Funny Farm Rescue Honors Miracle Dog with Tree Planting

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It was an emotional day for members of the Funny Farm Rescue in Mays Landing as they remembered Chucky, their loving German Shepherd rescue dog who watched over the farm.

Many people who visited said that Chucky was a miracle dog after he was diagnosed with Megaesophagus as a puppy, a life-threatening disease that required him to eat sitting up.

Veterinarians had no hope and said his best option was to be euthanized. Laurie Zaleski, owner of the Funny Farm Rescue, had other plans.

“They said he would live six months and I said, ‘Then he’s going to have the best six months ever at the Funny Farm,'" said Zaleski. "This is another reason why he was called the miracle dog. Not only was he supposed to live six months, then he wasn’t supposed to make it ... four years."

Chucky outlasted the veterinarians prediction.

"[When he reached] five years, he was actually at his healthiest and he was his heaviest. He played everyday.”

And he had the best life ever even to the last day.

Zaleski stated that Chucky became the face of the Funny Farm Resuce, which is filled with all kinds of different animals sometimes given the same fate.

"The whole reason that he was like the ambassador of the farm was because no matter what, we all get taught to push on, no matter how hard it is, and [no matter] how much we think we’re not going to make it - we just keep going," said Zaleski.

Zaleski explained that even when there's a feeling of hopelessness, Chucky taught everyone — including the other animals on the farm — that there is always hope.

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On Tuesday, April 24th, they remembered this sentiment and Chucky by planting a dogwood tree right in their front yard in his memory.

The tree was donated by members of Homestead Nursery in Galloway, who have always been a big supporter of the Funny Farm.

“He beat every odd that we all thought he couldn’t get past...," said Zaleski. "And he had the best life ever, even to the last day." 

Chucky was playing Frisbee the day before he passed. On the morning of his passing, he wanted to go outside to check on things around the farm and that is went he passed away.

“He was looking over the farm just like he always wanted to do," said Zaleski. "That’s why we have him here, he’s going to be looking over the farm.”


If you'd like to donate to the Funny Farm Rescue and help other animals live a happy and fulfilled life like Chucky, go to

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