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Judge rules bobcat can return to woman’s home on one condition

Posted at 3:00 PM, Sep 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-18 15:07:23-04


STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, NJ — A New Jersey woman has been reunited with her pet bobcat after a judge ruled she can keep the animal in her home.

The judge said Ginny Fine can once again keep “Rocky” on one condition: She must get her Stafford Township home renovated, including adding a special enclosure to her front door.

This  comes after the 38-pound hybrid pet escaped from Fine’s home five times in three years. The big cat broke out of his pen in March and was on the run for 12 days. When he returned home, animal control officers seized “Rocky” and took him to the Popcorn Park Zoo.

A judge allowed the animal to come home, but then he broke out at least twice in July. That was the last straw for the judge, who ordered “Rocky” back to the zoo.

“There are at least six instances we know of where Rocky has been running at large,” Municipal Court Judge Damian Murray said. “The community has had enough. The neighbors have had enough.”


But Fine said that Rocky, who she said is more domesticated house cat than wild animal, does not pose a threat to neighbors.

“He has never ever hurt anybody or done anything to anyone,” Fine said.

That said, Fine reported that she has added an eight feet high covered enclosure outside her home to ensure the part bobcat/Maine Coon cat remains at home.

The Asbury Park Press reported that Fine pleaded guilty to one count of letting an animal run at large. Fine had to repay the Popcorn Park Zoo $448 for keeping him as well as a $250 fine and $33 in court fees.

Additionally, Fine had to agree to give up “Rocky” if he manages to escape again.