YACOLT, Wash. -- You may not expect to see felons bottle feeding baby felines behind bars. But it's part of a remarkable cat foster care program in Washington.
Inside a Larch Corrections dorm room is Joey Contreras living with four felines. Contreras is one of several designated offenders caring for these rescued cats and kittens.
“This here is Butterfly, she’s here because of weight problems,” Contreras added, “and we got Princess Natalie right here. We’re trying to rehabilitate them all the ones that come here are near death row so to speak."
They're taking care of the kittens until they can be adopted. Inmate Bobian Webster bottle feeds the kittens for every three hours every day. He says the pets break up his mundane routine.
“They’re unpredictable, you never know what situations they’re going to bring up. Last night the cat went to bathroom on my face, I mean seriously it was bad,” Webster said.
Webster says nurturing these animals keeps him in focus.
“Everyday you’re interacting with people that aren’t so good or don’t have their minds right, then you’re dealing with cats and kittens and brings you back to center,” Webster said.
For Contreras, it's a relationship between cats and convicts. Both getting a second chance.
“It helps us become better people, for me personally, anyway, it helps you express compassion,” Contreras said.
The non-profit Cuddly Catz works with the minimum security work camp. Supplies like food and cat litter are all donated. If you'd like to help out, click here.