Little Jerry's Journey From Mets Clubhouse to Farm Sanctuary
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The rolling farmland of Schuyler County. It's a long way from New York City.
A chicken given the name "Little Jerry" spent last weekend in NYC as an unofficial mascot for the New York Mets. After a teammate referred to the rival New York Yankees as "chickens," Mets bullpen arm Tim Byrdak bought the chicken at a New York live market and brought him to the Mets clubhouse, naming him after a rooster in an episode of Seinfeld.
"Whenever he took him in, he didn't really plan for the long term care of the chicken,” said Colin Henstock, shelter coordinator.
The ballpark is no place for a chicken.
"We reached out to the Mets and let them know Little Jerry would be welcome here. He would have a safe place for the rest of his days,” Colin said.
"He slept a little bit, fussed a little bit, but he's just fine, yep," said Jeff LaPadula.
Now, Little Jerry has a new home. At Farm Sanctuary, in Watkins Glen.
"It was an odd story. it was not our usual case of finding out about an animal that needs to be rescued, that's for sure,” Colin said.
"I had gotten myself to the point where I was feeling for this chicken and I wanted to make sure it all happened the right way, and he ended up living,” said LaPadula.
LaPadula lives in Manhattan. He suggested Farm Sanctuary to the Mets, and drove him five hours to his new home.
"We met several players who indicated they bonded with the animal and wanted to see the right thing done and wanted to see this animal live,” Jeff said.
"He will be outside most of his days. He'll have grass to roam around in. He'll have the best possible care,” Colin said.
Farm Sanctuary is located off a dirt road outside the village of Watkins Glen, on 175 acres. Many of the animals here are victims of cruelty.
"We take in animals that are mainly victims of the food industries,” said Colin.
Little Jerry's story is a bit more humane. Still, his fate was in doubt. Many of his kind wind up in the broiler, or the deep fryer, or between two buns.
"It could have gone badly. It could have been a tragic situation, but this is the best possible outcome and we're extremely happy about that,” said Colin.
After his time in the Big Apple, Little Jerry can now walk away from his unlikely celebrity. From now on, it'll be a quiet life. Certainly not for the birds.
“He's just gonna become part of the flock here and have a happy life."