Founded by Dale Preece-Kelly, the company currently has over 90 animals of numerous types and species, collected from around the world.
Following a heart attack which resulted in him losing his job, Dale took a selection of his animals into his son's school to show them to the children. The teacher was so impressed, she suggested that he could showcase his animals for a living.
After setting up a promotional website, Dale had his first booking and over the last couple of years, the company has gone from strength to strength, and diversified into offering animal therapy services. The website has also grown and in addition to details of how to book their service and animal profiles, they are also building up care guides for others interested in owning exotic pets.
As well as providing animals for presentations and birthday parties, Critterish Allsorts also showcase their creatures at animal exhibits, schools, nurseries, preschools, after school clubs and numerous other events.
Animals can also be booked for coporate events, team building activities, fairs, television and video work and even weddings.
One of the educational activities which has been proved to be very popular and effective is Critterish Collaborators which works on childrens' intuition to answer questions about specific animals. Groups are chosen at random, an animal is displayed and the children are asked questions about the critter and awarded points for correct answers. Despite being told nothing in advance, the answers the children give have a high success rate and Dale has found that this approach to learning is particularly effective while also building on teamwork and citizenship skills.
Also, those who have specific animal phobias can overcome their fears through hands on contact with the creatures guided by Dale's 20 years experience in animal care and therapy.
From his first hand of working with numerous organisations, Dale told us he has become concerned about differing levels of animal care and service from some in the same field. In response to this, he has been instrumental in the foundation of CARES (Council for Animal Resources in Education and Society) which aims to provide a kitemark for trusted animal presentation services where members will be CRB vetted and able to provide quality documentation regarding their service and animal care.
Part of the reason for the formation of CARES is in response to possible EU legislation seeking to control non native invasive species. This itself was a response to the problem of pets being released into the wild by owners who are finding the animal too expensive or time consuming to care for. Once released into the wild, these creatures often die but if they survive, can dramatically alter the local ecosystem.
This coming season, Critterish Allsorts are sponsoring Under 13's football team, Stafford Falcons.
Critterish Allsorts can be contacted through Facebook, Twitter, email, or through an online form on their website and if you would like to learn more about the animals and the work they do, check out their website and YouTube channel.