The Dog Tags Program

About The Dog Tags Program

Soldiers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with disabling injuries that make it difficult to cope with the challenges of daily life. In order to provide much needed assistance, Puppies Behind Bars has started the Dog Tags program.

Dog Tags works to match disabled veterans with specially trained Labradors or Golden Retrievers who assist these wounded veterans and help them live fuller lives.

Puppies Behind Bars honors these soldiers by providing them with life companion dogs, who have been raised in prison, as a way of repaying these wounded men and women for their selfless service to our country.


Veterans must be out of hospital for eight months and be able to provide the basic necessities of vet visits, food and exercise. They also need to demonstrate a desire to become more independent and a willingness to work with a highly trained dog.

Veterans need to complete a short Puppies Behind Bars application and they will then be matched with a service dog school associated with Puppies Behind Bars.

If accepted by the school, the soldier travels to New York or Colorado for a two week period where they are matched with the right dog and taught how to care for them.


Along with providing unconditional love, service dogs can provide a veteran with assistance for many daily tasks such as…

  • Turn on and off the lights
  • Open and close doors
  • Pick up dropped objects
  • Handle money and credit cards for cashiers
  • Assist in taking off shoes and pants
  • Remind the soldier to take his/her medicine
  • And much, much more


Currently, the Veterans Administration cannot offer fully-trained service dogs to all veterans who are in need of them.

Puppies Behind Bars pays for all of the costs associated with raising the dog, matching the dog and soldier and training them to work together. Puppies Behind Bars also covers the cost of one family member’s travel to the specialized school in New York or Colorado.

Puppies Behind Bars has the experience of training these sophisticated animals and is equipped to provide a disabled veteran with the specialized help that he or she so desperately needs.

For more information or to find a Dog Tags application, please visit or contact Puppies Behind Bars at

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