Charges tossed out against Howell ‘Squirrel Mom’
Charges were dropped against Howell's "squirrel mom" on a technicality on Wednesday.
NJ Advance Media reported that a judge determined that Maria Vaccarella, who took in two baby squirrels after their mother abandoned them was charged using the wrong statute and dismissed the charges. "The summons as written does not charge an offense and therefore the court will dismiss," Municipal Court Judge James Newman said in his decision, according to the news site.
Outside the courthouse Vaccarella said that if she had to go through the ordeal again she would. "I would definitely save a life again. A life is a life."
Vaccarella was charged with illegally having wildlife in her home by the New Jersey Dept. of Fish and Wildlife who took the critters from her home. DEP agents issued the tickets that included $500 in fines.
In an online petition, Maria Vaccarella wrote that she took in a scared squirrel that was not walking or moving around the Fourth of July. She and her husband put the female squirrel in a box and fed it until the squirrel gave birth to four babies, two of which survived, she wrote.
She kept the pair she named George and Lola in hopes their mother would come back, Vaccarella wrote. After consulting with a rehabilitator Vaccarella decided to keep the pair through the winter, according to her petition.