Man Sentenced To Life In Prison Reveals How The Service Dogs He Now Trains Gave Him A Second Chance

A man convicted of murder was freed from prison and owes his rehabilitation to working with service dogs.

Man, Bradley 'Woody' Arrowood reforming his life with training service dogs martinplkang | Canva,  @Thedavidbegnaud | TikTok, arrowcustomdogtraining

David Benguad, TikTok creator and the lead national correspondent for CBS Mornings, recently shared an unexpected story about a man who found redemption through service dogs.

The man in question, Bradley "Woody" Arrowood, served 25 years of a life sentence for murder before being granted the opportunity to plead his case for freedom. His journey from inmate to dog trainer provides a fascinating perspective on rehabilitation and second chances.


A man sentenced to life in prison reveals how the service dogs he now trains gave him a second chance.

In Benguad's video, he recounted the moment Arrowood first entered his home to train his dog.



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"I hired a man at my front door to train my dog. But when he walked into my house, he said, 'Before we go any further, I have something to tell you. I killed a man. I was sentenced to life in prison, but I got out after serving 25 years because I got a second chance.' I thought, 'Well, what the hell are you supposed to say to that? He's in my house. What am I gonna do, kick him out?'" Bengaud said.

Shocked by this revelation but intrigued by Arrowood's story, Benguad didn't kick him out of his home and instead asked for more details about his life and the crime.

Arrowood confessed that at age 23, he lured another man into his house and ended that individual's life in an incredibly gruesome manner. Convicted of this violent crime in California courts, Arrowood was given no chance of parole until Governor Jerry Brown gave hundreds of inmates like him the opportunity to request commutation of their sentences.

Despite opposition from district attorneys calling him an "unreasonable risk," Arrowood stood before the parole board as more than just a former convict; he had transformed himself over those two decades behind bars. 


He became "a college graduate... saving dogs' lives who were slated for death." He had taken anger management classes, worked in law libraries, tutored other inmates, and trained service dogs — all while having no hope or expectation of release.

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The parole board took notice of these efforts and deemed Arrowood rehabilitated. His release was due largely to his proactive attitude toward self-improvement, even when seemingly without hope. 

"By the way, the victim's family was invited to the parole hearing. They could have spoken and asked that he not be released, but the victim's family did not show up," Bengaud said.


Upon release from prison after over two decades inside, Arrowood didn't merely return back to society; instead, he made tangible contributions towards it.

He is continuing what initially started behind prison bars: training service dogs via Arrowood Custom Dog Training, which is now providing employment opportunities for other ex-convicts as well.

Benguad narrates how Arrowood credits these animals with saving him long before he ever trained them.

"He told me, 'David, the dogs actually saved my life,'" he said.

It has been five years since Arrowood walked out free from prison doors, yet he continues giving back significantly to society while reconnecting with lost family, like meeting the daughter who was born while he was serving time, as well as a grandchild. He even got to meet the man who freed him: former Governor Jerry Brown.


"I remember him saying he'd love the opportunity to thank Jerry Brown, so I took him to see him. Woody got to meet Jerry Brown and thank him," Bengaud said.

Arrowood's story proves that people can reform themselves even under dire circumstances. All they need is to be provided the right opportunities and support, whether it be through implementing laws enabling potential early releases or through prison programs that build skills and empathy.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.