Howell woman faces six months in jail for raising baby squirrels

A Howell woman has been issued a $500 summons and faces a potential sentence of six months in jail because she took in two newborn squirrels that had been abandoned by their mother, according to a reports by ABC News in New York and Philadelphia.

Posted by Maria Vaccarella on Thursday, January 14, 2016

Maria Vaccarella came to the aid of a squirrel that had fallen out of a tree last year and then gave birth to two infants.  Vaccarella left the babies outdoors in cage for a day and then took them in when the mother failed to return.  She named the baby squirrels George and Lola and bottle nursed them for four months after a registered wildlife rehabilitator refused to take them, she said.

Vacarella shared photos and videos of the growing a squirrels on her facebook feed, which led to a visit from Fish and Wildlife officials who took the babies and sent her a summons that indicated a $500 fine.  During her first appearance in Freehold Township Municipal Court, the Judge told Vacarells that the fine could be $1000 and a six month jail sentence was possible.

Vacarella is due back in court on January 27.

Posted: January 16th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Howell, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , | 29 Comments »

29 Comments on “Howell woman faces six months in jail for raising baby squirrels”

  1. Megan said at 10:04 am on January 16th, 2016:

    I don’t know how to do it but someone should start a Gofundme page. (I’m sure we can cover her fine easily) But seriously the judge should drop the charges!
    Rediculous that this has even tooken up our hard earned tax dollars!

  2. Ron Hamilton said at 10:40 am on January 16th, 2016:

    I’m jealous that your town has so little crime that your tax money goes to pay for idiot law enforcement officers and a judge that have nothing better to do than harass a young girl for saving squirrel.. on second thought maybe your tax money doesn’t pay for them and this is how they raised the money that pays their salaries

  3. Linda Curley said at 10:54 am on January 16th, 2016:

    Are these fish and wildlife workers complete idiots?? I have heard a few stories lately with people getting severely penalized for helping wildlife or shooting a beat trying to get into their home. Let’s use some common sense fish and wildlife employees. Thankfully judges are smart and I believe the judge will do the right thing.

  4. Margaret Rose said at 10:59 am on January 16th, 2016:

    I wonder if she left them to die if she Waukesha face charges for animal endangerment?
    This is sickening local bureaucracy gone wild. These educated idiots have nothing better to do as they collect tax dollars.

  5. John Bearden said at 12:02 pm on January 16th, 2016:

    Sieg Heil Amerika!

  6. marjorie jonasson said at 12:47 pm on January 16th, 2016:

    i could not agree more with Ron Hamilton ….
    this is a disgrace…. i am shocked this even got as far as it has…. PATHETIC is the only word that comes to mind!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Jeff said at 3:49 pm on January 16th, 2016:

    My mom saved two squirrels when i was in school. So these officials are morons

  8. cary said at 4:28 pm on January 16th, 2016:

    what is the actual law they are saying she broke …..ya know some level minded person in charge might look hard at the offence and disregard it but you give the wrong kinda axxholes a title and authority and they can become intoxicated and addicted to control
    you know like I never in my lifetime believed Iwould see policemen on tv news making children selling lemonade stop or face infraction. but I have seen it so it must be the new world order lol

  9. Ame Hansen said at 4:38 pm on January 16th, 2016:

    This is the most ridiculous charge I have ever
    heard. What a waste of everyone’s time. Why doesn’t the the Fish and Wildlife find something better to do with their time. Go help Flint if that will help you sleep at night. Legal officials should dismiss such a petty crime. Everything these days has to do with power and money. Its disgusting. We have bigger problems in the U.S. to worry about than that. Focus time and energy on something real….

  10. Vicki said at 5:21 pm on January 16th, 2016:

    I would have done the same thing. What the hell is the problem here??SQUIRRILS for petes sake!!!! Not coyotes, wolves, or endangered animals!!!

  11. This is not a crime said at 5:54 pm on January 16th, 2016:

    This a problem with the municipalities. This shows that they are money hungry and it is a disgrace to everyone. The judge should be fired and sued.

  12. kim said at 7:02 pm on January 16th, 2016:

    Years ago I found a blind (because of conjunctivitis) box turtle. I took her to the vet. I got medicine and the vet only charged me for the meds. She stayed in my house for about 10 days and I treated her as per the doctor’s orders with the ointment. The doctor suggested a diet for her while she was in our care. She was then released back to our backyard. I bet you, she is still alive today because of the care given to her. This was not the first nor the last time I have helped a ” wild “animal.

  13. rancher said at 8:43 pm on January 16th, 2016:

    meanwhile you have patriotic ranchers out west fighting back against this same government and rather than finding support from the people to stand up against this kind of garbage government, idiots are wasting money on dildos and lube instead if joining their fight against our abusive government.

  14. Sharon Toth said at 8:56 pm on January 16th, 2016:

    So she should of watched them die a slow and painful death…..that would of been better right. Ridiculous !!!!!!!

  15. Willie Braun said at 12:20 am on January 17th, 2016:

    No kiddies. We don’t need a GoFundMe account. And filing a lawsuit against a judge, which will be decided by a judge, would go as far as suing a terrorist in a shariah court. No, what needs to be done is a couple hundred of us need to get together and beat this punk “judge” and those fish and wildlife retards into comas. This is the only thing that will stop the trash from viewing us as serfs disobeying the king’s laws.

  16. ted said at 6:45 am on January 17th, 2016:

    i’m calling the governors office ! this lady should be pardon and the state should pay all the fee’s the laws should be erased

  17. same problem said at 10:25 am on January 17th, 2016:

    sanm problem really, a deptartment of the government, that is tasked with funding itself , and the easy way to get money into these departments is to harass the do-ers of the world as they are the ones with money to pay and no time to fight back.


    jusry nullification

  18. Dave said at 10:37 am on January 17th, 2016:

    Willie Braun is correct. A revolt is required. All your voting, all your wishing and wanting will do nothing. The crooked and greedy are in places of power and will not leave on thier own. Physical removal, not useless voting is the only way..

  19. Bobbie Ellis said at 4:47 pm on January 17th, 2016:

    If you really want to try and make a difference write to the judge:
    Freehold Township Municipal Court
    City Courthouse
    1 Municipal Plaza
    Freehold, NJ 07728

    Attn: Judge Nicole Sonnenblick

  20. Peggy Walsh said at 8:05 am on January 18th, 2016:

    You really got to be kidding me. I would of done the same thing. I guess watching them die was better! I do not think so. Give the girl some credit for even trying to save these babies. Wow, what a good thing she has done, and yet she is being punished for saving 2 babies. The system stinks in every way. I think you could find better things to do then give a $500 dollar fine to someone who saved these babies.

  21. amanda said at 11:26 am on January 18th, 2016:

    What type of example are we looking to Set…..A humane act gets you jailed and fined is it better for society to step over that which is hurt or dying and pretend they didn’t see it?? Should we walk around with no regard for life at all, run over things and keep going, watch something die a slow painful death, watch something starve, I could go on and on….. This basically tells people have no soul and have no heart……it’s so sad it’s come to this truly….disheartening…..

  22. Mike Harmon said at 5:01 pm on January 18th, 2016:

    This seems like a case where a prosecutor and a judge should not be reappointed. Clearly they have no good judgment. Who are they?

  23. Kathy Baratta said at 6:35 pm on January 18th, 2016:

    If this case is being tried in Freehold Township then it will be heard by Judge Nicole Sonnenblick.

    Without knowing the complete facts of the matter (as do none of the above posters by the way) I wouldn’t think to hold forth any opinion (and certainly not one that calls for violence – leave it to a squirrel story to bring out the nuts) other than one that notes Judge Sonnenblick is smart and fair so I know that whatever the outcome it will be fair and beholden to nothing but what the law and the circumstances dictate.

  24. Kelly Buck said at 6:05 am on January 19th, 2016:

    This world is getting even more evil and stupid, even faster then I thought. Yes a waste of tax dollars, but the worst is the example they’re giving children. Oh no kids, don’t save a hurt animal from certain death when the proper authorities turn a blind eye cause they’re to lazy to do their jobs. And oh no kids, you can’t sell Lemonade for $0.50 per cup or you’ll be fined! WTF!! And people wonder why kids are turning into little psycho monsters full of anger, and doing drugs, bringing guns to school to kill classmates and themselves. Cause look at the poor examples of adults they have to follow. They are teaching kids now to do what’s easy and evil, over what’s intelligent, common sense, and morally right.

  25. Agree that said at 10:48 am on January 19th, 2016:

    government on all levels has run amok, is often heartless, and
    so much money is wasted and stolen on a regular basis: however, am not clear as to what might have happened if the good-hearted person had been bitten and gotten really sick? Am all for being kind to non- domesticated creatures, but, as long as people realize it’s still a personal risk they are taking, and therefore can’t count on anyone else to fix or pay for any unintended consequences, should they unfortunately occur. I personally called the SPCA a few years ago, to come and get a bird which was hurt and couldn’t fly in my yard, and they refused to help, as did animal control. So,I guess it’s volume and priority,for them..Do hope this person is not raked over the goals for trying, at her own risk.

  26. Dale A. Morris said at 11:54 am on January 19th, 2016:

    As lil o, releases Violent Criminals by the Thousands!!!

  27. Michael Jacob said at 5:54 pm on January 19th, 2016:

    Fucking garbage municipal system along with the absurd condescending prick police officers in this state / county. Focus on the real problems at hand and stop fucking harassing harmless people. Simply can not take this shit anymore. Gets me so heated…

  28. Jimmy Jones said at 6:38 am on January 20th, 2016:

    I would have hoped that the authorities in that town, who now do not respond to everyday calls in a timely manner, have so much time on their hands.

  29. Glenn Gibson said at 10:50 pm on January 21st, 2016:

    Story’s like this piss me off.. Leave Maria alone and do this to people that are abusing animals not helping!!