+108 votes
“Being a part of the program is steadily turning the monster I was into a human being I can be proud of.”
“Being a part of the program is steadily turning the monster I was into a human being I can be proud of.”

That’s what one inmate in California wrote about a program called Pawsitive Change.

You might say the motto of the program is:
"Rescue dogs, rescuing people."

The inmates are all matched with “death row dogs”.
The program is 14 weeks long and is designed to “reduce inmate recidivism by providing them a viable skill, while at the same time saving dogs lives.”

I especially love the first two pictures.
The inmate in the first picture looks so happy.
And in the second picture I thought the caption was perfect.
They wrote:
“Tough guy and little dog.”

Here’s the rest of what the inmate wrote when he was asked how the program will help him when he’s released:

“This program is helping me to become a better man.
By having another life that depends on me I am becoming more responsible."

"By being relied upon I am becoming more accountable."

“Learning a new skillset make me more knowledgeable and knowing that while I’m learning, I’m also saving and improving the lives of the animals I’m working with."

"It's helping me to become more compassionate and a better human being.”

Another inmate wrote:

“We live inside a place where we can't show our emotion--it's considered a weakness.
But with this program, we can feel--give and receive affection.
We become cold in here, much more cold then when we entered.
But these dogs give us a chance to be human.”

My guess is that for the first time some of these inmates are feeling unconditional love.
And for the first time they are making themselves vulnerable and giving love in return.

How awesome is that?

Here’s a link to the Pawsitive Change Facebook page:

Credits: Pawsitive Change
14,804 views Mar 6, 2018

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Cesafe 340 points
This is a great program, I have followed them on FB and listened to the stories and seen the love between the dogs and the trainers by the end of the 14 weeks and I wish more prisons would have these programs available, Zack and his crew do a great job.
+16 votes
Mar 7, 2018
Misskellye 360 points
This is an amazing program that is having such positive results. I am extremely impressed by the fact that they ask so much of the inmates and because the expectations are high, the men rise to an incredible level of competency. In addition to teaching them to work with the dogs, they ask them to write and speak on video about the dog. Writing and speaking skills are needed in all areas of work and the confidence these men build is incredible. They also partner the inmates with unlike others to teach them about teamwork and they break down the racial divide that prison creates. This allows bonds and brotherhoods around positive things which doesn’t exist in prison.  Pawsitive change is an exceptional program concept that has the potential to rehabilitate thousands of inmates who can become contributing members of society. As Zack says, our streets are safer if these men have a purpose and understand love and loyalty. This program deserves our attention and support!!!!
+16 votes
Mar 7, 2018
chandjh 340 points
This program has my heart. To see the change a dog can have on the hardened heart of a human being is PAWSitive Change. Every prison needs this - saving the lives of men and women along with rescuing the dogs others have thrown away.
+13 votes
Mar 7, 2018
Chelecnote 370 points
I have been a follower of Marley’s Mutts and Zach Skow for the past 4 1/2 years. The dedication, honesty, emotion and passion he has for his mission are second to none in EVERYTHING he does. Sometimes to the detriment of his heart getting broken. You want honest? You want real? You want passion? Then you need to follow Marley’s Mutts and their prison program. People complain that government isn’t “fixing” enough, well, it is up to us. We need to be the change we want to see happen. That is Zach, he is doing the “do” to make a change.
+11 votes
Mar 7, 2018
661katrina 390 points
Incarcerated humans are still human. Dogs can slowly but surely help them regain their humanity if they are able to accept their vulnerability. I know that a convict can’t erase the crime they committed. But with humanity there is a reason to keep trying on the outside. Perhaps it’s pretty scary out here too in this world where everything is not black and white.
+10 votes
Mar 7, 2018
Stacyst 330 points
Marley’s Mutts is such a wonderful organization. My mom and I follow Zach and his amazing efforts on FB. This Pawsitve Change program deserves recognition for its unique story of animals helping humans!
+7 votes
Mar 7, 2018
roos1dog 330 points
Love this program.  Dogs are an incredible gift to humans and have the power to heal us with their unconditional love.  Marley's Mutts and Pawsitive Change are making a difference for dogs and people today and in the future.
+7 votes
Mar 7, 2018
Sramos1 400 points
I started following Marley's Mutts last summer while I was on bedrest for my pregnancy. Immediately I fell in love with the work they do for our dogs, inmates, and community. This is such an amazing program and you really can see the change they are making in the lives of these inmates and dogs.
+7 votes
Mar 7, 2018
laura bridgford 290 points
this program is amazing. I see such great things are now possible for these men. It is ridiculous to think a person is going to change for the better in prison without positive reinforcement. you can either rehabilitate these people or you can let them sit in a cell getting angrier and than let them out in society.
+7 votes
Mar 7, 2018
Rachel303 350 points
Everything Marley's Mutts does is amazing! The love and trust of a dog can work miracles.
+6 votes
Mar 7, 2018
mcadams 320 points
Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue and Pawsitive Change are amazing!!! The work that the team does with the inmates and the rescue dogs is life changing and life affirming.  Zach Skow is an animal and human advocate extraordinairre!! It is so magical to see the healing power of our bond with animals and the dogs in Pawsitive Change get a new lease on life while their inmate partners get training certifications and the opportunity to provide nurturing to an adorable pup.  Thank you to everyone that supports this program and the Marley's Mutt organization. Bravo!!!
+4 votes
Mar 8, 2018
reneer 190 points
I have been following this rescue for about a year now and the work they do with these dogs is incredible. No dog is beyond saving for them and I think that this is an excellent program for both humans and dogs. You guys are awesome!
+1 vote
Mar 9, 2018