Subscribe for RSSFollow our TweetsLWC on Facebook

71 Year Old Woman Faces Possible Jail Time For Feeding Cats

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.




PrintFriendly and PDF

13 comments

  • Visit site
    August 28, 2012 1:26 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Marie

    I would do the jail time for you Geri. Lets think of possible remedies for this problem. Hmm I know let’s have open season on all stray cats, wait just all cats in general… If they are outside they should be shot anyway right? While we are getting rid of problems lets not forget to close down all the food pantry’s because we shouldn’t feed the poor cause that will just make more poor people. Nursing homes should be shut down cause well why should we spend tax dollars to fund something that has no purpose to us anymore. How about getting more people involved, have the vets lower the cost of spaying/neutering so these feral cats can’t reproduce and give out humanitarian awards to people like Geri, who spend their own time and dollars to help the world’s voiceless survive!
    Good Luck!

    Reply
  • Visit site
    August 28, 2012 2:39 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Tracy Campbell

    No good deed goes unpunished. If she didn’t take care of them and have them neutered the population would be out of control.

    Reply
  • Visit site
    August 28, 2012 3:02 pmPosted 1 year ago
    crosswind

    Glad she does TNR, but I believe $800 / per month is outrageous and could be spent more wisely. This is why i believe in euthanasia and the old days picking up stray cats for animal control. TOOO many stray cats out there now and people get tired of them pooping in our gardens, urinating on our patio furniture, rugs to mark their spots (even females who have been fixed, Yes!!). I have 3 rescued cats of my own (12 yrs old INDOOR ONLY) But, I still think TNR is Not a good permanent solution long term. They should be trapped & euthanized It’s much kinder than starving. What will happen when this lady moves or heaven forbid, passes away or gets too old to take care of these colonies? It will happen. They will start going to neighbors

    Reply
    • Visit site
      August 28, 2012 6:40 pmPosted 1 year ago
      Marie

      So your solution to this whole problem is to treat the cats as Jews and we in turn can be Hitler’s? SICK!

      Reply
      • Visit site
        August 29, 2012 5:07 pmPosted 1 year ago
        Bianca

        Spot on.

        Reply
    • Visit site
      August 29, 2012 2:57 pmPosted 1 year ago
      joan

      If she lived in my city. I would take over for her. There will always be a lot of kind people who will feed starving animals even if against the law. Hopefully there are people there who are willing to take over her TNR program too.

      TNR works. I have closed two of my feral colonies because of attrition. I retrapped the last two at one colony and I’m in the process of retrapping two more at another colony. They are living with me now.

      Reply
  • Visit site
    August 28, 2012 6:53 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Vicki

    Hey, here’s an idea: maybe the SC law authorities should focus on going after real criminals, not harassing little old ladies doing a much needed community service!

    Reply
  • Visit site
    August 28, 2012 7:24 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Laurey Jaros

    There are ways to do this humanely. A woman in town has dedicated herself to helping stray/feral cats. She has arrangements with a group in town that neuters cats and dogs at a low rate. This woman contracts with this group. She live traps feral cats and has them spayed/neutered. If there are kittens involved, she takes the kittens and raises/socializes them until they are old enough to spay/neuter and then spays/neuters. As soon as they are socialized and can be, she has them adopted out of the local humane society. The adult cats who have been spayed/neutered are released back into “society” to live out their days unable to reproduce. She has developed a non-profit corporation to help with fund raising to be able to do this, and there almost always are people who volunteer their time to help with kitten raising. She is a beloved community member and well known for her altruistic acts. There are definitely ways to deal with the feral populations — it is interesting that these animals can be put to death … be allowed to starve …. but those who abandon them go free. We certainly do live in strange times. And we most definitely are NOT a highly spiritual society, in my opinion. Advanced/highly spiritual societies do not allow this type of cruelty to God’s creatures.

    Reply
  • Visit site
    August 28, 2012 11:27 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Sash Gordon-smith

    There needs to be more people like Gerri.god love her!if she was helping out ‘stray’ or ‘feral’ humans she would be hailed as a saint.shame on all the people involved. Im glad I live in Australia. Authoroties here appreciate people who volunteer their time n money to help the strays as it keeps them from breeding n causing menace to wildlife.good on u Gerri, more power to u and don’t give up the fight!goodluck n all the best!

    Reply
  • Visit site
    August 29, 2012 8:24 amPosted 1 year ago
    Pippa

    Unbelievable! People who do truly unspeakable things to animals walk away with the “slap on the wrist” but someone doing their best to take care of the sad result of other people’s irresponsibility gets fined and faces possible jail. This makes no sense at all.

    Reply
  • Visit site
    August 29, 2012 2:58 pmPosted 1 year ago
    joan

    If she lived in my city. I would take over for her. There will always be a lot of kind people who will feed starving animals even if against the law. Hopefully there are people there who are willing to take over her TNR program too.

    TNR works. I have closed two of my feral colonies because of attrition. I retrapped the last two at one colony and I’m in the process of retrapping two more at another colony. They are living with me now.

    Reply
  • Visit site
    September 4, 2012 1:37 amPosted 1 year ago
    j.

    thank God for people like her…maybe she can find any others in the town that will stand by her and help her out…suddenly there’s a new addition to the law that says this is illegal? sounds like a judge or someone doesn’t like cats and knew about what she was doing..so wrote an addendum to that law to make it illegal what she’s doing to help these animals. in italy..the government is responsible for taking care of the feral animal situations…they have to feed, spay/neuter..etc. not kill the animals…she needs someone with legal experience maybe to help her fight the new law..maybe start a petition against it..this story needs to get to the news media to go nationwide..so that maybe it will shame the town into changing back their laws against her feeding the cats..which is absolutely ridiculous in the first place…and also refund her back the money she’s spent trying to keep herself out of jail..because she’s a compassionate person..she’s guilty..and yes..animal abusers/killers..get off with very little to pay in retribution..yet this angel of mercy tries to do the right thing in the world…and gets the book thrown at her..and threatened with jail…welcome to the u.s.s.a….we might as well live in russia or someplace..and the lady above who rescues cats..has a whole two of them..that says it would be better to euthanise them…don’t call yourself a rescuer..if thats your outtake on the situation…the solution isn’t to kill them because she might not be around to continue to help them..the solution is to get others to help her and ensure that they’ll ALWAYS be taken care of…what were you thinking?

    Reply
    • Visit site
      September 4, 2012 1:45 amPosted 1 year ago
      j.

      p.s. i have had 12 rescue cats that i made indoor cats and continue to feed any strays that come around..if possible i trap and spay/neuter as well…i don’t have any colonies because they come one by one…at least i don’t kill them because there’s no one to help them..we make them shelters outside so they have a warm, dry place to stay if they want to get out of the rain/snow..we feed any wildlife that comes to our door..racoons, cats..birds, etc. killing is NEVER an option….they can hunt on their own for food if she can’t get to feed them…birds, etc. they are outside cats…and they appreciate the food i’m sure..but left to their own..they know how to hunt…and will teach any kittens how as well…

      Reply

Leave your comment

Your Name: (required)

E-Mail: (required)

Website: (not required)

Message: (required)

Send comment


Editor's Picks