Clifford, a big hound dog who was rescued from the side of the New Jersey Turnpike last December, has found a new forever home after spending most of the last two months at the Burlington County Animal Shelter.
Lisa Yochim, of Absecon, Atlantic County, adopted the 2 ½-year-old hound mix last month after learning about his remarkable rescue near the Exit 6 interchange on the Turnpike.
The reddish, brown dog was spotted running lose on the superhighway in late December and caused traffic to stop on the southbound lanes. Among the vehicles that came to a halt was a large truck that the frightened dog hid under until the driver and some other motorists eventually coaxed him out.
The truck driver named the dog Clifford, after the children’s book classic, “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”
After being rescued from beneath the truck, Clifford was turned over to the Florence Township’s animal control officer, who brought him to Burlington County’s Academy Drive shelter. He was examined and held for the shelter’s 7-day stray period before being put up for adoption.
Yochim visited Clifford and became smitten after learning about him from news reports and social media. She completed the application process and officially welcomed Clifford to her family on Feb. 22 after he recovered from surgery (all animals at the shelter are spayed or neutered, brought up to date on their vaccines and microchipped for permanent identification before they are adopted out).
Burlington County Commissioner Felicia Hopson said she hopes Clifford’s happy ending inspires others to consider adopting from the shelter.
“Our entire Board was overjoyed to learn that Clifford was getting a new forever home following his harrowing adventure on the Turnpike,” said Hopson, who serves as the Commissioners’ liaison to the shelter. “Our shelter staff and volunteers do an amazing job caring for all the animals that come into the shelter, but we all want nothing more than to find loving homes for all the adoptable animals.”
More than 50 dogs and 160 cats have been adopted from the shelter so far this year and another 66 have been placed with animal rescue organizations. Fifty-two dogs and six cats have also been reunited with their owners.
Throughout the month of March, the adoption fee for pit bulls and pit bull mixes has also been reduced to $25. Typically, the fee for adult dog adoptions is $75.
The shelter is open for visits and tours Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 PM and Thursdays from noon to 7 PM. It is closed for public visits on Wednesdays. People are encouraged to call ahead at 609-265-5073 to make an appointment.
“Clifford’s story has a fantastic ending, but we want more of the same for all the dogs and cats in the shelter, so we’re asking residents to go online or visit the shelter soon. There are plenty of lovable dogs and cats just waiting to meet you,” Hopson said.
Burlington County Animal Shelter dogs and cats can be viewed online at www.co.burlington.nj.us/1446/Available-for-Adoption .
Clifford, a hound mix dog who was rescued from the side of the New Jersey Turnpike near the Exit 6 interchange in late December, was adopted from the Burlington County Animal Shelter by Lisa Yochim last month.