An Ohio judge sentenced a 79-year-old grandmother to one of the country’s most dangerous jails for what she thought was an act of kindness: feeding stray cats.
Nancy Segula was ordered to serve ten days in the Cuyahoga County Jail in Ohio by Garfield Heights Municipal Court Magistrate Jeffrey Short.
“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.” Nancy Segura said.
Segula said she has been feeding stray cats for years after her husband passed away.
But Segula’s neighbors don’t share the elderly woman’s passion for the famished felines.
So after three years of complaints, warning and citations, the Garfield Heights pensioner is looking at time in jail.
She received her first citation in 2017.
“I got a total of four,” she recalled.
“I have paid a lot in fines already.”
Her most recent citation required her to appear in court last week before Judge Short, who sentenced her to 10 days in the Cuyhoga County Jail.
She is expected to report to jail to serve her time behind bars on August 11 by 9 a.m.
“I’m a cat lover,” Segula told Fox 8
Dave Pawlowski, her son, said he couldn’t believe it.
“I couldn’t believe what my mother was telling me. She gets 10 days in the county jail, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
“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?”
Each visit by authorities came after someone called complaining to Garfield Height’s animal control warden, according to Cleveland.com.
Segula says she didn’t know about the city’s ordinance at first.
“It took me a few years to realize there was a law.”
Judge Short placed her on probation after the first incident.
Now, after violating the city’s ordinance three more times, Segula finds herself looking a 10-day jail sentence.
Segula defended her heinous crime of feeding cats to Judge Jeffrey Short.
“The cats keep coming over to my house,” she explained.
“I just feel bad so then I give them something to eat.”
Segula says she is worried because she has read about problems at the Cuyahoga County Jail about officers having improper relationships with inmates.
“I just don’t know what to do at this point,” she said.
There are also the dozens of deaths that take place within the Cuyahoga County jail.
There is still a possibility Segura will not have to go to jail to serve her sentence, according to People.
Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge Jennifer Weiler says she would like to hear Segula’s case herself in order to find an alternative solution other than jail.
Segula’s best bet may be to saddle up with a civil rights lawyer, who can defend her right to associate with whatever animals she wants.
City ordinance aside, some may say if she’s not harming the animals, she has every right to associate with them.
A court date has not yet been set for Segula to appear before Judge Weiler.