The action that started as a mere act of kindness soon turned into a routine for Segula and a habit for the cats, who started wandering outside her home in hope of food and love. The 79-year old animal lover is now sentenced to jail time for feeding stray cats and creating 'nuisance' for neighbors.
It all started in 2017 when a woman in her 70s started feeding stray cats who had been abandoned by her neighbor. Nancy Segula, a 79-year old woman from Ohio is serving jail time for showing love and kindness to felines. The lady has been doing the deed for the last 3-years, ever since the cats were left stranded outside her home by her neighbors. The action that started as a mere act of kindness soon turned into a routine for Miss Segula and a habit for the cats, who started wandering outside her home in hope of food and love.
The Garfield Heights pensioner now has been reported by her neighbors after three years of warnings, citations, and complaints. Miss Segula is expected to report to the county jail on Aug. 11 at 9 a.m. to serve 10 days behind bars. When asked, why she risked so much just for the cats in her area, Miss Segula simply told Fox 8 Cleveland, “I’m a cat lover.”
Talking to the news station, Miss Segula talked about her fondness for her cats. The 79-year-old told the station, “I used to have a neighbor that had a couple of 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.”
She said that feeding the cats helped her to cope with the death of her husband. “I miss my own kitties, they passed away, my husband passed away. I’m lonely. So the cats and kitties outside help me.”
Miss Segula's son Dave Pawlowski claims that his mother's punishment is too harsh. 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?”
Reportedly, Miss Segula's story with the cats is not new for the local authorities. In 2017, when the woman started feeding the cats in her area, the residents of Garfield Heights began demanding that the local Animal Warden take action against her for feeding stray cats outside of her home. After receiving continuous complaints, the animal warden gave a warning to Miss Segula and asked her to clear the area where she used to feed the cats “and advised her of the city ordinance prohibiting feeding strays,” Garfield Heights Police Department said in a statement shared on Facebook.
The Police explained that Miss Segula was made aware of her neighbor's issues with the matter but she continued to feed the animals. In 2015, she was cited for feeding cats and then two years later, the 79 years old was cited for “various charges related to feeding cats at her residence,” according to Police.
According to a Police statement, Miss Segula was cited in July 2017 for keeping too many cats at her residence and was placed on probation. She was then hit with another citation in August of that year for “failing to properly dispose of animal waste related to the numerous cats at her house and for continuing to feed stray cats.”
According to the Garfield Heights Police Department, Miss Segula was then convicted of a “failure to dispose” charge in November 2017 and was placed on another two-year probation which required her to stop feeding the cats.
The woman continued to feed the felines and in May, she was charged with probation violation hearing. The Police added that she was again advised to not feed stray cats and her 10-day sentence was “suspended with the understanding that she would comply with the court order.”
The Police statement read that at her last hearing Miss Segula admitted to still feeding stray felines and she was sentenced to 10 days for “contempt of court” in the Cuyahoga County Jail. “Mrs. Segula has never been arrested by the Police Department or the Animal Warden, she has been cited and summoned into court to respond to the numerous city ordinance violations and probation violations.”
The Police states, in Garfield Heights, feeding stray animals is considered a violation of City Ordinance 505.23 “and violation of this ordinance often results in a large number of cats moving into one area and thereby creating a nuisance for neighbors, which happened in this matter.”
Cleveland.com reported that the Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge Jennifer Weiler has announced that she wants to hear the case herself and wants to determine a solution other than jail. So there is still a chance that Miss Segula will not have to go to jail.
Image credits: Nancy Segula