Select inmates at prisons in Maryland will train service dogs for wounded and disabled veterans, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services officials announced at their Hagerstown prison Monday morning.

Two dozen inmates will train 12 dogs to turn lights on and off, retrieve objects and to learn basic obedience, officials said. They anticipate the dogs will arrive in August.

On Monday, America’s VetDogs, a non-profit organization working with Maryland prisons to set up the training program, brought several guide dogs to the prison in conjunction with the program’s announcement.

Terry Dorsey, 48, a U.S. Army veteran who is incarcerated in the Hagerstown prison on a drug charge, stooped his six-foot-four frame to pet a four-month-old Black Labrador named Wade. Dorsey, one of the inmates chosen to train the dogs that will arrive later, sees the program was a way for him to give back to the community.

“I’m trying to make a lot of change,” Dorsey said. “If I can do it in here, I can do it on the outside.”

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