By Jennifer Blome
FLORISSANT, Mo. (KSDK) - A small non-profit in Florissant, Mo. is making a big difference in the lives of St. Louisans with disabilities.
"CHAMP assistance dogs empower children and adults with physical disabilities," according to CHAMP Executive Director Pam Bolton. "Our dogs help people live more independently."
CHAMP and the Missouri Department of Corrections teamed up about ten years ago to create the Prison Program. Female offenders at the women's prison in Vandalia train puppies to become service dogs.
They live with the dogs for up to two years. Once trained, the service dogs are placed with clients, free of charge.
The female offenders also train shelter dogs, to increase their chances of getting adopted.
CHAMP receives private funding, and could always use donations. For more information, visit champdogs.org.