Rocky The Bobcat's Owner Has A Date In Court Friday

Owner describes ordeal of trying to get her pet back

Courtesy of www.gofundme.com
Courtesy of www.gofundme.com
by Patricia A. Miller

Sleep has not come easily the last few weeks for Virginia Fine. Her beloved bobcat hybrid "Rocky" went missing from their Bernard Drive home in Stafford on March 25.

Fine was finally able to locate the frightened animal several days ago, in the woods in the Cedar Run section of Stafford. Rocky had bonded with LC - Fine's cat, so she brought the cat to the woods. When the cat meowed, Rocky appeared.

She brought him home. For two hours, Rocky did nothing but purr and head butt Fine and the little cat. Then Fine said she tried to do the right thing. She called Stafford police to tell them Rocky had been found.

Fine said she thought she had an agreement with police that Rocky could remain at home during the days leading up to the court date.

"When I got him back, I was very confused about telling them," she said. "I kind of didn't want to tell them."

The police officer at the other end of the line told Fine they would be there in an hour to remove him from the home.

"I lost it," she recalled.

She decided not to let police into the house to retrieve Rocky.

"After everything he's been through, I wasn't ready to have him chased through the house," she said. "He was missing and that was enough. He's here with his family."

Fine managed to get Rocky into the carrier. Popcorn Park Zoo director  John Bergmann took him to Popcorn Park in Lacey Township, where he has been ever since.

Bergmann - who has nothing to do with the legal proceedings - said he was asked to take Rocky by Stafford police. He agreed.

"I felt bad," he said. "I didn't want him to go too far away from the area."

Rocky seems to be calming down after a few days at the Lacey facility. He is eating chicken and liver, Bergmann said.

"He's a little shy with people and new things," he said. He's not very comfortable with them yet. It's a change for him. He's in a different atmosphere.

Fine must have an enclosed area for the cat, so he cannot get out again, police have told her. The court date is slated for 1 p.m. on Friday.

Stafford Township Capt. Thomas Dellane told the Asbury Park Press the township doesn't have any problems with Fine owning the bobcat.

"She’s legally allowed to have it, but the only issue is that she doesn’t let it run at large,” he said.

Anyone interested in donating towards the cost of the pen and Fine's legal fees can do visit Rocky’s fund can visit the campaign “Bring Rocky Home” at http://www.gofundme.com/85uhhk .

One woman who called Fine offered to pay for the entire cost of the enclosure. That was until they learned the cost of a pen could range as high as $6,000, which Fine said was too much.

She has contacted a local landscaping company, who estimated the cost of building supplies would run around $600. Although one worker said the firm would build it for free, that is not in writing, Fine said.

Fine is hoping to have work on the enclosure start very soon.

"I want to take pictures so I can hand them to the judge and say "We are working on it," she said.

FIMF the ll April 10, 2014 at 03:50 PM
Do these cat burglars make the same requirements when dogs are on the loose?
Col Von Vapors April 10, 2014 at 03:57 PM
Only when the dog is a Wolf!!!
Sarah Cathrine April 10, 2014 at 04:39 PM
Horrible!!! Let her have her baby back!!!
HomeOtTheBrave April 11, 2014 at 12:16 AM
Stafford Police: don't you have better things to do? Your officers make 6 figure salaries and most of the things they deal with are petty in nature. I agree with the reasoning "Officers are paid for what they may have to do". No one can pay you enough to put your life on the line, but taking someone's pet cat? Really? Nice job Captain Dumbass, I see the Stafford Police Department is really protecting and serving.. Here is the funny thing about most cops, they have no problem stripping you of your freedoms, but put them in your shoes and the response is something along the lines of: "they won't take me down without a fight". So while this low IQ Captain orders his men to confiscate a cat, I'm willing to bet he probably would never allow someone to enter his home and take his pet.. Not without a fight at least. Hypocrites everywhere..


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