Sprung from prison, Sparky the Dachshund now makes his home at the Missouri School for the Deaf:
Although the inmates trained Sparky in a number of sign commands, the students are working on expanding his vocabulary even more.
The prison’s Puppies for Parole program takes difficult-to-adopt dogs from local animal shelters and match them with inmates, who work with the dogs until they are more adoptable. Certified dog trainers visit the 12 participating prisons in Missouri and help the inmates train the dogs.
In Sparky’s case, the inmates training him worked with deaf offenders to learn ASL signs they could teach him. Once Sparky graduated from the training program, the inmates decided the best place for him would be with a deaf person. Ultimately, Sparky came to the MSD, where he touches the lives of many students.