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Hey guys.  We're here at Animal Wonders and I want to let you in on a secret.  Animal Wonders is growing up.  


For all of you who are newer to our channel, I want to warmly welcome you and I want to share some more of what we do underneath the shiny surface, and for all of you who have been part of this community for the last few years, I want to thank you so much for going on this adventure with me.  

Most of you know that we're a small non-profit organization located in Western Montana, and our mission is to rescue displaced exotic animals and allow them to become ambassadors for their species.  This means offering our animals a stable and permanent home and sharing them through live educational presentations and online video.  

Providing quality lifelong care for animals is our top priority.  It's a challenge, but we're totally up for it.  Okay, so back to the exciting news.  Animal Wonders is growing in so many ways.  We are expanding our physical space, we're rescuing new animals, and we're welcoming new faces to our team.

Look at all the construction work going on around here.  We have a new cavy romping room in the works.  Our cavies Chili Pepper and Pickles, as well as Kizmit the porcupine, will be enjoying this space very soon.  We have a new indoor room going up as well, and last fall, we built a new mink enclosure and I have a new office, which I share with a few animals, of course.  

All this new space is so exciting and we're definitely ready for it.  Animal Wonders has always run on the passion and dedication of some amazing volunteers.  For the first seven years, the team at Animal Wonders, including my husband Augusto and myself, was comprised solely of volunteers.  Many amazing people have come and gone, like our quarterly interns, and some have stayed, like some of our long-time volunteers.  Whether they were here for just a few months or many years, they've all contributed to the betterment and growth of our organization.

Volunteers are our backbone, so today, I'd like to highlight five of the most dedicated volunteers who've been lending their time, hearts, and hands to help keep the animals healthy and happy.  Augusto is the co-founder of Animal Wonders and he's been volunteering his time since it was founded in 2008.  He feeds and cleans the animals and he helps with over 100 public presentations each year.  Thanks, Augusto.

Ryan has been volunteering his photography and graphic design skills since 2012.  He's the vision behind our calendar, the photos on our website, our sponsorship packets, and many of our fundraising t-shirt designs.  He also helped get the ball rolling on our YouTube channel by capturing and editing the first handful of videos.

Richelle and Meredith are our newest volunteers.  Meredith is a vet tech and she takes care of all the basic husbandry needs of our ambassadors and Richelle is passionate about learning all aspects of sustaining healthy environments for the animals.  

The last volunteer I want to highlight is Meaghan.  She's been volunteering for over two years and her dedication to the well-being of the animals as well as helping Animal Wonders grow as an organization, is inspiring.  

And now, I'm going to direct my thanks to the many viewers, donors, and Patreon Patrons.  Your support over the last few years has changed the core of Animal Wonders.  We're receiving a totally unexpected source of income that's relatively steady and dependable.  For a non-profit, this is a game changer.  In the last year, I've been unable to keep up with all your awesome e-mails and questions, on top of caring for the animals, giving public presentations, and the general management of the business, but because of the support of our online community, I've been able to get help.

I've asked Meaghan, our long-time volunteer, to put her skills of organization and all-around happiness to work as our new office manager.  If you've purchased any merchandise or sent us a question lately, Meaghan has been your advocate.  Here's her e-mail if you'd like to say hi and tell her how awesome she is.  Thanks, Meaghan.

When an animal rescue organization grows, it can be tempting to just take in more and more animals, because there's so many animals that need rescuing, but our mission isn't just rescuing.  It's providing life-long homes for them, so we keep our focus on the care of the animals we currently have while limiting the number of newbies to a minimum.  

Our newbies of this last year include Pebbles the chinchilla, Steve the cockatiel, Riddle the ball python, and of course, Kizmit the porcupine.  We currently have 82 animals and caring for them can be overwhelming sometimes.  With everything else going on, we've finally exceeded my ability to be responsible for everything, which is why, with the help of all of our supporters, we've been able to hire our first animal keeper. 

I'm excited to welcome Taylor to our team.  She's my hands when I can't get everything done.  She ensures each and every one of our animals gets a nutritious diet and a healthy and stimulating environment.  She's helping me train some of the new volunteers and she's learning how to train and handle some of the animals so that she can give public presentations, too.  

Having Taylor and Meaghan take on some of the responsibilities of office and animal care means that I have more time to focus on new ways to enrich the animals and our community.  I'm so grateful that I get to be part of this team and this community and that I get to see Animal Wonders grow and reach new people and improve the lives of animals far beyond what I'd ever dreamed of.  

Thank you for joining us on this amazing adventure.  If you're new and you'd like to go on an adventure with us every week, subscribe to our YouTube channel, AnimalWondersMontana, and if you'd like to join our community on Patreon and help us continue making videos, go to and help us share free education with the world.


Pebbles still prefers to hang out in her hut on the bottom, and Cheerio loves hanging out on the top shelf, chewing up her toys.  That's the beauty of having an enclosure with so much room.