NEW JERSEY – As the second year with COVID and other challenges draws to a close, let’s take a few moments to reflect on some of the things that made us smile.
Among the highlights of 2021 are the animals and the stories about the humans that help them.
From puppies plucked from ‘death row for dogs’, to swans and fawns rescued, to the birth of a lazy baby, to cats and kittens who literally gave engines their ‘purr’, to first responders saving a range of critters, buzzing cicadas and many more, here are some unforgettable animal stories in 2021.
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‘Chunk’ takes a bath
It wasn’t just another day on Barnegat Bay on June 22 when New Jersey State Police received a report of a dog swimming in the bay. About two weeks earlier, on June 7, the human family of “Chunk”, a 3-year-old golden retriever, reported her missing. In posters and social media posts about Chunk, his family warned he was nervous. It took the common sense of two State Troopers, Ryan Koehler and Vincent Ferdinandi, to catch up with Chunk by police ship, creating a happy family reunion.
Firefighters dive into third river to save puppy
Another story about a pooch trying to swim was in the Nutley area, with Nutley firefighters wading through the Third River to pick up a fleeing dog. This orphaned puppy got loose from his collar on the way to his foster home. When firefighters encountered him, he was trapped near the Chestnut Street Bridge. Although one might think he would be happy to see his rescuers, he bit two of them on the fingers. Fortunately, he was up to date with his vaccines and they reunited him with his caretaker.
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New Jersey Fawn Rescue Dive is TikTok Sensation
Here’s another story with a stray creature, this time a fawn in a Toms River lagoon. On July 3, Chad and Cara Wallace noticed a fawn, its spots still on its coat, struggling to swim in a lagoon adjacent to a graduation party they attended. After emptying his pockets and removing his shirt, Chad Wallace, who lives in Ringwood with his wife and three sons, working full time while raising ducks, dove in to help. After a slight struggle, he stepped out with the baby, all captured on video, earning 7 million views on TikTok, with the crowd cheering him on overjoyed as he saved the fawn. The even bigger ending of the story is that they reunited baby with mum, who was in a corner of the woods near the lagoon, frantically searching for him, another video-worthy moment.
Swan dives into the afternoon ride
Unlike Chunk who wasn’t supposed to be in the bay or the other third river dog, in another direction of the state, a swan was out of his element as well. Thought to have been separated from his companion, a FedEx driver reported that a stranded swan was on Route 22 on an average September afternoon in Bridgewater. Animal control officer Jesse Ostrowski and shelter director Brian Bradshaw of the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter approached her in a daring rescue, cornering her and ultimately taking her in the net, the effort in the video shown below. The swan’s rescuers transferred her to a nearby pond.
The hawks gave a helping hand
Why four injured hawks fell in Chatham’s backyards has remained a mystery, with residents alerting the police department in June. Chatham Township Police Chief Thomas Miller said the hawks may each have eaten a poisoned rodent, but authorities remained with questions. Patroller Sean Lampf, however, gained hands-on experience helping hawks, literally learning how to deal with them, handing them over to the Raptor Trust, a bird rescue in Long Hill Township.
First baby sloth born at Turtle Back Zoo
Births are always special to celebrate and at Turtle Back Zoo in Essex County it was no different when a two-toed Linneaus sloth (Choloepus didactylus) appeared in the world in June. The lazy little girl, who needed bottle-feeding every two hours for her first two weeks of life, was taken to the zoo’s animal shelter for additional fluids. The baby was to join his parents, Boysenberry and Tayberry, to become “an animal ambassador of his kind”.
Lemonade & Cookie Fundraiser Benefits Pets
A pair of Long Valley siblings, one of whom was only seven, were eager to help raise money for animal rescue. After watching a YouTube video on building a lemonade stand, Jessica Catalano said her sons, Sullivan and Tobin teamed up for the project, along with their father, Rob, and then used the stand in July to collect funds for Eleventh Hour Rescue. The boys, their mother said, had a rescued kitten at home, along with their dog, rescued from India. At the end of the day, the brothers raised $ 50 by selling lemonade and cookies made by their mother, with their parents matching the donation, while the rescue raised $ 275 by hosting a social media fundraiser. for them.
Cranky Morris Plains Shelter Chihuahua becomes a star
He had a pretty name, “Prancer” and a pretty face, but Prancer hated everyone except women. Arriving at the Second Chance Pet Adoption League “obese, dressed in a cashmere sweater, with a bacon egg and cheese” in his crate, the rescue described the dog as “too terrified to have a personality.” “I am convinced at this point that he is not a real dog, but rather a vessel for a traumatized Victorian child who now haunts our house,” they also wrote. Prancer’s story has made HuffPost, BuzzFeed and Today the little Chihuahua so intriguing to many who have seen Tyfanee Fortuna, his foster mother, attempt to squeeze him out of his shell.
Man jams with cicadas
While the return of the Brood X Cicadas annoyed some with their melodies, Professor David Rothenberg was waiting for them. After warming up his clarinet for their arrival in New Jersey, he has already traveled to Ohio and Illinois to jam with them. “Once you hear the sounds of nature in the form of music, it becomes even more beautiful and alive,” he told Patch.
Missing dog avoids couple’s honeymoon but gives thanks
Luba and Ira from Ridgewood were preparing for their honeymoon in Tahiti in November, when plans changed after their pooch “Presley” went missing. Their dog sitter in Jersey City told them their one-year-old furry baby escaped from his harness through the streetcar tracks near Jersey City Heights. After putting up posters around Jersey City, a man told them he saw Presley on the cliffs near Christ Hospital, “crying to himself.” The couple were able to retrieve him and immediately transported their boy to hospital, where he was treated for severed paws. Although they had not yet planned their honeymoon at that time, they were happy to have their home in Presley for Thanksgiving.
Dog rescued from death row with hours to spare
He appeared to smile as “Langdon” was ripped off dog death row last October in North Carolina, his rescuers realizing that something was special about him. Langdon’s only “crime” and why he was pushed to the top of the list was because of his leg, which he dragged behind him. Believed to be from an old injury, North Carolina vets ruled he was a candidate for amputation. Second Chance Pet Adoptions in the State contacted their partner in Chester, NJ South Hills Pet Rescue, with their doctors checking Langdon’s x-ray and realizing his leg could be saved. Calling him “very sweet and gentle”, and a dog – who happens to be a Belgian Malinois – who “deserved another chance” and took him off death row two hours before his euthanasia. Langdon was transported to New Jersey where he underwent surgery; and is now recovering with his medical foster family, resumes using his leg.
Kittens ride a “shotgun” in a truck engine
In what was considered a “purring” ending, as two workers arrived on site in Hackettstown from Freehold, where the new QuickChek was being built last May, they heard the meow of one of the vehicles. of construction. On the Freehold property where the trucks are stored, feral kittens tend to congregate, an adult cat chased from one of the vehicles two days earlier. When workers opened the engine in Hackettstown, they found a pair of fluffy gray kittens. “Dehydrated, but they should recover,” said Hackettstown police, who took them to the Common Sense for Animals shelter for further care.
A cat survives under the hood of the car
Here’s another cat story, which had more bumps than kittens. Earlier in May, a driver discovered a cat in the engine of his car in Bloomfield. After bringing the boy to the Bloomfield Animal Shelter, the driver told the shelter he was not sure how long the cat had been riding with them. They only took their cars for local trips to Bloomfield and Newark. Although he himself suffered from a few bumps and bruises, as well as a broken jaw, the shelter reported that the cat – a neutered boy who was not wild – was stable, able to eat and drink. .
Cat found dying in Snowbank finds ‘Furever’ family
It was February 2021 when a Good Samaritan found an elderly cat, weighing just three pounds, in a snowdrift in Manville. While rehabilitated at the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, “Camper” won the hearts of his foster parents, Nancy and Paul Gedbaw of Raritan. Originally intending to feed him until he was well enough to be adopted, Nancy Gedbaw said that she “immediately fell in love”, when Camper crawled onto her knees and chest, then started to purr. He continued to make progress, climbing over five pounds, reaching seven pounds in November. He has mouth issues that keep him on steroids, but he’s a “social eater” and “counter-surfer,” who Gedbaw says “brought our home to life.”
Want to keep reading? Below are a few more heartwarming animal stories from New Jersey in 2021:
Bald eagle survives brush with death and lands at Turtle Back Zoo
Dog rescued in Essex County after falling into ice in a pond
Movement to save the butterflies and pollinators that grow in Essex County
Dog lost in the woods for 2 weeks reunited with the Bridgewater family
Dog judges Morristown chef’s food on ‘chopped’
Kittens rescued from Nor’easter flood at Passaic Co. Vet Group
Meet Strobe, the first police dog in the Secaucus Police Department
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