79-year-old Ohio woman ordered to spend 10 days in the county jail for feeding stray cats

Garfield Heights law on feeding stray cats and dogs

The screenshot above shows the Garfield Heights law on feeding stray cats and dogs This is from the minutes of a standard meeting of the community’s leaders.

A Garfield Heights, Ohio woman has been ordered to report to the county jail on August 11 at 9 a.m. after she was convicted of feeding stray cats.

sentenced to jail

Nancy was sentenced to 10 days in jail (Fox8)

Nancy Segula, 79, started feeding the cats in her Havana Road neighborhood in Garfield Heights back in 2017. During an interview with Fox8 News, Nancy described neighbors who got upset about the cats being fed.

“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. 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.”

The first citation out of four came in 2017. The latest one required Nancy to appear last week before Magistrate Jeffrey Short last week, where she was sentenced to 10 days in the Cuyahoga County Jail.

The Facebook video below goes into more detail. It may be slow to load on some devices.

This a rough and partial transcript of what she says during part of the video:

“I started to feed the cats cats because a neighbour left and left the cats behind. So I was feeding them to take care of them until I could get hold of the Animal Protection League or something like that to take them away. Then more cats came in and the cats kept coming back so I kept taking care of them. The animal warden did at one time trap some of them and take them away but then there was always a few leftover and coming back and then they had babies.

I’m always a cat lover. [She agree that she’s been cited a couple times and been fined a couple of times for feeding the cats].

When asked what she thought about the sentence she said that it was totally ridiculous because:

“…there are people who abuse animals and they don’t even get anything bad happening to them. And I’m taking care of them and I’m being punished.” – Nancy Segula

People attending the court hearing were shocked at the sentence handed down to Nancy, she said. She was scared and remains scared about it. She is due to go to jail on Aug 11th. She wants the judge to change his mind and fine her and order that TNR is carried out on the strays that she has been feeding. She loves cats.

Nancy’s son, Dave Pawlowski, is in shock that his mother was sentenced to jail time stating:

“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?”

Since Nancy was found guilty of feeding a stray dog or cat under ordinance 505.23, she must pay for her crime. She believes it’s too harsh a sentence for what she did.

Garfield Heights map

Fox8 contacted the dog warden and the mayor of Garfield Heights but their phone calls weren’t returned. Their website is here. Feel free to place a few calls asking why a 79-year-old woman is being thrown in jail with dangerous criminals.

Contact information for Judge Short is listed below.

  • Court Details
  • Garfield Heights Municipal Court
  • Jurisdiction: MC
  • District: 8
  • Contact Information
  • 5555 Turney Road
    Garfield Heights, OH 44125
  • 216-475-1900

This is the most asinine travesty of justice I’ve heard in a long time. Those convicted of animal cruelty most often don’t have to serve a day in jail yet this woman will be there for a week and a half. A bunch of assholes must be in charge of the town. It’s a shame the American legal system has come to this.


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Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    How stupid is that. Leave the wonderful lady alone. Worry about criminals not feeding kitties mom on your side honey. GOD BLESS YOU FOR CARING. LOVE ❤️ YOU AND HUGS TO YOU.

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