On Friday, Curly the gerbil was found abandoned in a filthy cage on rural Old Main Shore Road behind the Barnegat Motel.

In a written statement from he Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey Township, the condition of Curly's cage, not to mention the 100 degree, stormy weather he was left out in, this defenseless creature was left for dead. A gerbil is not equipped to live outdoors in the wild.

Since then, Curly has been given a lot of love and care from the AHS/Popcorn Zoo. They even offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for abandoning him and driving off.

Curly the Gerbil is being cared for at The Popcorn Park Zoo after being found abandoned in a filthy cage behind the Barnegat Motel.
Photo Caption: The Popcorn Park Zoo

They said they've received some credible tips but unfortunately, the story gets sadder. Curly was not the only victim. The AHS/Popcorn Zoo said it's received several tips with photographic evidence that there was a second cage abandoned along with Curly's containing a hamster.

The cage had a large gap in it and the hamster escaped. Animal Control Officer Maria Cymanski has set traps in the area to try and catch the animal, but it's not likely it survived.

The organization also said it has received credible evidence that it was a teenager who committed this heinous act and Officer Cymanski is investigating the evidence.

In the meantime, Curly is living the good life. His cage is beautiful and clean. He spends his day running around a dog bed while munching on Cheerios. The gerbil will be available for adoption in a couple of days.

Curly the Gerbil is being cared for at The Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey after being found alone and abandoned in a filthy cage on a back road in Barnegat. Photo Credit: The Popcorn Park Zoo

"He's just the sweetest guy and we're so happy that he's alive and well and that so many people care enough to help us seek justice for Curly," according to the AHS/Popcorn Zoo.

Anyone interested in adopting Curly can contact the AHS/Popcorn Park adoption office at 609-693-1900 or email office@ahsppz.org

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