Prison Superintendent Bans Pet Cats

The decision at a women's correctional facility in Vermont has upset some inmates.

Posted: January 30, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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A new superintendent at the Southeast State Correctional Facility in Vermont is ending a cat care program that has existed at the prison for about 20 years.

“It is not a physical plant that is conducive to a pet program. I know a lot of the inmates consider them pets, but they aren’t really,” Superintendent Anita Carbonell said.

Cats have been fixtures at the farm-turned-prison since the 1980s, and Carbonell’s decision to involuntarily parole the cats has upset some of the inmates who raise and nurture the animals, as well as people outside the facility who support the prison cat care program.

Sue Skaskiw, director of the Vermont Volunteer Services for Animals Humane Society, told the Associated Press that taking the cats away “is unnecessary and insensitive to their situation.”

Although the prison cat care program has support, there have been problems; some inmates have been scratched in the past and some are either allergic to cats or do not like them.

The prison started giving away the cats in December, first making sure that they were spayed or neutered and current on immunizations. About six have been placed in new homes so far.

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Reader Comments

mary    Elmira, NY

7/6/2012 2:01:12 PM

I agree replace the supervisor and keep the cat program going.

Don't need to upset the inmates but need to help maintain a steady even flow at the prison and anything that helps the inmates occupy their time may lead to lesser problems,if you know what i mean

mary strobridge    Elmira, NY

7/6/2012 1:49:41 PM

Don't take away the cat programs!!! In Indiana state prison the cats have helped the inmates a great deal,read the story!!The cats lookes well fed there and loved by the owners and some of the other inmates as well.I saw the program on MSNBC and the inmates that did like not like cats were separated and the inmates that had cats were very protective of their cats and they built them cat houses and climbing trees for them.Not all people that are NOT in prison can take care of their cats that well.By looking at the photo's of the cats in the Indiana correctional facility, they were also well groomed!!!!!!!!!!

pat v,    glensfALL'S,NY, NY

12/16/2011 10:35:29 PM

i feel that if these men are in here for murder,, wife, child, girlfriend, etc. why, would you ok, to allow a life of a poor defenseless animal's, to be in prison . what kind of a life would they have, really, cat is guilty, of being, you want them to paid. dying at their hand's, no . no. don't allow.]

jackson    bridgewater, ME

12/2/2010 12:08:16 PM

I think sue skaskiw should spend some time away from her cats...maybe she should go to jail for stealing Mr Carvers dog.

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