Shelter Cats Get New Home at Indiana Prison

Inmate Andrew Conley dispenses some treats to his furry friends. Photo by Don Knight/Herald Bulletin

In the most unique program of its kind in the country, an Indiana animal shelter has partnered with a local prison to provide 12 homeless kitties with love and care, courtesy of a group of prison inmates.

Officials at the Pendelton Correctional Facility in Madison County arranged to transform an empty office into a cat sanctuary complete with kitty condos, scratching posts, toys and litter, and have assigned seven well-vetted prisoners to care for them.

The cats previously were housed in small cages at the Animal Protection League; this new arrangement enables them to roam freely.

“It’s kind of ironic that these cats had to come to prison to have some freedom,” inmate Barry Matlock told the Herald Bulletin newspaper. “We deserve to be locked up, or at least I do, but these cats haven’t done anything wrong.”

Not only do the kitties benefit from the arrangement, prison officials claim that this is therapeutic for the prisoners, and is helping them to gain a greater sense of responsibility – which may serve them well upon release back into society.

So it’s a win-win for everyone.

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