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You never quite know what kind of animals are going to be brought into the shelter. I find it especially interesting when I see people walk up to the doors with rigged up containers like boxes with holes punched in them, laundry baskets, plastic totes or anything else they can find to contain whatever creature they’re bringing in.

Last week a lady came in with one of those small plastic deli containers which held water, a rock and the smallest turtle I’ve ever seen. Her son had found the tiny little guy in a local body of water and they thought it was an invasive species. Once it was confirmed with a wildlife specialist that it was indeed a native Painted Turtle, we took him back where he came from and set him free.

This tiny turtle was brought to the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter because there was concern that it was an invasive species. The shelter confirmed with a wildlife specialist that it actually was a native Painted Turtle. So they took him back where he came from and set him free.

So far this year we’ve had a variety of animals, both wild and domestic. On the wild side we’ve had raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, turtles, hawks, turkeys, doves and seagulls.

Wildlife are my favorites; they come in, we get to marvel over them for a second and then they’re sent off to refuges and rehabilitation centers. Easy as pie!

In pets, other than our canine and feline friends, we’ve had ferrets, guinea pigs, rabbits, a pair of domestic rats, an absolutely stunning white tom turkey, and a slew of chickens and roosters. The small animals (except for the rats, ugh!), generally get adopted pretty quickly.

It’s the fowl that have been challenging to move out. We have better luck with the hens, but the roosters are a tough sell. We’ve taken in a couple of dozen chickens already this year and 11 of them have been roosters.

We’re very fortunate to work with a couple of great farm animal rescues that help us out when we get overloaded with birds, but we don’t want to overwhelm them either.

People don’t necessarily think of us when they’re looking to acquire farm animals but it’s not unusual at all for us to have some type of fowl or small livestock looking for a home.

  • Shelter needs: Dry cat food (no red dyes please), canned dog food, cat nip, soft dog treats, hot dogs, string cheese, paper towels, and gift cards for pet supply and grocery outlets.
  • Shelter events: The shelter will host low-cost vaccine clinics from 9 a.m. to noon May 15, June 12, July 10, Aug. 21, Sept. 18 and Oct. 16.

Please make sure that dogs have very secure collars and short leashes; cats must be in a carrier. If you need something to secure your pet, please alert the parking lot attendant when you drive in. We can provide that to you before you take your pet out of the car.

Appointments are required. Visit to schedule an appointment.

Cost is $20 for each vaccine. Microchips and flea and tick preventative will also be available.

  • Shelter address: 1244 N. Delsea Drive in Vineland.

To submit an adoption form for one of the Pets of the Week or another animal at the shelter, visit

Source: South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter: Need a turkey? No, not for eating.

Posted in 2021, SJRAS Articles