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PAWS to Recognize DOC Employee

November 27, 2018 12:00 AM
By: Sue McNaughton

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ROC - 2018 Nov -  PAWS to Recognize DOC Employee4.jpgHeather Haldeman is the major of unit management at SCI Rockview who previously worked at SCI Huntingdon and also at the DOC's Central Office. She is set to be recognized by PAWS on their website/blog for her work with feral cats.

As you can imagine, prisons often have lots of acreage, and as a result, people often drop off unwanted cats on prison grounds. And for other reasons, cats tend to live around prisons. They become feral, and without proper care, they often multiply.

Haldeman has helped with this issue on her own, and in most cases, she has paid for services and care of these feral prison cats. When she was at Huntingdon, she arranged for the spaying/neutering and administration of rabies and distemper shots for more than 50 cats.

ROC - 2018 Nov -  PAWS to Recognize DOC Employee7.jpgWhen she transferred to Rockview, which has more than 5,500 acres and several barns, her work continued there. She's almost up to 50 cats at Rockview. PAWS pays for the spaying and neutering, and The Hundred Cat Foundation donates the rabies and distemper meds. Then Haldeman takes the cats to a local vet – All Pets Veterinary Wellness & Spay/Neuter Clinic – which performs the surgeries and administers the shots. She pays for anything above and beyond, such as if a cat needs antibiotics and/or flea/tick meds.  Lyons Kennels in Zion periodically donates bags of cat food as well. 

"I do this because I love cats and because it's the right thing to do," Haldeman said.

When you think about it, if she and several of her coworkers - Teresa Falls and Bruce Bender who help with food, Cindy Hampton who fills in when Haldeman is out of town – didn't do what they do, the feral cats would multiply uncontrolled and could develop serious illnesses that could put humans that they come into contact with in danger.

Once the cats are spayed/neutered, they are returned to prison grounds where they live on the property. Other cats have been adopted out.

Cats aren't the only animals Haldeman has cared for. Whenever there is an injured animal at the prison, she's called upon to catch it and care for it. She's cared for an injured duck, pigeon and a family of baby groundhogs.

We appreciate Major Haldeman's efforts in controlling the feral cat population wherever she works in the DOC!


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