I have been a volunteer at Antler Ridge for the past 3 years and love every minute I get to help the animals. It is so rewarding to see a young animal come in and get the care it needs to be released back into the wild. I have always loved helping animals and here at Antler Ridge I get a chance to make a difference. I'm so glad I am part of this extraordinary organization.
Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary is nearing the end of another very successful and rewarding season. This is an amazing team effort on part of the volunteers and all those who come out to support Antler Ridge.
I am so proud of the teamwork and effort of all my fellow Antler Ridge volunteers. The dedication of taking care of the animals, and the hard work that goes into all of our fundraising efforts. I love getting the word out to the public about conservation , and protecting wildlife. I really appreciate all the support we get from everyone !
This is my first year volunteering at Antler Ridge and I absolutely love it! It is so well run and organized and the rehabbers so knowledgable. The care and attention each little critter gets is amazing and heart warming . From a baby mouse, to raccoons, squirrels, opposums, fawns and even bears! Antler Ridge cares for its animals 7 days a week by a large staff of caring volunteers. But it also takes a lot of supplies to care for and feed different types of animals during different stages of growth or rehabilitation. Donations of supplies or money keep this place running and ready to help animals brought in at any time. I wish I found this place sooner! I love my time there and am so impressed with the whole operation!
Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary is a wonderful refuge for furry little critters (opossums, raccoons, squirrels,...) in need and cared for by a team of incredibly compassionate and committed volunteers, and owners Kelly and her husband.
I am continually amazed at the dedication and warmth of the volunteers at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary. Their generous donations of time and expertise are reflected in the health and well being of the wildlife they serve. The animals that are fortunate to arrive at the sanctuary are given the attention they require for a successful release back to the wild where they belong.
I volunteered at ARWS for my senior year of high school as a part of my Vet Program and I loved every second of it! Working with the ladies there two days a week was so enjoyable and the work we were doing was not easy, but we all worked together well. I jumped right in to a hands on position as many animals needed care, and while it can be stressful, the instructions I received from the shift leads helped me catch on very quickly. ARWS is extremely organized, clean, and dedicated to their mission. I highly recommend volunteering, donating, or dropping off orphaned/injured wildlife to them. I miss everyone there, and I know the few months I spent solidified my decision to go to college for Wildlife Biology.
This is my third year volunteering at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary and I never cease to be impressed by the wonderful work that is done there and by the way the sanctuary itself is run. The animals are brought to Antler Ridge as babies and are raised and cared for until they are old enough and healthy enough to be released back into the wild. Antler Ridge is very professionally run by owner Kelly Corless who has dedicated her life to it. There are so many aspects of how Antler Ridge is run that have impressed me over the years. Kelly and her rehabbers always stay current on the most up to date practices used in rehabbing, the facility itself is always kept clean and super organized and there are many loyal and dedicated volunteers which in itself is a testament as to how well Antler Ridge is run and it's continued success. I truly can't say enough good about Antler Ridge!
Our journey began with my son wanting experience working with animals & I went along with him. It turned out to be such an amazing experience. The work that gets done there and the people that we get the opportunity to work with is absolutely awesome! The animals are cared for as if they are our own. Every effort is taken to help the tiniest to the largest to make sure they are ready to be released when its time. Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary is by far an A+ non-profit organization.
Antler Ridge provides a fantastic service to orphaned and injured animals. The volunteers are so helpful, I live in another state but have contacted their volunteers for information and advice . They post updates and hold fundraisers so you know they are working hard to keep things flowing smoothly. Animals that would be overlooked-squirrels, skunks, opossums-are able to get a second chance thanks to these folks.
Awesome place so helpful and knowledgeable, they really take care of these wildlife critters!! awesome people!!! I love this place so much me and my daughter are volunteering!!!!
I can't begin to explain how rewarding this program is. To take a small, helpless creature and nurture it until it can be released back to its natural habitat. I have learned about our wildlife and what we can do to improve their situation, which I pass on to others. The work is hard, but the rewards are endless. God bless people like Kelly who run this amazing operation.
I have worked at Antler Ridge for two years now and continue to be amazed at the depth of love and caring that is found there, not only for the animals but the staff as well. The owner, Kelly, has a wealth of knowledge that she shares with us and the more we know the better we can care for the animals. The animals are given the best start to life that we can give them and released to find their own way. I only wish I had known of them sooner, I have found my own sanctuary.
My niece found this little baby wondering in the road crying in the rain, and we watched as it kept going into the road. So we called and called so many places and only one person got back to me, and so quickly! I was so greatful that the director for right back to us, so caring. Thank you all for all you do!!! What a wonderful way to spend mother’s day! Happy Mother’s Day & a big Thank you to all those who volunteer and help these babies!!!
When my wife and I moved to the area 2 years ago, we searched for almost a year to find the right volunteer situation for us. We knew we wanted to do something with animals/wildlife. We found Antler Ridge on a whim, and from the moment we stepped foot on the sanctuary, we knew we made the right choice.
Owners Kelly and Jim could not have been more welcoming and accommodating from day one. We instantly knew how much both of them cared for these animals and how clear their mission was. Kelly also takes the time to answer every question you have and really educates you on the rehab process and each animal's behaviors.
They really do so much for not only the rehab and release of animals, but for the community. Everything from educational programs for kids/adults, tours, and fundraisers for breast cancer, this place does it all. I just cant say enough good things about Antler Ridge and how it operates.
After our first full season of volunteering here, it is like our second home. In fact, it is not only our second home, but it has become family.
Kelly and Jimmy (the owners of Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary) are beyond amazing and truly dedicate their lives into providing vital care and treatment to sick, injured or orphaned wildlife on their 120-acre preserved farm.
As a proud volunteer, rehabilitating wild animals back to health so they can be returned to where they belong is extremely enjoyable and rewarding.
I am happy to help them achieve their mission educating the public on the importance of caring for the ecosystems, supporting the environment in which we live, respecting the wildlife with whom we share this environment and protecting and preserving our native lands for the future wildlife habitat.
Everyone here is so kind and caring. The work they do to rescue and care for injured animals is top notch.
Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary is a wonderful organization. They save so many animals. The volunteers and staff are all amazing people. Thank you to everyone at Antler Ridge!
My name is Steve Matlaga and I'm a father of six beautiful kids and husband to my amazing wife, Karen. We've been married 25 years. Raising a family is certainly a story in itself. However, I'm here to tell you about my experience with Antler Ridge. It’s a long review, but hope you find it worth it and get something out of it.
I'm just finishing up my first year as a volunteer at Antler Ridge. I've always had a love of animals. You name it, we've had one. Dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, and recently, chickens. Last year, we started fostering dogs, which was definitely a positive move in my life. However, I wanted to do even more. My wife mentioned something about an opportunity to work with wildlife at a local sanctuary. My interest immediately peaked! Karen had been going to Antler Ridge for some time with a group of home schoolers. My youngest daughter enjoyed this program that Antler Ridge supported called 'Discover Nature'. I never actually had a chance to go see what it was about, but it sounded cool. So I applied with my daughter, Abby. Abby also shares my love for all creatures great and small. (some of the greatest creatures are small by the way)
After applying online, we attended our ‘Intro to Antler Ridge’ meeting. Both of us being shy and not a fan of crowds, found ourselves leaving the meeting shortly after arriving, feeling defeated and disappointed. You could not believe the amount of cars and people all lined up and packed into this local town meeting room! I said something to the affect, 'if there is this many people wanting to volunteer here, maybe we are needed elsewhere... We left and that was that.
After I got home, I composed an email to Kelly Corless, the Director of the sanctuary. I thanked her for the opportunity, but it looked like they had things covered. To my surprise, Kelly got right back to me and explained that only a small amount of those who show up for the introduction meeting will actually become volunteers. She continued to invite me and my daughter to the first training class. We eagerly accepted. Sometime not long after our initial correspondences with Antler Ridge, we were heading to our first training session. When we first showed up, neither of us knew what to expect. However, it took all of 10 minutes of listening to Kelly and her team talk about what we’d be doing, before Abby and I were hooked! Handling and feeding baby animals? What? Are you kidding me? They spoke about how much work it was, the intensity levels during the various parts of the year, and some of the less enjoyable tasks a volunteer will be taking part in. (like cleaning out poop from the cages! YUK!). I don’t think there was single thing that they could tell us that would keep us away from this amazing opportunity. We both agreed to our work schedule at the sanctuary, and awaited our next training session. After another few weeks went by, we complete our training, ready, well mostly ready to start down the road of wildlife care and rehabilitation.
I could certainly fill a novel with our experiences at Antler Ridge. From initial disappointment, to pure joy and excitement, we both felt like part of something so much bigger than us. No words can express the emotions. The first time I got to feed a baby squirrel (us insiders call them pinkies, lol), my hand was shaky, I was nervous, felt like I was way outside my ability levels. Yet, something inside me pushed me forward. I think it was compassion. I couldn’t help but have an incredible amount of compassion for this little tiny life that I was about to help get its next feeding. The experience was a game changer. This was just incredible. Wait, it got better! Shortly after getting some hours behind me, a bit more experience and a comfort level, I got a chance to feed a baby raccoon. I knew immediately, that raccoons were my thing! There’s something about their eyes. Their personality just comes right through. I was in love with these critters! Their sounds, their silly behaviors, and just how sweet they are all around. Things just kept getting better and better each week. I learned to work with skunks (never got sprayed by the way, despite lots of scolding and critiques of my confidence in handling them), opossums, and of course fawns. I think fawns deserve their own story! These little babies are nothing less than addictive to be around. I never really understood how needy baby animals are after they lose their mom until I was there first hand to see and experience this first hand. We always are told, stay away from wildlife. They will do fine without us. You’ll just make it worse. Blah blah blah. Well, to a point, maybe that is true in some situations, but for the babies that get abandoned, orphaned one way or the other, they do need us! As Trump might say, BIGGLY. These little buggers are so happy to get a bottle from their human caretaker. Having a fawn sit on your lap while you help nurse it back to strength is certainly a special opportunity. They all just seem to understand that we are there to help them. It’s pretty bizarre. As they grow, they actually seem more like puppies than wild animals. NO, this isn’t an invite for you approach a fawn in the wild. However, you should understand, these animals do in fact have emotions, love and I think, care for their caretakers. They understand that we are trying to help them. Naturally, the end game is release back into the wild with as much of a chance as we can give them at success. In the meanwhile, every moment leading up to and including a release is just one big beautiful experience.
Before I summarize, I feel I must mention a few of the negatives of my volunteer experiences. Animals Die! It happens, not every animal makes it. Far more than I’d like, pass along to the rainbow bridge. I always keep my eye on the big picture though. We can’t save them all, but we save many! Also, not every visit to the sanctuary is perfect. Being that we are all human, many a day I’ve found myself dealing with my own feeling as I’m being scolded for some minor infraction of ‘good practice’ handling wildlife. I know it’s important to follow protocol, but I’m a big mush. Everyone there is usually trying to promote the best environment for these little buggers to flourish and be released. Rehabilitators are really strict about best practices, as they should be. They will look out for the animals best interest, which sometimes might mean you’ll want to cuddle a little squirrel in your arms while walking around, but that is going to be met with a good verbal lashing! I must admit, one of the hardest things for me is not treating these animals like my own pet. You fall in love with them, all of them. You just instinctual want to cuddle them and protect them. You want to carry them and shelter them from all the nasties in the world they will soon face. It’s a struggle coming from a world of love, hugs, cuddles and kisses of domestic pet care to wildlife rehab. Easy to lose sight that we are there to help rehab animals, not prep them to be domestic pets. But, I’m only human. So that little challenge will continue.
In summary, the experience at Antler Ridge gives me a chance to do something beyond the normal life experience. We are going to a place where we can all come together to work on our compassion, our patience, our understanding of ourselves, and those we work with. We are not just observing nature, we are being part of it! We are all doing something good for the community. I think the animals are more or less the ones helping us rather than the other way around!
I hope I’ve inspired you to look into Antler Ridge or your local wildlife sanctuary. Even if you only volunteer for a day or a weekend, I assure you, it will change your life! God bless and thanks to my friends at Antler Ridge.
PS: Lucky, Crackers, & Delilah say hi! (did I mention I adopted a duck, a goat, and a chinchilla from Antler Ridge? Yes, they rescue just about everyone)
Volunteering at ARWS was the most rewarding experience ever for me because it felt like being in a mutually supportive community of animal lovers who actually do something to help animal welfare. Getting to know Kelly and seeing her work with animals is an experience in itself. She is super knowledgeable, experienced, supportive, wise and real. All shift supervisors I had contact with were also totally experienced to handle whatever came our way that day. They happen to be all women and they were impressive in their approach, warmth and wisdom toward animals and people. If i had a daughter i would definitely want her to spend a season volunteering here because the impact of this experience, helping sick animals get better, or feeding orphaned animals, in combo with people who have given so much from their life for these animals, is definitely life changing. We
Great place to volunteer! I've learned a lot and have made many new friends that share the same passion. Everyone is helpful and supportive. Its a well organized effort that benefits wildlife. Highly recommend giving your time to this organization.
I started volunteering for Antler Ridge this year, and the past few months have been amazing. Here at the sanctuary we care for hundreds of wild animals, there's no animal too big or too small, we care for them all! Everyone at Antler Ridge is very kind and knows how to properly rehabilitate the animals for their release back into the wild.
The volunteers are filled with energy, enthusiasm, humor and compassion. The sanctuary provides care for so many critters, with the help of the volunteers and Dr. Karen. Any donations made to this organization are put to good use.
Amazing animal sanctuary run by caring volunteers. There is no other nonprofit organization like Antler Ridge in the area and to get the opportunity to volunteer with this organization is a true gift.
Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary is run by people who are caring and committed to the welfare of animals in need. I'm proud to be a volunteer at ARWS and enjoy working there each week to help the animals. ARWS has a great relationship with the community which has come to respect and depend on Antler Ridge as a safe refuge for sick or injured animals.
I have been volunteering at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary for nearly seven years and I am constantly impressed by the individualized care and compassion the animals receive. All of the creatures at our facility are afforded the best treatment by a dedicated staff of volunteers and apprentices,
veterinarian Dr Karen, and most notably Kelly, our hands-on director. All of the animals that find themselves at Antler Ridge are given a second chance at life to live free and healthy as the wild beings they are!
A dear friend of mine volunteers at Antler Ridge (AR). It has been through her work there that I have developed a greater awareness and appreciation of my surroundings since I live in rural Sussex County. AR is a wonderful place for abandoned or injured animal wildlife like squirrels, opposums, bats that are well taken care of from as young as new borns to adults and released to their natural habitat when appropriate. I have had opportunities to see the volunteers in action caring for their "charges".. The volunteers are experienced in animal care and handling, and/or animal housing maintenance. The love they have for these animals is evidenced by the excellent work they clearly do. Also, they routinely educate the public in the ways of care for the surrounding wood lands shared with these critters.
You don't need to travel to Orlando to find the Magic Kingdom - it's right here in New Jersey at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary. This is a place of magic and miracles supported by amazing dedicated volunteers with a mission to serve the area wildlife in peril due to injury or being orphaned. In addition it's an organization that partners within the community to support initiatives such as Project Self Sufficiency, environmental education seminars for the public, internship opportunities, nature programs for kids and work study for teens - and much more. Antler Ridge clearly deserves thumbs-up recognition on the list of GreatNonprofits!
My friends volunteer at Antler Ridge. Their dedication is only matched by how hard they work , how tired I see them, and how much they care about the "critters" to whom they give such great care.
Each time I have needed help with an injured animal , someone is right there to assist! I can see how much all are concerned and their knowledge and expertise is wonderful. It's a place I truly would like to volunteer and I'd better get to that!! Thanks Antler Ridge folks!
I volunteer with Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary and know they are one of the best non-profit organizations. Totally professional, excellent care for the animals, great people. Top-notch all the way.
I started five years ago as a volunteer, and I'm still loving my experience there. It gives you a great feeling of satisfaction knowing that you are helping to rehabilitate orphaned and injured animals back into the wild. I received the training I needed to feel confident working with the animals, yet it is a constant learning experience. Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary provides a great service to the community, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
Antler ridge has given me so much experience with the animals. I enjoy going every week and always look forward to next time. Everyone is so sweet and nice to you and will help you understand and successfully get the job done by taking care of animals and never leaving one out! I am happy and proud to be apart of such a good place who really cares for animals and others.
Volunteering at Antler-Ridge was a great experience for me personally. I loved the hands-on work with the animals and enjoyed meeting all of the interns/volunteers. It was hard to leave because everyone felt like family to me! Kelly was incredibly wonderful and knows how to run a fantastic sanctuary!
I have been a volunteer with Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary for the past few years and currently an Apprentice working to attain a Wildlife Rehabilitator Licence. The support to achieve this goal has been top notch with Kelly Simonetti and Dr. Karen Dashfield DVM providing education and guidance to allow me to succede. The care administered to the animals to allow them to return to the wild is a prime objective which Antler Ridge strongly adhears to.
I, along with my daughters who are 13 and 15 years old, have been volunteering at Antler Ridge for 3 years. It's a very magical, loving place and we feel very fortunate to be able to be a part of such a wonderful organization! I have seen animals come in with wounds that I did not think would be able to be "fixed" but through the love and dedication and experience of Kelly, Dr. Karen and volunteers, these animals are properly nursed back to health and SURVIVE and then when they are strong and healthy are released back into their natural environment. It’s an amazing thing to witness and experience. I’m grateful that my daughters are able to experience it as well!
Antler Ridge is incredible! Injured and abandoned animals are individually cared for with such love and gentleness. They are then returned to their natural habitat as soon as they are able to care for themselves. Those who cannot survive on their own continue to receive care. Hats off to Kelly, Dr. Karen and all the volunteers at Antler Ridge for the wonderful job you do!
Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary is known as "the angels on the hill", and this could not be more true! ALL animals, large or small, are treated with the utmost care, respect, and genuine compassion by an extremely knowledgable staff and caring volunteer network. After experiencing the sanctuary firsthand, I knew I had to become part of the magic and am now an 8-year volunteer!
I have met some truly wonderful people at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary. People who truly care about helping wounded or orphaned wildlife and donate their time and funds in the service of God's creatures.
I have just completed my 4th year volunteering at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary (AWRS). My work there has sparked my interest in all areas of wildlife and AWRS has opened up many educational opportunities in this area. I have watched and participated in the rehabilitation and release of local mammals and marveled at the care they receive while at AWRS. In addition, Kelly (licensed rehabilitator) reaches out to many other local organizations (ie, scouts), spearheads conservation projects and helps raise awareness of wildlife. It is the best volunteer experience I've ever had.
I'm a volunteer at Antler Ridge and I cannot say enough great things about Kelly and her tireless efforts to help wildlife and also her community. The volunteers work hard and foster an atmosphere of genuine caring and concern for all of the animals in their care as well as one another.
Antler Ridge is a great wildlife sanctuary that really cares about the animals and their community. They Know what they are doing and love what they do. It has been a great experience to be a part of such a great organization!
Greatest place anywhere for wildlife rehabilitation. ANTLER RIDGE!
Most skillful, caring, knowledgeable staff and volunteer group. Kelly is the greatest. Dr. Karen is the greatest.
The sanctuary cares for every stage / age of wildlife in need. Squirrels, raccoons, opossums, chipmunks, fawns, porcupines.... Everything.
The facility is clean and beautiful
Vounteers dedicated and tireless.
Every little life is important there.
They take in orphaned and often injured wildlife babies and also the older wildlife in need that may just need a chance to heal and recover from injury or stressful situations.
Successful rehabilitation = successful release into the wild as whole and healthy animals and this is so very important to our environment.
I support Antler Ridge in any way I can help. I have personally and from the animal hospital where i work, brought wildlife in need of care and comfort and rehabiltation to the experts at this amazing wildlife sanctuary, knowing they are at best place, and cherishing the success stories and releases of too many to count.
I want everyone to know how wonderful this place is and to also help them continue with all their good work.
I volunteered at Antler Ridge this past winter and it was a great experience. It helped me to get experience for what I want to be (a veterinarian). The owner, Kelly, and on-site veterinarian, Dr. Karen, both put in so much hard work for the animals and it is obvious to see that they care.
I started with Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary when my daughter left for college and could no longer volunteer. The rewards far exceeded my expectations. Caring for the baby and young animals has been wonderful. It has helped me to realize I can do much more than I thought. I enjoyed being there so much that I was able to also help out with gardening and help bring native plants along for the birds, bees, butterflies and other insects. Thank you Antler Ridge - yes I'm tired by the end of the season but I always can't wait for spring and the new arrivals to begin another gratifying and worthwhile season. Sheila
I have volunteered at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary for over 5 years now. The work we do for the animals is amazing. We care for and save the lives of many small animals native to Northern NJ. On average a 1,000 animals a year. But we not only care for animals we also foster an atmosphere of love and support of all our volunteers and neighbors. We hold a joint fundraisers for both animal care and breast cancer support donating half of the profits for free mammograms for women in the community that can not afford them. I had a friend that volunteered as well and she was going through chemotherapy treatments and she called Antler Ridge the happiest place on earth. She said she needed to be there as part of her treatments to keep her spirits up.
I absolutely love Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary! Our rehab season starts in the spring & runs thru the fall. We take care of pretty much everything with fur & paws. The goal is to get these critters ready for release into their proper habitat. It's always a bittersweet day when I'm on my last shift. Already looking forward to next season!
I have volunteered at Antler Ridge weekly for 3 years. I am in awe of the entire operation. All animals brought in are evaluated and then their care needs are developed. Careful records of progress are kept on all. And all are treated with tlc. I've participated in several releases - the best part in my opinion. It is a wonderful thing caring for orphaned and injured wildlife and then setting them free. Volunteers are awesome. Fundraising is handled and handled beautifully by talented volunteers.
Antler ridge is the best! As a veterinary technician, many clients wonder out loud about where they should take injured wildlife, and I always direct them to antler ridge. Kelly is extremely knowledgable and has truly dedicated her life to these animals, and of course Dr. Karen and all of the volunteers! Best place on earth for injured wildlife to hope to end up.
This place is absolutely a heaven on Earth for animals! I have gone to ARWS a couple of times to help out my mom, who is a volunteer there, to just help out with the feeding and maintenance,etc. The entire facility is far beyond what I would have imagined for just a bunch of rescued animals, from baby possums and raccoons to funny llamas. I enjoy it every time I have the opportunity to go there. The animals are handled and cared for exceptionally well, with lots of love and respect. I particularly love the llama that gives me kisses whenever I walk near her, and the calf who like to play with me. Overall, this animal sanctuary deserves more than the 5-star rating, more like 6/5!
I am so thankful for hearing about Antler Ridge. I look forward to apprenticing and becoming a licensed rehabilitator as well. It is so satisfying to be able to help these baby or injured animals to grow up or regain their health and then back to their natural surroundings. This group is VERY caring and responds quickly to the animals needs. I hope they are there forever!
I have been going to Antler Ridge one day a week for over a year now. It is still as exciting now, as it was a year ago. To be given a chance to make a difference in these wild animals lives is very empowering. I have been trained by the Director, Kelly, to know which type of food to feed each species of infant, and how to care for them. In a few months, I will be eligible to be licensed as a wildlife rehabilitator, myself. This is very exciting. We care for raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, fawns, opossums, skunks and wood chucks. Many times we are given an adult animal that needs to recover from a life threatening incident. Usually this is caused by cars or our dogs and cats. Being able to help these animals and return them to the wild is very satisfying.
My experience with Antler Ridge far exceeded my hopes when, on 2 separate occassions, I happened upon injured wildlife. Not only is Antler Ridge amazingly responsive, considering the enormous responsibility they face on a daily basis, but completely compassionate. This winning combination makes Antler Ridge, in my opinion, a 5 star operation!
Antler ridge is a wildlfe rescue group that helps orphaned and injured wildlfe. they care for over 300 animals a year the mission is to rehabilitate them and release them back to the wild.