Inmates foster kittens at Sarasota jail

- There are three faces that just about everyone at the Sarasota County Jail can't wait to see.

"They've had a lot of visitors. They're very popular here right now," said Deputy Jenna Dubose.

Meet Riley, Jericho and Bailey. They've become foster kittens in a jail pod. Inmates in the pod are usually sent out to work at animal services with Deputy Jenna Dubose. When she learned they needed help fostering kittens she thought why can't we do it here?

"It can be a high stress thing for both us and the inmates sometimes and having small kittens here to just look at and listen meow brings things down to a little bit of a lower level," she said.

So far it's been a perfect fit.

"We are a 24/7 operation so obviously we have the supervision and the ability to provide the food and care and nurturing to the animals which is the important part," said Major Jeffrey Bell.

The kittens will stay in the pod till they've grown. They'll return to animal services and wait to be adopted. Until then they're a much-welcomed addition to the inmate population.

"It gives them some contact with the outside and pretty cute, nurturing kind of animals. They interact and they take on that responsibility and it's always good to have something that occupies their time and gives them a sense of responsibility," said Major Bell.

Deputy Dubose hopes others realize the need to adopt and see how easy it can be done.

"If they see these kittens here and they are able to care for them here that they'll be easily able to care for them in their own homes as well," she said.

Animal services has 20 adult cats and 11 kittens ready for adoption. For more information visit: http://www.sarasotasheriff.org/programs_and_amp_services/animal_services/index.php

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