The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Pendelton Correctional Facility: Forever Home for 12 Stray Cats

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pendelton Correctional Facility: Forever Home for 12 Stray Cats

Twelve cats from Anderson, Indiana’s Animal Protection League have now found their forever homes in an unlikely place, a correctional facility. The stray cats now have a place to stay and people to seek affection from in the Pendleton Correctional Facility.

An unfinished office at the correctional facility is now designed for cats. Litter boxes have been set up; scratch posts and walkways placed for all the dozen cats to enjoy. Instead of being confined to cages, these cats now found a perfect sanctuary with inmates to care for them.

Animal Protection League director Maleah Stringer said that placing the cats from her no-kill cat shelter into this new program will increase the chances of them getting adopted. “I’ve had offenders tell me when they got an animal, it was the first time they can remember they were allowing themselves to care about something, to love something. That’s a pretty powerful statement,” said Stinger in a WISH Channel 8 report.

The prisoners delegated with sanctuary tasks spend most of their day grooming, feeding and cleaning up after the felines. Human and feline relationship has worked out pretty well so far, according to prison spokeswoman Michelle Rains.

The prison already hosts a dog training program and putting up a cat sanctuary only proved to be a good idea. The new program helps cats interact with humans and other cats as they are allowed to roam free inside the office.

The program has taught inmates to learn more about responsibility as well. “This program means a lot. … It gives me something to look forward to each and every day. It gives me a reason to strive to do better than I did yesterday and to stay out of trouble,” said inmate Barry Matlock.

Matlock also shared his heart-warming message about the cats. "I deserve to be in prison; I committed a crime, but these animals, they live like we live in the cell houses in the cages and they don't deserve that."

The cat sanctuary program at the facility has garnered a lot of interest from inmates and those who wish to apply are carefully screened before being allowed to participate. This heartening story was also covered in the Herald Bulletin.


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