How it started!

As a little kid, I (Paula) wanted to be a veterinarian or have a petting zoo. In high school, I quickly realized I did not want to do several more years of schooling and was much better at math but I still wanted to do something with animals.

My dad passed away when I was 2yrs old so my mom wouldn’t let me have much for animals other than a horse, goat, rabbits, cat and a dog. My uncle lived less than a mile away and he raised poultry and dairy cattle. He also had a few cows on our farm so I was able to get my animal fix that way.

After high school, I went to college and got an Associates in Accounting. I did my internship at Dixon Veterinary Hospital and got hired on full time. I worked there for 14 years doing various jobs throughout the clinic. I was able to fulfill part of my dream of working at a vet clinic around animals even though I didn’t become a veterinarian.

In 2000-2002, I started raising chickens and ducks. I went to a sale barn and bought my first pair of Shetland Sheep. All my sheep are generations of that first two pair I bought. I was given a goat and bred her. and the madness began LOL. Every so often I would go back to the sale barn and I found Skeeter, my first llama. I instantly fell in love with him, he was a little hesitant but he grew to love me.

One year one of my other uncles said, “hey do you want to do a small petting zoo at our kids event at the sportsmens club”? I said SURE and it began. For a couple years I just did that event and a local town event. I called myself Paula’s Animal Display and just got paid on donations.

I started getting more requests and was having issues scheduling around my work schedule at the vet clinic since I worked every other Saturday. In 2014 I decided it was time to find a new job that would give me more flexibility. I started working at Schafer Fisheries as a bookkeeper and they allowed me to take a few days off here and there to be able to go to nursing homes and schools during the week and was free on the weekends to do more events.

In 2015 I met Chris. He had never really lived on a farm before but he fell in love with it immediately. He never imagined himself being on a farm and thought all farmers did was sit in their tractors and drive around. He had never drove a tractor so that was one of the first things he learned. He is still learning how to operate a few pieces of equipment but since he works full time off the farm, he doesn’t get the opportunity to help as much as he would like.

Around 2017 we decided to change the name from Paula’s Animal Display to P & C Little Rascals (P for Paula and C for Chris if you didn’t figure that out already LOL). We purchased our first pair of miniature cows and bought an alpaca because everyone was asking what the difference between a llama and alpaca was. We continued to book more and more petting zoos. In 2019 we were doing petting zoos almost every weekend in the summer/fall months.

I told the owners of Schafer’s I planned to leave in 2020. My dream had always been to be running my own business and operating the farm by the age of 40 and I was turning 40 in 2020.

January of 2020 we officially became a legal business with the State of Illinois and had big dreams of doing petting zoos all year long. Then Covid happened and we didn’t get to do any events.

In 2021 we decided to do our 1st Open Farm Day and had an AmAzInG turnout! We had well over 350 people come. I don’t know the exact number since several wrote “and family” but it was great!

After that event we started receiving several calls to do Farm Tours and we were hired for several more events. Some weekends we went to different locations on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! We were hoping to be able to do more nursing homes but most were still on lock down. Towards the fall we did do a few that were opening back up.

We are hoping 2022 is just as amazing as 2021!

Carroll County Living Magazine

In September of 2021 we were featured in the Carroll County Living Magazine! Please note there a couple errors in the magazine. It states I worked at the vet clinic as an accountant. I work many positions but I did not work as an accountant. I did leave that job in 2014 to work at Schafer Fisheries as a bookkeeper which I did try leaving in 2020 to do the petting zoo full time. I do still work for Schafer’s a few hours a week from home.

Click the link below to see the article.