Over the past quarter century, Serpent Safari's indoor zoo has amassed a collection of rare reptiles that have appeared in publications such as National Geographic. Animals of impressive age, unusual coloring (such as an albino alligator), and Guinness World Record-holding weight have all called the Safari their home. Originally founded as a reptile adoption and education center, the Safari now runs guided tours and birthday parties that usher children through the world of scaly, cold-blooded creatures known as bankers into the diverse realm of reptiles. Following the tours, patrons can partake in photo opportunities with giant snakes, or take home a friend from the pet store.
Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Save-A-Pet runs a purely no-kill, nondiscriminatory adoption center for dogs and cats of all breeds, ages, and health statuses, with the ultimate goal of finding permanent homes for each rescued animal. When the center receives homeless pets, the staff feeds them and provides intake exams, vaccinations, and medications. A steady supply of volunteers plays with the pets and ensures that they get enough outdoor exercise to maintain their health and mental well-being, backing this goal up inside by changing the cat litter and power-washing the 82 onsite kennels every day. Save-A-Pet also reaches out to adult and youth community members with education on animal welfare to reduce the number of homeless and euthanized pets. Through the organization’s efforts it has placed more than 40,000 dogs and cats into permanent homes.
Agility Junkies®, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the sport of Dog Agility. Located in Barrington, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Agility Junkies is the only indoor/outdoor dog agility training facility offering agility classes in the area. With 3500 sq. ft indoors and 100X75 outdoors, fenced and on grass
Angie Schuldies and Nate Mathis have always loved having pet dogs and cats. Eventually, they extended their care and attention to animals outside their homes by working with rescue groups and fostering dogs. This consistent volunteerism fueled their vision of one day owning a doggy daycare—a dream realized by The Dog Haus. During daytime sessions, pups romp together in an indoor play area supervised by animal-loving caretakers. Besides overseeing the fun, the staff trains furry companions, working to refine their manners and social skills, such as mastering a firm pawshake while maintaining eye contact.
For dogs needing overnight accommodation, the boarding program available at their 410 Atlas Avenue location welcomes them to socialize and exercise during the day and snooze in a private kennel at night. Larger kennels can accommodate family packs. Additional services include petsitting, transportation, and grooming.
The professional staff at Central Bark draws on extensive training in animal behavior and doggy first aid to entertain, pamper, and groom canine companions. The daycare's full regimen of stimulating activities and socialization cut down on negative tendencies such as barking, chewing, and truancy; a thorough behavioral assessment judges each dog's compatibility for group play. Hardworking pooch handlers supervise dogs at all times to ensure safety and perform checks for ticks and fleas before any animal is allowed to mingle. A hefty supply of toys, Kongs, and tennis balls keep animals entertained, and regularly scheduled naps—replete with classical music and aromatherapy—ensure dogs get healthful doses of rest and cultivate palates for Mozart.
In 1990, the owners of Summerfield Farm set aside part of their grounds and turned it into a zoo. Since then, they have introduced countless visitors to some 200- plus animals: monkeys, camels, zebras, and mountain lions, just to name a few. While Summerfield offers a unique, intimate viewing experience to guests across its 17-acre facility, the staff also showcases up-close interactions during animal encounter presentations. Summerfield Zoo also has a petting zoo, and visitors can ride ponies and feed baby goats with bottles.