GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio – A 79-year-old Ohio woman will avoid a jail sentence for feeding stray cats.
A magistrate previously sentenced Nancy Segula to 10 days in jail for feeding stray cats outside her home. This week, a judge decided to suspend the sentence for the Garfield Heights woman. She’ll instead serve probation.
WJW reported that Segula has been cited multiple times for feeding the cats. Neighbors had complained about it. In Garfield Heights, it’s illegal to feed stray dogs and cats under ordinance 505.23.
During an interview with WJW last month, Segula said she’d been feeding the strays for about two years.
“I would always feed them and care for them because I was worried about them and I’m a cat lover. Once my neighbors got upset about it, they called the animal warden," she said.
At a hearing last month, a magistrate handed down the jail sentence, saying Segula had repeatedly been cited and violated her probation. She was found in contempt of court.
Animal advocates and the Garfield Heights animal warden have visited the property during the past few days to remove stray cats and kittens.
“The concern's been all the cat feces, the urine smell, dead cats that have been found,” Garfield Heights Animal Warden Bonnie Hackett told WJW.
As part of her probation, Segula must remove items in her yard that provide shelter for animals and stop feeding them.