On this week’s Animal Instinct, host Celia Kutcher speaks with Jeanne Selander, who runs a petting zoo in the Florida Keys that is located on the grounds of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Stock Island Detention Center.

The Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm features all sorts of animals, both the traditional farm animals like horses, chickens, pigs, goats and rabbits as well as exotic animals like a sloth, kinkajous, lemur, pythons, peacocks, tropical birds, alpacas, Patagonian cavies, alligators, sugar gliders, and African Spurred Tortoises. Many of the animals have come from abusive or neglectful homes, or have been donated by people who simply cannot care for them any longer. Farmer Selander oversees a crew of inmates from the detention center.  The animals at the farm are cared for primarily by Detention Center inmates, who also benefit from the experience. They receive training in some aspects of animal husbandry, which they may be able to use once they are released from the facility. At the very least, they learn to work closely with many creatures in need of the compassion and caring of a human being – an experience that cannot help but be a positive factor in their lives.

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“I try to do a lot of outreach and education…and teach about animals being a forever commitment for their lifetime, they’re not disposable.” [6:30] – Jeanne Selander