Welcome! My name is Debbie Wallace, proprietor of Down by the Creek Companion Animal Sanctuary. Several years ago, I found myself rescuing all types of unwanted or mistreated pets...anything with fur, feathers or scales! I began to rehabilitate them, train and socialize them. I fell in love with each one; they were so intelligent and appreciative of kindness! I found myself rescued by them every day.
I wanted to share this wonderful healing experience with other animal lovers. I wanted to tell the animals' stories of hope and forgiveness. So I began taking these rehabilitated animals out into the community.
We started small, in a few nursing homes in the area. These pet therapy programs were so well received and demand increased so rapidly that we have grown beyond anything I could have imagined.
Last year we conducted about 140 programs and touched the lives of approximately 3,000 people in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. The programs use the power of pet therapy to inspire, enrich and heal people of all ages. We adapt the stories and messages to fit the age of the audience or the mission of the event.
We bring smiles and joy to the hopeless in a nursing home. We share the excitement of learning about animals and the serious responsibility of pet ownership with school children.
Down By the Creek currently provides a safe, healthy environment for about 100 animals, including dogs, rabbits, chinchillas, cavies, degus, ferrets, skunks, sugar gliders, parrots, pigeons, doves, parrots, rats, bearded dragons and hedgehogs. The barnyard houses chickens, geese, pigs and a miniature horse. We have several varieties of turtles, tortoises and snakes.
In addition to the ongoing support of my family, I now have several dedicated volunteers to help with the daily chores associated with caring for the animal family, as well as helping with programs, office support and marketing.
We charge a very reasonable fee for our programs and activities. 100% of the proceeds goes toward the care and feeding of the animals. If you would like to arrange for a program at your facility or business, please see our Contact page for more information.