanda?

SCI-Fayette's program, D.A.W.G. , partners with Humane Animal Rescue shelter to train homeless dogs in basic obedience so they'll become more adoptable.

In March, 1-year old Rolo (now renamed Fluffy) arrived at the prison, and underwent 3 1/2 months of training to sit, stay, roll over, wait at the door and walk on a loose leash. Inmates also acclimated him to being around wheelchairs, and to jump into a Amanda's lap if she taps her chest.

In addition to the inmate training, prison employees raised $625 to pay for Fluffy's adoption fees and grooming, plus items like a bed, treats, bowls and a leash. The superintendent even donated a crate!

When it came time to present Fluffy to Amanda, the two inmates who trained the dog got to make speeches. While they admitted it would be hard to let him go, they were glad to see him go to a loving home.

The inmates who trained Fluffy were sad to see him go, but proud of their work.

"This family was devastated by fire, and we're honored that both the employees and the inmate population at SCI Fayette can assist in helping this family return to normalcy," said Superintendent Mark Capozza.

Awesome job of spreading kindness SCI-Fayette!

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