A New Jersey woman accused of hoarding 300 dead birds in her home appeared at her sentencing Friday with feathers in her hair.
Gretchen Rell Rochkovsky, 57, will not serve any jail time after she pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges on July 28. In March more than 300 animals, mostly birds, were dead found in her Silver home. In addition to birds, investigators found rabbits, turtles, mice, opposums and other mammals that could not be identified because they were in such an advance state of decay. Most corpses found in cages, stacked from the floor to the ceiling.
Superior Court Judge John R. Tassini sentenced the former volunteer at the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to five years probation during which time she cannot own or take in any animals, the Courier-Post reported.
He ordered Rell Rochkovsky to perform 30 hours of community service and comply with all recommendations stemming from a psychiatric evaluation.
Judge Tassini asked if she wanted to address the court and she said she wanted to clarify a point the assistant prosecutor had made. She then burst into laughter.
Her attorney rushed to her side. They exchanged words and then she told the judge, “I have decided on the advice of the attorney not to have any comments to say."
As Rell Rochkovsky left the courthouse, a reporter asked her about the feathers in her hair.
“They’re synthetic,” she responded.
Prior to the sentencing, the program director of Animal Protection League of New Jersey, Janine Motta confronted Rell Rochkovsky at the courthouse.
"You will get yours, Gretchen, for all those animals you killed, including that little bird that you killed," Motta said.
Image screenshot: YouTube