The streets of Garfield Heights, Ohio, will soon be safe again, after 79-year-old resident Nancy Segula reports for her 10-day sentence in the Cuyahoga County Jail.
Her offense? Repeatedly feeding "stray kitties," as she calls them.
What are the details?
"It began in 2017 with me feeding stray kitties," Segula explained to WJW-TV, "I used to have a neighbor that had a couple cats and he moved away, and when he moved away he left the cats. I would always feed them and take care of them because I was worried about them, and I'm a cat lover.
"And then, once my neighbors around here started being unhappy about it, they called the animal warden," she said.
Segula told Cleveland.com, "There's been about six to eight adult cats and now there's kittens coming over, too. I miss my own kitties, they passed away, my husband passed away. I'm lonely. So the cats and kitties outside help me."
Over the past two years, Segula has received four citations for violating a Garfield Heights city ordinance that prohibits feeding stray dogs and cats. The elderly resident's last violation landed her in front of Magistrate Jeffrey Short last week, who ordered Segula to spend time behind bars for her criminal activity.
Segula's family is horrified. Dave Pawlowski, her son, is dismayed by Short's decision.
"I couldn't believe what my mother was telling me," he told WJW. "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?"
Segula has already been handed more than $2,000 in fines, the Washington Post reported, and she is supposed to report to jail on Aug. 11.
79-Year-Old Woman Sentenced to Jail Time for Feeding Stray Cats www.youtube.com
According to Cleveland.com, controversy surrounding Segula's punishment has prompted Municipal Court Judge Jennifer Weiler to agree to hear the case herself because, evidently, Short was just filling in for Weiler while she was on vacation last week.
But having a new day in court doesn't necessarily mean Segula will get off easy. A bailiff from Weiler's office said the judge wants to hear all sides of the case before deciding whether there is an alternative punishment other than jail.