A Nebraska jail has a program that houses inmates with emotional support animals.
For ten years, the Lincoln County Detention Center has housed cats in many of the pods to provide emotional support for inmates.
“I sit there and talk to him,” inmates Harlie Saathoff and Keonna Carter said. “People talk to their pets. He listens to me. I call him my pretty green-eyed boy.
These felines whisk away the isolation some inmates feel from being away from their loved ones.
“The cats give them responsibility, so it is someone to care for,” said lieutenant Penny Ball. “They may be missing family, children, nieces, and nephews. They have a place to give that emotional support. They have place to give their care.”
At times, it’s hard for some inmates to stay positive.
“Sometimes when we are in our rooms and people are crying, he knows which room it is,” Saathoff and Carter said. “He can sense it and that’s really nice.”
But the cats purr into the hearts of the inmates when they need it most.
“There is a lot of tension being in here with confined spaces and stuff,” said inmate Fransico Ziphfer. “With the cat around, it eases the tension. Everyone loves the cat. Everyone takes care of him and he takes care of everyone.”
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