NEW YORK – A cold, hard jail cell is certainly not the place you might expect to find warm and fuzzy Francesa the kitten.
Francesa’s current foster mom is Brittany Alescio, who just so happens to be an inmate at the Albany County Jail, awaiting trial on a robbery charge.
“She’s four weeks old, we got her when she was two weeks old and she is one of three triplets here, Alescio stated.
Alescio is one of just a handful of inmates, chosen to participate in the Steps To Readiness Adoption program also known as STAR.
“It’s been great, it makes the time go by faster, and keeps me busy,” Alescio explained.
The program pairs kittens who are too young to be adopted, and in need of special care outside of animal shelters, with inmates who’ve shown model behavior.
The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society claims that 70 percent of the animals it receives are cats, and says there aren’t enough volunteer foster homes to go around.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple states the program is actually serving two purposes, helping save the lives of some of the most innocent creatures and giving purpose to inmates like Alescio.
“They feed them they nurture them and when they are healthy and strong enough they go back home to the humane society for adoption,” Apple stated.
Sheriff Apple says Alescio is expected to be released from jail next month and she says she would like to start volunteering at the animal shelter.