WWL-TV of New Orleans reports on a dog-training program in Louisiana prisons, and how it will help young Maggie Rollins, daughter of the Rev. Drew and Jeanie Rollins:
“This is a mission and this mission is to save paws and to save souls,” said Bill Barse, founder of DoggoneExpress, a nonprofit that has programs including “The Big House to Your House” and “Companions for Life.”
Bill works in commercial real estate, but when he saw Hurricane Katrina images on TV, he moved to Louisiana from the Washington, D.C., area to help. He never left.
He started a program at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel and two other prisons, where homeless dogs are paired with offenders, convicted of manslaughter, murder and armed robbery. He not only trained them to be dog trainers so they could learn a trade for life after prison, but so people with mental and physical disabilities could get service dogs free.
Fr. Rollins is rector of St. Alban’s Chapel at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Image from the Doggone Express website. Biretta tip: the Diocese of Louisiana’s Facebook page