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For Immediate Release

June 14, 2005

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602


(Goffstown, NH) An eight-week pilot program to foster and socialize kittens to help them adapt to new families began this month at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women (NHSP/W). Warden Richard M. Gerry announced that inmates at the women’s prison will receive training from the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire, as well as NHSP/W Volunteer Jane Sherwin to provide this service, which will help find good homes for kittens. The department stressed the importance of preparing the kittens to be able to adjust to new environments.

“This will provide real world vocational education for inmates in the caring of small animals leading to career opportunities upon release,” Warden Gerry said.

Four cells on one tier of the prison were designated as areas where the kittens will live with an assigned caregiver (inmate). The kittens will never be allowed out of this area. The kittens will be caged if not being held or watched by their caregiver. The inmates will be responsible for managing kitty litter trays and feeding the kittens. Carole Whitcher, Education Coordinator for NHSP/W, developed and will coordinate this project. After the eight-week period the kittens will be returned to the Animal Rescue League to be adopted.

“The offenders will provide regular structured care and appropriate socializing for the kittens,” Warden Gerry added.

This is a volunteer-run program using existing resources at no additional cost to New Hampshire taxpayers.

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