Prison is no place for a dog, unless that dog is being trained to become a service animal. That’s exactly the case of Joey Correa and service dog, Chase.

Correa is serving time at a Rhode Island prison, but doing good while paying his dues. As a participant in the 13-year-old program, NEADS, inmates train puppies to become loyal service dogs for those in need.

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Army Sgt. Austin Burchard was on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan when a bullet wound caused the loss of three organs, damage to four different organs, and a 21-month stay in the hospital with 15 surgeries. Knowing he would be wheelchair bound, a dog was about to change his life.

As Sgt. Burchard recovered from a hospital bed, Correa trained Chase behind bars. Chase became Burchard’s service animal, and the duo traveled to say thanks to his trainer in prison.

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“This program changed my life because I really didn’t think about animals, dogs, the way that I do now,” Correa told WPRI News.

Correa spent three months training the pup with chores like opening a refrigerator and turning on lights. The program has trained 1,000 dogs. Sgt. Burchard and Chase returned to Florida to bond and share life together.

Source: YouTube

Watch the emotional reunion below when Correa sees Chase in prison for the first time since training.