UPDATE: On August 6, 2019, Judge Jennifer Weiler vacated Ms. Segula's 10 day jail sentence. However, Ms. Segula was ordered to stop feeding the cats and was cautioned that if she continues to feed them that she would face jail time in the future. As for the cats, they will still be looked after. They will be spayed/neutered, given shots, lab tests, and deworming for free thanks to the combined efforts of PAWS Ohio and Stautzenberger College.
A 79-year-old Ohio woman is facing jail time for feeding cats.
When a neighbor moved away and left behind his cats, Ms. Segula began feeding them outside her home. After the death of her husband and her own cats, she said they kept her company. Now, however, after years of warnings, citations, and complaints, Ms. Segula is facing jail time.
The problems with authorities began three years ago, when residents of Garfield Heights began complaining to the local Animal Warden about Ms. Segula and the cats. Ms. Segula was informed of the city ordinance prohibiting feeding stray cats, but she continued feeding them. After receiving numerous citations and being placed on probation, she recently admitted to still feeding the stray cats and was sentenced to 10 days in jail for contempt of court.
However, there is still hope that Ms. Segula will avoid jail time. The original judge from the case, who was on vacation when Ms. Segula was sentenced, has agreed to give her a new hearing. Furthermore, local nonprofits are stepping in to help Ms. Segula and her strays. PAWS and The Forever Friends Foundation are joining together to help trap the cats and put suitable cats up for adoption, and find barn placements for others. Additionally, The Stautzenberger College, Brecksville campus is going to provide all medical care, including sterilization, for the cats.
When asked why she risked so much for these cats, Ms. Segula said that it was simple, “I’m a cat lover”.
JessiCAT. “LATEST UPDATES! 79-Year-Old Woman Will Receive New Hearing From Judge For 10-Day Jail Sentence.” Cole & Marmalade, 31 July 2019, coleandmarmalade.com/2019/07/31/latest-updates-79-year-old-woman-will-receive-new-hearing-from-judge-for-10-day-jail-sentence/.
Krakow, Morgan. “She Was Feeding the Stray Cats That Kept Her Company. Now the 79-Year-Old Is Going to Jail.” The Washington Post, WPCompany,30July2019, www.washingtonpost.com/science/2019/07/30/she-was-feeding-stray-cats-that-kept-her-company-now-year-old-is-going-jail/?utm_term=.8b68aef2fcd2.
Alley Cat Rescue is leading in the way in promoting humane and compassionate care for ALL cats.