Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning (GMALL) welcomes Gloria Gilbert Stoga, founder of Puppies Behind Bars, to talk about the organization and its mission of training prison inmates to raise working dogs for the world-at-large. Labrador Retriever puppies enter prison when they are eight weeks old and live there for one to two years, being nurtured, loved, and trained by incarcerated individuals. While the nature of the work the dogs do has changed over the years, the goal has not: that men and women serving time in maximum-security prisons can contribute to society from behind bars. Initially guide dogs for the blind were raised by the incarcerated individuals, then the organization switched to raising service dogs for veterans coming home wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan. The latest iteration of Puppies’ work is incarcerated individuals raising “facility dogs” for police departments, where the dogs help with officer wellness as well as community relations. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this is that active-duty police officers come into prison for two weeks of training, led directly by the incarcerated “puppy raisers”. Through the dogs, both sides — cops and inmates — begin to see beyond the uniforms each is wearing and begin to discover similarities rather than differences in each other. Registration for the talk is $22 per person. For more information or to register, please call 802-867-0111 or visit our website at greenmtnacademy.org.