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75-year-old woman released from jail after contempt of court charge

She was locked up and held after missing court dates. Her family said she’s being treated poorly, in part, because of her love of animals.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A 75-year-old woman was locked up and held in contempt of court. Her family said she’s being treated poorly, in part, because of her love of animals.

Friday night, Cynthia Latson’s family was there as she was let out of jail just in time for Mother’s Day.

“It’s been two full days just about at this point, so we’re all happy that she’s out and getting ready to go home with her and help her settle in,” said Kim Taylor, Latson’s daughter.

The 75-year-old ended up behind bars after missing court dates and being charged with contempt.

“No one had reached out to me or my sister to ask us for help and find out why did she miss these two court dates,” Taylor explained.

RELATED: Elderly woman's love for animals lands her behind bars

This ordeal all started a few years ago, attorneys for Hillsborough County said, when neighbors complained the cats and dogs at Latson's home were a nuisance.

Animal Services decided to let her keep the pets, as long as she met certain conditions for care. She didn’t.

“We’ll be working with Animal Control to make sure all the requirements are met,” Taylor said.

A judge agreed with Latson’s family Friday: The grandmother didn’t deserve to be locked up for what she’d done.

Latson’s family, of course, hopes she’s never in this situation again. However, they also want the county to look into its policies to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else like her either.

“Sometimes they’re forgetful. They can’t always make their court dates,” Latson said of the elderly. “They need to show a little compassion.”

Latson has another hearing in June. Latson’s attorney hopes to get this resolved before then.

The family has started a GoFundMe page for Latson's legal and other fees.

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