As Seen on Oprah, Jimmy Kimmel Live, I Love Jenny, Pit Boss, Animal Planet, MTV, VH1, & hired by dozens of celebrities for their children’s birthday parties!
Jennifer Portillo & Lauren Cheney, Reptacular Animals Founders
Narrated by our animals….
Hopefully you’ve had a chance to admire all our portraits in the gallery and you’ll have to agree that we’re an adorable menagerie of animals. While many humans are attracted to us, it actually takes us a quite awhile to train some outstanding employees to cater to our every whim.
We’ll be the first to admit it – only a very capable team can care for such a diverse group from differing ecosystems and countries. It’s like an animal United Nations around here. We each take pride in keeping our personal assistants and their aides on their toes!
We have a special fondness for humans who volunteer at animal shelters. Sad to say, many of us were orphaned or abandoned, so we appreciate humans who have a big heart for animals in need. The people that work for us usually drove their parents crazy as kids, as they were the types who brought everything home! They could spot baby birds fallen from nests, kept big lizards in terrariums in their bedrooms, and loved hunting for frogs. They were young naturalists.
Since these are the kind of humans who own and work in Reptacular Animals, we are happy to help them share that love with your children. Our business was started by two friends, Lauren and Jennifer, whose lifelong passion for animals brought them together. Now the 230+ of us animals have our own house and ranch! Lauren and Jennifer couldn’t be happier!
Lauren is the bird specialist. She has raised birds since she was eight years old, having her own outdoor aviaries. Her first bird was a dove and her collection took off from there. She’s worked with raptors, raised a pair of wild swans, and was a summer counselor at an Audubon day camp for a few years. She’s now mastered the skill of raising baby birds from an egg and hand-raises the majority of all the birds at Reptacular Animals.
When Lauren was a teenager she got to have a private meeting with famed chimp naturalist, Jane Goodall. Jane encouraged her to follow her heart, so that’s exactly what she’s doing. Having someone around who actually got a hug from every animal’s Heroine is extraordinary.
During high school and college, Lauren worked at a prominent pet store for many years where she gained experience working with a large variety of animals. She was also a nanny, tutor, camp counselor and teacher’s assistant. Lauren currently teaches the Animal Encounters class local schools in addition to performing at numerous Reptacular animal shows and petting zoos. Lauren found that Reptacular Animals combines both her passions – kids and animals – in a unique way.
Jennifer has always loved reptiles – the bigger, the better. Her passion is monitor lizards. While other girls might scream at the sight of a snake, this girl was the first to make friends with it. We found it impressive that while in high school she founded an animal club called S.O.A.P. (Student Outreach Animal Program) to raise money for animal charities. In fact, we thought this was such a terrific idea that we insist on giving a portion of the proceeds from our business to animal causes.
It’s valuable to have Jennifer around as she was a veterinarian technician assistant to pay her way through college. She decided that treating only the sick or injured wasn’t quite for her, so she worked for an animal party service with all kinds of animals. For five years, she served as an LA Zoo docent, giving tours to school groups and the general public. While there she part of an observation team that recorded the behaviors of Western Lowland Gorillas.
Jennifer also enjoys working with children. She was a playground supervisor, nanny, and a math and English tutor. Jennifer worked at child activity center where she taught kids values though stories and games. Currently she teaches the Animal Encounters class throughout the Los Angeles area and of course loves doing the Reptacular animal shows. Jennifer also teaches the Animal Encounters class at the Summer Art Academy in Valley Village every summer.
Obviously two humans could not possibly cater to all the animals’ every whim. It’s a given that everyone on our support staff are true animal lovers and believe it’s a privilege to share all of us animals with you.
Our team is very skilled in providing animal shows and the Animal Encounters class all over the greater Los Angeles area and has been doing so for years. Together we’ve introduced tens of thousands of children to our wide variety of animals.
It is our hope that through a hands-on experience by Reptacular Animals, you will gain a burning desire to do whatever it takes to save the planet for each of our large and small, cuddly and scary friends.
That’s why we animals take time out of our busy napping and eating schedules to make personal appearances as animal ambassadors. Thank goodness we have expert chauffeurs who can navigate the snarly streets of southern California and help us arrive looking spectacular!