HUNLOCK TOWNSHIP -- A state prison in Luzerne County has adopted some furry friends to try to improve the behavior of inmates.
At the medium security state prison near Shickshinny, inmates at SCI Retreat will be serving time with a little bit of hope and joy.
"Hope" and "Joy" are the two border collie/boxer puppies, each only 6 months old.
The state prison adopted them from Ruff Dog Rescue of Susquehanna County.
Owner Tere Morris remembers getting the call.
"At first, you're like, 'Wow, where are they going to sleep?' The good thing is you know they could never run away!"
Four inmates are tasked with taking care of the dogs as part of a new program to improve the quality of life in the facility.
The dogs sleep in their cells, are fed there, and have to be taken out for bathroom breaks.
Many of the inmates have a helping hand in training them.
Officials say the dogs aren't the only ones who were rescued. For many of the inmates, it's like having a new "leash" on life. The dogs provide the inmates with a sense of normalcy and comfort.
"You can see the dogs enjoy the company of the inmates and the staff, but particularly with the inmates, their demeanor has improved greatly and their interactions with staff. It's been just remarkable," said deputy superintendent Lloyd Kerschner.
"A lot of people are happy to see them walking around, and every time they stop, someone tries to pet them and play with them," said an inmate.
These dogs aren't just any dogs. They are geese-chasing dogs. Geese used to roam around the grounds of the prison, but the dogs have since chased them away towards the river. The geese may be the only ones at the prison who wouldn't want Hope or Joy around.