WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO
At Animal Rentals we love animals and we love people. And what we love the most is the sheer joy of bringing people and animals together. It makes people happy to meet our friendly and amazing exotic animals, it makes our animals happy to be loved and admired and cared about by so many different people, and it makes us happy to see them interact, enjoy and learn about each other. We think we have the best job in the world.
But there is more to our business than just loving and introducing people and animals. Animal Rentals is passionate about protecting and saving our world’s domestic, and exotic animals, and we work tirelessly to promote the conservation, preservation and well being of all animals around the globe. Our hundred-plus years of experience in connecting people and animals has taught us that people want to help animals they care about, and they care more about animals that they meet, touch and personally interact with than animals they only get to see in pictures, videos, or behind bars at a zoo. Animal Rentals main mission is to educate people about our world’s animals and help them care enough about those animals to protect and save them. Making our human friends and our exotic animal friends happy by bringing them together is a truly outstanding benefit of that mission.
Animal Rentals mission is to educate, entertain, and foster caring for and conservation of our world's animal kingdom by offering people the extraordinary chance to personally interact with exotic animals.
WHAT WE DO AND OUR QUALIFICATIONS
Animal Rentals is a fully licensed and USDA certified business with over 100 years of expertise in the training and handling of exotic animals. We are fully dedicated to our mission and to giving people the chance to meet exotic animals up close and personally. We never tire of the smiles and the looks of wonder that occur when someone touches an alligator or a chinchilla or a monkey or a fox for the first time. That’s why we love traveling all over the United States bringing joy to millions with our unique blend of animal entertainment and education.
Each of our many different types of Exotic Animal Shows are closely monitored by our professional animal trainers and handlers for the welfare and safety of our animals and the people that meet them. We tailor our interactive performances to our audience, and we specialize in shows for all ages from preschool to seniors, special needs groups, school education, public service and themed events. Our Exotic Animal Shows, College Entertainment programs, Petting Zoos, Pony Rides, Camel Rides, Animal Displays, and Animals for Film, Television, Commercial and Photography shoots are all fully customizable to meet your exact needs.
A LONG HISTORY OF BRINGING PEOPLE AND ANIMALS TOGETHER
Animal Rentals is proud to carry on the renowned tradition of a family that has long been at the forefront of bringing people and animals together. For well over a century, the Hoffmann’s have been pioneers in the animal entertainment and education industry in Chicago, and we at Animal Rentals are the third generation dedicated to creating a unique and unforgettable animal experience for children and adults of all ages.
It all began in 1907, when William Hoffmann opened the first licensed pet store in the city of Chicago. William’s industrious spirit and his love for animals of all kinds were a natural fit for the business. At a time when most creatures were considered beasts of burden or simply food, Hoffmann led the way in Chicagoland for pets and people to interact on a more personal and loving level.
In the 1940s and 50s, William’s son Bernie Hoffmann carried on the family legacy of entrepreneurship and animal welfare with his own pet store, the legendary Animal Kingdom, which was famous for its friendly exotic animals living side-by-side with puppies and kittens. At Animal Kingdom Bernie began an entirely new type of enterprise—renting animals—to save the lives of two small white doves slated for death after a magician’s show. Hoffmann then took the business even further, entertaining at parties with private animal shows and showcasing his domestic and exotic animals to the masses through television and film. His animals appeared on many local and national shows—including Kukla, Fran and Olllie, The Lee Phillips Show, Bozo's Circus, The Ray Raynor Show, Romper Room, The Jerry Springer Show and more. And some of them, like Chelveston the Duck, became treasured local icons.
Bernie Hoffmann believed that people would care more about animals that they could meet and touch, rather than just see behind bars in a zoo. He stressed animal welfare and conservation even in the early days, so that there would never come a day when “people could see animals only in pictures.” Bernie raised his sons, Bob and Bill, with a house full of exotic animals -including a chimpanzee named Bingo that wore clothes, ate meals with them, and was considered the “third brother”. Having loved and experienced such a wonderful life of animal kinship, it was only natural, of course, that the young Hoffmanns would follow in the footsteps of their father and their grandfather before him.
Bill Hoffmann discovered a love for entertaining and making people happy at an early age. So while his brother Bob was becoming more firmly rooted in the family business at Animal Kingdom, Bill took his love of entertaining and combined it with his lifelong love of animals to offshoot the family business in a direction that suited his outgoing nature and his talent for making people laugh and smile. And so, In 1973 Animal Rentals was born.
Bill started his individual venture as an Organ Grinder at fairs, festivals, parties and corporate events. He and his Capuchin Monkey, Mr. Adam Monk, were wildly popular, and his clients loved the act so much that they wanted more. So Bill quickly expanded the business to include a variety of exotic animal shows and displays, petting zoos, educational programs, and animals for television, film and photography. Over the years Bill has mastered the art of entertaining while educating his audiences, and he has joyfully brought together thousands of different domestic and exotic animals with millions of people across the country.
Bill Hoffmann loves the idea of helping people to care about animals by personally introducing them to exotic species they would never normally have the chance to meet “up close”. These days Animal Rentals focuses on that platform—teaching people about our world’s amazing animal kingdom and helping them care about our earth and the creatures that roam it. At every type of event you can think of — from birthday bashes to grand openings to block parties to national conventions, in every type of venue—from back yards to libraries to universities to boys and girls clubs, Animal Rentals brings the same message of animal education, conservation and well being in a truly memorable and fascinating fashion.