This is a great American story – a tale of rags to riches. Hard times on the street met by doing hard time, and finally by getting educated and having the opportunity to support a man who served America.

Saturday 4.6, the No Dog Left Behind Landplane was on a mission in Kentucky to rescue 13 dogs and bring them back to Pennsylvania and New York. On this rescue mission, the No Dog Left Behind team brought back dogs from various shelters, walks of life and backgrounds. Some came from Morgan County Animal Shelter,  while others came from the Eastern Kentucky Correction Complex – wait what?

These pups coming from the Eastern Kentucky Correction Center were not doing hard time in the traditional sense. These dogs came from what is called the “Prison Program” where a few pups are lined up with inmates (who are supported by professional dog trainers) who get trained up until about 23 weeks weeks to train them to learn basic manners. The program is to support both the dogs and inmates. For the inmates, they are provided instruction on how to train a dog and provide them with skills after they are released. These dogs are trained to support individuals, most children and veterans, or any others in need, whether it is autism spectrum disorder, PTSD, diabetes, and more. At the conclusion of the training these dogs, Pals4Pets begins matching these dogs with individuals in need of support.

A Dog From The Streets

Saydie, one of the dogs that the No Dog Left Behind team picked up on Saturday April 6th, started life off, as far as anyone can tell, on the streets of Kentucky.

Life is hard for any stray. It’s a life of malnourishment, devoid of cleanliness.

Saydie was eventually picked up and sent on her way to Eastern Kentucky Correction Center. When she arrived, her and other dogs were paired up with 32 inmates. These inmates are in a specialty wing of the EKCC, were volunteers monitor training and to provide assistance when needed.

These next couple of months were not to be a vacation away from the streets.

From day one Saydie was cleaned up and provided sustenance, all the while was going through a crash course on not only proper behavior but also on how to assist individuals in need. If Saydie did well during this time, a life of helping others in need – bringing smiles to families or support to the disabled –  is what was waiting on the outside. As the 4 Paws for Ability program mostly only uses dogs they breed for the program, Saydie would position herself as one of only about a dozen once stray dogs put through the program.

Saydie was up for the challenge.

Excelling through the program, Saydie was to make a long trip from Kentucky to New York,  to Pals4Pets where she would finally be paired up with a family to support.  

Her bags were packed, she boarded the No Dog Left Behind Landplane on Saturday April 6th and was on her way.

In Support of Her Country

In life, there are callings of trade, of family, of faith and/or of country.

Saydie’s new family chose the latter, and by extension so did Saydie. The owner that Saydie was adopted by is a U.S. Veteran, so he was permitted to adopt her through a grant program specifically for veterans.

Now, Saydie can be seen bringing smiles to her new family. The 3 D’s in the recipe for the True American Dream:

Veteran Dad, Loving Daughter and Devoted Dog

Best of luck to Saydie in her future adventures, and a hope that her tale (or tail) continues to bring happiness to those around her! We at the Pittsburgh Animal Aviation Rescue Team were just glad to be a part of it all.