A 79-year-old woman from Garfield Heights, Ohio, was handed a jail sentence last week after she was caught feeding stray cats, Cleveland.com reports.
According to the newspaper, Nancy Segula was sentenced to 10 days at a local jail for the act, which is prohibited under a town ordinance that bars local residents from feeding animals in the area that they don’t legally own.
This week, Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge Jennifer Weiler said she would like to hear the case herself after criticism arose over the sentence handed down by Garfield Heights Municipal Court Magistrate Jeffrey Short, who presided over the court while Weiler was out last week.
Segula, who has been to court on four separate occasions for feeding stray cats, told the paper that it took her “a few years to realize there was a law” prohibiting the act.
She reportedly was put on probation for her first violation of the law. But after violating the law several more times, Segula was required to pay more than $2,000 in fines. It was her fourth violation that prompted a local judge to hand her the jail sentence.
“The cats keep coming over to my house," Segula, whose husband died in 2017, told the paper. "I just feel bad so then I will give them something to eat.”
“There’s been about six to eight adult cats and now there’s kittens coming over, too," she continued. "I miss my own kitties, they passed away, my husband passed away. I’m lonely. So the cats and kitties outside help me.”
Segula told Cleveland.com that she had reached out to local organizations to try to get help for the cats, but said it had not worked out.