Kristina Hazelett had cats, birds and hamsters growing up, but she never knew much about dogs until she started serving a several-month jail sentence for drug possession.
The 35-year-old inmate is part of a small team of women prisoners in Phoenix, Arizona who work with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Animal Safety Unit (MASH). The program is designed to help comfort and train mistreated and neglected animals rescued from deplorable conditions.
MASH said it is the only agency in the United States that investigates animal cruelty complaints, rescues the animals, houses and cares for them and arranges adoptions.
For Aubrey Herrera, a 31-year-old woman serving time for a probation violation for theft and drug charges, caring for the dogs is the highlight of each day.
Patience is what she said the program has taught her.
"These dogs are locked up just like we are and they need love just like we do," she explained. "It's not about us when we come here. It's about the dogs and making sure they're taken care of and loved and bathed - that they know what it's like to feel loved."