NJ woman fights to get pet bobcat back

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - April 10, 2014

Pet lover Ginny Fine of Beach Haven West is missing her legally owned, 3-year-old hybrid bobcat 'Rocky' who is being cared for right now at the Popcorn Park Zoo.

Animal control officers seized Rocky when he recently returned home after escaping for the second time in six months.

"People hear 'bobcat loose" and it was frightening,'" said Fine.

Fine says Rocky, half bobcat and half Maine coon cat, is neutered, declawed and decidedly domesticated.

"He's not scary. He is very sweet, very loving. He honestly is like a big house cat," said Fine.

"One of the problems with the cat escaping and getting out is because it is declawed it couldn't defend itself," said John Bergmann, Popcorn Park Zoo.

With help from an anonymous donor, and at the township's insistence, Fine is planning to replace, enlarge and better secure a special pen built for Rocky in the backyard.

"So long as she constructs the enclosure, keeps the cat in that enclosure and prevents it from getting loose again in the future, we have no objection to the cat going back to her," said Captain Tom Dellane, Stafford Township Police.

They've never seen him, but neighbors Lily and Bonito Sanchez couldn't believe Rocky the bobcat weighs in at 38 pounds.

"That's big, pretty big! Don't mind as long as she keeps it in the house," said Bonito.

"I just want to do whatever the township wants me to do to conform to whatever it is they are saying needs to be done to get him back home," said Fine.

Fine has a hearing in municipal court on Friday and is hoping the judge will okay the plan to let Rocky return home.

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