No jail time for Conway's cat lady

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The 71-year-old Conway woman known for feeding the feral cats was in court on Wednesday facing possible jail time, but luckily she and the judge were able to compromise.

Gerri Dempsey, 71, has been feeding stray cats in the City of Conway and appeared in court Wednesday on a summons for a series of outstanding tickets summing nearly $1,000.

When Dempsey stepped before the judge on Wednesday morning she knew her fate could be jail time, telling WMBF News she couldn't afford to pay those tickets.

The Lovely Law Firm represented Dempsey in court pro bono and they were able to work out a deal.

According to her attorney Amy Lawrence. Dempsey can't feed cats at businesses or restaurants, and can't trap cats at businesses or restaurants without permission.

Catina Hipp, with Conway Police, says Dempsey has at least 38 stations around the city to feed the feral cats and Dempsey tries to fill all of them daily.

She brings about 15 cats a month to have them spayed or neutered at Coastal Animal Rescue in Murrells Inlet, according to David Parks with the shelter. He says Dempsey's heart is too big for her own good.

Dempsey has been to court three times before for previous tickets since a new Conway ordinance outlawed feeding feral animals in March.

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