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In one Colorado prison, convicts save dogs, veterans – and themselves


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In-one-Colorado-prison-convicts-save-dogs-veterans-and-themselvesChristian Science Monitor:

AURORA, COLO. — Miriam Helmick, an inmate on Unit 1 of the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, recalls laying on the floor of her cell, singing to a new arrival who was too timid to come out from under the bed.


Like many of the women here, the dog she was comforting arrived at the prison skittish and scared.


“I didn’t want to drag her out,” says Ms. Helmick, who has a quiet voice, librarian glasses, and bobbed brunette hair. She is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of her husband. She knows what it’s like, she says, to be pushed and pulled around when you don’t want to be. 


Helmick sang lullabies as she lay beside the bed until the dog came out on its own.


Rescued from animal shelters around the state, many of the dogs in Unit 1 were due to be destroyed, discarded in shelters or picked up as strays by concerned passers-by.


Now they are being trained and cared for by the inmates here, sleeping on blankets crocheted by the women, in crates right beside their beds. Scissors-32x32.png

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