Dog Is So Excited To See His Old Friend, A Prisoner Who Saved His Life 


If you have never heard of a program called New Leash on Life USA, this story will definitely make you want to know more. 

This organization brought together an unlikely duo: a high-risk dog named Pavlov and Steven Morales, an inmate in the Philadelphia Prison System. 

Through their unique partnership, they both discovered the redemptive power of love and a second chance at life. 

New Leash on Life USA not only rescues animals, but also provides inmates with the opportunity to find compassion, purpose, and a fresh start, which ultimately changes the lives of dogs and inmates in profound ways. 

A Life-Changing Program 

a smiling man holds a dog in his arms with his tongue sticking out
Source: New Leash on Life USA

Pavlov was found wandering the streets, and was brought to Animal Care and Control Organization, in Philadelphia, PA. 

He was in terrible shape – very skinny, malnourished, and with a horrible coat. 

Thankfully, New Leash on Life heard about Pavlov and decided to pull him out of the high-risk shelter and into their program. 

This non-profit pairs high-risk dogs with prisoners who later train the dogs and make sure they are ready to be adopted into great families. 

Steven Morales met Pavlov when he was serving time in prison. At first, he was unsure of all that, but soon, the two became the best of friends. 

portrait of a man on the street with his dog
Source: YouTube

“Pavlov and I, we lived together. We ate together. We basically did everything together,” Steven told The Dodo.  

The more time they spent together, the more their bond grew stronger. 

“He was very loving. We built like an attachment,” Steven added. 

Two months into the program, Pavlov started to listen to commands and make some progress, but he wasn’t the only one who changed – Steven did as well. 

a man trains a dog on a leash
Source: YouTube

As a result, Steven even got released from prison early. “I wanted to take Pavlov with me, but I didn’t know where I was gonna be living. It was hard to be separated from him, after everything we had been through,” he said. 

Steven ended up completely turning his life around and becoming an Animal Control Officer at ACCT Philly. 

A Touching Reunion 

Since coming out of the prison, Steven and Pavlov have not seen each other for almost six years.

Pavlov met an amazing woman named Marina who adopted him immediately. 

“The first time I met Pavlov it was kind of one of those love at first sights. He is super loving. Loves to gives kisses. He’s sweet. I’m really, really lucky to have him in my life, and I have Steven to thank,” Marina said. 

the dog is trying to lick its owner
Source: YouTube

Although Marina and Steven became very good Facebook friends, and she regularly sends him photos of Pavlov, they have never met in person. “Maybe one day, we’ll get together and hand out with Pavlov,” Steven wished. 

But, what he didn’t know was that a surprise reunion was in the making. 

Steven thought he was being filmed for a documentary about his job, but as soon as Pavlov entered the room, he was completely speechless. 

It was priceless. 

portrait of dog and owner
Source: YouTube

Pavlov was very excited, so he started jumping around. They soon started playing just like they did in the prison yard. 

“I was definitely surprised. I haven’t seen him in probably like six years. It was really nice to see him,” Steven said. “It makes me very, very happy that he found someone that loves him just as much as I loved him.”

It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that changed both of their lives for the good.