Cat Lover Sentenced to Jail for Feeding Strays

The cat lover has apparently been feeding strays since her neighbor moved away, thus abandoning his cats.

Nancy Segula is a 79-year-old woman who lives in Garfield Heights, Ohio. She evidently has a huge heart, especially when it comes to cats. She was sentenced to 10 days in county jail just because she was feeding stray cats.

Segula stated, “I used to have a neighbor that had a couple of 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.”

Well, of course – word got round to the strays in town and apparently her population of porch kitties grew. Neighbors soon began to complain of foul smells, feces, and even the carcass of a deceased cat which was found near the property.

Since 2017, Segula has received four citations – violations against city ordinances that forbid feeding stray animals.

In a hearing which was held back in May, a stern 10-day jail sentence was suspended in exchange for Nancy’s promise not to feed the strays anymore. She was put on ‘probation’. However, her heart wouldn’t let ignore the cats.

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“Even though I was on probation and I knew that I was not supposed to do this, I could not help myself because every time those cats would see me they would come running up by the door, and I just felt bad, and I had to give them something to eat,” Segula went on to say.

When it was confirmed that Nancy had violated the terms of her probation, the judge issued a ten day jail sentence.

When the time came, she was all set to report for her sentence but after all the news coverage, Judge Jennifer Weiler scheduled a brand new hearing for August 6 in order to review the case before Segula was set to report to jail.

Thankfully, a local rescue group has stepped in the hopes of helping both Nancy and also in turn, helping the strays at her property.

Animal advocates from Forever Friends and the Garfield Heights Animal Warden ended up visiting the property to remove stray cats and kittens.

“We’re making an effort to help her, to alleviate the problem, to remove the issue,” stated Debra Bartowick with Forever Friends, adding she was hoping it might spare Nancy any time behind bars.


The rescue group soon evaluated all the cats and kittens and the plan was to get them placed. Some of them may end up going to local barns or shelters for adoption, however, they definitely will not remain on the street.

Just why the county didn’t leverage public resources to remove these cats sooner is, to date – unknown.

Please watch the video and then scroll down for the ‘update’.


Consequently, Nancy Segula has avoided jail time for feeding stray cats at her home in Garfield, Ohio. Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge Jennifer Weiler ended up vacating the ten-day jail sentence which had been handed down to Segula only weeks before. Still, she had some stern warnings for the nearly 80-year-old woman when it comes to the cats.

She went on to explain the health risks of the situation as well as the expense: “This is not a wealthy city and they have had to spend a significant amount of time and money on one homeowner. Nobody’s winning.”

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The judge then suggested Segula go for treatment for depression. She believes that perhaps Segula needed help after the death of her husband and two kittens a couple of years ago. Segula’s lawyer, Joseph McGuinness, yet insisted his client’s love of cats drove her to feeding the strays and that she was completely unaware of a 30-year-ordinance prohibiting the feeding of stray animals.

When the judge asked why Segula had continued to feed the cats when she’d been warned and cited previously, Segula responded: “Because I have a compassion for cats and I just felt bad they would come up on my back porch and look towards me.”

Having avoided serving any jail time at all, Segula is currently working with some local animal rescue groups to find places for the stray cats and claims she feels “so good about it.”

We wish Nancy Segula the best!