David Parton, 76, recently spent nine days in jail for feeding stray cats in Gainesville, Texas.
Parton could have avoided the jail time if he had paid $900 in fines, but felt he had to obey a higher calling (video below).
“God told me to keep feeding them and leave the consequences to Him,” Parton told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth. "So my responsibility was to do what God said, keep feeding them."
Parton spent one day in jail for each of the hundred dollars in fines.
“I did, that’s why I went to jail, I wouldn’t pay the fine because it's wrong. That law is not right,” stated Parton.
The senior claims that he fed nine cats in five locations before going to jail, but adds that the felines vanished while he was in jail.
Gainesville Mayor Jim Goldsworthy countered, "Because when we feed these animals in stray-type situations, not only are we promoting those populations of cats and dogs, we’re attracting skunks and raccoons and possums and all the other critters that come with that.”
The Gainesville code of ordinances says that it is illegal "[t]o place or make convenient food or containers of food on any property or city street in the City of Gainesville for the purpose of feeding stray animals," notes the Houston Chronicle.
In response to this situation, the animal rights group Alley Cat Allies is working to change the law.
"Alley Cat Allies is working with the city to see that the feeding ban is abolished and stricken from the books. We are proposing Trap-Neuter-Return as a program and policy to reduce the number of cats in the city," attorney Elizabeth Holtz told the Houston Chronicle.