HOWELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Charges against a New Jersey woman who nursed two abandoned baby squirrels back to health have been dropped on a technicality.

Maria Vaccarella, of Howell, had faced up to $500 in fines after she took in a pair of baby squirrels abandoned by their mother.

Vaccarella told CBS2 she took in the baby squirrels after their mother abandoned them on her property. The family named the squirrels George and Lola, and used social media to document the rehab, which caught the attention of state Fish and Wildlife officials.

“‘We saw a picture on Facebook’ and asked, ‘Do you have squirrels?’” Vaccarella told CBS2’s Dave Carlin when she was first charged. “I said, ‘Yes I have squirrels, yes I do. Would you like to come in and see them? All they said is, ‘I cannot keep the squirrels — fine by me!”

She was charged with illegally being in possession of wildlife in July.

A judge dismissed the charges after finding that the summons she was issued didn’t charge her with the correct offense.

Vaccarella says she had no idea what she was doing was against the law. She says she “would definitely save a life again.”

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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