HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. — The New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA) Animal Hall of Fame Committee has selected two dogs, one rabbit, one horse and an animal sanctuary for induction into the 23rd Annual NJVMA Animal Hall of Fame.

"The NJVMA is honored to recognize the animals and people that inspired us to share their stories and to recognize the role that veterinarians play in strengthening the human-animal bond," said Dr. Peter Falk, Chair of the Animal Hall of Fame Committee. "This year's exceptional inductees have made significant contributions to those around them."

A forever home for unwanted animals, a retired service dog, a floppy-eared "snuggle bunny," an intuitive therapy horse and working police Bloodhound will be celebrated on March 11, 2018 with induction into the NJVMA Animal Hall of Fame.

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"Because of the internet and social media, stories involving the human-animal bond now reach well beyond state and even national boundaries and have the potential to prompt action on a global scale," Dr. Falk said.

This year's Hall of Fame Inductees are:

Funny Farm Rescue Animal Sanctuary: Founded by Laurie Zaleski, Funny Farm Rescue Animal Sanctuary is home to hundreds of unwanted or special needs animals. This wonderful sanctuary, on 15 acres in Mays Landing, provides a forever home for a variety of animal species with a large crew of dedicated volunteers. Funny Farm Rescue Animal Sanctuary was nominated by Dr. Steven Milden of Delaware Valley Veterinary Hospital in Mullica Hill, N.J., Gloucester County.

Stanley: Stanley is a 24-year-old Dutch Warmblood therapy horse at Riding with HEART in Pittstown, N.J. Throughout Stanley's 18-year career as a therapy horse, he has provided exercise and companionship for people with physical disabilities and limited mobility. Stanley was nominated by Christina Baxter of Riding with HEART and Dr. Suzanne Smith of Spring Mills Veterinary Hospital in Milford, N.J., Hunterdon County.

Xena Sparkle: Xena Sparkle is an 11-year-old yellow lab. Due to some medical issues, Xena had to be retired as a Seeing Eye dog and now spends her days sharing her unconditional love with the Carberry family. Xena Sparkle was nominated by Dr. Carol Carberry of Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, N.J., Bergen County.

Harley Rabbitson: Harley Rabbitson is a 5-year-old English Lop rabbit. Harley participates in pet therapy visits at area nursing homes to share love, snuggles and joy with all whom he encounters. Harley Rabbitson was nominated by Bobbie Santiago and Dr. Julie D'Alessandro of Delaware Valley Veterinary Hospital in Mullica Hill, N.J., Gloucester County.

Zoey: Zoey, a six-year-old Bloodhound, is a certified police tracking dog and part of a search and rescue team with her partner Officer Christopher Nichols of the Maywood Police Department. Zoey was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and endured IV chemotherapy treatments but is now disease free and is able to successfully track individuals. Zoey was nominated by Officer Nichols and Dr. Renee Alsarraf of Animal Emergency and Referral Associates in Fairfield, NJ, Essex County.

The luncheon honoring this year's inductees will begin at Noon on Sunday, March 11 at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton, N.J.. The event is open to the public and ticket information is available on the Hall of Fame website: njvma.org/animal-hall-of-fame.

ABOUT THE NJVMA

The New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA) was founded in 1884 and is a professional association representing the state's licensed veterinarians. The NJVMA is dedicated to advancing the veterinary profession in New Jersey. For more information, visit njvma.org.

ABOUT THE NJVMA ANNUAL ANIMAL HALL OF FAME

The Animal Hall of Fame was established by the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association to publicly celebrate the human-animal bond. Over 100 animals, including dogs, cats, horses and birds have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Visit the Hall of Fame page at njvma.org/animal-hall-of-fame for more details including video footage of past award winners.

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