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Therapy dog helping incarcerated kids to overcome their struggles

Posted at 8:52 PM, Apr 23, 2019

(WMAR) — There's a new resident joining the kids at the Victor Cullen Youth Center in Frederick County.

His name is Cullen, and he's a therapy dog.

The 3-month-old Bernedoodle is helping incarcerated kids in the Maryland Juvenile System tap into their emotions. The playful puppy is another way for staff to help kids overcome their troubled pasts.

READ MORE: Teens share their stories of what it's like to be incarcerated

"Maybe we have a youth who's not opening up. We can bring the dog into the session, they might want to open up better to their therapist," said John Plummer, Superintendent at the Victor Cullen Youth Center. "If a youth is in crisis, where they're refusing to meet program expectations, and they're not being aggressive but they're just having a hard time getting through something, we can bring Cullen in and he can help break down those barriers."

While the boys are training Cullen the dog, they're also learning how to achieve discipline in their own lives.

ALSO READ: Incarcerated teens work towards building a successful future