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Puppies Behind Bars, Inc.

Cause Area

  • Advocacy & Human Rights
  • Animals
  • Justice & Legal
  • People with Disabilities
  • Veterans & Military Families


263 w 38th streetNew York, NY 10018 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) trains incarcerated individuals to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders, facility dogs for police departments, and explosive-detection canines for law enforcement. Puppies enter prison at the age of eight weeks and live with their incarcerated 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.


Puppies Behind Bars was founded in 1997, beginning at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York, where it continues to operate to this day. Since then, partners have grown to include Eastern Correctional (Napanoch), Fishkill (Beacon), Otisville, Wallkill and Green Haven (Stormville) Correctional Facilities in New York.

Approximately 3,000 dogs have been raised in the twenty-five years our non-profit has been running.

Volunteers are an essential part of the program--and to the puppy-raising effort. Local families are needed to bring the puppies to stores, restaurants, sporting events, the bank, post office or just a walk through town. These socialization experiences help prepare the puppies for future and successful work as an explosive detection canine, or a service or facility dog--be it for a veteran suffering PTSD or a police department supporting the mental well-being of its officers and erasing the stigma of asking for help.

To be eligible to volunteer for Puppies Behind Bars, you must be at least 18 years old and live in New York City -- or within 45 minutes of one of our correctional facilities.


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