The southern New Jersey community of Mays Landing has been rocked by the disappearance of the town's most famous rooster.
A tiny black-and-white rooster, who goes by the name of "Squiggy," has been missing from Funny Farm Rescue & Sanctuary since Election Day, and the townspeople are getting anxious over Squiggy's whereabouts.
"After lunchtime, I noticed we couldn't find him," Laurie Zaleski, founder and president of Funny Farm Rescue, told WPVI-TV (ABC 6). "We always joke and say 'He's like a kitten in a rooster's body.' He's a bantam rooster, which makes him smaller."
Zaleski told ABC 6 that Election Day was particularly busy at Funny Farm Rescue, since a number of parents had the day off. In turn, a lot of families visited the farm to observe a star attraction: Squiggy the Rooster.
"His eyes will shut right in their lap; it's adorable. And there's adults, too, that are scared to death of birds. And once they meet Squiggy, their fears go away," said Zaleski.
At the same time, the extra crowds likely contributed to Squiggy's absence, said Zaleski. She thinks it marked the ideal time for a premeditated act of theft.
"I really believe that somebody wanted him badly," said Zaleski, who recently filed a police report. "Every time, every visiting day, people say, 'Can I adopt this rooster?'"
Not only is Squiggy missing from his home at Funny Farm Rescue. He's also being denied spending precious time with seven new baby chicks.
"I don't care if they want to leave him outside in a box and call me ... I'll go out and get him," said Zaleski, while confirming there's now a $2,000 reward for information leading to Squiggy's rescue.
(Click here for regular Facebook updates on Squiggy's search.)
"I'll arrange for a pickup of the check. I will not press charges. You have my word," added Zaleski. "I just want him back."
According to ABC 6, surveillance cameras cover various areas of Funny Farm Rescue, and law enforcement officials are currently reviewing the footage.
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