POSITIVE CHANGE

 

Josh started training service dogs for 4 Paws for Ability in May of 2015. So far, he has trained 44 dogs. Once the dogs are potty trained and know their basic commands, he teaches them tricks that will help their future partners. For example, if a child needs a seizure alert dog, Josh will train the dog how to respond to a seizure. If you would like to learn more about 4 Paws and their mission, please check out this website here

 

At the end of 2015, the photograph on the right was featured in one of 4 Paws's newsletters. Please click on the newsletter (below) if you would like to see it in its entirety. 

4 Paws For Ability Newsletter 2015

Training dogs is one of Josh's biggest passions. Although he has to take the puppies out every half hour (and clean up after them), he adores having the dogs with him 24/7. The animals have taught Josh a lesson or two in patience, responsibility, and compassion. Once a year, Josh gets to spend some time with his family to celebrate his achievements in the dog program. Here's a certificate Josh earned in 2015 and a photo from October 2016.

Diego

Diego

In November of 2016, Josh's dog, Diego, was matched with Kiara, a young woman from Michigan who suffers from cri du chat syndrome. Kiara has had over 130 surgeries and takes more than 35 medications daily. Diego makes her life a lot easier. Josh is ecstatic to know that he had a little part in training Diego and helping him become the service dog he needed to be. Here's the moment when Kiara and Diego first met:

Josh is very fortunate, because Kiara's mom keeps him up-to-date about Kiara and Diego's lives. 

At Warren Correctional Institution, Josh also took care of several staff members' dogs. Little Liona, for example, is one of the dogs that Josh took care of on a daily basis. Here Josh is training her how to 'give paw'.

Josh teaches Liona to give paw.

Josh trains Yu-Gi-Oh how to 'speak' and 'give paw' in August of 2015.

Due to his involvement with 4 Paws, Josh is well on his way of becoming an animal trainer. 

Here is a list of all the 4 Paws dogs that Josh has trained as well as the timeframes during which he had them and the litters they came from. 

Find out more about Josh's positive change behind bars by clicking on any of the green buttons below. 

Joshua's path to academic success was long and arduous. In ninth grade, Josh's reading and writing skills ranged from a 2nd to 4th grade level. Eventually, he dropped out of school. Since his incarceration in 2005, however, Josh received his GED and completed a Paralegal Program with highest distinction. He also completed a class through Xavier University, a program in Psychology and Social Work, and he is currently working on becoming a Canine Specialist. After that, he would like to complete an Associates and Bachelor's Degree through either Adams State University or Ohio University.  

For prisoners, family bonds are extremely important. Josh has participated in The Family is First Project for two years. This program helps inmates establish strong relationships with their families. Furthermore, Josh and Steff have completed a pre-marital correspondence course. After more than 8 years of being together, the two have plans to get married. Steff is a teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio, and owns a home that Josh could come home to. 

Besides furthering his education, building strong relationships with his loved ones, and training service dogs for children with special needs, Josh also participates in a wide variety of programs. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, Josh signs up for classes and programs that help him learn from and with others. Josh loves to engage with people who, like him, try to lead meaningful and productive lives from behind bars. 

In his free time, Josh likes to draw and create things out of a variety of materials (such as oil pastels, wood, etc.). He enjoys building jewelry boxes and other items out of popsicle sticks and cedar wood.

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