A hearing-impaired dachshund named Sparky learns to understand sign language after being taught by inmates from a Missouri prison. After undergoing training, the inmates requested the Missouri School for the Deaf to take him in so he could continue learning sign language with the students.
Thanks to the Puppies on Parole Program run by the Missouri Department of Corrections, dogs with disabilities and behavioral problems are given a second "leash" in life. The prison program pairs a dog with a prison inmate, who teaches the dog specific skills.
Before he was handed over to the school, Sparky has learned to respond to hand signals for stop, sit, lie down, and heel. They are hoping that he would be able to learn more in his new home.
Like Sparky, a boston terrier named Petie, will also undergo training in the prison facility. Once he learns how to respond to sign language, he is expected to join Sparky in the school.