GOWANDA, NY (WKBW) - Inmates at the Gowanda Correctional Facility are giving back to the community after their feline friend was injured.
Inmate Stephen Pierce said it all started last summer.
"I first saw the little fella out there around July," Pierce said.
Four small kittens made their home in the inmate's courtyard and they were an instant hit among the men. One little cat in particular caught Pierce's attention. He named him Rocky.
"I fell in love with Rocky right away," Pierce said.
Then, Rocky recently went missing. Pierce said it was an emotional ride.
"They didn't know where he was, all they heard was meowing. Finally, they spotted him and when they spotted him they couldn't believe where he was stuck in the razor wired fence. So, then one taller inmate got him down," Pierce said.
The cat was alive but badly injured so they called the SPCA who nursed him back to health.
After the inmates saw the care they gave, they wanted to give back. The men donated $1,000 to the organization with the help of the Inmate Liaison Committee,.
"It's one of the most heart-warming donations that we've received. I can't remember getting a donation from a corrections facility and for this particular reason." Gina Browning with the SPCA said.
Chairman of the ILC Israel Santiago said they collected the money through vending machine profits and other visitor expenses. He said it was worth every penny.
"We don't look at it as just an animal. We look at it as another life," Santiago said.
The SPCA has found homes for the three other cats. As for Rocky, Pierces family adopted him and he's expected to make a full recovery.
"That's why we named him Rocky, because he's a fighter," Pierce said.
Pierce said when he leaves the corrections facility in December he plans to volunteer with the SPCA.