Prisoner Trains Service Dogs For Children With Autism


When couple Arthur and Susy Tucker had trouble helping their autistic son, they received help from where they least expected. When you first look at Zach, their 11-year-old boy, you would think he is like any other boy. But he suffers from Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning type of autism that makes him uncomfortable in a social environment. Zach’s condition was so severe that even something as simple as sharing a hug with his mother was awkward and unthinkable. Zach’s parents sought help from various places but to no avail. Help came to them from where they least expected. Things started to look good when Zach’s parents heard about a prisoner, Christopher Vogt charged for murder, who was serving his term in the jail by training service dogs. Vogt was so good at the job on hand that the prison officials let him train dogs that could help kids with autism and other special needs. He used to train the dogs by mimicking autistic children and teach the dog to nudge them out of their autistic spell. The family put all their trust in this prisoner and packed Zach off to the State Prison to work with Vogt. Zach, on spending quality time with the prisoner and the dog which was trained by Vogt to help autistic people, there was a noticeable change in Zach. He was more sociable, stopped crying every time he had to go to bed, and even caught up with his classmates. By the end of the program, you can see Zach sharing a hug with Vogt, something that was unthinkable before Zach started the program.

This was the same boy who once despised any kind of skin contact and now was friendlier and understood the love and warmth he received from his dear ones. Zach is now accompanied to school by Clyde, the dog trained by Vogt and life has been very different for him and his family ever since. The family can’t thank the prisoner enough. They believe that this is one man who definitely understands what second chances are and is turning his life around. Vogt may have been a murderer but he has also been changing lives and is a savior to so many people like Zach.

How often do we see a prisoner guilty of a murder change lives? Vogt is an example of how everyone, even bad men have a bit of good conscience in them. Sometimes, all people need is a second chance!