Celebrating over 20 years of Puppies Behind Bars

Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders, as well as explosive-detection canines for law enforcement. Puppies enter prison at the age of 8 weeks and live with their inmate puppy-raisers for approximately 24 months. As the puppies mature into well-loved, well-behaved dogs, their raisers learn what it means to contribute to society rather than take from it.

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October 1997
First PBB class in the Bedford Hills women' prison
October 1997
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September 1998
Open in the Fishkill men's prison
September 1998
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August 1999
First guide dog, Lucie, graduates
August 1999
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April 2001
Open in the Edna Mahan women's prison in Clinton, New Jersey
April 2001
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September 2001
Hire our first "puppy raiser" to work in our New York office
September 2001
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May 2002
Start raising explosive-detection canines
May 2002
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January 2006
Open in the Otisville men's prison
January 2006
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April 2006
Stop raising guide dogs and start raising service dogs
April 2006
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June 2006
Start of Dog TagsĀ®: Service Dogs For Those Who've Served Us
June 2006
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Start Paws and Reflect, our homebound elderly visitation program in New York City
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February 2008
First service dog paired with Iraq war veteran.
February 2008
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April 2012
Zoe inducted into the United States Army as Sergeant First Class and deployed to Afghanistan as therapy dog.
April 2012
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February 2013
Dogs start doing down to Manhattan District Attorney's office weekly to comfort victims of abuse. Pictured: Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr. and "Justice."
February 2013
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May 2015
Scaife Family Foundation Early Socialization Center opens
May 2015
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May 2016
First litter of service dog puppies whelps at the Scaife Family Foundation Early Socialization Center
May 2016
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January 2017
Open in the Wallkill men's prison
January 2017
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May 2018
First Backup Buddy service dogs paired with first responders
May 2018