Petting Zoo Comes to Campus

Photo by Laura Luengas
Photo by Laura Luengas

Pam’s Party Animals made a stop at the Old Main Quad for a petting zoo event on Wednesday, Sept. 22,  from 12 to 3 p.m, sponsored by Student Activities.  Pam Marshall was accompanied by a herd of goats, bunnies and some chickens. Making a special appearance was the Afflack duck and his body double.

The company’s farm is in Wingdale, N.Y. and it was their first time on the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz campus. They have been hired for a variety of different events, from Mayor Bloomberg’s staff party to Ed Burns’ kids’ birthday party. Just two weeks ago one of Marshall’s geese made an appearance on the Colbert Report after the Glenn Beck rally, where apparently some god sent geese spoke to Glenn Beck. Though Marshall’s animals are not gifted in the art of communicating with the Right Wing, they did draw quite a crowd on campus.

The animals and the students were relatively well-behaved on campus in comparison to some previous events Marshall and the gang have attended.

“Goats have mated in front of crowds, sometimes the animals poop on people,” Marshall said.

Surprisingly enough, the animals are the least of her concerns.  They have many more animals than the ones who came to campus including donkeys, horses and a pony, which Marshall decided to leave at home. Unfortunately the pony cannot hold more than 50 pounds, but that does not stop some full-grown adults from trying to mount him.

Marshall also has to watch out for some hungry guests who try to kill and cook some of her animals. Needless to say she refrains from bringing fowl to Easter and Thanksgiving parties.

It takes a lot of work on the part of Marshall and her workers to make these petting zoos possible. They travel all around the Hudson Valley attending street fairs and company picnics, and a fair amount of New York City parties where celebrities come to observe the animals from a safe distance.

After one Easter party that a variety of celebrities attended, Tori Spelling made a television appearance the next day and remarked on how cute the hamsters were. Marshall does not actually have any hamsters.

An art student painted portraits of the animals while other students petted and fed the animals.

“People think that this is such a great job,” said Arianna Mykytyn, Marshall’s assistant. “I get paid for an hour’s work and clean up after animals and children. Trust me- it’s not that fun.”

Those interested in booking thier own petting zoo can visit the company online at

Photo by Laura Luengas