Paws Discovery children’s farm announces abrupt closure after decades in business

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A Burlington County children’s farm that has been in business for decades announced its abrupt closure.

The managers of Paws Discovery Farm say that keeping the Mount Laurel farm open is a financial burden and that they can no longer keep it open.

"We shut down for a few months to try and do some research and consolidate some of our funding and work with Mount Laurel Township on a few options and unfortunately we couldn't find a suitable partner to move forward with the farm,” says Paws Discovery Museum executive director Kelly Lyons.

A large group of people came to visit the farm on Wednesday, many eager to get to the farm one last time.

 
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“I’m sad because it’s this cute little place and it’s so nice out on a nice day, especially with little kids,” says West Berlin resident Kelly Finger.

Garden State Discovery Museum manages Paws. Mount Laurel Township owns the land and some of the animals. The decision to close has left some Mount Laurel officials frustrated.

Mayor Irwin Edelson saying in a statement, "With no notice, the township has been left to struggle to save our local treasure. If they gave us time, we could probably find a new partner willing to operate the facility. But, sadly, they have backed the township into a corner and left little hope that we can keep the doors open."

“We continued to sustain it as long as we could,” says Lyons. “We were in crisis, a financial crisis, and we weren’t going to be able to continue.”

The building and the land will remain as open space. The animals will be rehomed. Some of them will be going to farms across the Garden State. Others will stay locally in Burlington County.

One such farm will be Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue.

“We’re the only all-breed horse rescue that I know of in Burlington County. And we’re literally a mile away, so we offered to take the mini horses and the mini donkeys and any bonded families,” says founder Darlene Supnick.

Wednesday was the last day that the farm would be open to the public.

An online petition was started to ask the township to reconsider and find an alternative partner to keep paws open. More than 6,000 people have already signed it.

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