Celebrating 25 years of Puppies Behind Bars

Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) trains incarcerated individuals to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders, as well as explosive-detection canines for law enforcement. Puppies enter prison at the age of 8 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.

First PBB class in the Bedford Hills women' prison

October 1997

September 1998

Open in the Fishkill men's prison
First guide dog, Lucie, graduates

August 1999

April 2001

Open in the Edna Mahan women's prison in Clinton, New Jersey
Hire our first "puppy raiser" to work in our New York office

September 2001

May 2002

Start raising explosive-detection canines
Open in the Otisville men's prison

January 2006

April 2006

Stop raising guide dogs and start raising service dogs
Start of Dog Tags®: Service Dogs For Those Who've Served Us

June 2006

June 2006

Start Paws and Reflect, our homebound elderly visitation program in New York City
First service dog paired with Iraq war veteran

February 2008

April 2012

Zoe inducted into the United States Army as Sergeant First Class and deployed to Afghanistan as therapy dog.
Dogs start going down to Manhattan District Attorney's office weekly to comfort victims of abuse. Pictured: Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr. and "Justice."

February 2013

May 2015

Scaife Family Foundation Early Socialization Center opens
First litter of service dog puppies whelps at the Scaife Family Foundation Early Socialization Center

May 2016

January 2017

Open in the Wallkill men's prison
First Backup Buddy service dogs paired with first responders

May 2018

Make a Donation

Puppies Behind Bars is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, tax I.D. #13-3969389, and donations are tax-exempt to the extent allowed by law.

You may make a one-time donation in any amount you wish, or sign up for recurring gifts on a schedule that works for you.

For gifts in honor or in memory of someone:

If your donation is made in someone’s memory or honor, we will send a card to the designated recipient(s) acknowledging your generous donation on their behalf.

Please include the recipient’s mailing address on the online form. You can view an example of one of our cards here.

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PBB offers many ways for you support our mission, including by phone and mail, and with memorial and matching gifts.

Click here to find one that works for you!