If you looked at ANY social media yesterday or watched the news, you likely heard this enraging story. We too had to know more about the situation too–79-Year-Old Woman Sentenced To 10 Days In Jail–For Feeding Stray Cats! But today we awoke to some very interesting updates on the case. In an exciting win for the stray feeder, Nancy Segula will be receiving a new hearing to review the case!
So why the new hearing? Was it our protests that helped them see the light?
Or was it the fact that Garfield Heights Court Judge Jennifer Weiler had been on vacation last week? This left poor Ms. Segula at the mercy of magistrate Jeffrey Short, who handed out her sentence. Was his decision made on pure facts of the case with no compassion considered? I’d say so. Does Nancy deserve to be punished for breaking the law? Yes. But was the decision justified? Certainly not a 10-day jail sentence.
Fox8 reported, “The magistrate ordered her to jail for contempt of court. Garfield Heights officials said Segula was ordered several times to quit feeding the cats but continued.”
But now Judge Weiler has returned. And she’s agreed to give Nancy a new hearing so all sides of the case can be considered.
Now that the officials have responded to the story, that “other side” is pretty interesting too.
She told reporters that she’s “Not second guessing anything that he did, don’t get me wrong. But just to be on the safe side, I’m going to reset it for a hearing”.
It turns out that the Garfield Heights animal wardens HAVE been dealing with the cat issues in the neighborhood for years–4 years actually! Which, for those of you who hate any math, is 2 years BEFORE the heartless neighbor abandoned his cats.
Bonnie Hackett is a Garfield Heights warden who has personally worked with Nancy numerous times.
“We have had numerous complaints from neighbors,” Hackett said. “This started in 2015. The neighbors have called us asking for help. It becomes a health issue for neighbors. There are numerous cats.
I have caught 22 cats already in that area. I am aware of 10 to 12 that are still over there now.”
The cats were taken to a shelter for medical attention and then put up for adoption.
So while we await the new hearing date of August 6th at 11:00am, what will happen to the cats?
Well, when the executive director of PAWS Ohio, Amy Beichler, heard of the story, she jumped in to help. PAWS, or Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio, is going to help take care of the issue. I’m not sure if they knew of any problems there in the past or not, but thankfully they’d be there now!
And not only did they reach out to lend a helping pay, more people stepped in.
The Forever Friends Foundation, a small non-profit 501(c)(3), is joining the team to help trap the cats.
As many of you know, we have a good working relationship with the ACO of that city. And year to date have relocated and found loving homes for over 1,000 cats and kittens.
We are looking for barn placement for these cats, BUT do not yet know is there are friendlies. There are juveniles on the property and are used to seeing people.
We want to get the friendlies in homes, so if anyone is open to fostering at least one please message this page. Please share as the more people that view this, the more chances we will find placement and loving homes for these cats.
The Stautzenberger College, Brecksville campus, is going to provide all the medial care, including sterilization, for the cats!!!
Once they are all examined for health issues, vetted and confirmed to be social, they will be put up for adoption. I personally can’t wait to hear more updates as these deserving cats find loving homes off the streets. Where EVERYONE can be safe and laws aren’t broken.
As for Ms. Segula’s concerns as the fiasco unfolds?
While she admits that she “felt bad for the cats, so she fed them”, she has their best interests at heart.
Her desires are that they can be adopted into good homes. And balanced out with her best wishes for the sweet cats, her troubles may not be over. She’s just praying that the judge will give her an alternative sentence to jail time.
“The thought of going to jail scares me so bad,” Segula said.
REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!
Related Story: Orlando Woman Feeding Feral Cats Arrested For Pulling Gun On Concerned Citizen
Thank you for this update. This has been weighing on my mind.
l too feed stray cats. l always have. This lady is afraid & too old to go to jail at 79 for a stupid offense. IF my round trip expenses are paid for, l will gladly stand in for her for the 10 days. l’m 62.
I just can’t agree with the punishment. She is a good person. Instead of jail time she could do volunteering at a shelter for cats. It is so ridiculous that a good deed is now being punished.
“If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” Thomas Jefferson. Hardy an anarchist. Yet the law lovers of today would condemn him as an outlaw.