78-year-old Garfield Heights woman charged for feeding stray cats will not face jail time

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - The 78-year-old woman originally sentenced to 10 days in jail has received a suspended sentence after having her case reevaluated in Garfield Heights Municipal Court.

In order to stay away from jail time, she must make updates to her property to deter the cats away and must attend mental health counseling.

WATCH NOW: 78-year-old Garfield Heights woman facing 10 days in jail for feeding stray cats is back in court

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Garfield Heights police said the complaints with Segula feeding the cats began in early 2015.

According to police, the Animal Warden attempted to work with Segula to humanely clear the area of the cats, but she continued feeding the strays.

Police said she was convicted of feeding strays in July of 2015 and in July of 2017 was convicted of having too many cats at her residence and placed on probation.

And in November of 2017 she was convicted of failing to properly dispose of animal waste and placed on two years probation, according to police.

As part of her probation, she was ordered not to feed stray cats.

Garfield Heights police said she violated her probation and continued to feed the cats, so this past May she had a probation violation hearing.

At the May hearing police said her jail sentence was delayed as long as she stops feeding the cats; however, at a hearing in June, the court ruled she was still feeding cats and ordered her to serve the 10 days in prison for contempt of court.

Segula was expected to start serving her sentence later this week.

Segula 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.”

“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."

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

Over a period of time, police said the Animal Warden has removed 22 cats from Segula’s house.

The Warden turns the stray cats to Forever Friends where the cats are spayed or neutered and receive appropriate medical attention.

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