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Inmates Rehabilitate Kittens, Their Own Lives In ‘Win-Win’ Program

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A Washington humane society has teamed up with a local women’s correctional facility to develop a purrfect solution to help both stray cats and prisoners.  


The Kitsap Humane Society, in Silverdale, has developed an initiative called the “Pawsitive Prison Program” that places stray cats at nearby Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women to be rehabilitated by inmates. The program intends to benefit both prisoners and pets, by giving the women a new responsibility while simultaneously preparing the cats for future adoption, KING 5 reported.


“It’s a win-win for everybody involved,” Cydney Berthel, an inmate, told the news outlet. “We’re rehabilitating the lives of these little kittens and rehabilitating our lives too.”


The program, which launched in October, assigns inmates at the Mission Creek facility, in Belfair, Washington, with either a stray cat or litter of orphaned kittens. Inmates must first be screened and have no convictions of violence towards animals or people in order to take part in the program. Participants then undergo training sessions with staff from Kitsap, where they learn about cat behavior and development, and how to properly handle the animals, Kitsap Humane Society explains on its website.


“The kitties will get tons of attention and TLC every day from their foster parents, which will prepare them for life in a future forever home,” the group writes.


According to the Department of Corrections for Washington State, all Washington prisons partake in programs involving animals. Other projects at Mission Creek include animal conservation programs, bird identification and data collection and dog training and adoption.


“The programs benefit local communities, teach the offenders responsibility and provide an incentive to maintain positive behavior while incarcerated,” the department writes on its website.


Supplies for the “Pawsitive Prison Program” come from donations, with Kitsap maintaining a wish list of needs on its website. To develop the program, the group asks for items like food, bedding and grooming and cleaning supplies. By continuing this initiative, both Kitsap and Mission Creek hope to provide a nurturing experience for inmates and animals alike.


“We definitely made mistakes,” Shauna Teagle, an inmate, told KING 5.  “I feel this is my little bit of payback I can do.”


Also on HuffPost:


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