Therapy Dog Webster Brings Love to Prison

For many incarcerated individuals, prison can be a lonely place – surrounded by cold concrete and complex emotions. At the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Oregon, Canine Companions therapy dog Webster brings so much of what life behind bars lacks every day: love, hope and and companionship.

We recently received a letter from Webster’s incarcerated handler, who shared how much his presence has had a positive impact on her and others in the facility:

“Webster has made a wonderful and much needed addition to Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. He has a natural ability to draw anyone out of their shell. There is not a person here – staff or adults in custody (AIC) – that doesn’t smile when they see Webster prancing down the corridor or walking onto a housing unit. He helps break down barriers that may be stopping a person from seeking someone out to talk to about things.

Being in prison alone can be the hardest challenge a person has had to face. When you add in normal life stressors to that, a person can easily lose their way. When I have Webster with me, as I go visit other AICs, they are more open and eager to talk about what is happening in their lives.

In prison, you are not allowed to touch one another – you lose the ability of simple human contact. This makes the opportunity to be able to pet or hug a dog while you’re going through your lowest moment priceless.

Webster does an amazing job knowing who to gravitate towards; he always knows who needs him the most. Recently, we had a sudden death on the housing unit where Webster lives. He was able to bring some comfort, not only to the AICs, but (to) the staff as well.

It was very therapeutic for everyone, myself, included, to just walk around the unit with Webster and let people love on him while they internally processed their feelings. I’m very excited and humbled to be on this journey with Webster. He was born to be a therapy dog.”

Learn more about our therapy dog program.

two women stand with a yellow lab in a teal therapy dog vest
a yellow lab in a therapy dog vest is pet by an inmate at coffee creek prison