A N.J. man has been arrested in connection with shooting and killing squirrels in his backyard. If convicted, he could face six months of jail time.
According to Fox News, the man was arrested on an animal cruelty charge after he allegedly shot several squirrels on his property and then hung them out on a fence.
The homeowner, who has been identified as Richard Baird, was frustrated that the squirrels were entering his house through a hole. When patching the hole was not effective, he took to his BB gun as a solution, along with some peanut butter smeared on a tree as the bait.
A neighbor reportedly called the local board of health with an animal cruelty complaint.
“He was taking them out on by one,” Det. Lt. James Sarnicki. “He was frustrated that he couldn’t keep the squirrels out of his house and he took matters into his own hands.”
Police found several squirrel carcasses hanging on a backyard fence. Authorities are unclear as to why the homeowner did this, but are thinking it was intended to be a deterrent.
“My theory is maybe he wanted the dead bodies to send a message to other squirrels not to trespass on his property,” Sarnicki told Fox News Radio. “That’s my theory.”
Authorities are not looking to harshly punish the man, however Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka said the message for Linden residents is “you shouldn’t take matters into your own hands.”
The mayor noted calling animal control is a better option.
If convicted, Baird, 49, could face up to $1,000 fine, serve community service at an animal shelter and a possible six months in jail, reported CBS News.