Chesterfield charity helps exotic pets

Encounter Exotic's Sam Stuart with Bear the racoon dog, Lee Holland with AJ the black throated monitor lizard, Caroline Stuart with Toby the chocolate skunk and Wenzdi Bennett with Brynn the silver fox. Pictures by Anne Shelley.
Encounter Exotic's Sam Stuart with Bear the racoon dog, Lee Holland with AJ the black throated monitor lizard, Caroline Stuart with Toby the chocolate skunk and Wenzdi Bennett with Brynn the silver fox. Pictures by Anne Shelley.

Never mind cats and dogs... a Chesterfield-based charity is helping unusual pets.

Encounter Exotics cares for and rehomes interesting animals including golden knee tarantula Gordon, Japanese raccoon dog Bear and silver fox Brynn.

Sam Stuart from Encounter Exotics with Bear the Japanese raccoon dog.

Sam Stuart from Encounter Exotics with Bear the Japanese raccoon dog.

It also provides ‘encounter experiences’, taking the exotic pets to schools and events.

The charity was launched at the start of the year and is operated by Lee Holland, Wenzdi Bennett and Sam Stuart.

Lee said: “We’re passionate about animals and love our jobs.

“We take on the pets when their previous owners give them up for whatever reason.

Encounter Exotic's black throated monitor lizard AJ.

Encounter Exotic's black throated monitor lizard AJ.

“We can give species – which don’t usually get help from larger animal charities like the RSPCA – the best possible care.

“Occassionally, we make animals available for adoption to great homes, enabling us to take on other pets in need.

“We also take the pets out into the community and they visit schools, care homes, parties and other events. People love seeing them.”

On the charity’s website, a reviewer writes: “Encounter Exotics attended my son’s 10th birthday party last week.

Encounter Exotic's golden knee tarantula, Goldie.

Encounter Exotic's golden knee tarantula, Goldie.

“The presenters were great with the animals and the kids. His friends haven’t stopped talking about Hugo the monitor lizard since!”

As well as ‘encounter experiences’, the charity makes money by selling donated items at Chesterfield flea market along with Bear and chocolate skunk Toby.

To find out more about Encounter Exotics, visit www.encounterexotics.com

Encounter Exotic's Japanese racoon dog, Bear.

Encounter Exotic's Japanese racoon dog, Bear.

Encounter Exotic's silver fox, Brynn.

Encounter Exotic's silver fox, Brynn.

Encounter Exotic's chocolate skunk, Toby.

Encounter Exotic's chocolate skunk, Toby.

Encounter Exotic's golden knee tarantula, Goldie.

Encounter Exotic's golden knee tarantula, Goldie.