Love for science, animals main push behind local rescue, boarding
Patti Dallhoff’s house is a typical Prosper home with one major difference. The home has a variety of reptile tanks throughout with an assortment of reptiles inside. The Dallhoff family also raises a variety of insects to feed the animals and have a room in their home dedicated to the “bug business.”
Currently, Dallhoff has a Halmahera blue tongue skink, northern blue tongue skink, Chinese water dragon, bearded dragons, sand boa snakes, and a leopard gecko.
“I am a certified science teacher,” Dallhoff said. “When I had kids I stayed home. But I always liked learning about different animals and figuring out the life cycle and how to keep them healthy. It has been like a continual science experiment, learning what each animal and bug needed to eat, ideal temperature, that sort of thing. I never had a problem touching insects or reptiles, so this really made sense for me.”
Dallhoff offers boarding services for reptiles.
“I board reptiles, as well as rescue and then match critters with new families,” Dallhoff said. “You can not leave these guys home alone while you go on vacation. They need to be fed every day. You really want to make sure that they are staying healthy. Adult bearded dragons are pretty chill but you need to make sure that they have the proper lighting and food each day.”
“I have learned what the different reptiles need and help them with their environment,” Dallhoff said. “I can help check the lights to make sure that the animals are getting the right UV light. I can also help people figure out which bugs are best for their reptile and if they are getting enough. People do not realize that younger bearded dragons will eat about $100 in insects a month, so we help make sure that families know what they will need.
“Rescues are important to me, and that is one of my main motivations,” Dallhoff said. “I do not get any animals from the store. Sometimes people just can not take care of their dragon anymore and want to rehome it. I learn the personality of the animal and help connect it to a family that wants a new pet. People do not realize that the younger dragons are so active but that they get chill as they get older. If they want a dragon that will sit on their shoulder they need to get an older one. That’s why I work so hard to find out what the family wants in a pet and make a good match.”
Dallhoff also raises a variety of insects to feed both her reptiles and to sell to the community.
“We have Dubia roaches, super worms, and isopods. I feed these my scraps, all organic, so it is like composting. We started this because there was such a shortage at the beginning of the pandemic. When you order things online you are not always getting live bugs, as the heat kills some of the bugs in transit. So my son and I started selling the insects. It is such a great way to teach him about having a business, prices, mark ups, and profit.”
All together, the Dallhoffs raise Dubia roaches, silkworms, hornworms, wax worms, and super worms.
Carson Dallhoff is ten and runs the insect business. “My cousin started helping my mom counting the bugs and then I started doing that as well,” Carson said. “There are a lot of details to keep track of, but it is like math for real life. I like doing it.
“We have learned how to keep them healthy and have the right temperature,” Dallhoff said. “We have learned what sorts of fresh vegetables work best for them. I give them a variety of greens and butternut squash. It is work but I really love it.”
“I work with Prosper Reptile Rescue, which is a Facebook group,” Dallhoff said. “We can answer questions and provide support. We want people to have success raising their dragons and other animals.”
Dallhoff offers a boarding service for reptiles, answers questions, provides insects and reptiles at local community events, and sells a variety of insects. She can be contacted by email at Pattidallhoff@gmail.com.