|Stateline FastPitch Competition 2008
Submitted by: Beth Randall 815-266-1342
824 Church Street, German Valley, IL 61039
Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary
At Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary we care for over 200 abandoned, abused and
otherwise homeless unusual pets of 30 different species. Critter Camp is the only sanctuary
of its kind in the United States, and possibly the world. We are located 20 miles southwest
of Rockford in German Valley. We provide a safe, healthy, happy home for unadoptable
pets that otherwise would have been euthanized or likely mistreated yet again.We also
provide unique hands-on learning experiences with our tours. Our visitors learn about the
native habitat and behavior of African Pygmy Hedgehogs, for example, have the
opportunity to touch one, and learn about their care as pets as well. We have taken our
animals to local schools and to the Easter Seals autism school in Rockford as well.
With our proposed “green” Sanctuary building to be located between Rockford and
Freeport on US Rte 20 Critter Camp will be a significant tourism draw to the area. The
building itself will be a ground breaking facility utilizing alternative energy such as
passive and active solar and wind power, as well as composting the waste materials. The
entire cost of the building will be under $250,000 and the first $50,000 donation will
include naming rights for the donor and prominent signage along the busy Rte 20 corridor.
There are also opportunities to have rooms dedicated for donations as well. General
contracting and skilled labor have already been donated for the project. Details are on our
website www.crittercamp.biz on the Sanctuary plans page.
Critter Camp serves virtually everyone. We have accepted animals from people hit hard by
the current economic climate. A family that was moving in with relatives after losing their
house brought in their beloved pet iguana because their relatives would not allow her in
their home, as just one of many examples. We also help people in emergency situations. A
family that was left homeless in Sycamore after the flooding last year had nowhere to take
their five degus until they found us. We accept animals that Animal Control Departments
and Humane Societies are unable to care for. We recently took in a hedgehog that was
found in a dumpster in DuPage county.
Pets have come to Critter Camp from as far away as Florida and Nebraska, since there was
nowhere else for them to go.
We also serve all animal lovers and people who want to learn. Whoever goes to a zoo, or a
nature center, or smiles at a cute puppy loves visiting Critter Camp. We have had visitors
come from Chicago & the Suburbs, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas,
Texas, and Canada! The size of Critter Camp’s market is UNLIMITED! Currently with
virtually no advertising we average 70 visitors per month.
Imagine the thousands of visitors coming to Critter Camp when the sanctuary is built!
Whether they are from DeKalb, IL or from Kansas, each person visiting us brings dollars to
spend in the greater Rockford area as well.
We also provide pet care advice and help finding pets or re-homing pets all over the
country and into Canada.
Critter Camp’s income is derived from donations, fundraising campaigns (national in scope-
we were recently the featured shelter in the One Dollar One Month One Shelter Campaign
on the AnimalHelp.com website), auctions of donated items (autographed photos, books and
more from celebrities such as Dean Koontz, Samuel Jackson, Charlie Sheen, etc.), grants
and corporate donations, and of course our tours
.We have no competition at all. Critter Camp is not a zoo, it is not a shelter, and we do not
compete to adopt out animals.Obviously our main advantage is the unique niche we fill caring
for the homeless pets no one else does. Additional advantages are the “green” aspect of the
proposed sanctuary and the educational experience of the tours.
Critter Camp works cooperatively with numerous organizations and agencies. We are both
USDA and Illinois Department of Ag licensed and inspected. We share donated supplies
that we have received with the Humane Society of Winnebago County (now known as
PAWS) and All Gods Creatures Wildlife Rescue in Stephenson County whenever we are
able to. We have worked with the Rockford PETCO and PetSmart stores. We have sent
information to all Winnebago, Ogle and Stephenson county veterinarians, animal control
departments and pet stores to make them aware of our services. We have accepted animals
from the aforementioned agencies as well as DuPage County animal control, Champagin
County Humane Society, and many shelters housing exotic animals that have closed and
needed to place the remaining pets in their care.
Critter Camp belongs to many professional organizations including the Rockford Chamber
of Commerce, the Northwest Illinois Center for Non-Profit Excellence, Petfinder.com,
World Animal Network, ASPCA Find a Shelter, SOS Support Our Shelters, Hedgehog
Welfare Society, Shelter Source, Pets 911, Exotic Pet Owners United, American Ferret
Association, ZooToo.com , Pet Brags, AnimalHelp.com, and many more!
We have even been contacted by a producer for the Discovery Channel who is creating a
new series for Animal Planet, and Critter Camp is in the final running to be featured on this
Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary and its proposed building offer the Stateline area a
unique opportunity just waiting to be funded and seen to fruition!