Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary (ARWS) is a wildlife rehabilitation center that provides care to orphaned or injured wildlife. ARWS is licensed by the state of New Jersey to care for fawns, raccoon, skunks, opossums, squirrels, rabbits, woodchucks and other small mammals. The Sanctuary is an all-volunteer 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization located in Warren County on a 120 acre reserved farm and is entirely supported by public donations.
The mission of Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary is to: provide care and treatment to sick, injured or orphaned wild animals; rehabilitate them back to their wild state so they can be returned to their natural habitat; actively educate the public to care for and support the ecosystems and the environment they share with wildlife; and to protect and preserve our native lands.
Antler Ridge Farm was purchased by Kelly Corless and husband Jim Simonetti in 2000 and is registered under the farm land preservation program of New Jersey. This means the 120 acre farm is preserved and can never be developed. Over the years, some of the land has been restored to the original farming fields and the rest is being maintained as a wildlife sanctuary. The loss of habitat in New Jersey has put a tremendous strain on the wildlife populations. Under the guidance and direction of several agencies such as the Audubon Society, tree farm stewardship and ridge and valley conversation is practiced on this property to maintain and nurture the flora and fauna native to New Jersey.
Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary, as stated above, was started a year after the farm and is a licensed New Jersey rehabilitation center. Established as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization in 2008, ARWS is supported exclusively by public donations and grants. We are staffed by experienced volunteers providing care for animals 7 days a week, all year round.
All animals received at ARWS are provided ongoing care from admission through diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and then discharge. Each step of the process is critical to the goal of successful release while maintaining human safety and preventing human imprinting.
Wildlife native to Northern New Jersey have been under a lot of stress due to development of large tracts of land, and deforestation for housing developments, malls and golf courses. ARWS believes we all must do our part in helping to preserve habitat for these animals and encourages the public to help save natural land parcels by supporting local and national conservation programs. Something as small as creating an animal habitat in your back yard will help. Many of these agencies are listed as links on this web site..
NOTE: It is illegal in the State of New Jersey to possess or raise a wild animal without a permit unless you are transporting that animal to a licensed NJ wildlife rehabilitator.
About the Director
Kelly Corless – Founder, Director
Kelly has enjoyed a long career in care giving. A graduate of nursing school, Kelly worked as an RN for 20 years, while also volunteering her time to St Hubert’s Animal Shelter in Madison, NJ where she cared for the many sick animals in the shelter. She has also held an animal control license since 1998, and has volunteered many hours with the local animal rescue groups.
During the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Kelly helped organize and mobilize the Morris County Animal Rescue Team. She was one of the primary organizers in the animal rescue efforts provided by St Hubert’s Animal Welfare and Sussex County Animal Rescue Team to transport and house the left-behind animals from the Katrina Disaster. In 2000, she and her husband Jim purchased the land now known as Antler Ridge Farm. During that year, she also completed her training in wildlife rehabilitation and was granted a license from the State of New Jersey to practice. Since then, the Sanctuary has grown in leaps and bounds under her auspicious and dedicated leadership.