Puppy Raising Spotlight: Erin Boetzer

A smiling woman holds a black lab puppy in a yellow puppy capeA series of unfortunate events, poor decisions and addiction landed Erin Boetzer in prison for nine years. Prison had a way of making Erin feel like just a statistic, thinking she would “never amount to more than an addict.” That is, until she was introduced to Canine Companions.

While in serving time in a women’s prison facility in California, Erin was accepted into the Canine Companions Prison Puppy Raising Program. By participating in this exclusive program, Erin began to feel like a person for the first time, rather than simply being an inmate. In total, she raised three puppies over the years, and day and night, she cared for, taught and loved every single one of them who reciprocated her love unconditionally. And then, something changed overtime – she felt worthy of not only a dog’s love and respect, but of her own respect.

Erin is no longer incarcerated and has raised multiple puppies for Canine Companions since her release. Erin credits her release and rehabilitation to the Canine Companions puppy raising program and the puppies that taught her she could turn her life around and be a part of something bigger that would change the life of a person with a disability.