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Dogs for Diggers - 2nd anniversary

CSNSW Overseer Scott Keane

CSNSW Senior Overseer Scott Keen with Monsta demonstrating how the clever canine can remove a jacket

K9 Layney with dog handler Fred K9 Layney with dog handler Fred

K9 Layney with dog handler Fred. Layney demonstrating her ability to assist someone in a wheelchair

Kevin Anderson, Glen Scholes and Michael Page

Ed demonstrating with dog handler Stephen his ability to assist someone on a walking stick. Ed's owner has a back and leg injuries, and the clever canine has been specifically trained to assist the former veteran who served in East Timor

Military veterans were the recipients of four highly trained assistance dogs today. They met the NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard at a handing over ceremony at Bathurst Correctional Centre where the canines were trained by inmates.

The event marked the prison's Dogs for Diggers program's second anniversary. The program, which provides dogs for veterans with psychological and physical needs, is an Australian first. It started in September 2012 in partnership with Young Diggers, a non-profit veteran welfare group. Over the last two years, 26 dogs have been donated to returned service personnel around the country.

"By working with the dogs, inmates gain new skills and a strong sense of responsibility that will help them reintegrate with society on their release, Mr Hazzard said. This is a great rehabilitation program."

NSW Attorney General and Minister's media release about the event.