A legal defense fund for two Wetumpka women convicted of feeding and trapping stray cats in order to fix them has topped over $80,000.
Mary Alston, 61, and Beverly Roberts, 85, were arrested by Wetumpka police in June after they observed the women feeding cats close to the Wetumpka County Courthouse. Alston had been told the morning of the arrest to no longer set up traps. Roberts had already been advised by officials to stop feeding the cats.
The women were found guilty in December and sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation.
However, donations for the women’s defense have poured in to a GoFundMe account from all over the country from individuals and animal rights organizations.
“Compassion is not a crime,” said Alice Burton, programs director for Alley Cat Allies. “These are good Samaritans who should be applauded, not handcuffed.”
The funds will be used to appeal the convictions and to support a civil lawsuit against Wetumpka. Organizers said any remaining money will go toward efforts to reduce the feral cat population.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.