Our 2013 Award-winning “Puppies behind Bars” (Aired on AM on Sept. 13 & on FM on Sept. 15, 2013)

Seated: Carl Rotans.  Standing: Co-hosts Jonah Triebwasser, Sarah O’Connell.

Seated: Carl Rotans. Standing: Co-hosts Jonah Triebwasser, Sarah O’Connell.

The New York State Broadcasters Association presented its 2013 Award of Excellence in Broadcasting in the category of Public Affairs Program/Series to RadioRotary for “Puppies behind Bars.” RadioRotary also won in this category in 2012.

Carl Rotans, Senior Instructor of Puppies behind Bars, teaches inmates to train service dogs. These unique dogs greatly assist the disabled, especially veterans, in a multitude of ways: taking dishes from the table, dialing 911 if necessary, turning lights on or off. The dogs are trained to respond to more than 90 commands. In this heavily monitored program, inmates are prescreened, go through a long and intensive selective process, and if selected, live day and night with their 8-week-old puppy as it grows and learns for the next two years. The process not only results in trained animals that improve the lives of their disabled owners, but also helps the prisoners learn disciple and other skills that will be helpful when they return to life outside the prison walls. Parting is “bittersweet,” with many inmates opting for a new puppy when the first training period ends. Mr. Rowans shares the history of service dogs who work with law enforcement agencies, the kinds of training rooms, the difference between a guide dog and a service dog, how this program transforms prisoners and the prison facilities, and much more .

Learn More:
Puppies Behind Bars
Service Dogs
New York State Broadcasters Association


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September 13, 2013 · Posted in Animals, Quality of Life