Animal Ed.ventures is a true labor of love that has it's roots in sanctuary and rescue, but it's foundation in education.
Two decades ago, I myself was your average exotic-pet owner. I loved the animals in my care, reveled in the beauty and artistry of each species, and did what i thought was "best" by them. After a few of the animals experienced a decline in health, I began to see that what was happening was that pet stores were giving out, consistently inaccurate or even completely faulty information on the care of the exotic species they were selling.
As i began to realize just how many of the animals were suffering through bad environments and bad diets my research began - starting with, "Where do they really come from?" After all, how can we provide healthy environments and well rounded, effective, healthy diets without knowing what their habits and food availability are in their natural habitat?
I studied everything from habitats and their weather to seasonal availability of foods, trace elements from various soils, molds, wood etc, and nutritional analysis of certain bugs, fruits, vegetables, and proteins. And, I networked with other keepers from all over world. I found it fascinating and became inspired to try to do more. With quite a bit of research behind me I began doing some informal consultation for would-be pet owners and then the animals in need began to arrive at my door. It soon became apparent that something had to be done because literally thousands of these animals are sold in the U.S. every month. I began to realize that i personally wanted to be a part of a movement that would force the commercial pet trade step up to the plate and do better by these creatures they were using to buy their own bread and butter. After all - with enough education - as with spay and neuter programs for dogs and cats - maybe we could crush a portion of the problem and reduce the need for sanctuaries across the board.
SO - what is the best way to make the Importers, breeders, and Pet Stores accountable? By getting the word out that NOT everyone is in it for the love of the animals, not everyone is going to be honest - or even knowledgeable about a pet they are trying to sell you, and that it is CRITICAL to learn how and where to do ones own research BEFORE choosing a pet. After all, if the buying public is getting educated merchants know they better get at least a little under their belt if they want to stay in business. Many stores have been boycotted by prospective pet owners because the store owner was blatantly...stupid.... or just didn't care. Not so politically correct to say out loud??? After over a decade of fighting that stupid and seeing the affect on animals that really didn't choose this, i own the right to call a spade a spade.
My mission had begun - The key to Salvation was Education -
"For in the end, we will conserve only what we love, We will love only what we understand, We will understand only what we are taught"...
Over the course of the last decade Animal Ed.ventures has had the privilege of sharing what we have learned with countless families, youth groups, schools, and assisted living programs.
Our program is slightly different from many others in that we are not solely about just "sharing animals". We believe that Mother Nature is the perfect machine and that all of what she has to offer is to be honored and appreciated for its amazing artistry - it's "perfect-ness"... But, as time passed we realized that the best way to help all the animals, both free and captive was to start right at the ground level - by utilizing the sense of wonder we all had as children, and the stories of what some of our animal ambassadors have survived to address the concepts of repercussive effect and the personal power each and every one of us has to make a difference in the lives of those we touch.
When people hear the story of survival, or how an amazing creature, such as an anteater, is treated like nothing more than a dollar in the pocket of an importer it strikes a chord deep inside of many of us - and when they see the beauty of those creatures as they have come from "throw-away" to "thrive" in a loving, healthy environment in the hands of an educated care-taker, one can literally watch as hearts grow, eyes light up, and the seeds of true inspiration, and personal power have been planted. I live for those moments.
Some days it seems as though we can (and will) "change the world", and others it seems to be such an overwhelming task, but no matter which side we're on - on any given day - it is our love of life and the appreciation for the beautiful creatures, humans included, that we help save every day that keeps us going. That and a true belief that SOMEHOW we have to work day in and day out if that's what it takes to bring our society back from cyberspace and back into the amazing world that we actually reside in. The one where life is a tactile experience, where things are real and tangible...and ALIVE...
I encourage everyone, child or adult, to take a few minutes and go outside - feel the sun on your skin, or the wind in your hair - smell the trees or the grass or the flowers, or even the dirt, and look around and notice that beautiful butterfly... or that little bird - notice how its color or pattern is perfectly perfect - colorful for a mate, or not so for camouflage - each feather that creates what we see made up of thousands of tiny.............pixels!...........now THAT's technology at its best!
If anything you see here is of interest, you feel you want to know more about us, or - you are thinking of adding a pet to your life and would just like to visit, feel free to call - consultations on choosing a pet and species specific questions ARE FREE!!! If we don't have an answer for you, chances are pretty good we know someone who does...
*our rescued population is growing every year and is supported by the generous
donations of many people throughout the community. If you would like to contribute to the sanctuary we provide for unwanted or neglected
exotic pets please see our Donations page
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