KANASAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - It was a reunion seven years in the making, between a wrongfully convicted man and a dog he once helped rehabilitate.
Ricky Kidd was convicted in 1996 for a crime he did not commit. He spent more than 20 years in prison before his life sentence was overturned this summer.
“In prison, you have to look out for yourself,” Kidd said. “That's what they tell you, ‘Look out for yourself.’”
But Kidd found a program that encouraged inmates to look out for someone else, shelter dogs in need of instruction.
Kidd met one of the many animals he worked with in prison on Friday, a special case named Howie. Some saw Howie as a lost cause, but Kidd saw someone worth believing in.
“I didn't think I'd be able to train him, He had severe anxiety, people anxiety,” Kidd recalled. “Not only was I able to bring out the best in him...he brought out the best in me.”
Howie now lives with the Robinson family, and Kidd even left them notes on how to care for Howie.
“We actually have a book that Ricky wrote for us,” David Robinson said.
Kidd has now been out of prison for more than 70 days. He's starting to share his story and advocate for others who have been wrongfully convicted.
On Friday, Kidd spoke at Shook Hardy and Bacon law firm about the importance of pro bono work and shared excerpts from his new book, including a passage about being, “trapped in a dungeon but never felt like I was done in.”
Thanks in part to the comfort Howie and Kidd once brought each other.
“I felt like that kept the human part of me alive,” he said. “Seven years later I get to catch up with Howie...We have a happy ending.”