NY Teacher, Animals Shaken up in Car Crash

Police sent to investigate a traffic accident found more than they expected – a small zoo.

A kindergarten teacher known as the “Critter Lady” and her menagerie – including a boa constrictor, turtles, frogs, small mammals and a monster toad – were shaken up in a two-car collision while en route to a wildlife lecture in New York City.

Deborah Mumford, who collects and cares for abandoned and stray pets of various kinds, was listed in good condition at a hospital on Sunday, a nursing supervisor said.

None of the animals escaped, but an officer had to return the toad to its box, Lt. Michael Palumbo said.

“The officer described it as a huge toad,” he said.

Among the teacher’s other pets, a chinchilla may have suffered a broken leg and a rabbit may have an eye injury, said her husband, Allan Mumford. A veterinarian found the other animals were unharmed.

No one in the second car was hurt, police said.