Dogs On The Inside: Inspiring Documentary About Rescue Dogs and Inmate

This touching movie follows a program that aims to save shelter dogs while giving inmates a new perspective on life.

Life is not always easy for humans. In trying to survive it sometimes we make mistakes. In worst-case scenarios, our error in judgment sends us to jail.

Trying to survive on the streets is also not easy for stray dogs. Their lives depending on what they can find to eat, having a safe place to sleep while not getting hurt by man or other dogs, almost always ending up in early death.

These two examples of society may have it rough, but doesn’t mean that their life will always be that hard. Sometimes you just got to work together. So what would happen if two negatives could bring about a positive? If a dog could become trained and learn everything he needs to know to become more adoptable, while an inmate remembers the joyful feeling of helping others. In such a dark place, a happy, wagging tail becomes a beacon of hope.

That’s what “Dogs on the Inside” documentary is all about.

The film follows the efforts of the Don’t Throw Us Away prison program, which was created to help non-violent inmates build a partnership with a stray dog in order to help both achieve a second chance in life. Focusing on one Massachusetts correctional institution, In order to create awareness of their existence, documentarians Brean Cunningham, Douglas Seirup and Cindy Meehl filmed the experience of one group of inmates train and prepare the dogs for adoption.

It goes beyond the barbwire to show viewers how these dogs learn to trust humans while receiving life-changing training. The result of these endeavors is a bounty of love and friendship given in return to their teachers. Both prisoner and pooch are changed forever.

The success of program speaks for itself – Don’t Throw Us Away has found homes for 46 dogs. Thanks to this achievement, the organization is looking to bring the program to more correctional institutions around the country.

How does the Don’t Throw Us Away program work?

The dogs are rescued from high-kill shelters and brought to the jail. An inmate is paired with a dog for eight weeks, where his job is to train the dog in basic obedience in order to get him ready for adoption. To train him, the prisoner must bond with the dog and this pooch becomes the inmate’s responsibility. Feeding, exercising, housebreaking and socializing are all part of the job. At the end of the program, both have to pass the C.L.A.S.S. Test (a basic obedience skills exam) that is performed in front of the potential adoptive families.

You can watch the Dogs on the Inside documentary online or watch for screenings in select theatres. We’ve posted a trailer below for a taste of what to expect from the film.

Glorimar Anibarro
Glorimar Anibarro

Glorimar Anibarro is a proud Puerto Rican now living in Southern California. She decided to trade in a career in advertising for a bold, new adventure – becoming a bilingual pet writer, sharing her knowledge in both English and Spanish. She also writes, designs and illustrates the chronicles of "Gato Avocado": a two-dimensional cat living in a three-dimensional world.

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