NEXT MONTH, Tennessee becomes the first state to implement a statewide animal-abuse registry.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is creating a website listing the names of people convicted of felony animal abuse, such as animal fighting and aggravated cruelty to companion animals.

First-time offenders will be listed for two years. Repeat offenders will be listed for five years.

Shelters, rescue groups or citizens can check the public registry before completing a pet adoption or sale.

State senator Jeff Yarbro, who sponsored the bill, hopes the registry will provide an additional tool for shelters and rescue groups making adoptions.

*  Inmates at Mission Creek Women's Correction Center, in Kitsap, Washington, are making a difference for shelter cats.

Working with Kitsap Humane Society, the Mission Creek facility is taking in orphaned kittens, mother cats with nursing kittens and adult cats in need of socialization or recovery from injury and fostering them until they can be placed in homes.

Inmates who qualify for the Pawsitive Prison Program receive training on kitten development, cat behavior, handling, socialization and other care.