Animal Rentals Blog


    January 28, 2015 by Mindy the Monkey

    HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody!

    I am tired but happy from my big New Year’s Eve night out with dad and lots of fun, dancing and new friends.  I would love to be sleeping right now, but dad says I need to make a New Year’s Resolution and share it with everyone so that I stick to it…so here I am, writing to you all about my New Year’s Resolution.

    Ok, honestly, I don’t get the whole New Year’s Resolution thing.  Dad says it’s a promise you make to yourself so that you have a guideline and a plan to follow for the upcoming year.  Well let me tell you, a monkey brain doesn’t work like that.  Lol!  We live for the day…actually we live for the moment.  A monkey’s motto is “Do whatever feels good!”  We don’t do a lot of planning.

    The above was written on January 1st.  Today is January 27th.  This is the perfect illustration to my point.  I have been “doing whatever feels good” for the last few weeks and totally forgot about finishing my blog post!  Talk about living in the moment – hahahaha!

    Dad says I have the emotional maturity of a two year old child.  I’m not sure that’s a compliment, but I suppose it is true.  Us monkeys get easily excited and easily distracted.  It is such a big, wild, wonderful world out there how can anybody NOT get caught up in the thrill of the moment sometimes?  It is so easy to do!

    Ok so back to the New Year’s Resolution.  Mine this year is to spend more time telling you all about my wonderful exotic animal friends and family at Animal Rentals and about all the fun we have living and playing and working together.  Sometimes I get so busy traveling around with dad to our College Entertainment shows, or working locally doing our Animal Shows, Petting Zoos and other fun events, that I forget to get online and share our stories with all of my wonderful human friends out there across the country.  Bad Mindy!  Lol.

    The really exciting news that you may have already noticed, is that this year I am sharing my blog space with my human and exotic animal friends of Mindy’s Menagerie, and letting them post here too!  So one day you might read a post from me, another day a post from someone on our staff, and another day maybe even one from Casper the Albino Burmese Python or Cleopatra the Serval Cat or Mrs. Clean the Hairless Rat.  You never know who is going to want to pop in as a guest star here on my blog, so be sure to check back often and get to know us all better in 2015!


    January 27, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    If you have looked at any pictures of SAHARA the FENNEC FOX you will usually see her perched comfortably atop someone’s shoulder.  SAHARA calls it, “being on top of the world”. Or you may find her snuggling contentedly in the arms of a delighted and equally contented bystander.   “My happy place” she will tell you.  Wherever she is, SAHARA is happiest when she is with people.  But if people are not available, her friends at ANIMAL RENTALS are just as good.

    People comment all the time about SAHARA’S sweet disposition and very laid back nature.  She will pose for pictures, be petted and handled with little resistance.  POKEY the PORCUPINE knows the true nature of the sly little fox, calling it her “Dr. Jekyll side.  All goodie two shoes and with a happy smile on her face. It’s when we return to ANIMAL RENTALS that the happy go lucky Dr. Jekyll turns into the crazy Mr. Hyde. She transforms into who she really is, a Fennec Fox.”

    A noted animal behaviorist wrote that the Fennec Fox is active 15% of the time, cuddly 20% of the time and asleep the rest of the time.  Evidently, they never met SAHARA.   This party girl lives to play and entertain. While the other animals rest and wind down from the activities of the day, SAHARA is busy searching for rubber balls, rope toys and rubber squeaky toys.  Her shouts of “LETS PLAY” fill the building and are quickly answered with replies a bit too harsh to print. Unfazed, SAHARA spends the next hour playing fetch alone, chewing on rope toys and purposely walking by each animal’s pen while biting down hard on the hated rubber squeaky toy all the time thinking, “That will show them”.

    Everyone tolerates SAHARA because they know that is her nature. And as all animals know, you can’t change your nature.  They won’t admit it, but her energetic and happy personality is contagious.  Even “SHERMAN” the stoic faced, slow moving RED FOOT TORTOISE steps it up a little bit when he sees her playing.  And was that a smile on his face?


    January 20, 2015 by Animal Rentals


    BUGSY, not his real name, is the self-appointed leader and spokesperson for the  gang of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches  that comprise the “insect only” members of  Mindy’s Menagerie. He says his name is taken from “that 1940′s gangster you see in all the old crime movies” and not because he in fact is a bug. That movie gangster  was portrayed as sneaky, underhanded and a bit of a ham, which just happens to fit the nature of BUGSY and his companions.

    Complaints by the other animals state that the gang routinely break out of their “containers” at night and sneak into their cages to steal food and anything else not nailed down. The multiple legged thieves smugly shrug their shoulders and state, “Finders Keepers.” Plus, the insects refuse to keep their habitats clean. Half eaten leaves, bits of fruit and even some shredded newspaper litter the entire area. “That’s what bugs do” is there excuse. A rumor currently circulating around ANIMAL RENTALS is because they have so many legs, they are looking into becoming “pickpockets”. With all those legs which make excellent hands, can you imagine the crime wave?  A visibly upset HORACE the HEDGEHOG said it best. “These guys are real bullies”.

    To MINDY the MONKEY and SAHARA the FENNEC FOX,  the roaches were much more than bullies;  they were a delicious afternoon snack that both enjoyed whenever possible.  As MINDY coyly put it;  “We do our best to keep their population and their crimes in check”.

    BUGSY and his crew are happiest when they make the audience fear them. They think their “hissing” noises and size are cool and make them even scarier.  However, people love them once they get past the  numerous legs, antennae and of course the hissing.  Pictures don’t lie, and the smiling faces on the photos and selfies of people holding the “fearful” insects in their hands is proof that “FEAR IS FOUND IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER”  and  “BULLIES NEVER WIN”!


    January 17, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    ANIMAL RENTALS very own “PIWACKETT” the SCARLET MACAW thoroughly enjoyed the Southern hospitality offered from the students of the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA in Mobile, AL on January 14, 2015. Along with Chi-Chi the Chinchilla, Sahara the Fennec Fox, Cuddles the Tarantula and other members of the renowned “Mindy’s Menagerie”, the afternoon was filled with fun, education and of course many “selfies”.

    ANIMAL RENTALS is firm in their belief that only by offering people the extraordinary chance to interact with exotic animals in a personal manner, can they foster the caring for and the conservation of our world’s animal kingdom.


    January 14, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    Ever wonder how animals are able to do the things they do in a movie or commercial?   Recently ANIMAL RENTALS was commissioned for a commercial involving a black cat running across an alley.  Sound easy? Remember, this was to be done at 11:00 pm on a very cold, wintry Chicago night in an alley at The Redhead Piano Bar on Ontario street.  Mobile dressing/hub trailers lined the street while a police car blocked the end of the alley to keep traffic out.  How would a cat possibly perform in this unfamiliar location and with all these distractions?

    Carol, a well known cat trainer, brought a team of 3 black cats; FLUFF, MUFF and RUFF.  They live indoors, but are trained to perform outside if necessary. Owing to the low temperature and for the safety of the cat, the shot had to be done quickly.  Trained to sit where they are placed, all three cats sat still allowing the crew to get the first shot of a cat sitting in an alley.  A short break followed, allowing Carol three minutes to rehearse the second shot.  MUFF was to run from one side of the alley to the other.  To do this, a carrier was set out of camera range where MUFF was needed to go.  Setting her down a couple of feet from the carrier, a command KENNEL was spoken and MUFF went into the carrier. Did you know that  cats can be trained to recognize words?  After a moment to praise and reward her performance, the process was repeated until the required length (12 feet) was reached.  MUFF was ready.

    With a call of  “Action”.  MUFF was placed at point A (the starting point) and her carrier placed across the alley at point B.  MUFF is trained to walk behind her trainer, but since  they wanted her running, Carol had to run through the camera shot so MUFF would follow her and run into her carrier.  Eight takes were filmed with MUFF performing flawlessly.  Satisfied that they had what they needed, the filming ended.  It was midnight.


    All three cats and our wonderful trainer Carol needed baths when they got home as they had soaked up a lot of dirty alley water.

    Great job everyone!



    January 13, 2015 by Animal Rentals


     One of the more unique members of “Mindy’s
     Menagerie”  has to be “PURSE”.  PURSE is an American alligator who was hatched in 1987.  With a length of slightly over 5 feet, a body covered in armor and a mouth full of menacing teeth, PURSE comes across as a rather imposing figure.  Actually PURSE, as is his nature, is rather laid back and quiet.  Many people assume that he isn’t real until it is their turn to pose for a picture with this “prehistoric reptile”.   HELLO, REALITY!

    PURSE does not talk but we have an idea what he would say.  He would tell everyone that he loves being an animal ambassador and a member of  “Mindy’s Menagerie”.  He also loves his fellow companions but would caution them not to get too close.  After all, he IS an Alligator and though he may not particularly want to eat them, its hard to go against millions of years of natural instinct imprinted in his brain.  PURSE  He would say he loves his name.  It was much better than the original suggestion of calling him WALLET.

    We find our friend PURSE the Alligator to be mysterious and mellow. He is fierce looking but possesses a gentle nature which makes him the perfect addition to our exotic animal display and to our mission “to educate, entertain and foster caring for and the conservation of our world’s animal kingdom by offering people the extraordinary chance to personally interact with exotic animals”.


    January 9, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    ANIMAL RENTALS starts the new year on the college circuit with a visit to the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN ALABAMA in Mobile, Alabama on January 14th.  Looking forward to getting back on the road and visit all our friends.  Our audiences just love the “hands-on”, face to face, hold me in your arms action that our Exotic Petting Zoo offers.  Follow our adventures on this blog or on Face Book at Animal Rentals or Mindy the Monkey.



    January 3, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    ANIMAL RENTALS very own animal ambassador,  Mindy the Monkey, paid a visit to one of her old stomping grounds on New Year’s Eve.  The KISS KISS CABARET on 4707 N. Broadway invited Mindy and her dad Bill to spend a few hours schmoozing with the party goers and possibly take in the show.  Mindy had previously worked at the KISS KISS CABARET when it was on Lincoln Avenue and did not want to disappoint them.  Already booked at a number of parties she managed to allow for a few hours with her friends.  The evening was magic, the people divine and the show utterly fantastic.  People posed for pictures and took selfies with the ever gracious monkey.  What a great way to welcome the NewYear.



    December 31, 2014 by Animal Rentals

     Trixie, one of ANIMAL RENTALS popular models and  animal ambassadors, was no where to be seen early  Monday  morning.   Employees offered various    reasons for her disappearance;  still in  bed, sleeping  in another part of the  building,  exploring another  part of the building,  hiding upstairs  in the apartment  or too busy paying attention to some  new arrivals.  Whatever the reason, Trixie was missing.

    Bill Hoffmann, aided by employees and friends, searched the building from the roof to the basement with little success.  However, a set of keys, one of Mindy’s less favorite toys and a handful of missing pens were found.  The police were notified, fliers were printed and shelters were put on notice.  Bill, like any petl lover, was worried.  For Trixie to be gone for such a length of time was highly unusual as she was well trained and a “people and animal person”, happiest when she was surrounded by her friends.

    It was Victoria, a few hours later, who heard an unusual scratching sound coming from a corner near her desk.  With all the animals of Mindy’s Menagerie accounted for, that sound could mean only one thing.  Moments later a dusty, but still happy Trixie crawled from beneath the desk with an equally dusty tennis ball firmly in her mouth.  It appeared that while attempting to retrieve it,  the little terrier became trapped.  She walked slowly to Bill, gave him her best “I’m Sorry” expression and dropped the ball at his feet.

    Calls were made, posters taken down, sighs of relief filled the building.  TRIXIE WAS HOME!


    December 27, 2014 by Animal Rentals

    Christmas arrived early for ADAM MONK, the elder statesman of ANIMAL RENTALS.  What do you get a 42 year old retired monkey for Christmas?

     It’s kind of like getting something for your grandfather.  Clothes were out of the equation as Monk practices  the lifestyle of a nudist.  He’s too old to play with toys and is not one to dine at fancy restaurants.  Besides, as is the case with most senior citizens, Monk is on a restricted diet. He doesn’t go out much, but does enjoy his daily walk around the premises.  Finally Barbara, Monk’s handler and caretaker, found the perfect solution to the problem.   So on December 24th, Monk enjoyed a soothing bubble bath followed by a soft, long massage with mineral oil.  By the smile on his face, he really enjoyed his gift.  Thanks Barb.  This was the perfect choice.

Animal Rentals, Inc., licensed by the USDA, is fully insured and has been in business for over 40 years.