• Funny Farm

  • My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals
  • By: Laurie Zaleski
  • Narrated by: Erin Moon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (711 ratings)

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Funny Farm  By  cover art

Funny Farm

By: Laurie Zaleski
Narrated by: Erin Moon
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Publisher's Summary

2022 Audible’s Best in Bios & Memoirs

Laurie Zaleski 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. Thirty years later as a successful businesswoman, she did it, buying a 15-acre farm deep in the Pinelands of South Jersey. She was planning to relocate Annie and her caravan of ragtag rescues - horses and goats, dogs and cats, chickens and pigs - when Annie died, just two weeks before moving day. In her heartbreak, Laurie resolved to make her mother’s dream her own. In 2001, she established the Funny Farm Animal Rescue outside Mays Landing, New Jersey. Today, she carries on Annie’s mission to save abused and neglected animals.

Funny Farm is Laurie’s story: of promises kept, dreams fulfilled, and animals lost and found. It’s the story of Annie McNulty, who fled a nightmarish marriage with few skills, no money and no resources, dragging three kids behind her, and accumulating hundreds of cast-off animals on the way. And lastly, it’s the story of the brave, incredible, and adorable animals that were rescued.

©2021 by Laurie Zaleski (P)2022 by Blackstone Publishing

Featured Article: Best of the Year—The 15 Best Bios and Memoirs of 2022


There are few stories more compelling or more intimately told than those soul-baring memoirs that seek not just to recount the experiences of one's own life, but to draw some greater commentary on the big existential questions. What does it mean to be human? What is our purpose in being here? How much of who we are is purely self-determined? Exceptional in both their prose and narration, these listens represent a few of the year's best memoirs.

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What listeners say about Funny Farm

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Heartwarming

As a rescue advocate, this story was very encouraging! I enjoyed hearing how it came to be and where the Funny Farm is today. It’s inspiring to hear how Ms Zaleski overcame some difficult times to get where she is now. Anyone who loves animals and a survivor’s tale will like this book.

20 people found this helpful

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This book is amazing

I’ve listened to a ton of books on my drives to work and this is one of my absolute favorites. Highly recommend.

12 people found this helpful

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Two thumbs – and lots of paws and hooves – up!! A must read!!

Strong story of strong women – and their strong attachments to and advocacy for the animals they save and love! I was initially attracted to this book because of the animals and the location, where I grew up. I would have loved it even if it didn’t turn out that I went to school with the author’s sister. I highly recommend this remarkable, inspiring memoir. Thank you, Laurie, for sharing your heartbreaking and heartwarming story. Can’t wait to visit the Funny Farm in person!

12 people found this helpful

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Not my kind of story

This story touched the subject of abuse. I read to be entertained, and the subject matter caused stress.

8 people found this helpful

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Heartwarming story with powerful life messages

Highly recommend this book! You will be taken on a journey through hardship, poverty and onto love, strength and fulfillment.

8 people found this helpful

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Inspirational, heartfelt

I have personally been to the funny farm many times. To hear the story of how it came about was amazing. Lorie's mom is inspectional and so is Laurie. Love this book and the funny farm!

8 people found this helpful

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Title has little to do with content

I would not have bought this book if I knew it was mostly about the author's life as a kid and little about running an animal shelter. The chapters about her childhood are long and full of detail, but the chapters on her life on the Funny Farm are sparse and short.

5 people found this helpful

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Funny Farm sounds like fun - but it's not

If you're looking to hear stories of wife abuse, child abuse and animal abuse, you might enjoy this book. It's a collection of sad and depressing snippets, not really a story with a cohesive plot. True, I only got through 2+ hours of the book, maybe it gets much better later, but it's too dismal and depressing for me to continue.

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Where is the funny

I was looking forward to a fun light hearted animal story. I gave up at chapter 4. Way to much talking about herself and her family. Starting chapter 4 I was worried the story was getting ready to become very sad.

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Great listen!

Great listen for any animal lover! As an animal rescue volunteer myself, it’s always inspiring to hear others stories. I was drawn to this particular book as I grew up in Camden County NJ and then raised my own family in Salem County NJ where I grew to love and rescue mostly dogs but other “critters”as well. Such a need for more compassionate rescues like the Funny Farm. 😊😊😊

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-22

I loved it!!

I loved it! I am now following Laurie and The Funny Farm on instagram so that I can continue to follow her story ❤

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  • Glenda K.
  • 06-25-22

beautiful personal story about family and animals

I loved this book -- felt very personal and genuine. A beautiful tale of her mother and their legacy of caring for so many rescue animals. recommended