Service dogs trained at Oshkosh prison


The latest episode of Eye on Oshkosh is now online. Host Cheryl Hentz spends the hour talking with Brenda Cirricione, president and lead trainer of Journey Together Service Dog, Inc., and three of her board members and/or volunteers for this organization that works with Oshkosh Correctional Institute inmates to train service dogs for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Also making an appearance were five dogs in training, each of whom lives at the prison with their inmate trainers: Jazz (2-year old Yellow Lab), Chance (1 and 1/2-year old rescue mix), Echo (5-month old Briard), Dash (8-month old black German Shepherd) and Frost (10-week old Yellow Lab). The board members and/or volunteers included: Shari (board member, instructor at the prison and coordinator of volunteers), Jenny (vice-president of board and Medical Coordinator), and Cindy (trainer at prison, socializer trainer and assists with selection of dogs for the program). This program is fascinating because it involves working with local inmates who are providing a service and gaining valuable experience in working with and training dogs, who will then go live with members of the military or others in the community who suffer from PTSD.

During the hour, the panel discussed what makes a good dog for the program, and who makes a good trainer; what the dogs are capable of doing when fully trained and how long that takes; the difference between service dogs, emotional support dogs, therapy dogs, and companion animals. If you are interested in learning more about the program, making a financial contribution to it, or volunteering with this wonderful group of people and dogs, please visit them at OR on Facebook under Journey Together Service Dog Oshkosh.

Eye on Oshkosh thanks Brenda, her husband Brad (behind-the-scenes dog wrangler), all the ladies and the dogs for making the trek to our set to make this show possible. We also want to thank the Oshkosh Correctional Facility and Wisconsin State Prison System for making this training program and this particular show possible. We understand the coordination that had to go into getting the dogs transported from the prison to the set and back again, and we are deeply greatly for that.

As host and producer, I also want to personally thank Scott at Oshkosh Media and my entire crew tonight of Daryl, Amanda, Nick, Haadi, Ed and Morgan for their amazing patience, skill and professionalism in putting together a show that had so many moving parts and components to it this evening. Well done, everyone!!!

The show can be seen at this address:



About Author

Cheryl Hentz

Cheryl Hentz is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer with 30 years experience. Her articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines - both in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the country - and cover a wide range of topics, including business and economic development, women's and minority issues, family pets and animal rights, finance, education, government and politics. Cheryl also does corporate writing for public and private sector businesses, and personal writing for individuals. She has been producing and hosting the award-winning Eye on Oshkosh talk-show since 2002. The show covers a wide range of people and topics which affect or are of interest to people in the Oshkosh and surrounding area, as well as to viewers on You Tube (visit the Eye on Oshkosh channel). She can be reached at 920.426.4123 or 920.209.7387, or via email at More information and other samples of her written work can be found at

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