Prisoners in the regional penitentiary of Pelotas, a country side city in the south of Brazil, are building houses for dogs and – since the project started roughly three months ago – over 50 houses have been already been built.
“I [leave] a blanket and a few sheets of newspaper and they love to stay inside” Says the local resident Maria Queiroga.
Some citizens have enjoyed the projects contributions so much that they have donated materials to the prison and requested shelters for their own yards.
“Most of the residents who request these animal houses for their backyards are people that have street dogs around their houses and decide to keep them”, says Fluvio Bubolz, the director of the facility.
The project also helps to resocialize the criminals.
“It’s good for nothing to just lock the person in a cell. So we try to give them something they can do, give some meaning in life.”
The prisoners like the idea. “I would work all day and all night if I could because winter here is very cold. [It is hard] for people, so is for an animal”, says a prisoner.
“This really helps to make time goes by faster and keep our ideas out of crime. Besides, one of the residents that asked for the shelter visited us and told me about Jesus. That changed my life, this is the best place of this jail”, says another prisoner. For privacy purposes, we didn’t disclose prisoner’s names.