Just when you thought New Jersey couldn’t get weirder, it did.
Out in Mays Landing lies the Funny Farm, which is home to over 600 rescued animals.
The Funny Farm is a magical oasis for both animals and Laurie Zaleski, who began rescuing almost 22 years ago.
This lifestyle was one that Laurie had not planned for, as she moved to the woods alongside her mother and siblings to escape her violent father. The farm was initially a symbol of freedom and security, something she and her family had been lacking for years.
Shortly after the move, Zaleski’s mother began rescuing animals, all of which became members of the family.
As Zaleski grew comfortable living alongside so many animals, she promised her mother that one day she’d own a farm. Her mother passed two weeks before she settled on the property, but that didn’t stop her from building the farm.
Zaleski has always been a firm believer that every animal has its own story, and she wanted to give as many animals as she could the opportunity to continue on its own. In her house alone she has 11 dogs, a chicken and a lamb.
Zalenski makes it a point to learn every medical detail of each animal that she rescues. That way she can fulfill their needs until they die.
Whether an animal has six weeks to live or six years, Zalenski treats each the same—with love, compassion and physical care. She also has opened her 15-acre farm to the public, and anyone is welcome to visit on Tuesdays and Sundays. She also has partnered with many schools and often brings animals into the classroom to promote kindness to students, sharing the stories of each animal.
Zaleski also has written a book entitled, “Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life With 600 Rescue Animals” for those who want to learn more. Now tell me you won’t be stopping by the funny farm next time you’re in the area! Or even making a special trip!
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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