Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Woman faces possible jail sentence for taking care of abandoned baby squirrels

An animal lover from New Jersey is speaking out against charges she's facing for taking care of baby squirrels. Maria Vaccarella of Howell said she was only trying to help one squirrel, and then it surprised her and gave birth to two baby squirrels. "We left the babies in the cage outside for 24 hours. (The mother) never came back. I brought them in, kept them warm, bottle fed them," Vaccarella said.

She said there's no way the baby squirrels could have survived without their mother. Vaccarella reached out to registered wildlife rehabilitators. When they could not take the squirrels in, she became their foster mother. In fact, all of the Vaccarellas became their foster family, her husband and son included. Maria Vaccarella posted videos of the squirrels on social media, and kept in touch with rehabilitators.

The animals were part of their family for four months. But on October 31, the Division of Fish and Wildlife came knocking at her door. "They said they saw a picture on Facebook and asked me if I had squirrels. I said yes. I had no problem telling them the story. I was proud," Vaccarella said. She said she didn't think caring for the squirrels was illegal. "They said I could not have them, that they had to be rehabilitated. I complied. I said no problem," she said. She said she even gave the officers the cage.

Days later, she received a ticket in the mail. "$500. When I was in court, the judge told me up to a $1,000 fine," Vaccarella said. She said the judge also said she could face up to six months in jail, because having the animals was a criminal offence. She said the charges for trying to help out baby animals made her angry. "Especially wasting taxpayer to go to court over helping two squirrels? It doesn't make sense." Vaccarella pleaded not guilty. She's back in court on January 27.

With news video.


Anonymous said...

She is in America. What can you expect? For them the future lies in space, and everything here is expendable. Soon the survivors will be off in search of new planets to rape in gender-free, free-love ships with secular Jews always at the controls, just as in the movies, Hollywood, New York, Washington.

WilliamRocket said...

Whatever anonymous.
I am posting this story on many social media sites, getting it out there and making the world look at small minded people may change the way things are done.
Despicable behaviour by law enforcement should be stopped, be it killing men because they are African American or fining people for looking after baby animals.

Dunex said...

@Anon Yeah..if I was you I'd put down that crackpipe/bible.

Will-L said...

Registered wildlife rehabilitators gave her advice and instructions and did not rat her out. The only problem is, and its common it modern day life, is that she just had to boast about it and make it public.

People bend the rules all the time, just do not go around making yourself a target.

That said, good luck to this lady. She helped the squirrels and willingly gave them up when DoF&W showed up. She should really be given a warning.

ooonaughtykitty said...

EXACTLY, Will. Her need for self promotion or ego stroking got her into trouble. If she just kept her mouth shut, no one would know.

Now, the DoF+W, will probably put those little squirrels to sleep, because they cannot be rehabilitated into the wild. What a DRAG! :(

Anonymous said...

> The only problem is, and its common it modern day life, is that she just had to boast about it and make it public.

As well she should. She had no reason to think she was doing anything wrong. It isn't like she robbed a bank and posted a selfie with the cash.

The actual problem here is (1) law enforcement not exercising discretion in choosing to prosecute her and (2) the judge not exercising good judgment. Real life is not a computer program. We have humans involved in the application of the law precisely because strict literalism can not adequately cover all real-life situations. She harmed no one. This sort of response is completely disproportionate to the "crime."

Qualiall said...

so cops just sit on their arses all day looking for pictures of illegal squirrels on facebook?

Anonymous said...

Oh I want a baby squirl!

ooonaughtykitty said...

I honestly don't think the Police or DoF+W sit around reading Facebook looking for people to bust. Here's a thought... MAYBE someone forwarded her post to the Police who then called DoF+W. Someone who knows what she's doing is ILLEGAL. Personally I can't believe she doesn't know that its a crime. I think she's saying that because the wheels of Justice are rolling onto her and it's better to fein ignorance.

EVERYONE in America knows that it's illegal to care for or keep a wild animal, unless you're licensed to do so. Even keeping the feathers of a raptor could land you in JAIL or SERIOUS fines, unless you're a Native American. <-- they don't mess around with that either. If you have a feather on your hat and it's an eagle feather... you're toast. Even if it was discarded on the ground. Doesn't matter.

Stinky Cat Food said...

skwerls and nuts they go together like peas and carrots