The elderly Stratford woman charged with was awarded a public defender at a recent court appearance.
Marion Perreira was Jan. 25 when Bridgeport Superior Court Judge Earl Richards told her she was "over guidelines."
After the judge's ruling Perreira, accompanied by her son William -- who also faces animal cruelty charges -- met with prosecutors. They told her she may make too much money to qualify for a public defender.
Perreira told Stratford Patch her only income comes from Social Security in the form of a $1,300 check every third of the month, which comes to $15,600 for the year.
According to income eligibility guidelines for public defenders, as outlined on the state's judicial website, a defendant charged with a misdemeanor -- such as animal cruelty -- may be eligible for a public defender if the accused has a gross annual income equal to or less than $16,335.
William Perreira said his mother plans to meet with the public defender Thursday, March 1. He said he's already spoken with his public defender and his next court appearance is scheduled for March 7. His mother is due back in court March 16.
for allegedly violating a signed agreement that outlined dates she was required to bring her five cats to the veterinarian. Four of those cats -- one could not be located at the time of the seizure -- are the subject of a civil case the town has brought against the Perreiras. Perreira has said the vet told her the cats did not need further treatment.
The Perreiras have struggled to find legal counsel for the civil case and are still without representation. William Perreira said he was told by his public defender that they only do criminal cases. If found guilty, the mother and son could have to pay over $6,000 in fines for the town's caring of the animals.
Since October 2011, the four cats have been held at the . William Perreira, who lives with his mother, said during a recent visit to the pound, one of the cats appeared ill. He said he was later told by a town attorney that the cat, Pumpkin, was recently vaccinated.
"I'm sure the cats are safer in the house than at the pound," he said.