AN ANIMAL-LOVER who built a new career around his pets is taking to the web in a bold new step for his business.
Dale Preece-Kelly launched Critterish Allsorts, an animal education and pet therapy business, in 2010 following a heart attack which led to him losing his job.
And this week saw the launch of CritterBoxTV, a weekly online TV show for children and adults alike, highlighting the 93 creatures that make up Mr Preece-Kelly’s menagerie.
“I had a heart attack about two years ago and lost my job because I couldn’t work,” said Mr Preece-Kelly. “But obviously I had to provide for my family.
“So we went down to my son’s school with a couple of animals and one of the nursery school teachers told me that I was good with the kids and I should take the animals into some other schools and get paid for it.”
Mr Preece-Kelly said he had gone straight home and set up a promotional website showcasing some of his animals and within a week he got his first two bookings.
As well as providing animals for presentations and birthday parties, Critterish Allsorts showcase at animal exhibits, schools, nurseries, preschools, after school clubs and numerous other events.
“It gives us a chance to show people that snakes and spiders and things like that aren’t that scary really,” said Mr Preece-Kelly. “But it also gives us a chance to educate the public to what commitments are needed to keep the animals as pets as well as just giving them an education about animals and their place in the world.”
The business has gone from strength to strength over the last few years – even diversifying into offering animal therapy services – and the website has grown with it, profiling the animals people could choose from and building up care guides for others interested in owning and caring for their own exotic pets.
And after a visit from the Staffordshire Newsletter, Mr Preece-Kelly stumbled upon the idea to take the business to the next level, launching a TV show to help showcase his pets further.
“We are hoping that CritterBoxTV will appeal to a wide audience, but especially parents and children, who will want to return every week for the next episode and watch together,” said Mr Preece-Kelly. “I don’t want to put the frighteners on Steve Backshall but we are hoping that it will become the new Deadly 60.”
The Youtube based show was created alongside InkSpot Media, a video production company in Nottinghamshire and commenced this week with an overview of the animals home, Critterish Manor.
Mr Preece-Kelly said future episodes would showcase the animals themselves, and viewers would be invited to interact with the show, suggesting features and questions that would form the basis of future episodes.
Episodes scheduled already for the coming weeks will feature Stoosh the skunk, Connie the boa, Bilbo the kestrel, bearded dragons and one on buying your first reptile.
Anyone that wants to suggest an idea for a future episode can contact Mr Preece-Kelly via the company website here, and can watch the first episode of the show here or by searching for CritterboxTV on Youtube.