Prison inmate had given up hope — but caring for shelter dog changed both of their lives

The love of a dog can truly change a person’s life. That was certainly the case for one former inmate, who said she found “hope” while taking care of a shelter dog during her prison stay – and now the two will get to be together for good.

Mable Bassett Correctional Center, a women’s prison in Oklahoma, has a “Guardian Angels” program in which inmates get to care for and train homeless shelter dogs.

The program is a win-win — the dogs get important socialization and training that will help them find homes, and the incarcerated women get to experience the fulfillment and companionship of caring for a dog. The inmates say caring for the dogs has improved their mental health

One inmate who was particularly moved by the program was Melissa Morgan, who was sentenced to 100 years in prison for a robbery and spent half her life behind bars.


Through the Guardian Angels program, she got to care for a lab mix named Ezra. Though she had lost hope and resigned herself to a life in the prison, caring for a dog renewed her spirits.

“I found my faith… I discovered what the word hope meant,” Melissa told the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, calling it “one of the most transformational experiences I’ve ever had in my life.”


Her bond with Ezra was so great that when their time together came to an end and the dog was put up for adoption, Melissa’s family adopted him, hoping that one day they would be reunited on the outside.

Thankfully, that wish miraculously came true. Recently, Melissa was unanimously granted release from prison by the parole board.

Soon, Melissa was headed out the prison gates, finally going home — to a new life and to her beloved dog.

It is the first time an inmate has adopted a shelter dog through the program. Inmate reformation should be the top goal of any prison, and Melissa’s story is an inspiring sign that dogs can be used to give convicts a second chance at life.

The prison hopes that they will see more success stories like this, and inmates say they also find hope through caring for dogs.

“The companionship with the dog and as well as the other ladies in the program, It’s like a family. It’s like a sisterhood inside the prison,” one inmate told KFOR.

There’s no denying how much a dog can change a person’s life. We’re glad that this reformed inmate found such hope and faith thanks to this sweet dog ❤️

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