71 year old Gerri Dempsey of Conway, SC is facing possible jail time for feeding stray and feral cats, and says they’ll die without her help. A new city ordinance says she must stop feeding them.
Gerri spends $800 each month feeding the stray and feral cats in her area, and says she has fed 38 colonies over the past 15 years. In addition to feeding the cats, she also conducts TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) operations to keep their numbers in check and guard their health.
Recent changes to the law have resulted in Geri being ticketed and potentially facing jail time after being ordered by a judge to stop feeding the cats. A new ordinance against feeding stray cats in March has brought about Gerri’s troubles with the law. She has been ticketed and has been to court three times, with penalties ranging from a $273 fine for feeding feral colonies to a $455 trespassing fine.
Gerri feels that she cannot, in good conscience, stop caring for the cats. She is worried about going to jail and consequently losing her job, leaving the cats with no one to care for them.