Our relationship with Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary (ARWS) began on a cold, icy day 8 years ago when two sheep were spotted running on the NJ Turnpike. The pair, maybe escapees from a truck headed to the slaughterhouse, was captured by our animal control officer and brought back to the shelter. Despite the terrible weather, ARWS founder Kelly Simonetti responded promptly to our call for assistance, and, slipping and sliding on the ice, we wrangled the sheep into her truck. Those sheep are still alive today, enjoying a quiet life on a NJ farm owned by friends of Simonetti’s.
A non-profit licensed NJ rehabilitation center, ARWS is located on a 120 acre preserved farm in Warren County, and cares for fawns, raccoon, skunks, opossums, squirrels, rabbits, woodchucks and other small mammals. More than 1000 animals are brought to their facility every year. The mission of the all-volunteer group is to provide care and treatment to sick, injured or orphaned wild animals, rehabilitate them back to their wild state so they can be returned to their natural habitat, actively educate the public to care for and support the ecosystems and environment which they share with wildlife, and to protect and preserve our native lands.
We have transferred many, smaller, animals to ARWS since those sheep: squirrels, skunks, possums (including one delivered to us in a brown paper bag) chickens and roosters. Simonetti values the partnership. “We have great communication, “ she says. “LHS staff has been really careful and diligent about calling me, and we do all we can to help them out. It allows us both to focus on our missions.” Thank you, Antler Ridge, for always being there for us!