GARFIELD HEIGHTS, OH (WKBN/CNN) – A 79-year-old woman is in trouble for feeding stray cats in Ohio.
She’s going to have to spend 10 days in jail because of it.
Nancy Segula lives on Havana Road in Garfield Heights.
“I used to have a neighbor that had a couple of cats, and he moved away, and when he moved away, he left the cats,” Segula told WJW.
Segula said the cats started showing up on her back porch.
“I would always feed them and take care of them because I was worried about them and I’m a cat lover,” she said. “And then, once my neighbors around here started being unhappy about it, then they called the animal warden.”
Segula got her first citation in 2017, and then she received a couple more.
Her latest citation required her to appear before Magistrate Jeffrey Short last week. He sentenced her to 10 days in the Cuyahoga County Jail.
“I couldn’t believe my mom was telling me that, for what’s she’s doing out here, feeding some stray animals, she gets 10 days in the county jail. I couldn’t believe it,” said Segula’s son, Dave Pawlowski.
Segula’s family was horrified.
“I’m sure people hear about the things that happen downtown in that jail. Not a lot of good things at all and they are going to let my 79-year-old mother go there?” Pawlowski said.
In Garfield Heights, it is illegal to feed stray dogs and cats under Ordinance 505.23.
However, Segula’s family does not believe the punishment fits the crime.
“I understand my mother has broken a law repeatedly with this and that is a law in Garfield Heights, but it should have been reviewed individually,” said Pawlowski. “Why would you send a 79-year-old lady to jail for feeding cats?”
“That is too much of a sentence for me for what I’m doing, when there are so many people out there that do so many bad things,” Segula said.
Segula is supposed to report to jail August 11.
(This story was originally published on July 30, 2019)