79-year-old Ohio woman faces time over love for cats

Nancy Segula sentenced to jail for feeding stray cats, “I was worried about them and I’m a cat lover.”

(Image source: Fox 8)

The elderly woman had been feeding stray cats for years regardless of the 3 years of complaints and warnings she had received.

Residents would demand the local Animal Warden to take action against Segula for feeding the stray cats in the neighborhood.

In Garfield Heights under ordinance 505.23., it is illegal to feed stray cats and dogs. Therefore, Segula is expected to serve 10 days in jail on August 11.

“I’m a cat lover”

Segula explained to Fox 8 Cleveland why she took such a risk and fed the stray cats.

She said, “I used to have a neighbor that had a couple cats and he moved away, so he left them.”

“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,” Segula added.

In addition, her son, Dave Pawlowski stated that the punishment was too harsh for Nancy Segula.

He told Fox 8, “I couldn’t believe what my mother was telling me. She gets 10 days in the county jail, I couldn’t believe it, I’m sure people hear about the things that happen downtown in that jail. And they are going to let my 79-year-old mother go there?”

Moreover, Nancy explained that the cats helped her cope with her husband’s death.

“I miss my own kitties, they passed away, my husband passed away. I’m lonely. So the cats and kitties outside help me,” she told Cleveland.com 

People infuriated with the punishment

After the news broke about the 79-year-old facing jail time, people did not hesitate to call out the authorities for their harsh decision. In addition, they were not happy with the way residents handled the situation either.

Many took to Twitter to voice their opinion.

Petition set to help Nancy Segula

As people expressed their anger and were clearly upset by the news, they also started signing a petition that had been set by Change, to help the Ohio woman and keep her out of jail.

The page aims to reach 2500 signatures and currently stands at over 1800 people who have participated.

The page states, “Please share this and let us try to keep Nancy out of jail! Tell Magistrate Jeffrey Short that this sentence is not acceptable.”

In addition, it says, “A woman of her age and for the “crime” she is guilty of is not the right sentence.”

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Statement by Garfield Heights Police Department

The Garfield Heights Police Department released a statement regarding the case.

The Facebook post acknowledged the backlash and stated that the “Animal Warden has received numerous complaints regarding this issue from other residents in the area of Mrs. Segula’s home” since 2015.

In addition, the post explained that by August 2017, “Mrs. Segula was cited for failing to properly dispose of animal waste related to the numerous cats at her house and for continuing to feed stray cats.”

Furthermore, it said that the 79-year-old was never arrested by the police but “she has been cited and summoned into court to respond to the numerous city ordinance violations and probation violations.”

The post concluded, “Our only intention, in this case, was to enforce the city ordinance and to alleviate a nuisance situation created by Mrs. Segula.”

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