Deaf Dog Thrives at MSD Through Puppies For Parole Program

5 years 6 months 3 weeks 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
HOLTS SUMMIT - A city administrator says he doesn't want Holts Summit to be a "trashy" town. Rick Hess... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:43:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH - Mid-Missouri hospitals are facing shortages of IV bags as doctors scramble against a particularly difficult flu season.... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:22:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – People from the city of Columbia gathered at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting to discuss a community-oriented policing... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:09:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some homeless shelters in Columbia are at capacity and have waiting lists as temperatures plunge to near zero... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 5:22:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway announced her office has begun an audit of the village of Centertown.... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 3:47:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Several Republican lawmakers are calling for Gov. Eric Greitens, resignation after having an affair with an unnamed... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:54:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officials and the community are on high alert after two attempted child abductions, a little over a... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia cancelled residential garbage collections Tuesday due to extreme cold temperatures, but that doesn't mean... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:07:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - Firefighters are investigating a fire that left one person dead Monday night. Virginia Saemp, a neighbor,... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 11:09:00 AM CST January 16, 2018 in News
LINCOLN — A man has been arrested in a deadly shooting at a west-central Missouri mobile home park. ... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:18:00 AM CST January 16, 2018 in News
FULTON - A circuit judge sentenced a Holts Summit man to 23 years in prison after his 17-year-old girl foster... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 11:00:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - The Pulaski County Sheriff's Department identified the victims of last Thursday's quadruple shooting that killed two and... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 10:26:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Nineteen restaurants in downtown Columbia created special lunch and dinner menus for customers to order from for the... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 8:59:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is delaying a planned tour to talk about his tax change... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 7:53:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Public Schools are closed Tuesday and one local business is hoping they will be able to capitalize... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 7:44:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - People of all backgrounds filled the seats in the bottom of SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 4:46:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's NAACP chapter hosted their annual 24th Martin Luther King, Jr. Day memorial program. The theme for... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 4:08:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police say a man robbed the Best Buy on Worley Street and then held a customer and... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 1:10:16 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds
12am
1am
2am
3am

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
11:00p
Rules of Engagement
11:30p
The King of Queens
12:00a
King of the Hill

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Ellen's Game of Games
8:00p
This Is Us
9:01p
Chicago Med
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
Black Lightning
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld