German Valley, IL 9-23-11 - The Pepsi Refresh Project announced today that Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary of German Valley, IL will be awarded a $50,000 grant to care for the over 300 abandoned abused pets at the sanctuary, to accept another 100 animals and to purchase land for their planned new facility.
With the Pepsi Refresh Program Pepsi-Cola of North America is pledging 1.2 million dollars each month for ideas that "refresh our world" and receive the most online votes. Anyone can submit an idea at www.RefreshEverything.com
and each month the public decides who wins.
Thousands of loyal Critter Camp fans from across the country logged in, voted and entered "power vote codes" found on specially marked Pepsi products diligently every day in August ensuring that Critter Camp's entry
finished as a top ten finalist. Once paperwork and details were complete Pepsi announced that Critter Camp is receiving this much needed donation.
This winning entry will enable Critter Camp to continue to accept small unadoptable pets from numerous shelters, saving them from euthanasia. Animals like Oscar, a rabbit found in a garbage can in the city covered in ticks. Oscar is fearful of people, rightly so, and with shelters overrun with pet rabbits he was going to be put down until Critter Camp agreed to take him.
Now Oscar is safe in Critter Camp's free range Bunny Haven enjoying the company of 30 other rescued pet rabbits.
Critter Camp Director Beth Randall explains, "Many shelters have no choice but to euthanize these creatures who have often survived horrible lives and end up aggressive or fearful; some were found in dumpsters, some confiscated in animal abuse cases, some abandoned in empty homes for weeks without food. Pets such as hedgehogs, ferrets, parrots, lizards and even rabbits require far more care than the average cat or dog, care that unfortunately many people are not prepared to provide."
The animals Critter Camp provides a safe haven for are generally elderly, chronically ill, aggressive or excessively fearful and simply cannot be adopted. Pets have come from as far as New York and Florida to live the rest of their life in sanctuary at Critter Camp. Critter Camp is the only sanctuary of its kind in the U.S. that is volunteer operated, caring for unadoptable pets other than cats & dogs, not accepting wildlife or farm animals, is USDA and IDOA licensed, and a 501c3 non profit.
The second part of the project is to buy land for Critter Camp's proposed new facility which will be a home to a thousand small pets, provide an adoption center, spay/neuter clinics, and educational opportunities. This new facility will also rely on solar and wind power and other "green" building and operating methods. Critter Camp has a few potential locations under consideration at this time near Freeport on U.S. Route 20.
Currently Critter Camp draws a thousand people a year to its small location in German Valley for hands-on educational tours. The new facility will welcome tens of thousands of visitors a year, thus educating more people on the specific needs of these unusual pets, as well as bringing tourism dollars to the Northwest Illinois area. People have already come to visit Critter Camp from as far away a Canada, Texas and even Ethiopia.
Critter Camp has also partnered with Burpee Museum and other organizations to provide education programming. This upcoming week Critter Camp will give educational presentations to a homeschool group in Rockford at Creekside Baptist Church on Tuesday at noon, and in Freeport at Parkview Home on Friday.
Local volunteer and education opportunities will be plentiful with the new building as well to enrich area students, scouts, service clubs, etc.
Funding for the remainder of the project will come from grants, donations and sponsorships. Watch Critter Camp's website www.crittercamp.org for details on the capitol campaign as it develops.