Zaleski's memoir is wonderful. It is well written, engaging, entertaining and informative. She tells us how her parents separated. Her mother took five year old Laurie and siblings to a run down rental house with some land. Annie Zaleski's dream was to run an animal rescue. Even while working hard to feed her children, Annie would take in stray animals. Most of the animals were misfits so she called her collection a “funny farm.” It was a dream finally fulfilled by Annie's daughter. The Funny Farm Animal Rescue & Sanctuary became a reality in South Jersey, unfortunately, two weeks after Annie's death.
Zaleski includes an informative section about an interesting animal at the end of each chapter in this memoir. These animal vignettes are heartwarming. I learned about unusual animal behavior, puppy mills, odd diseases and treatments, and more. There were times I laughed and times I wanted to cry. The stories are a touching witness to the value of rescuing animals cast off by others.
I am impressed with how Zaleski overcame childhood poverty to establishing a successful photography and graphic arts company. She was also determined to fulfill her mother's animal rescue dream, juggling a career and requests to take in just one more animal. The total now is 600 rescued animals and counting. This memoir is well written and captivating. It shows the heart of one who truly loves animals. It also praises the many volunteers without whom the farm would never continue and reminds us of the transforming experiences urban children have when they hug a four legged rescued outcast.
I highly recommend this memoir. It is an inspiring story of the will to overcome difficulties with a determination to help others.
You can visit the website of the funny Farm here.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Laurie Zaleski is the founder of the Funny Farm, a charitable organization located in Mizpah, New Jersey. Since 2000, the farm has welcomed all kinds of rescue animals. Laurie is also the founder, president and CEO of Art-Z Graphics. She has been named a New Jersey Heartland Hero, is listed in the 2019 Who’s Who of Professional Women, and has received numerous awards and acknowledgments for her work to save animals and educate the public about animal abuse. Photo credit: Amanda Werner.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)