Before we get into our situation, if you have any questions regarding the current status of COVID-19 please check the CDC website.
We are excited to begin our in-person programs once again! However, just like everything else, our presentations will look a bit different for awhile. CCO staff will wear a mask / face covering and we request that everyone else do as well. We will require everyone to wash their hands before and after the presentation, which is pretty standard anyway. We will also observe the social distancing rule of 6' as often as possible and only conduct presentations for groups of about 10 or less. In addition, since the weather is improving, we would like to be outdoors (a garage, sun room or something of the sort is just fine).
The handling of the animals will be done solely by the staff of CCO. We may have an animal that we can leave out, step away and allow the individuals to come up and see closely. We will proceed very cautiously as we begin doing our in-person programming.
We would love to be able to stay home, care for the animals and only do online presentations until the virus is cleared. The reality of it is we do not receive any type of funding to operate CCO, this is 100% funded by our appearances. Our last classroom presentation was Friday, March 13th and our scheduled summer camps and daycares are beginning to cancel / close. Our emergency funds are coming to an end and we still have critters to care for. Those rescued pets are the driving force in making our decision to begin our in-person programs with restrictions.
We want to thank everyone that has stuck with us through this. Whether it was contacting us to make sure we are doing well, scheduling an online presentation, watching our online videos, adopting (either in person or virtually) one of our critters...whatever it was we thank you. This has been difficult for everyone and we all have our stories about this situation that we continue to write.
Be safe out there. Wash those hands, cover those coughs and keep doing that social distancing you've been so good at. We look forward to seeing everyone again soon!
Following the regulations given by the Governor of Ohio we can begin to do presentations on Tuesday, May 12th! While that is exciting news it doesn't mean we are out of the woods yet.
CCO does not receive any type of funding from the government or anyone else. 100% of our income is done by physical work and showing up to do presentations. With schools being closed for the remainder of the year and summer camps / daycares still up in the air we don't know when we will be able to resume programs for them. To date we have lost more than 25% of our annual revenue. Our summer programs make up more than 50% of our annual revenue. To say we are taking a hit is an understatement.
Effective May 12th we will begin offering in-person presentations for small groups of 10 or less. We will require everyone to wear a face mask or covering of some sort. We will maintain social distance guidelines while doing these programs as well. The handling of the animals will be done by CCO staff and we may allow the audience, one a time, to come up and touch an animal, maybe 2. However, hand sanitizer is a must for anyone that wishes to do so both before and after touching an animal.
We continue to monitor the ever-changing situation like everyone else. We are offering online presentations and will continue to do so. We are offering virtual animal adoptions and will continue to do so.
If there are any questions please don't hesitate to contact us. We look forward to getting back out there and seeing everyone in person soon. Until then please keep yourself safe, wash those hands and wear those masks!
During the week of March 9th. 2020 the State of Ohio decided to close schools effective the following week, March 16th. At this time we knew the virus was bad, we just didn't know
A majority of our programs are conducted at schools & daycares. When they shut down they cancelled programs. Those programs are what feeds and cares for these animals. Those programs provide us the ability to stay at home, where the animals live, and care for them 24 hours / day. We are not funded by the state, grants, etc. We get our funding by providing fun, educational presentations with our rescued animals. This isn't a job, this is our livelihood.
As of the date of this writing (April 18th) we have lost more than 15% of our annual revenue in cancellations. This time of year we are busy with daily school programs. We had also planned to do some travel with the critters and provide educational programs for a few schools a couple hours away. These cancellations have hurt.
Let me say that all of us here are healthy. Nobody within the CCO family is ill and we are all continuing to care for the animals. We have taken several animals in already and we expect that number to increase. We are doing our best to stay socially distant and stay in the house as much as possible.
Our food supplies for the animals are good. Due to the types of animals that we have we purchase food in bulk. Hay and pellets for chinchillas, ferret food, frozen rodents for the snakes...we have that already. We receive weekly shipments of crickets & worms for the lizards, turtles, frogs and more and those won't stop, either. We do have to go shopping every few days to get fresh fruits & veggies for the tortoises, lizards and others.
At this time we are thinking that we will be off from doing personal programs until sometime in May. So what are we doing in the meantime?
First, we are offering a discounted online program. Whether it's distance learning for school or a program because you're home and want something fun and educational for the kids, we will conduct a program from our Critter Room! Get the same great program you're used to just from the comfort of your couch. We will talk about our animals, show them off, answer your questions, etc. We are even able to show some of the animals we talk about during programs (parrots, larger snakes and more) that aren't able to physically go to
We are cleaning and reorganizing. With all of the animals, cages, lights, food storage, etc. it can get cluttered. We always have to be clean because of the animals we work with. However, just to be safe, we have been going through everything, wiping everything down and making sure it's all well organized.
We are also working on our online presence a bit. We are setting up a small studio to begin doing more video work, better photography of the animals, etc. Check our social media pages (FB, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok) for more on that and for our videos.
In addition, we are trying to adopt out those critters that are ready for a new home! With a lot of people being home it's a great time to get a new family member. You will be able to spend time with it, form a bond with it and really get to know your new friend. Check our social media pages for that info as well!
In the meantime, stay safe. Support small businesses when you can, keep yourself healthy and we look forward to seeing you all again soon!