Joel Callen


Wed, 15 Apr, 2015

Prison inmates tasked with looking after abandoned cats

Prison inmates tasked with looking after abandoned cats

An unusual program has begun at the Pendleton Correctional Facility in Indiana, and it’s changing the lives of individuals from two species. A group of inmates at the maximum-security prison has been tasked with taking care of 12 shelter cats in a program launched in partnership with the Animal Protection League.

The program is officially called Felines and Offenders Rehabilitation with Affection, Reformation and Dedication, or FORWARD, and it seeks to improve the prospects of not just the offenders, but that of the felines as well. Many of the cats have had troubled backgrounds, so having time to spend in the company of humans every day is helping them to become more suitable candidates for adoption.

The cats live in a converted office space, and are able to perch, play, and scratch on walkways, cat trees, and scratching posts made by the inmates using recycled materials. Eventually, it is hoped the group of cats will all be adopted out to make room for a new set.