‘Chuck: A Funny Farm Story’ Set to Premiere this Friday at Levoy Theatre

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.J. -

Glasstown Productions premieres ‘Chuck: A Funny Farm Story’ at Levoy Theatre on April 12.

Millville-based Glasstown Productions will be premiering its new project, Chuck: A Funny Farm Story, at the city’s Levoy Theatre on Friday, April 12.

The project is a documentary that follows the story of Chuck, a dog who suffered from a disease called megaesophagus. He was rescued by the owner of Mays Landing’s Funny Farm Animal Sanctuary Laurie Zaleski. 

“Chucky was our megaesophagus puppy,” said Zaleski during a recent interview on SNJ Today radio WSNJ 99.9 FM. “His life was saved, as he was supposed to be euthanized at just three months old.”

Dogs that suffer from megaesophagus have an enlarged esophagus, preventing any food from passing down to the stomach. It completely throws off digestion, as the dogs typically end up regurgitating their meals.

Even after figuring out all kinds of special treatments to keep Chuck alive, Zaleski was told that the dog would not make it very long.

“He had to sit up in a highchair and eat blended food so it could make it down to his belly,” said Zaleski. “He was deemed to only live six months even with his special chair and treatment. He ended up living five years.”

Chuck passed away on January 29, 2018. He fought hard to live a normal life with the rest of his animal friends at the rescue, and his story certainly lives on and continues to inspire people.

“I first heard Chuck’s story in the summer of 2017,” said Jason Penza, creator of the documentary Chuck: A Funny Farm Story. “I think the message of Chuck’s life is something we can all relate to. It teaches us to never give up, no matter how high the odds are stacked against you.”

The film will not only tell the story of Chuck, but it will also help raise awareness about megaesophagus.

“We are trying to raise awareness that it does not have to be a death sentence for these animals,” said Zaleski. “If they have a disease, it just takes a little bit of work, but they can live a long and healthy life.”

“Chuck taught us a lot about never giving up and living each day to the best we could,” said Matt Reeves, social media and public relations specialist for Funny Farm. “That is part of the story of his life. He was just this amazing dog that had such an impact on thousands of people around the world.”

Throughout the filming process, Penza got to speak with everyone at Funny Farm and got an inside look at what the animal rescue has to offer.

“The best part was hearing everyone we interviewed talk about the farm and Chuck,” said Penza. “Everyone had a different aspect to bring and it was interesting to see how they all fit in.”

“I think the message of Chuck’s life is something we can all relate to. It teaches us to never give up, no matter how high the odds are

stacked against you.” —Jason Penza, creator of documentary

Funny Farm not only saved the life of Chuck, but currently houses 600 other rescued animals. The nonprofit Funny Farm is open to the public.

“What makes our rescue different is people can come in and visit the animals,” said Zaleski. “When you drive in, all the animals will come up and greet you. When you come through those gates, there is peace and harmony from the animals. We are run by volunteers. There are no paid people. One nice thing about [our] charity is you know exactly where your money is going. To the animals.”

As the premiere of the documentary approaches, Chuck is still inspiring everyone who ever knew him or his story.

“He was inspirational I always say, and I think that is the tone of the film as well,” said Zaleski. “Chucky had a lot of obstacles to overcome. This dog had nine lives and would not stop fighting.”

“I am excited to be able to tell this story,” said Penza. “It is an honor and I can’t wait for people to see the film.”

Tickets to see the premiere of Chuck: A Funny Farm Story on April 12 can be purchased online at the Levoy Theatre website levoy.net. Cost is $10 plus fees and doors will open at 7 p.m. For additional ticket information, call the theater at 856-327-6400.

When the film ends, there will be a Q&A session with the members of the Funny Farm, and Funny Farm merchandise will be sold.

For additional information on Funny Farm Rescue Animal Sanctuary, visit their website funnyfarmrescue.org. The farm is located at 6908 Railroad Blvd. in Mays Landing and is open to visitors every Tuesday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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