About Us

Welcome to our Critter Camp blog.
Windsor Elementary 4th Grade and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa are partnering to create "Critter Camp". The 4th grade classrooms will be caring for small animals from the ARL that are in need of foster care until they are ready for adoption. This blog will share about our foster critters' progress and their search for their forever home.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A home for Snowball

Our wonderful foster rabbit was adopted! Her new family is so excited to bring her home. The second graders in Mrs. Heemskerk's class will miss Snowball and her wonderful personality, but they understand that she has a forever home now. Congratulations Snowball!!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Caramel and Popcorn

When Mrs. Nelson and the third graders come into the classroom in the morning, they are often surprised to see their two foster rats eagerly awaiting their arrival! Caramel, who was named for the rats' coloring, and Popcorn, who only jumps around rather than walking, have great personalities. We knew rats were some of the most social small pets, but it's awesome to see it firsthand. Caramel and Popcorn would do well in any family now that they have had a few weeks of experience with kids. Third graders Kaylee, Layla, and Joseph love snuggling--er, we mean socializing--
them. 
While the kids are learning a ton about caring for animals and having fun with the rat girls, they know what their goal is: making sure Caramel and Popcorn are adoptable and ready for a forever home. They are doing an awesome job! It might help that Mrs. Nelson knows what potential rat owners are looking for: she has 2 rats herself, Critter Camp alumni Edith and Agnes.

Contact Cindy Gerke (cgerke@arl-Iowa.org) with the ARL to schedule a visit with Caramel and Popcorn or any of our other critters!

Can't adopt but want to help? Invite friends to like Windsor Elementary Critter Camp's Facebook page!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Critter Camp 2014-2015!!!

Windsor Elementary is very excited to be continuing our Foster program with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa this school year. We have expanded into other grade levels and included more animals. Last year we fostered 11 rabbits, 3 guinea pigs, and 2 rats, all of whom were adopted by wonderful forever families. Over the summer we fostered an additional 4 rats and 3 degus. That's 23 animals who have been adopted!!!

This year we are starting off with even more knowledge of the care our foster pets require and a lot of support from our administration and the ARL. We would like to extend a special thank you to Mr. Nichols for supporting Critter Camp (and even wrangling bunnies last year!). We also want to thank Ms. Johnson for being instrumental in getting the program up and running, and all her continuing guidance. Lastly, THANK YOU Cindy, Michelle, Leah, Cecily, and everyone at the ARL for trusting Windsor students and staff to help you in your mission to provide animals with loving homes. We are honored to be a part of it. 

Drumroll, please...This year's first critter campers are:

Mr. Cuddles, Winter, Banana, and Lime, parakeets with personality, Mr. Israel's 4th grade

Caramel and Popcorn, outgoing rat girls, Mrs. Nelson's 3rd grade

Chester and Wilson, sweet rat boys, Mrs. Bolte's 3rd grade

Snowball, the friendliest rabbit we've ever met, Mrs. Heemskerk's 2nd grade

Sparkle Butterscotch, the guinea pig as cute as the name, Ms. Taylor's 1st grade

Thanks for continuing to support Windsor Critter Camp and the Animal Rescue League!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rat girls looking for a home!

Our 4 little ladies are growing and learning every day and ready for their forever homes!!!

Edith and Agnes are staying with Mrs. Nelson until school starts, so they will be getting lots of valuable socialization, which is important for families wanting to enjoy a small pet.  One of the best things about this pair is how clean they like to keep their cage.  Mrs. Nelson put shavings on the bottom of their cage, and now the girls are close to "potty trained"--meaning, they typically eat up on their shelves and only go to the bathroom in the shavings.  The shavings are easy to scoop out and replace, which has made for a nice smelling cage!  (Our degus never quite figured this out...)  They LOVE yogurt and also eat lettuce, apples, and carrots to supplement their diet of rat food.  They are so sweet and like to cuddle sometimes too.  They can be adopted at any time and would love to meet you.





Sophia Grace and Rosie were pretty shy in the beginning, as many foster pets can be, but they have been making some great progress this week.  Both girls like to be pet on their backs, and Sophia Grace is learning that being held is actually not so bad!  Today they had a yogurt treat for the first time.  Mrs. Wilken pet Sophia Grace for long time while she nibbled on her treat.  Rosie kept to herself, but got some pets in too. They LOVE lettuce.  Sophia Grace will occasionally steal Rosie's--but Rosie always gets revenge later!  They spent a little time in their rat ball but couldn't quite figure out how to make it roll.  They'll work on it!  These girls are also liking the shavings on the bottom of the cage and that has been keeping their cage cleaner every day.  This week they are hanging out in the office with Ms. Johnson, Ms. Sunny, Mrs. Heemskerk, Mrs. Wilken, and Ms. Mone while summer school wraps up.  Next week the girls will be going back to the ARL in order to get lots of attention from the great volunteers there.  An empty school is no fun for these girls!  If you would like to visit them before they go back to the ARL to await their forever home, please contact Cindy Gerke via email at cgerke@arl-iowa.org.  They need a loving home to call their own!




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

End of the Year Visit to the ARL

Sorry for the delay in sharing about this wonderful day!  At the end of the regular school year the Windsor Critter Camp 4th Graders took a trip to the Animal Rescue League to learn more about the amazing organization we have spent all year helping.  It was such a great experience, and the students had a wonderful time.  We got to tour the kennels, the small animal rooms, make posters about fostering, walk through the horse barns, and even play with a dog!  The ARL also had a really cool cake made for us with pictures of some of our foster animals.  Thank you so much ARL for helping us wrap up the school year, and for teaching us so much more than we could have learned from any book.  We look forward to continuing the awesome foster project next year!



Making posters to share about fostering.

The cool cake they made for us


Checking out the cat adoption area.

Touring the small animal area.



Walking through the dog rooms.



Learning more about the ARL facilities.







Learning about how to approach a dog we don't know.