Friday

A judge sentenced a woman to 15 days in jail for freeing a crying cub from a bear trap.

Municipal Court Judge James Devine sentenced Catherine McCartney, 50, on Thursday, NJ.com reported. McCartney, who has a record of arrests related to bear hunt protests, pleaded guilty to obstructing “the administration of law and the prevention of the lawful taking of wildlife”.

McCartney, a dedicated animal rights activist, plans to appeal the sentence, relating to the incident in in Vernon, New Jersey.

In a statement she read in court, McCartney said she did not regret her decision in rescuing the bear cub from the painful trap.

“These animals are innocent and so I made the moral decision to let the bear go so he could run back to his mother, and it was the right thing to do,” she said.

The incident in question took place in October in a condominium complex. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said it installed two culvert traps inside the complex campus to capture a bear—known as “Momma Bear” by activists—following two incidents with residents. None of these incidents resulted in injury.


Mark Nagelhout, who helped McCartney free the cub, also plead guilty to the same charges. However, he did not receive a jail sentence since this was his first offence.

Both defendants were also fined $1,316.
Source

Responses to "Woman sentenced to jail for freeing crying bear cub from trap in New Jersey"

  1. My heroine!

  2. Have they ever thought of a live trap?

  3. Unknown says:

    Is this another act of STUPID... she frees a baby bear cub and she is arrested..WTH is that. The wildlife officers would rather her just leave the baby there crying..??? come on ..is there something in the water or air up there that destroys common sense..just wondering.

  4. Unknown says:

    she's my new hero <3

  5. Omg....this is so f***ed up. What is the world coming to 😥. I would do exactly the same in her position.

  6. Unknown says:

    God bless her.

  7. Unknown says:

    I would of done the same thing,and shame on that judge,the animals of the world don't stand a chance anymore.

  8. chamane44 says:

    NJ be ashamed...

  9. Kim says:

    What a despicable act of injustice on the part of this judge. This woman should be applauded, and whoever set this trap instead of a live trap, should be the one in jail. I hope he or she gets their leg caught in one of these torture devises!! Such evil, heartless people in the world, today!!

  10. Unknown says:

    Judge should have been more creative in his sentencing.
    Maybe give her community service time.

    Or maybe give her two days in jail and an official award for human compassion for a trapped animal.

  11. PipsKay says:

    wow, that's disgusting, going to jail, for doing the kind and right thing..I would have done the exact same thing!

  12. Unknown says:

    All of us have to step up and save the life of animal even if it means jail time.

  13. Unknown says:

    There is NO ROOM on our CHIMPOIDALLY overpopulated planet for Nature-haters, which is what ALL politicians seem to be, and, apparently, not a few judges, either. "Respect EXISTENCE - or expect RESISTANCE !!" >:(

  14. susan says:

    May God Bless You There Is A place In HAVEN For You. Thank You.

  15. Unknown says:

    Just another example of our totally screwed up legal system that will arrest a person who is compassionate and kind hearted towards helpless animals yet the real criminals get away with murder!!!

  16. And would that morally corrupt IDIOT judge have left a CHILD who may have become trapped to cry and suffer AS WELL??? Or are only WHITE MALE HUNTERS the privileged ones to walk this planet and decide who dies??? FUCK THEM ALL - put them ALL in one of those traps, and WALK AWAY......VERY VERY FAR AWAY.....

  17. great person deserves kudos not punishment

  18. Unknown says:

    Courts are bastions for tyranny and extortion

  19. pat says:

    WTG...a baby in pain, scared and hurting and you set it free....Yes!!!

  20. Erich says:

    Very good of her, more active than I am, hate to admit

  21. she should have just worn a mask and did it and ran leaving behind people to wonder just who that masked person was...? Kingasabi

  22. Sheila says:

    She is a hero and the kind of human who will continue to make this a better world for good humans and the planet by looking out for all its sentient beings, regardless of the cost. This is what heroes do....they don't back down...they do the moral thing that improves the quality of life for all. Shame on those who put a trap that causes great pain to an animal. Animals are suffering at the hands of humans who have lost their way and see themselves as more valuable and important to the earth. It will be humans who destroy the planet. Everyday the animals lose a little more. Humans see them as something to eat, something to wear, something that is a nuisance to them, something that must be murdered for a great pic to post on facebook for their trophy hunt, for a competition of some sort that always makes them look "good". As an educator, I will tell my students about this woman and her friend who did the right thing for a young animal that impacted no one but the animal and the mother bear. Yet, she was arrested and put in jail to appease those who find it wrong to help animals when they need it. More and more animals are coming to houses where people live (foxes, coyotes, bears, cougars, lynx, raccoons, etc) looking for something to eat, a place to rest that is safe from forest fires, hunters in the forest, other predators because they instinctively know that humans will help in some way. It is a risk but they have been found in parts of the homes sleeping in a corner and when found, run away. Humans continue to exercise great caution in these circumstances but most don't turn a deaf ear or refuse to help They leave a water source and some food. We can live that way on this planet. We don't have to kill them, take them away from their families. The animal population is in great decline due to humans. We take their habitats for our large impressive homes and squeeze them to the edges. I and others truly respect this woman and man for what they did. My father, a very wealthy man before he passed away, did the same for animals. When he came across a man beating his dog. He stopped him by his quiet demand and when met with arrogance and profanity he told the man, "you are not leaving with the dog, you don't deserve him. Now you can give him to me or you can sell him to me but that is the only way that is going down". The man sold him to my dad for a reasonable amount of money. My dad told him, Now I own all the conoco service stations in this county. If I ever see you with another dog, I will take him from you too. You can't be trusted to treat them right. You have my word". I believe that we have too many humans who are dysfunctional and militantly stupid....they will kill, trash, and pollute this planet to being uninhabitable. Please stand behind the good needed humans and support then. They are all the animals and other life have.

  23. Nana says:

    as long as the bear was going to be released outside of the city. When they start coming into residential areas it becomes a problem for other animals and humans and for the bear!!! they depend on food that is found and become a used to humans ...if it hurts a human or someones pet then guess what happens..... i would sooner see the bear trapped this way and released than shot!

  24. Hero. Any responsible citizen should do likewise.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The person who set the trap should be put in jail. In fact, that person should be hanged. I'm sick to death of the protection given to scum in this country, especially scum who hurt and kill animals. Enough is enough. Time to clean house and send these people to prison. Or better yet, send them all to hell.

  26. StuRoss says:

    Well done young lady!

  27. Unknown says:

    That's total bull s***! The jerk that set the trap should be hung, we should protect our wildlife, not kill it. The law is totally blind to do this to people protecting wildlife

  28. Unknown says:

    This is so sick she should get a reward

  29. Anonymous says:

    Traps that harm or maim should be against the law...people that harm or maim animals need prison time...make the laws that benefit the animals not the humans! I thank this woman with all my heart, and I am ashamed of the judge who sentenced her.

  30. Anonymous says:

    You people are dumb as dirt. A simple google search would show you that a "culvert trap" is totally 100% humane! You all are crying like dopes because all you want to do is yell at the bad men trapping bears....THAT ARE ENGAGING WITH PEOPLE IN A CONDO COMPLEX! You know what happens when some kid tries to pet the baby bear, right? So, how do you bleeding hearts propose to relocate the bear and it's cub? Thoughts and Prayers? But of course none of you used your elementary reading skills beyond the title, before commenting did you? Riiiight.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=culvert+trap&client=firefox-b-1-d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiU3-bg_PTjAhWbPM0KHfdrCqkQ_AUIESgC&biw=2048&bih=1016&dpr=1.25

  31. Anonymous says:

    Traps that are painful and harm animals should be illegal and not in existence!!! Psychos who abuse or kill animals should be WIPED off the planet while their loser parents watch!! Then their parents should be fined and donate the money to animal organizations!! This world sucks because theres no justice for animals and theres too many scumbag animal abusers/killers who are allowed to get a slap on the hand when they should be killed! And the nice empathetic lady who frees the poor cub is the one who gets jail time and a fine??!! Thats fn backwards!! Theres way too many corrupt psychos and its disgusting!! This lady and the guy who helped her are heros and they shouldnt be in trouble!! This stupid world is so fkd up!!!!

  32. Dyan says:

    This is total bull crap.....good for her and the guy to free this poor animal....thank you!!! These traps should be outlawed!!

  33. JoRiz says:

    I am still sitting on the fence here, not sure if I understand everything that happened. Was the mother in the vicinity of this baby cub? That being said I can understand the dangers that Bears have when they start mingling with people it can get very dangerous and I can understand how this can hinder trying to control the bear population it's like what they do in Yellowstone national park you really can't feed the bears or you are going to cause hell later on...

  34. Anonymous says:

    But @JoRiz Yellowstone Nat'l Park traps them humanely in a live wagon type trap the bear gets up and in. They then fly them up high in the mountain away from the camp grounds. way different than what this group of trappers did - which was inhumane and the bear would of probably chewed its paw off or the mother would have and the baby would of died because of it.

  35. Wuppy says:

    Culvert bear traps are live traps. They are usually set so nuisance animals can be trapped and relocated.

  36. Carol says:

    I SUPPORT THIS WOMEN & HER FRIEND WHO FREED THIS BABY BEAR CUB, I THINK IT IS CRUEL & BARBARIC TO TRAP THESE ANIMALS IN THESE TRAPS IF YOU CAN'T LIVE AMONG THE ANIMALS THEN MOVE THESE ANIMALS GREEDY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYING ALL THE NATURAL HABITAT FOR THESE ANIMALS YOU MAKE ME SICK!

  37. New Jersey law sucks!!!! Great state but the government SUCKS!! Vote Republican on November 5th...!!!

  38. Unknown says:

    ik zou juist hetzelfde doen,een pluim voor die mensen

  39. Anonymous says:

    At first, I thought I would do the same thing, let the baby go, it's stuck/hurt... read on... CULVERT TRAP... Culvert traps ARE humane. There were 2 set out... Mom & baby, 2 traps... I live in Montana, this is the safe, humane way to relocate bear. She should NOT have interfered. Now the chances of Momma and Baby being safely caught and relocated are slim - they are not going to go anywhere near one of them anytime soon. Instead of helping, they may have cost them their lives. Look up Culvert Traps... they are humane

  40. Humans are disgusting. If they aren't murdering innocent animals that have done them no harm some of these disgusting Humans will literally murder their own child that is growing inside them. This government is disgusting. Why are people hunting bears anyways? Bears don't really cause harm to Humans unless they perceive you as a threat.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I dont understand this world. How could any person walk past a baby crying and do nothing. Humans have destroyed wild life for as long as we have been here. Losing creatures to extinction due to selfish careless acts we as humans have made. We need to protect what's here. We need to support and love the creatures who also obtain this earth. We do not own this world. There are very few people who feel as we should protect our earth's creatures. Not destroy it

  42. Unknown says:

    Thank you for freeing the poor baby

  43. Unknown says:

    That woman did the right thing and shouldn't be punished for it. I would of done the same thing. Them stupid NJ trappers should know better than to trap an innocent baby cub that can't do any harm. The stupid trappers should be the one going to jail.

  44. George says:

    The bear was in a live trap. Now this cub without its mom will never get the care it needs at a rehab center. We all know this cub won't live thought the winter.

  45. Unknown says:

    Should of left people's shit alone it's called hunter harassment people it is against the law and it will get you ads tossed in jail

  46. Me says:

    At least there’s still some good people in the world. I like to think I’d do the same thing. Poor baby.

  47. The zombies mimic to appear as humans, policemen and politicians and some other monsters of the day by day life do you remember "They live" by John Carpenter?. However in the future bears can see them in jail and if someone try to free them, that someone will be in jail too. it ís a question of time.

  48. We are surrealist artists and this ios something awful to be without an action. Please let us know about this woman and friend and all the acts.

  49. Doris says:

    On appeal, her guilty plea for the criminal offense was vacated so she got no jail time. Her fine on the fish & wildlife charge was reduced, and former US Senator Bob Torricelli paid her fine.

  50. Shar says:

    Maybe someone should trap this Judge. How anyone can trap animals is beyond me.

  51. Unknown says:

    Folks are missing the part of the article where it explains that "mama bear" was frequenting a condo. Two culvert type (Safe alive catch traps) were set hoping to capture her and remove her from that area. Now thanks to that woman the baby has been "freed" and is back with it's mother raiding garbage containers and such. Mama will likely end up having to be shot as she's a danger to children and small animals in the Condo area. The baby will either get trapped again or will also end up being shot. It WAS NOT A LEG HOLD TRAP!! As I said, people need to read the article!

  52. Shame on the courts. I would’ve done the same thing. Locking up people who have morals, the jails might be a better place to live than the streets here soon.

  53. Stupid as shit she needs to be let go

  54. Anonymous says:

    kinda' odd that there are two sides to this story in the same blurb.

    Culvert traps are also considered humane. This large pipe-shaped device operates like a cage trap and is designed to move a bear or mountain lion. In truth, any device that captures and holds an animal can be inhumane.Feb 12, 2014

  55. Cm says:

    Holy crap you are all insane. Having lived in Sussex county nj most of my life i can say that these lunatics are the worst of the worst. The tap they use is called a culvert tap. It's a giant tube. It's 100% humane and is used for catch and release to a less populated area. This woman is psycho, she's from the city and every year comes up to Sussex to push her agenda or views on people that live in bear country. If you haven't ever walked out of your house to come face to face with a bear, watched as a bear killed a fawn from your living room window, mmy neighbor down the road lost his kids pony to a bear, or worried about your kid walking to the bus stop you shouldn't have a say in this. If people would stop wanting newer, bigger houses leading to the destruction of wildlife habitat so these yuppies could have their damn mcmansions we wouldn't be in this position. But as it stands, bears have no natural predator so no way to control their population. And with the constant loss of habitat encounters with humans is inevitable. It's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. So really, do a little mindful reflecting. If you don't live in bear country you shouldn't have an opinion on the matter.

  56. Unknown says:

    Thank Goodness for people like this, who care about the wildlife. All power to you. Well done, Heroes!

  57. Anonymous says:

    She reunited a scared baby back to his/her mother. Thank you for doing the compassionate thing.

    @Cm: While I don't live in prime bear habitat (because humans have driven bears into the mountains), I DO have an option on this matter. Its part of "my" ecosystem and planet as well and I try to protect the health and biodiversity, which includes native wildlife.

    And if people are that scared of nature and cannot stomach a bear killing a fawn, maybe its time to move to the city. Bear's gotta eat and cannot distinguish a pet (pony) from his natural diet.

    Protect our native wildlife!

  58. Nachty says:

    They were using Culvert Traps. Those are live traps, its a huge tube with food and water in it. This wasn't out in the woods, it was in the city. Sucks that it was separated from the mother but it sounds like the Mother wasn't there anyways so if they can catch them, they can release them back to the same area of forest.

    https://www.wildlifecontrolsupplies.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/Culvert_Bear_Trap_Open_1000px_540x360.jpg

  59. Unknown says:

    ..she's a hero.. i would have done the same...

  60. davisrs says:

    It was a humane culvert trap used to relocate bears further to the wilderness. Idiot got what she deserved.🤣

  61. Anonymous says:

    Catherine McCartney, you are a hero! Thank you for freeing that defenseless, innocent bear cub. To Judge James Devine, and the asshole that set the trap, you should be ashamed of yourselves and YOU should be the ones in jail. You're inhumane and have NO Heart in your cruel-minded body.

  62. Unknown says:

    Please don't back down

  63. Sombra says:

    Is it even illegal to free a wild animal from a trap what was the charge?

  64. Anonymous says:

    Lol good go to jail. Stop fucking with people trying to do their job. Or better yet get yourself a real job. These lesbian activists are out of control!

  65. Unknown says:

    Since the trap obviously wasn't a live trap the conservation officers should have been charged with animal cruelty, I agree that wildlife coming into populated areas is an issue but be humane about trapping and relocating them.

  66. Judges need judging, and harshly. She gets my vote.

  67. Anonymous says:

    This state is clearly trash. Shame on all who live there for allowing this to happen.

  68. Unknown says:


    Congratulations and respect to them! We must unite, across all continents, to stop these massacres, these tortures! Money has made man so mad that he sets fire to his own house, the Earth, and martyrises his brothers the animals.

  69. Unknown says:

    She did the right thing! And what they did to her is absurd!! Are you kidding me. Free all the babies I say!!

  70. This is insane. Is the judge living in the real world? How can anyone be fined or imprisoned for releasing an animal that has been callously trapped in a trap.
    It was a baby for gods sakes!
    America for goodness sakes get rid of these stupid decision makers please.

  71. Unknown says:

    Pisses me off big time!!!

  72. Unknown says:

    This women is a hero in my book, torture for a baby cub is unthinkable, if they wanted mama bear removed from the area, there are live traps and tranquilizer guns to safely take mama and babys where they belong, not something to torture a little baby-assholes

  73. Anonymous says:

    Or you all the blinded, delusional folk that want Bernie as a president?? I'm assuming such. You barely do any research on even the trap that was used. Those traps are handle be QUALIFIED personnel. It's used in place with tranquilizer rifles. But when an animal of that to is near a compex!? And you let it go. Wtf do you think is going to happen? You dumbasses. The mother bear tends to be close by to the cub. Hence, if the mother bear feels the cub is in danger. Near a large group of people. HUMANS WILL DIE!!BUT you idiots thinking she is a good damn hereo are ignorant as hell. Up here, where we actually hunt! I'm pretty sure we know more then you dumb ass activists who don't know two shits about hunting to begin with. Bears are extremely dangerous. They are very territorial and protective of their Cubs. So when you have one in such a close proximity to a mass collection of humans.. DONT FUCK WITH THE TRAPS! You idiots just want to see the animal free. Yet you don't think about the countless human lives that could be fatally wounded in result to HER DUMBASS TAMPERING WITH A SPECIALLY DESIGNED TRAP. This bitch literally went out of her way to disarm a state planted trap... But your fucking snowflakes. OH, how about when a species gets too populated.. for instance boars. And guess what? They take place in reducing the population because of A SERIOUS THREAT to all humans. Shut the fuck up you good damn ignorant ass sesnitive little snowflakes. Stop trying think your even making a difference. You lack even a fraction of knowledge to make your claims and assumptions even close to a compelling argument.

  74. Unknown says:

    Asshole cops got no sense. They can get promoted for advancement for doing better. But no they do the stupid thing. The should call the supervisor Sargent to do the call shot. Let his ass either get promo or depromo.

  75. Unknown says:

    Bloody idiots in America!!!! Thank god someone had some decency

  76. Anonymous says:

    You know it was a humane tube trap, with room to move, food and water. They were waiting for the mother bear to enter the second trap where they will then be moved away from the area so that the bears and people living in the complex are safe and can go on living. If it were a traditional bear trap, yea the messed up but it wasn't. She's lucky she wasn't killed going near the baby bear in the trap if the mother had been close by.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Jails are for murderers, rapists, child abusers, violent offenders...not someone trying to save a life. This is ridiculous...good for her for doing what was right!

  78. My Hero!!! YES!!!

  79. Edie King says:

    Everything saSheila says:
    22:36
    She is a hero and the kind of human who will continue to make this a better world for good humans and the planet by looking out for all its sentient beings, regardless of the cost. This is what heroes do....they don't back down...they do the moral thing that improves the quality of life for all. Shame on those who put a trap that causes great pain to an animal. Animals are suffering at the hands of humans who have lost their way and see themselves as more valuable and important to the earth. It will be humans who destroy the planet. Everyday the animals lose a little more. Humans see them as something to eat, something to wear, something that is a nuisance to them, something that must be murdered for a great pic to post on facebook for their trophy hunt, for a competition of some sort that always makes them look "good". As an educator, I will tell my students about this woman and her friend who did the right thing for a young animal that impacted no one but the animal and the mother bear. Yet, she was arrested and put in jail to appease those who find it wrong to help animals when they need it. More and more animals are coming to houses where people live (foxes, coyotes, bears, cougars, lynx, raccoons, etc) looking for something to eat, a place to rest that is safe from forest fires, hunters in the forest, other predators because they instinctively know that humans will help in some way. It is a risk but they have been found in parts of the homes sleeping in a corner and when found, run away. Humans continue to exercise great caution in these circumstances but most don't turn a deaf ear or refuse to help They leave a water source and some food. We can live that way on this planet. We don't have to kill them, take them away from their families. The animal population is in great decline due to humans. We take their habitats for our large impressive homes and squeeze them to the edges. I and others truly respect this woman and man for what they did. My father, a very wealthy man before he passed away, did the same for animals. When he came across a man beating his dog. He stopped him by his quiet demand and when met with arrogance and profanity he told the man, "you are not leaving with the dog, you don't deserve him. Now you can give him to me or you can sell him to me but that is the only way that is going down". The man sold him to my dad for a reasonable amount of money. My dad told him, Now I own all the conoco service stations in this county. If I ever see you with another dog, I will take him from you too. You can't be trusted to treat them right. You have my word". I believe that we have too many humans who are dysfunctional and militantly stupid....they will kill, trash, and pollute this planet to being uninhabitable. Please stand behind the good needed humans and support then. They are all the animals and other life have.id here;

  80. Unknown says:

    Your an angel!

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