3 Types of Rescues Every NJ Animal Lover Should Be Familiar With

After educating myself on rescues and sanctuaries, I wanted to try to visit one at least every month. Becoming closer to animals (physically and emotionally) has always been a goal of mine. I’ve always been jealous of the people who live in the states where they are lucky enough to be able to walk outside and spontaneously see wildlife. Don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate our New Jersey squirrels and rabbits and still act like a little girl who wants to keep one as a pet when I see one.

I used to have trouble finding places in New Jersey, but they are here. I made it easier for you animal lovers to browse through and choose where you want to visit first…

Farm Animal Sanctuaries

Rescued Pigs/Photo by Me

Photo/Sarah Hockel

Farm animal sanctuaries are dedicated to rescuing animals such as pigs, cows, goats, turkeys, chickens and more. These animals are rescued from factory farms, the meat and dairy industry and farm animals who had a home outside of industries but were still abused or abandoned. It is particularly difficult to find homes for farm animals after being rescued because of the special care and space they need.

These sanctuaries give these farm animals a life that most farm animals never get to see in their lifetime (because they’re trapped in dark, deplorable factories or don’t live long enough because of health issues from the environments they are raised in). These rescues give these farm animals compassionate human and sibling love, edible food, a lush backyard to roam around in and most importantly, a safe place. Farm sanctuaries in New Jersey include Barnyard Sanctuary, Funny Farm Rescue and Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue.

Wildlife Rescues

Photo/Sarah Hockel

Howling Woods Farm/Photo by me

A wildlife sanctuary rescues wild animals from big to small such as elephants, lions, deer, birds and owls. These wild animals have been abused, endangered or injured. These wild animals are now rehabilitated in captivity, but with care and love that they did not experience before. Some of these wild animals were attempted to be domesticated, which is why they are unable to live in the wild on their own. Some are injured and have to stay at the rescues for their own safety. Wildlife sanctuaries in New Jersey include Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, Howling Woods Farm, Popcorn Park Zoo and Wild Baby Rescue.

The picture above features a rescued wolf-hybrid and myself at Howling Woods Farms. They were all hybrids; some with higher wolf content than others. I learned a lot about them and how uneducated and irresponsible people can be with animals. One specific story I remember from this rescue is about a family who tried to domesticate one of the wolves. A New Jersey resident found the wolf tied to an electric pole in the middle of a winter night. Howling Woods Farm took him in and he is now happy to be part of his own pact.

Domestic (Dogs and Cats)

Romeo, a rescue dog who was homeless/Photo by Me

Romeo, a rescue dog who was homeless. Photo/Sarah Hockel

Rescues that take in dogs and cats are a lot more common than the other types of rescues. These rescues can be found saving dogs and cats who are on death row in high kill shelters, abused, neglected, strays and abandoned from previous homes. The people who run these rescues get to personally transform dogs and cats who are scared and intimidated by people and eventually give them to a new, forever home. Rescues in New Jersey include Don’t Bully Us Rescue and New Life Animal Rescue. Most of these kind of rescues are made up of a network of foster homes.

New Life Animal Rescue was probably one of the first rescues I followed and was immediately inspired. I had the chance to speak to the founder about incredible rescue stories, challenges and accomplishments she has been through. One of the most memorable statements the founder posts on her website is,

“Each one of them has a story that I wish they could tell me. Clearly some of them have lived a nightmare before being rescued, and the world is a very scary place. They may feel defensive. Any one of them could bite me if they wanted. They’re afraid, in pain, hungry… But they choose not to… If only people could learn to be so forgiving and so kind.”

Her stories along with the other rescues mentioned are incredible. I will leave each unique rescue story for another time… Stay tuned animal lovers.

Some rescues have free admission while some charge. A lot are non-profit organizations and are always looking for donations, food and even materials for winter for the outside animals. Start planning your visits!


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