Ohio woman, 79, sentenced to jail time for feeding stray cats

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jul 29, 2019

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio – A couple years ago, stray cats started showing up on Nancy Segula's back porch in Garfield Heights, Ohio.

“It began in 2017 with me feeding stray kitties. I used to have a neighbor that had a couple cats and he moved away so he left them,” Segula said. “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 got her first citation in 2017. More followed.

“I got a total of four,” Segula said.

Her latest citation required her to appear before Magistrate Jeffrey Short last week. He sentenced her to 10 days in the Cuyahoga County Jail.

“I couldn’t believe what my mother was telling me. She gets 10 days in the county jail, I couldn’t believe it,” said Dave Pawlowski, her son son. “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?”

In Garfield Heights, it is illegal to feed stray dogs and cats under ordinance 505.23. However, Segula doesn’t feel the punishment fits the crime.

“It’s too much of a sentence for me for what I’m doing. When there are so many people out there that do bad things,” she said.

WJW reached out to the dog warden and the mayor of Garfield heights. Their phone calls were not returned.

Segula is to report to the county jail Aug. 11 at 9 a.m.