An elderly man in North Texas chose incarceration over paying a fine after committing an act of compassion he didn’t consider to be a crime.
Gainesville resident David Parton, 76, languished in the Cooke County jail for nine days after feeding nine stray cats in violation of a city ordinance prohibiting the act.
“God told me to keep feeding them and leave the consequences to Him,” Parton told Dallas’ CBS affiliate.
Under the Gainesville City Code of Ordinance, the feeding of stray animals is considered a “public nuisance” and “unlawful.” Gainesville Mayor Jim Goldsworthy also says it contributes to the feral cat overpopulation problem.
Asking the city to reconsider the mandate, Parton expressed that the law “criminalizes compassion” at a city council meeting last November.
“Mr. Parton stated that ten years ago he found two kittens starving to death after their mother had died, fed them, and has been feeding cats ever since,” the meeting’s minutes read.
The man’s compassion, however, came at a price.
Multiple citations added up to $900 in fines; but rather than pay, Parton opted to be hauled off to the hoosegow.
“And I told them I’d sit it out in jail. I did, that’s why I went to jail, I wouldn’t pay the fine. That law is not right,” he indicated.
The man said if given the opportunity a second time, he would still choose jail.
“Oh, no, if I had a million dollars I wouldn’t have paid it. Hell no, no!” he exclaimed to CBS 11.
Animal rights group Alley Cats Allies caught wind of Parton’s dilemma and is now working with attorneys to change the city charter.
“It seems really severe that someone would spend any time in jail at all for doing something that was compassionate,” said attorney Eric Erlandson. “There aren’t any ordinances that actually help the animals. It seems like they’re all out there to punish people for them (animals).”
Despite imprisonment, an unrepentant Parton said he’d continue to defy the city code, however he added some of the cats he’d been feeding had gone missing.
These same types of control freak, nanny state laws are cropping up all over America, regulating the public into a full spectrum domination, with such trivial acts as leaving a can of tuna out for a cat leading to police harassment.
Last year, for instance, we highlighted the story of a 90-year-old World War II veteran in Fort Lauderdale who was confronted by police after he also defied an absurd city ordinance prohibiting the feeding of homeless people.