WETUMPKA, Ala. –
Two Alabama women have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes because of their efforts to feed and trap stray cats.
Local news outlets report that Wetumpka Municipal Judge Jeff Courtney on Tuesday found Beverly Roberts, 85, guilty of criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct. Mary Alston, 61, was found guilty of criminal trespassing and interfering with governmental operations.
Courtney sentenced both women to 2 years of unsupervised probation and 10 days in jail. The jail sentence was suspended, meaning the women will serve no time. Each woman was also fined $100 and ordered to pay court costs.
The verdicts followed a bench trial before Courtney in the town just north of Montgomery. Attorneys for the two women say they will appeal.
The women were arrested and taken to jail by police in Wetumpka in June. The police chief said the women had previously been warned not to feed stray animals.
Terry Luck, an attorney for one of the women, said earlier that the women were performing a public service by trapping stray cats and having them neutered and spayed.
Wetumpka Police Chief Greg Benton has said feeding the cats had created a nuisance because it attracted more animals to the area. He said both women had been “repeatedly” warned to stop prior to being arrested.