Don't Prosecute Woman For Showing Compassion Toward Baby Animals!

Maria Vaccarella is an animal lover who did not hesitate to help when her neighbor told her about an injured squirrel in his yard. Maria and her husband took the squirrel in, put it in a box in their backyard, and gave it food. They were on the verge of calling the Humane Society when the squirrel gave birth.

When the mother squirrel abandoned her babies, Maria waited 24 hours before intervening. She fed them and contacted a wildlife rehabilitator who told her to hold on to the baby squirrels until May. Under Maria's care, the babies thrived and quickly became a part of her family.

Four months after Maria took in the baby squirrels, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife came to her door asking about the squirrels. They told her that it was illegal to take in wild animals, and that she had to hand over the squirrels to be taken to a rehabilitator immediately. Maria had no idea that keeping the squirrels was illegal, and immediately gave them to the Fish and Wildlife authorities.

A few days later, Maria got a ticket in the mail for taking care of the squirrels. When she went to court to plead 'not guilty,' the judge told her that she could face up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. She is due back in court on January 27th for sentencing.

Please sign this petition to demand that the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife stop the unjust prosecution of a woman who did nothing more than show compassion toward two baby animals.

Maria Vaccarella is an animal lover who did not hesitate to help when her neighbor told her about an injured squirrel in his yard. Maria and her husband took the squirrel in, put it in a box in their backyard, and gave it food. They were on the verge of calling the Humane Society when the squirrel gave birth. 

When the mother squirrel abandoned her babies, Maria waited 24 hours before intervening. She fed them and contacted a wildlife rehabilitator who told her to hold on to the baby squirrels until May. Under Maria's care, the babies thrived and quickly became a part of her family. 

Four months after Maria took in the baby squirrels, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife came to her door asking about the squirrels. They told her that it was illegal to take in wild animals, and that she had to hand over the squirrels to be taken to a rehabilitator immediately. Maria had no idea that keeping the squirrels was illegal, and immediately gave them to the Fish and Wildlife authorities.

A few days later, Maria got a ticket in the mail for taking care of the squirrels. When she went to court to plead 'not guilty,' the judge told her that she could face up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. She is due back in court on January 27th for sentencing.

Please stop the unjust prosecution of a woman who did nothing more than show compassion toward two baby animals.

Update #45 months ago
""""TOTAL VICTORY"""", MS. MARIA VACCARELLA AND HER ATTORNEY MS. DORIS LIN, DIRECTOR OF LEGAL AFFAIRS FOR 'THE ANIMAL PROTECTION LEAGUE OF NEW JERSEY', EXITED THE COURTROOM THIS MORNING (2-10-16) WITH TOTAL VICTORY IN HAND ! The courtroom was also filled with a LARGE GROUP of people who showed up in support of Ms. Maria, who I'm sure certainly feels vindicated considering all she did was show compassion toward helpless baby animals.
Update #35 months ago
THERE IS A NEW COURT DATE SCHEDULED FOR THIS WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 10TH @ 9:30 AM - PLEASE KEEP SIGNING, AND IF YOU LIVE NEAR HOWELL, NEW JERSEY PLEASE TRY TO ATTEND - THE ADDRESS IS '300 OLD TAVERN ROAD'. - This Update Is Also A Heartfelt Thank You On Behalf Of Ms. Maria To The More Than 125,000 Good People Who Have Already Signed This Petition.
Update #25 months ago
The Charges Have Not Been Dismissed Against Ms. Maria, And The Hearing Has Been Postponed By The Court, However She Has Acquired Representation From An Animal Rights Attorney. Thank You To Everyone Who Has Signed And Promoted This Petition, And To Those Who Continue To Sign And Share Everywhere. Ms. Maria Definitely Wants Her Day In Court, Because She Doesn't Want Anyone Else To Face This Kind Of Injustice For Showing Compassion Toward A Baby Animal.
Update #16 months ago
URGENT: LESS THAN 10 DAYS BEFORE Ms. Maria Has To Appear In Court To Face Jail And Pay This Outrageous Fine, Please Continue To Share This Petition Everywhere Possible! ---And To Answer Many Of The Comments, 'It Does Seem As Though Most State Wildlife Agencies Want Us To Go Against Our Own Caring Nature, And Simply Leave Orphaned Baby Animals To Perish'. No One On This Earth Should Be PUNISHED For Showing Compassion Toward Sentient Beings
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