Deaf Dog Thrives at MSD Through Puppies For Parole Program

5 years 3 months 3 days ago Friday, June 22 2012 Jun 22, 2012 Friday, June 22, 2012 11:32:00 AM CDT June 22, 2012 in News
By: Paige Flores
loading

FULTON - Two years ago Sparky - a black and white speckled, frosty-eyed Daschund - was untrained, unwanted and unloved.

That is until he found a new home at the Missouri School for the Deaf in Fulton.

Visit the school during the semester and you'll find Sparky bouncing down the halls, poking his head into each classroom, and making sure the more than 100 students who live and learn there are kept in line.

Although his squatty stature makes it easy for him to get lost in the crowd, Sparky has no trouble getting noticed.

"He does not fear anyone and as a matter of fact, he is pretty assertive in seeking out attention. Some may call him spoiled. He has a very loud bark," the Missouri School for the Deaf Superintendent Barbara Garrison said.

The latter has students at MSD mesmerized.

"They'll say, 'Well..Sparky can talk!' And I say well...Sparky makes noise just like you can make noise," she said.

Something as small as a bark or whine has Garrison's students realizing...

"Oh...he's like me...he's just like me."

Before he made his debut at MSD two years ago, Sparky was trained through the Puppies for Parole program at the Southeast Correctional Facility in Licking.

The program gives selected offenders the opportunity to train rescue dogs, in hopes of making them more adoptable.

"Offenders who have shown good behavior and have no convictions of animal cruelty are chosen for the program," Missouri Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Mandi Steele said.

The program doesn't use any general revenue, and is funded entirely by donations - 1,112 dogs to date have enrolled in the program, and 853 have successfully been adopted. The program is active in 18 different correctional facilities across the state.

At the Algoa Correctional Facility in Jefferson City, offender Christopher Tate said training his dog Puddin has made a lasting impact on his life.

"The main thing is that it helped me change my mindset," Tate said. "I'm kind of stubborn and like doing things my own way. Working with the dogs has taught me responsibility and how to go about things in a different way".

When Sparky's training time was up at the Southeast Correctional Facility, staff at the Licking jail raised the money to pay off Sparky's adoption fee. Not long after, Garrison received a call asking if MSD would want a new addition to their family.

"We were thrilled and said yes, by all means bring him. When the students came back from Christmas break, they were introduced to Sparky and instantly fell in love", Garrison said.

Although it's the inmate's duty to instruct each dog, it's easy to see that both learn so much from one another.

And in a place full of educators, Sparky fits in perfectly. But what he teaches isn't something you can find in a textbook.

Communication, loyalty, and love.

Garrison says there is one example of "Sparky's Magic" that she and her staff will never forget.

"We had a student that had been a victim of abuse and did not trust anyone, but wouldn't talk about it, not with anybody", she said. "During that student's first visit with Sparky, we just kind of left the room and let him do his magic and when we peeked in the room again, the student had Sparky in their lap and was signing their story of what had happened."

"That student trusted Sparky...and didn't trust anybody else. It amazed us all."

It's summertime, which means lockers are empty, textbooks are shut, and Sparky's only company is Garrison's four other Daschunds - Max, Ladybug, Ginger, and Angel. But when August comes around, Sparky will be back patrolling the hallways once again.

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A car parked in a Hardee's parking lot on Providence Road rolled onto a man near a gas... More >>
28 minutes ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 10:32:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- A three car collision on Southampton Drive ended with one car flipped over late Monday night. Columbia Police... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 9:38:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Food truck owners have contacted the Downtown Community Improvement District to increase parking options for restaurants on wheels.... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:11:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Agriculture and Taiwan have renewed a decades-long trade partnership and agreed to a... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Como for Progress held a rally Monday outside the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office to support her... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:04:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - This week is National Banned Book Week and Jefferson City’s Missouri River Regional Library is participating in... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 5:49:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill sent a letter to Envision Healthcare requesting more information on the company's emergency health care... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 5:10:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
HALLSVILLE - A car was destroyed after it burned down along Route B Monday afternoon. The car fire happened... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 4:09:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwest Missouri couple pleaded not guilty in the death of the woman's biological daughter, who was... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 3:46:35 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The hosts of the Black Women's March and Marketplace are currently arranging transportation to and from St. Louis... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:57:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A district court this weekend ordered a smoking ban for all Missouri corrections facilities, which was the... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:54:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
HOUSTON, Mo. (AP) — A fourth person has been charged in the death of a teenager whose burned body was... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:29:07 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The attorney general's office will investigate possible wrongdoing in connection to a civil rights lawsuit over the... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:23:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A family in western Missouri has received medals for a Korean War veteran 65 years after... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 1:00:54 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Jess Soehlke is like many college students: involved on campus, surrounded by friends, active in Greek life. ... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 11:31:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The amnesty period began Monday and runs through Friday, Sept. 29. It allows people who did not appear... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 11:06:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For many, fall brings thoughts of pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving and decorating, but with temperatures as high as... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:25:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in Top Stories
CAMDENTON (AP) — Authorities say kayakers have found a drowning victim in the Lake of the Ozarks. The... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 6:54:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
11pm 73°
12am 73°
1am 72°
2am 71°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
10:30p
Rules of Engagement
11:00p
Rules of Engagement
11:30p
The King of Queens

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
The Brave
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld