Animal education nonprofit reopens with precautions to protect guests and animals

Special to Iredell Free News

Rescue Ranch has reopened its doors and education programs to the public following guidance from the state’s Phase 2 guidelines. There are several options for local families to safely engage with the ranch’s over 80 animal ambassadors, while participating in humane animal education.

Rescue Ranch is also partnering with Restore Global to support local families with its COVID-19 Pet Food Assistance Program. Families affected by the pandemic with loss of jobs, can apply for free dog and cat food on the nonprofit’s website at

Critter Camp

Critter Camp, daily and one-week summer camp sessions offering hands-on educational experiences with animal interactions, kicks off the week of June 8 and runs through August 7. Class sizes have been reduced to a 1:10 student-teacher ratio for elementary and middle school students and a 1:8 ratio for preschool students with morning health screenings for all camps.

Elementary camps are $40 per day and $190 per week. Middle School Vet Camp is $200 per week and Preschool camp is $100 per week.

For those interested in a Critter Camp coming to you, Rescue Ranch is offering Critter Camp Uncaged with activity boxes specialized for preschoolers and elementary-age children. Each box will include a camp shirt, games for the family, and activities that can be done alone or in a group at home.

The preschool box includes a sensory bin, craft, and five different activities and the elementary box includes nine craft and STEM activities. Boxes are $35 including a shirt and $20 without the shirt. Pick up is free and shipping is $15. Boxes will be available June 1 for pickup/shipping.

Family Events

In addition, two family events are being offered in June on Rescue Ranch’s property:

♦ Beginner Buddies Preschool Days, designed for children ages 1 to 5 and their families, is June 1 and June 2 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Each event session will feature water tables, crafts, playground, nature trails and animal presentations in small groups.

♦ Outdoor Explorers Days, designed for elementary and middle school students and their families, is June 12 and June 13 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Each event session will feature large outdoor games, STEM challenges, playground, nature trails and animal presentations in small groups.

The cost for both Beginner Buddies Preschool Days and Outdoor Explorers Days is $7 for children and $10 for adults. RSVPs for each event are required to accommodate the state’s Phase 2 restrictions.

Private Tours

Private tours are also available for families of nine or less each day at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tours will be conducted in a private and sanitized room with multiple animal interactions. Each tour takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes. After the tour, guests will have access to the nature trails and playground and are invited to bring a snack or picnic lunch to enjoy outside.

Private tours are $20 for adults and $10 for children and require reservations 48 hours in advance.

Learn More

For more information on any of these events, including to RSVP, registering for camps, or the Rescue Ranch COVID-19 Pet Food Assistance Program, visit or call (704) 768-0909.

About Rescue Ranch

Rescue Ranch is a nonprofit animal welfare organization founded by Krissie Newman and NASCAR driver Ryan Newman. The 87-acre facility offers school, Scout and camp programs, birthday parties and private tours, which promote humane education through hands-on learning. Rescue Ranch is located in Statesville.

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