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Two Senior ‘Cat Ladies’ Arrested And Jailed For Feeding Starving Stray Cats

Published: October 14, 2022 at 11:10 AM Author: Penny Eims

Wetumpka, AL – In late June, two compassionate cat lovers were doing what they love…feeding homeless cats, and setting live traps to capture the felines who would then be taken to a veterinarian to be sterilized.  But rather than accomplishing what they set out to do, Mary Alston, 60, and Beverly Roberts, 84, were confronted by the police.

The women were confused, initially assuming that it was some sort of mistake. Surely the police had no grievances with the “cat ladies of Wetumpka.” But as it turned out, the officers knew who the women were, and they wanted them to stop what they were doing.

In a video showing the interaction, Mary Alston can be seen explaining to the officers that she is trying to catch the cats to “help get them out” of the area, and she mentions that the city should be “thanking her” for her efforts. Alston is instructed to leave because she is “trespassing,” but when the officers return a short time later, she is still there, and so is 84-year-old Beverly Roberts. Roberts is told that she is being taken to jail for trespassing, and she seems to be rightfully taken aback by the statement.

You Can Watch The Disturbing Body Cam Footage Here:


Roberts is visibly upset after being told that she is being arrested and taken to jail and when she tries to give her car keys to Alston, the officer tells her that it is going to “get ugly” if she doesn’t start complying.

Ultimately, both women are put into cuffs and hauled to jail. Something they stated was “humiliating and degrading.” Worse than the humiliation is their inability to do what they love – feed the cats that need them. Roberts told the Montgomery Adviser, “All we want to do is feed starving cats. I don’t know how anyone could see starving animals and not want to help.”

It seems as if the police in Wetumpka targeted these women because they are known animal welfare advocates. In fact, 85-year-old Roberts is a bit of a “squeaky wheel,” helping to pass an ordinance in town banning dogs from being tied up or tethered, and drawing attention to cases of animal abuse and cruelty in the area at City Council meetings. 

Imagine – using city resources to target women who are doing GOOD things for the community. Women who are raising awareness of animal cruelty, helping pass animal welfare ordinances, and caring for unwanted stray cats. If you find the charges against these women as outrageous as we at Animal Victory do, please add your name to the petition. Your signatures and comments will be sent to city officials along with our letter demanding that the charges be dropped.

We the undersigned demand that frivolous charges against Beverly Roberts and Mary Alston be dropped. Additionally, we want to see the city work WITH these women to improve the stray cat situation in the area, rather than against them. To our knowledge, Roberts and Alston are using their own resources to feed, trap, and sterilize these cats; their actions are an asset to the city and these women should be commended for their efforts, rather than punished.

On October 20, both women will appear in court to face their charges. Roberts is facing charges of criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct and Alson is charged with criminal trespassing and obstructing government operations. Your support is urgently needed in order to show court officials that we stand with Alston and Roberts!

A few reporters with Montgomery Advertising spent one-month writing an article regarding the situation. Below are a few screenshots and we will work on getting the article uploaded asap.


Update 10/18/2022: Animal Victory has sent 14,000 signatures and our letter of intent to Honorable William A. Shashy, presiding defense attorney, Mayor Jerry Willis, and the entire staff at his office, as well as various news outlets.  The court has been postponed. We will update the petition with the date as soon as we have more information.

Two Senior 'Cat Ladies' Arrested And Jailed For Feeding Starving Stray Cats

14,965 signatures = 75% of goal


14,965 Kristi Knotts Dec 01, 2022
14,964 Christeen Anderson Dec 01, 2022
14,963 Denis Tryon These women are heroes for all the great work they are doing! Dec 01, 2022
14,962 Sabine Klemann Dec 01, 2022
14,961 Gary Marshall Please drop these ridiculous charges and support these wonderful women. Dec 01, 2022
14,960 Cat R. Kenney Nov 30, 2022
14,959 Joi Kamper Yet animal abusers continue to be let of, while people trying to help are arrested... Disgraceful. Nov 30, 2022
14,958 sheri lane Nov 30, 2022
14,957 Annemiek Jansen Weird! Nov 30, 2022
14,956 Steph Harris Nov 29, 2022
14,955 Debra Emery Nov 29, 2022
14,954 Carolann Gilmartin Nov 29, 2022
14,953 Phillippa Hilsden Yet the so-called police and law refuse to do anything about the shits that hurt them. RELEASE THESE LADIES IMMEDIATELY. Nov 29, 2022
14,952 Viktorija Venslovaitė Nov 28, 2022
14,951 Brenda Darnell Nov 28, 2022
14,950 Erica Hernandez Nov 27, 2022
14,949 Deborah Snyder Nov 27, 2022
14,948 Chloe Seago Nov 27, 2022
14,947 Shawna Sulek Finally someone does something good, and then gets treated like a criminal. What is wrong with this country??? Nov 27, 2022
14,946 Laura Dillard Feeding spaying and neutering cats in a colony is not a crime. They are community cats. The crime is of the officers intending to hurt these awesome ladys for there good doing. These officers need to go after the animal abusers not compassonate people. Drop all charges!! Go back to feeding. Nov 25, 2022
14,945 Heidi Hansen Nov 25, 2022
14,944 Archer The Pup This is outrageous! They shouldn't even cops if they did this! These ladies are helping animals who are starving and their arrested?! Ridiculous Nov 25, 2022
14,943 Lee Middleton Nov 25, 2022
14,942 Darcie Prestis Nov 24, 2022
14,941 Yasmine Badawi Nov 24, 2022
14,940 Kathryn Walsh Justice for all animals Nov 23, 2022
14,939 Sarah A Lockerman Nov 23, 2022
14,938 Gina Tomaselli This is absolutely horrible! These women are being punished for doing a good deed and helping animals - how horrific. We need more people like them. As an attorney, I am absolutely stunned the police would go out of their way to punish good samaritans when they should be focused on addressing crimes. Nov 23, 2022
14,937 HEATHER White 2 lovely ladies trying to help distressed animals and they are arrested. What is happening to this world. Nov 23, 2022
14,936 Wendy Nolan Nov 23, 2022