Sen. Gopal Introduces Legislation Defending Wildlife Rehabilitators

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - In response to a case where State regulators attempted to fine a Howell woman for taking care of two baby squirrels abandoned by their mother, State Senator Vin Gopal introduced legislation (S-3829) that would protect New Jersey residents from liability for providing temporary care to injured wildlife after making a good-faith effort to contact a licensed rehabilitator.

“I’m glad to see our State agencies working to make sure that at-risk wildlife is well-equipped to survive in its natural habitat, but this was clearly a case where the State was overzealous, and needed to step back and accept the net-beneficial and well-meaning actions of a Good Samaritan,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch). 

“By all accounts, the woman who fed and sheltered these helpless infant squirrels was more than happy to comply with all requests and regulations once the Department of Environmental Protection made its objections known. It’s ludicrous to take any person to court over this, and, quite frankly, our hardworking State employees have better cases to spend their time on.”