Laurie Zaleski is the Founder and President of the Funny Farm Rescue. Her mother, Annie McNulty, rented a home for 28 years while working for an animal control service and raising 4 kids on her own. Anne would save every animal she could that once faced no hope. She called it her “Funny Farm” because most of the animals were misfits but she loved them just the same. Laurie would watch her mother struggle to pay rent, buy food, make ends meet, but still show incredible compassion to animals that no one else wanted. She told her mom that someday, she’d buy her own farm where she could save as many animals as she wanted.
In her early 20’s, Laurie worked at Campbell’s Soup as an illustrator while attending Rowan University studying photography and graphic design. Soon after graduation, she established Art-Z Graphics, a successful photography and graphics company, contracting to the Federal government for 30+ years.
Young Laurie Zaleski purchased a run-down rental property for her mother in Mays Landing, NJ with 15 acres and a barn but sadly, her mother passed away from cancer just two weeks before the purchase of the property was completed when her mother was just 52 years of age.
Devastated at her mother’s loss at such a young age, Laurie took on her 30 animals and faced a future alone and uncertain. Each day brought new challenges and the learning curve was immense. With the help of her sister and a few friends, she fixed up the property and the Funny Farm she had once known with her mother, had a new home, a permanent home.
Fast forward 20 years. Volunteers and visitors came from miles away! People told their friends! Some made significant contributions. Today, there are over 600 rescued animals all living the best lives possible at the Funny Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, most roam free.
In honor of her mother Anne McNulty and having no money growing up, Laurie decided that the Funny Farm would always be free so anyone could come and love the animals no matter their economic status.
Under the leadership of Laurie Zaleski, and her incredible team of volunteers and supporters, The Funny Farm Rescue & Sanctuary has become one of the largest animal sanctuaries in the USA. People come from all over the world to see animals that no one else wanted. Today, they live the lives of celebrities through social media and their stories inspire millions.
An inspiring and moving memoir of the author’s turbulent life with 600 rescue animals.
Laurie never aspired to run an animal rescue; that was her mother Annie’s dream. But from girlhood, Laurie was determined to make the dream come true.
Funny Farm is Laurie’s story: of promises kept, dreams fulfilled, and animals lost and found.
Your support is greatly needed and appreciated beyond words! Whether it’s extending your time or your wallet we have so many ways to get involved. Be a one-time volunteer or a regular, hold your corporate team building events with us, sponsor an animal, show off your skilled labor, make a donation or set up planned giving.