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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Summer School Critter Campers!!!!

Critter Camp will be continuing through our summer school!  The Degu boys will be getting some summer company.  Ms. Cindy will be dropping off our newest campers tomorrow, so the current students will get to hang with them and get them settled in before our last day on Monday.  Here are some pictures of our Ratty Girls we are getting.  2 pairs of baby girls will be joining us for some socialization.  Check back often to see updates even during the summer!

Goo TV

Here are some fun "Goo" videos from the past week.

"Goo"Good Times

Christoph, Sven and Olaf are SO EXCITED!  Yesterday Ms. Michelle from the ARL brought them what we have coined "Degutopia".  It is a GIANT cage for them to run and play in.  The goo boys are having a blast exploring all the new levels and fun things to play with.  Their favorite spot is still their hammock.  Ms. Johnson had to make this one a little bigger so they can all fit together a little better.

"Degutopia" next to their old cage.

Getting "Degutopia" all set up.

New hammock and another wheel so we don't all try to run on one at once.

Our favorite spot is still the hammock.  Ms. Johnson finds us here sleeping every morning.

Christoph peeking out of the PVC pipe tunnels.

Sven snacking on some pellets.

Olaf loves his hay.

Olaf likes to eat the puffs before he eats the stems.

Gee what is that thing you are sticking in my cage?  

You said you wanted a picture how about this close up?

Good Bye Tom and Jerry

Another successful adoption taken care of before the end of the school year.  Tom and Jerry were chosen by a sweet little girl all the way in Minnesota.  She saw them while she was searching the Petfinder website and picked them over all the others.  Her awesome family drove all the way down to adopt them, and they are happily settling into their new place.  Good luck Tom and Jerry!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Meet the Degu Boys

Our three Degu boys are getting settled in.  We have learned a little more about them and are excited to share!  Most importantly, we have chosen names for them.  Because of all the "Frozen" craze going on, we decided that these cute little boys would like to join in the fun.  We have selected the name: Christoph, Sven, and Olaf!  

We found out that these boys are babies of the Degus rescued from Davis County. Many of the animals that were rescued that day came to the ARL already pregnant, just like our bunny Hope.  Two of the Degu boys are brothers Christoph and Sven.  They are a little bit older and bigger than their cousin, Olaf.  Olaf was born to a family of 5 sisters.  Because Degus are social and need to have friends, Olaf was lucky enough to join his boy cousins and become their own little family.  

These three boys are very curious and have already begun making friends with the students and teachers.  They love running on their wheel and even try to get in there all together and run.  Yesterday we gave our first dust bath and they thought it was the greatest thing ever!  They all tried to roll around in it at the same time and it looked like a giant party! Today we added some PVC tunnels to give them a chance to tunnel and play.  I heard word that there is even a "Frozen" song remake in the works, called "Do You Want to Pet a Degu?"

Christoph, Sven and Olaf snuggling on their new ledge.

Ms. Johnson picked up some PVC pipe to add to their cage.
The boys exploring their new tunnel.  One brave one has already gone in.

Checking out the new hay box.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Welcoming our Newest Campers!

Today Ms. Cindy brought Ms. Johnson's class our new Critter Campers.  We have 3 baby male Degus.  They are a small rodent, kind of like a chinchilla.  These guys are pretty cute and so far are very active.  They love to run on their wheel and have been burrowing under the towels. Today we learned all about them and started getting them used to our smell.  We are teaching them to be comfortable with people by putting our hands in the cage and letting them get to know us.  We are still discussing the perfect names for these guys, so check back soon to find out!

Monday, May 12, 2014


Today we said good bye to the last of our Davis County rescue bunnies.  Hope, Skeekers, Chessie, Maisy, Felix, Pepper and Gio all found their amazing forever homes.  We were sad to see them go, but so excited for them to start their time in their forever homes. Two of them are staying close to home because they were adopted by a counselor in another Des Moines School!  Chessie and Maisy will be spending their time running the counseling office at Amos Hiatt Middle School. Felix and Pepper are settling into their new home with a bunch of bunny friends on an acreage in Iowa City.  Hope and Skeekers are moving in with another ARL rescue bunny named Dean, and his awesome parents here in Des Moines.  Gio found his family after he woke up from his vet visit at the ARL a few weeks ago.  An awesome family fell in love with him and took him home that very day.

Saying goodbye was really tough, but it feels so good to know that these bunnies who started out life with nothing, have now found amazing loving homes.  We will miss them terribly, but watching them grow from the day they were born to their 12 week birthday has been the greatest experience.  That puts us up to 12 animals adopted since January!  Way to go Windsor 4th Grade!!!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

More Tom and Jerry Pics

The boys love their first orange!

Jerry digging into his first orange.

Tom's using the litter box.  Woo hoo!


Tom snacking on some hay.

Jerry, but also notice the awesome litter box usage!  Way to go smart piggies!


More Bunny Pics

Hope, Chessie and Maisy snuggling.

The girls are going to be just like their mommy!

Hope is the queen of the box!

Mrs. Wilken bribing the bunnies for petting time.

Loving their yogurt treats.

Chessie likes her treats.

Skeekers tolerating some petting.

That was exhausting!  Holy crazy hair day!

Pepper and Maisy snacking on Kale.

Felix is digging the pet time.

Double pets, Hope and Felix.

Chessie chillin.

Sister snuggles, Maisy and Chessie.

Maisy and Chessie

Skeekers likes shoes.  Looks like it is time for a new pair, Ms. Johnson.
So sleepy.

Hopie getting some snuggle time.

I don't think this is the same scared bunny from the first day???