Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary


Rating: 5.0

Average rating from 5 reviews.

(5.0 out of 5, based on 5 reviews)

824 Church StreetGerman Valley, IL 61039
Hours: 24/7 by appointment

568 miles away
Driving Directions
Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary
Critter Camp is a registered non-profit 501c3 tax exempt charitable
organization. We are USDA and ILDA licensed and inspected, 100% no-kill,
and volunteer operated. Critter Camp cares for over 200 abandoned,
abused or neglected exotic and unusual pets of 30 different species. We are
the only sanctuary of our kind in the US, and possibly the world!
Our Belief:
At a certain point re-homing pets, particularly the unusual and exotic
ones, at all costs often serves only to make the people involved feel
better about themselves, irregardless of the stability and continuity of
care the elderly, abused or ill animal, actually needs. Euthanizing such
animals brings the rescuer down to the universally despised level of
“puppy-mills” in that if an animal is no longer useful to humans it
must be killed. This is incredibly heartbreaking. Again, people bred every
one of these pet animals for human enjoyment and/or profit, therefore
we as humans have an obligation to provide quality care for these
animals for their entire lives whether or not they are “pet quality.”

Critter Camp is also a member of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce and
the Northern Illinois Center for Non-Profit Excellence.

Not only do we give these elderly, ill, aggressive and otherwise
un-adoptable pets a safe, happy, healthy, final forever home but we also
provide educational hands-on tours of our sanctuary. At our current
location, in a private home in the small town of German Valley, with very
limited advertising, we have an average of 20 visitors per month coming
from Chicago and the suburbs, Wisconsin, Iowa, and even Missourri
specifically to see and pet the animals here. We also do educational
presentations at schools and other venues.

We are planning to build a "bricks and mortar" Sanctuary along Rte 20
between Rockford and Freeport within the next few years, possibly even
beginning construction in 2009. We have been writing grants for funding
and have opened a capital campaign fund at US Bank. We already have
committments of a volunteer general contractor and some skilled labor.

With the greater visibility and the larger capacity building (we will
be able to house over 650 animals) we expect to have thousands of
visitors coming to take our tours and to see the facility. According to the
IDOT the span of Rte 20 we are looking at sees average traffic of 15,000
vehicles per day.

The proprosed building will be built "green" utilizing passive and
active solar as well as wind power. We will compost the waste and even
"grow" redworms in the compost both to feed the animals we care for and
possibly to sell. These unique concepts will also bring increased tourist
to the area to see the building itself.

We believe that our new Sanctuary will be a fantastic, unique addition
to the Northwest Illinois region, as well as providing a much needed
service by caring for these abandoned pets that no other facility will
accept, and the educational aspect is a plus too.

Please see many more details on our website:

We are also currently on the "short list" for a new series Animal Planet is developing right now. We are in talks with the producers every week!

Again this is the only exotic pet sanctuary in the country that accepts virtually any pet other than a cat or dog, and does not accept wildlife. We have hamsters, mice and geribls that are old, sick and are biters. Every single one of these small animals has a clean cage, fresh water, healthy food, toys to chew on and play with, and a wheel to run in. We have nearly thirty rabbits than
do not like human attention. We don't just 'warehouse' these animals
either, our set-ups for the animals are all quite innovative. The rabbits
and guinea pigs are free range, they do not live in cages! The ferrets
have a free range room and the fennec fox we have is free to roam as
well. The sugar gliders have very large enclosures so they can actually
glide and climb. We have two kinkajous about the same age (M & F, both
spayed/neutered) that we will introduce to each other in their brand
new kinkajou room when the building is built, so they can bond and live
and play together the rest of their lives. There are many more examples
that we can cite, but this gives you an idea at least.
Please visit our website!!!

Information provided by the owner

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Reader's Reviews (5)
shary s.
Rating: 5

Sanctuary better than a "Zoo"

posted 7 years ago

From the moment you walk in the door, you feel the love and care for the 200+ animals that fill the rooms of Beth's house.
From the Parrots squalking, to the noises of the Fennic Fox and Degu's, it seems that each animal has it's place and it's voice to be a part of the activities.
I had no idea that there was such a huge need for a place to care for animals that have been purchased to be pets, but then discarded because of lack of time, or space, or knowledge of the needs of the animal.
Kudo's to Beth for learning so much about the different species, and the willingness to care for and to clean up after so many animals. It is a full time job to be sure, and all the help she can get financially must be a real priority.
If you live in the Northern Illinois area, please contact her for a tour of the house and grounds. It is a great place to get some hands on experience with very knowledgable instruction before purchasing an exotic pet.

Pros: rescue animals become forever friends

Cons: wish it was closer to where I live

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Rating: 5

Excellent learning opportunity

posted 7 years ago

The family and volunteers which run this sanctuary are wonderfully patient and kind with the animals and people who visit them. They educate people of all ages. Our children have enjoyed them over the last 3 years when CritterCamp visited the school in the past, and now in the home sanctuary. The staff has brought out the various animals to show different species, markings, textures, and natural instincts. For people to see the animals up close and personal, it allows them to be more connected and have a better understanding of the nature around us.

We look forward to the future, when a new "green" sanctuary is built. (whenever that may happen...) What a wonderful goal and example for our young to see. Thank you!

Pros: very educational, hands on, and child friendly

Cons: a new location is necessary for your popularity :)

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Recent Reviews For Services Near 61039

July 29, 2008 | By Cathy

Critter Camp is a one of a kind place. It's like a mini zoo run by great people. They answer all your questions honestly so you know what to expect from a pet before you get one. They go out of their … more ›

May 15, 2008 | By Gigisalem

Critter Camp is a one-of-a-kind pet rescue/sanctuary. All the animals there are very well-cared for and given lots of love and attention. Beth and her staff devote endless hours in caring for these … more ›

May 15, 2008 | By Aaheeren

amazing no kill sanctuary! Critter camp has the biggest variety of rescued animals from all over the mid-west. They are a one of a kind shelter with knowledge of how to care for the pets they h… more ›