It's not often you'll see a llama wandering around the grounds of a prison.
But it's a little more likely you may come across a dog or a rabbit cuddling up to inmates at Rimutaka Prison's high dependency unit.
The unit's essentially a jail-house rest home.
Nestled next to hills in Upper Hutt, north of Wellington, it can house up to 30 male inmates whose health needs can't be met in the normal units.
There're 19 there right now and today NZME News Service gained rare access, alongside Dulux the dog and Spider the rabbit.
Every week the SPCA brings along some fury friends for the inmates' weekly hour of pet therapy.
Spider spent most of its time in a basket, being patted by one man.
Dulux got around a bit more, running between the mostly elderly inmates, many of whom rely on walkers or wheelchairs.
One cuddled Dulux tightly, singing him a song. "I was born and bred on a farm. We had our own dog," he said.
Inmates spoken to said pet therapy was the highlight of their week.
Unlike able-bodied inmates, these men don't get to work the garden or any other physical activity.
So, patting animals provides welcome relief from Scrabble and reading.
"I see a trust in their eyes," one inmate said.
"They trust you not to hurt them - not to do anything wrong."
He remembered fondly the time a lama was brought in.
Having contact with animals was a lesson in empathy, he said.
"They help us do things that we wouldn't be doing before we saw them. An example of that is the way we communicate with people. We treat them the same way as we treat the animals, with courtesy and respect," the inmate said.
Another inmate would like to see the unit get its own cat, although he worried about its safety.
"I'm waiting for a boa constrictor."
The inmate said he'd like to breed alpacas when he's released.
Sami Nadan, the unit's principal corrections officer, said some of its inmates had dementia, while others had physical disabilities.
It was staffed full-time with nurses and the animal therapy was something different the inmates enjoyed every week.
"For a moment they forget they are a prisoner in jail."
The unit was opened in 2012 and recently expanded.
Its youngest inmate was in his mid-40s and the oldest in his mid-80s.
Figures supplied by Corrections show New Zealand's prison population is ageing.
At the end of September there were 118 prisoners aged over 70, compared with 51 in 2011.