Woman Fined for Care of Stray Cats

Florida resident sobs after court verdict against her is read.

Posted: September 22, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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A Florida judge has ordered that a woman who had cared for a feral cat colony be fined $525 for not keeping the animals leashed under Martin County’s leash law.

The defendant, Kristen Nielander, hung her head and sobbed after Martin County Judge Kathleen Roberts gave her verdict, Sept. 20. Nielander was tried for looking after five stray cats animal control workers trapped in March.

The five cats animal control workers caught in March belonged to a colony of 25 feral cats that Nielander has fed and cared for in Jensen Beach during the past three years as part of a trap-neuter-release program.

Nielander’s trial rested on the question of whether her care for the stray cats made her their owner. County animal control workers said it did and that she would not have had to pay the fine had she left the cats at the shelter.

After the trial, Nielander told the local media that she doesn’t regret her decision. She and her attorney, Steve Glucksman, said they haven’t decided whether they’ll appeal the verdict.

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Reader Comments

Walt    Ludowici, GA

12/14/2011 6:17:25 AM

as they say "No good deed goes unpunished"

Katherine    Flint, MI

11/13/2011 5:22:28 PM

With society going to the dogs morally and econically, why should people worry about cats. People made the problem by not getting their pets fixed, and throwing them away. What about all the other wildlife creatures in our cities?

Samantha    Mission, BC

10/17/2011 11:23:24 PM

Wow. That's messed up.

Belle    Carlsbad, NM

1/13/2009 5:12:19 PM

What is happening to that poor woman makes me SICK! My father had a saying: No good deed goes unpunished. I'm so sorry that is happening to her, she is just trying to show them kindness and care. I'm just completely disgusted with that whole situation. We have a wonderful program like theirs in our community, and I've never heard of anything like that happening before. Florida should be ashamed!

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