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Five men pay their debt to society with the help of five puppies. A unique glimpse into the US prison and justice system.

About the documentary

A film that explores the power of the bond between humans and animals, and the gift of a second chance, Puppies Behind Bars (working title) seeks to answer the question of how to make prison a true place of rehabilitation.

In the bleak setting of New York's sprawling Fishkill Correctional Facility, the inmates describe prison as a place of sadness and despair. Often serving long sentences for crimes that haunt them, they struggle daily to find a way to pay their debts to society. Redemption comes to them in the most unexpected way - through the unconditional love of a puppy. This is the story of Puppies Behind Bars, a groundbreaking program in which inmates are given 8 week old puppies to train as service dogs for injured veterans. Gloria, a feisty, brilliant, quick-tempered dog behavioral expert, teaches the men ninety-nine commands the dog must learn in order to graduate from the program and be placed with a veteran. Our film follows the inmates and dogs throughout the whirlwind eighteen months they have together, bonding and training, often struggling to cope with the pressure and the difficulties of a prison setting - until the dogs are handed over to the veterans who so desperately need them. Although heartbroken at the loss of their beloved dogs, the inmates say they are forever changed by the opportunity to finally give back to those who have served society the most.

A story of love, loss, rehabilitation, and redemption, Puppies Behind Bars is a true testament to the fact that rehabilitation is possible for those society deems impossible to save.

Who we are

G2P2 (previously named On the Outside), a partnership between Perri Peltz and Geeta Gandbhir, is a team of Emmy-winners and Oscar nominees. 

Read more about us in our bio!

How you can help

With your help, Puppies Behind Bars can put faces on the 7.3 million incarcerated Americans that ultimately re-enter our society and have the potential to become valuable contributors instead of second-time offenders. We feel their stories need to be told.

We are working with the non-profit organization Puppies Behind Bars, one of the few successful programs that is dedicated to improving the United States' 43% recidivism rate. Puppies Behind Bars gives inmates the tools, motivation and the hope to become constructive members of society.

When the inmates finally give up their dogs, it is an emotional blow. Although heartbroken, the inmates that have made it through the program say they are forever changed.  They have finally given back to a society from which they have only taken. Redemption is bittersweet, but they say they would do it again in a heartbeat. 

For those of you who are new to Kickstarter, this is an all or nothing deal. We have to raise $50,000 or more, or we don't get anything. So please, help us make this film possible!

Any donation is appreciated. The money we raise here will go straight to film production costs, namely:

  • film editing
  • shooting
  • sound
  • titles
  • graphics
  • music
  • any other costs directly related to the making of the film. 

Tell your friends! Share Puppies' Kickstarter page on Facebook, Twitter or email.

Arthur and Zephyr
Arthur and Zephyr

What we're doing now

We are in the middle of the filming process. Unfortunately, we're only allowed to visit the prison every six weeks, so every six weeks, we check in on and film the men, the dogs and the program. The program is rigorous and demanding, and not all of the men will make it. So far, one prisoner has been asked to leave the program and his dog is now being trained by another inmate in the program. 

The dog-training program takes 18-20 months; right now the dogs have about seven months to go. After that, we'll follow the dogs with the veterans they have been trained for, and then we'll start editing in earnest!

Learn more

Check out the website of the program, Puppies Behind Bars  They are amazing! 

Read a New York Times article on the discrepancies between federal spending on incarceration and federal spending on education.

Watch Puppies Behind Bars on CBS The Insider!

Watch Anderson Cooper feature Puppies Behind Bars on his show in April!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    11 backers

    You are the best. You get a sincere thank you along with being included on our email list and receiving updates on the impact and status of the film (if you want).

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    12 backers

    You will be listed as a patron of G2P2 Films on our website, in addition to any previous rewards.

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    26 backers

    You will receive a Puppies Behind Bars DVD so you can watch Puppies over and over again, as many times as you please. Lucky you! In addition to any previous rewards (thank you, updates, patron).

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    21 backers

    Get decked out! You get a Puppies Behind Bars T-shirt in addition to any previous rewards (thank you, updates, patron, DVD).

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    1 backer

    Spend hours looking at the Puppies Behind Bars photo book that you are getting, along with a Puppies Behind Bars poster signed by Perri Peltz, Geeta Gandbhir, the inmates and others involved! In addition to any previous rewards (thank you, updates, patron, DVD, T-shirt).

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    18 backers

    Now things get really good. You get two tickets to the premiere of Puppies, a group Skype conversation with the producers/directors AND a digital download of The Education of Dee Dee Ricks, a documentary made by Perri and Geeta. And of course, everything else we've said before (thank you, updates, patron, DVD, T-shirt, photo book, poster).

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    2 backers

    Join the team for dinner on us! Perri, Geeta (our director/producers) Gloria (you'll recognize her from the trailer) and Rudy (our cameraman) will all be there. In addition to any previous rewards (thank you, updates, patron, DVD, T-shirt, leash, collar, photo book, poster, premiere, Skype, Education of Dee Dee Ricks).

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    6 backers Limited (1 left of 7)

    Spend a day with the dogs (and the team listed above) at the PBB headquarters AND see your name on screen! Play with the dogs, see what they can do, get taken out to lunch and see your name in the credits in our special thank you section. You also get signed DVDs of Puppies Behind Bars and The Education of Dee Dee Ricks. In addition to any previous rewards (thank you, updates, patron, DVD, T-shirt, leash, collar, photo book, poster, premiere, Skype, Education of Dee Dee Ricks, dinner).

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    Join us for the big event and come to the premiere in NYC with 6 of your closest friends! We'll try to help out with transportation where we can. And, of course, you receive all previous rewards (thank you, updates, patron, DVD, T-shirt, leash, collar, photo book, poster, premiere, Skype, Education of Dee Dee Ricks, dinner, day with the dogs, lunch, credits).

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    2 backers

    Hello honorary producer, you're invited to the Puppies Behind Bars' (the program) annual Gala (read about it on the PBB website). Again, remember that we're trying to budget money towards making the best movie possible, but we'll do our best to help out with transportation. And you still get the previous rewards (thank you, updates, patron, DVD, T-shirt, leash, collar, photo book, poster, premiere, Skype, Education of Dee Dee Ricks, dinner, day with the dogs, lunch, extra tickets to premiere).

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    2 backers

    Congratulations! You are an Executive Producer and we will ensure a screening of Puppies in your hometown. In addition to any previous rewards (thank you, updates, patron, DVD, T-shirt, leash, collar, photo book, poster, premiere, Skype, Education of Dee Dee Ricks, dinner, day with the dogs, lunch, extra tickets to premiere, Gala).

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    We are throwing you a party. We are coming to you and having a premiere in the US city of your choice. If that happens to be NYC then bring everyone and anyone you choose. Of course you get as much of everything listed above as you like and any other Puppies paraphernalia you can think of.

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Funding period

- (30 days)