Inmates from several counties in Oregon have been helping neglected and abandoned horses by working on teams to build animal shelters. A local vet has been taking in the horses, but she was running out of structures to house them in for the upcoming winter months. Seventy inmates were recruited by sheriffs and they gathered to work for a total of 500 man-hours. What they built in a very short time would have required months of work by the vet and her volunteers.
In difficult economic times there is tendency for more animals to be abandoned by their owners because they can no longer afford their food and healthcare, or they are forced to admit they actually never possessed the means to care for them properly in the first place. Since the recession hit in 2008, more animal shelters have been swamped with former pets and abandoned animals. For example, just since March hundreds of donkeys have arrived at one animal care facility.
Prisoners working with animal caretakers is not new. In nearby Washington state inmates were helping take care of threatened frogs earlier this year, with a success that surprise some researchers.
In California last year, prisoners in Folsom grew hundreds of pounds of vegetables for an animal sanctuary. In Florida inmates were helping take care of pets in animal shelters, which saved the shelters money they would have had to spend on paying workers. Additionally cats were used in a Nebraska jail by a sheriff to help calm prisoners.
Image Credit: Dana boomer