MAT-SU—Minimum custody inmates from three Dept. of Corrections facilities are bringing assistance to the MAT-SU Borough Animal Care facility near Palmer.
The crews of four inmates are from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River, Point Mackenzie Correctional Farm and Palmer Correctional Center. Each crew is supervised by a Correctional Officer, and works a 4 to 6 hour shift at the shelter one day a week. In general, the crews work before the shelter is open to the public.
“It’s really helpful when the inmate volunteers are able to care for the animals”“It’s going really, really well,” said shelter Supervisor and Veterinarian Katrina Zwolinski. “It’s really helpful when the inmate volunteers are able to care for the animals, above and beyond what our staff is able to do.”
Inmates help by cleaning kennels, the horse corral, and feed and water bowls. They clean and groom cats and dogs, empty the trash and wash the laundry.
More than 12 inmates have been approved to take part in the program, so separate crews take part on different weeks. The program is in its second month.
For more information call Richard F. Schmitz, with Alaska Dept. of Corrections at 907 465-4640.