78-year-old Garfield Heights woman sentenced to jail for feeding stray cats may get another chance

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - Nancy Segula, 78, has lived in her Garfield Heights home on Havana Road for nearly 30 years.

Segula has always had a love for cats and started feeding strays on her porch back in 2017.

She said her next-door neighbor started calling the city about the stray cats being fed. The 78-year-old has received almost $2000 in fines from the city but she’s paid them all.

Nancy was in court last week for feeding the cats again and Garfield Heights Magistrate Jeffery Short originally sentenced the 78-year old to 10 days in the downtown Cleveland jail.

“I don’t know what it feels like to go to jail,” said Segula, who turns 79 in September. “I can understand the fines, but I can’t understand the jail time."

On Tuesday, July 30, Garfield Heights Municipal Judge Jennifer Weiler assigned another court appearance and scheduled it for Tuesday, August 6 to reevaluate the case.

2017 was a hard year for Segula. Her two pet cats died and that same year, her husband also passed away.

“Everybody was gone,” Segula said.

She told 19 News she started feeding the stray cats because it made her happy and it’s now one of her biggest joys.

“I’m an animal lover. I feel bad when I see them out there,” Segula said. “I know they’re hungry.”

Ross Augustino, is the son-in-law of Segula and blames the issue on the Garfield Heights Animal Warden.

“Why wasn’t the warden doing her job?” he said.

Augustino said he could understand giving her community service or more fines as punishment but says jail time is not plausible.

After Segula was sentenced, the city of Garfield Heights put 5 animal traps in her backyard on Monday, July 29 in efforts to catch the strays.

Between legal fees and city fines, Segula said she has spent around $3000.

Nancy is supposed to report to jail on August 11 at 9 a.m. but was assigned another hearing. This time, the hearing will be with Judge Weiler on Tuesday, August 6 at 11 a.m. to determine if her punishment was appropriate.

“There’s people who do worse crimes who don’t get what she’s getting,” said Augustino.

Stay with 19 News for updates on this story.

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