ADO Encounters, Academy, Therapy and Projects for London and the South East
Call 0845 6044921 or 0208 850 6778 - We Are A Not For Profit Community Interest Company

Frequently Asked Questions

Got a Question? Try Here!


If you are not sure about anything then please ask! We know how stressful it can be organising events! We are happy to cover the multitude of questions and queries that arise when you are having to organise a special day for the community, your organisation, family or friends. If you still have no luck in getting your questions answered in this section then please contact us using the methods below:

Either Give Us A Call on 0845 604 4921 or 020 8850 6778 or email

You can click on the tabs below to open up a range of frequently asked questions.


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Q. Can I ring you at anytime?

A. Our office hours are Monday through to Friday 9.30am to 6pm. If you need to contact us over a weekend, either leave a message on our answerphone or email us at We will get back to you as soon as possible. We are closed on public holidays.

Q. If I ring your 0845 number, is that going to cost me a fortune in call charges?

A. Our 0845 number is a national number where the cost is shared between you and Animal Days Out. Our 0845 number is a BT number where the call costs you 3.9p per minute and Animal Days Out 3.45p per minute, roughly 50-50. You may even have a calling plan where by the call is free of charge, especially at weekends. So, we don't make any money out of your call, infact we help share the cost of the call. Please note some of the more unscrupulous mobile providers may charge more for an 0845 call. Our landline number is 020 8850 6778 if you are ringing from a mobile. If you are worried about call charges simply send us an email message requesting a call back.

Q. What if I have booked a session and need to contact you out of hours in an emergency?

A. We provide an out of hours mobile number to all customers who may require to call or text in an emergency. Alternatively you can leave a message on our main number, which is checked out of hours on a regular basis. Of course, sending an email will usually get a pretty quick response as well, as each member of staff has a blackberry mobile device.


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Q. How many children should I invite to my childrens party?

A. We recommend that for the best interactive party, the number of children should be between 10 and 20 in total. This allows us to ensure that each guest has some good quality time with the animals we bring along. If there are more than 20 guests, we have to limit the amount of interactive touching and handling of each animal. For a 1 hour encounter we insist on a maximum of 20 guests. We can accomodate more than 20 guests, but the format of the party changes to a 2 hour encounter and our Gold Package. At between 20 and 30 guests the party ensures the majority of the handling and touching of the animals is focussed with the birthday child, with the remainder of the guests restricted to accomodate the numbers. The number of guests does not include accompanying parents or family members.

Q. My child has so many friends, we would like to invite about 40 guests

A. We can accomodate around 40 guests as long as there is enough room to set-up and show the animals. The interaction will be limited with touching and handling the animals with less time taken with each animal for guests but more focussed attention on the birthday child or special guests.

Q. There will be older family and friends in attendence at the party. Is this OK?

A. We openly encourage family and friends to be a part of your child's special day. We also find it helps the children relax and in some cases provide support. We are happy for younger children to sit with their parents or family if they are nervous during the encounter.

Q. I've sent you my list of preferred animals to bring on the form, is this list guaranteed?

A. Bringing the animals that you have specified can never be guaranteed on the day, because animals being animals, certain things can happen that will mean that on occasions we will not be able to bring them. Animals can often shed their skin, get ill, go into semi-hibernation during winter, go off their food, decide its breeding season! Or the weather may be too cold or hot to transport them. Whatever the reason, our animals come first and if there is any issue with an animal prior to the event, we always 'err' with caution and keep it behind secure in its own habitat. We will of course give as much notice as possible if we can not bring an animal and have plenty of other animals that would be equally brilliant as a substitute.

Q. I've only got a tiny flat, but my child is desperate to see the animals.

A. Although we ideally insist on plenty of working space for our animal encounters, we do appreciate that sometimes we have to work in tight spaces. If you have a flat or a room just big enough to accomodate your guests only, but not the animals, then all we ask for is a spare room where by the animals can be stored temporarily. Not having a large space is certainly not a show stopper for us!

Q. I don't want children in my house for the party, what are the alternatives?

A. In the warmer months we are happy to present our encounters in your garden or yard. If you are looking to hire a venue, we offer room and grounds hire at The Environment Centre where our animal base is. We charge £25 per hour. If you hire your own choice venue, we will happily visit a hall, community centre, church or any other building for the party.


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Q. What space do you need and do we need to supply anything?

A. Most scouts or guide huts - buildings have ample room for us to work in. We will get your troop to either sit on the floor or on chairs in nice neat lines for us to work between. We bring all our own tables and equipment. We will require free parking near to your session so that we can unload the animals quickly and without stressing them. Other than that a nice cuppa tea goes down well sometimes!

Q. What animals do you bring?

A. We bring between 10 and 12 animals that we pre-select based upon the age group and numbers of your troop. The majority of the animals are interactive allowing holding and touching. All the animals are perfectly safe and non-venomous. We bring a mixed selection of animals with mini-beasts, lizards, snakes and small mammals, providing something for all tastes and a good coverage of key educational aspects including habitats, life-cycles, diet and keeping pets. If the leaders have a particular focus or subject, we can ensure the animals we bring match the criteria required.

Q. Do we need to do anything?

A. The leaders can just sit back and enjoy the session. Our staff are well versed in keeping your troop under control and on good behaviour. We want them to enjoy the session and have fun, but have techniques and methods to ensure the children have fun and learn without disruption. If the leaders want to join in, they are more than welcome to get interactive with the animals.

Q. Is everything legal and above board?

A. We are a professional company where the animals work with us as opposed to being a bunch of pets we bring along. We have Public Liability, are licensed, can provide risk assessments, have a stringent health and safety policy and have staff that are qualified in animal care and carry enhanced disclosures.

Q. How do we pay you?

A. You can pay on the night with cash or cheque. If you need a receipt we can send you one via email once the session has been paid for.

Q. Is there anything else?

A. All we ask at the end of session is a chance to distribute our leaflets. Our community business relies on referal, which helps keep our charges low, so if a child then ends up booking us for their birthday party, the revenue will be re-invested back into the business to provide more community based activities and encounters.


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Q. You charge different rates, why?

A. We have 2 main structures of charging and different levels of charging within those structures. What!! It may sound complicated, but its pretty simple really.

Community - We offer a lower, cheaper charge to any community group, because in most cases they simply can not afford commercial and private rates. We want to encourage the community to use our animal encounters and give opportunities to children, young people and adults, especially in deprived areas, a chance to experience some of our animals for possibly the first time in their lives. Our community offering also makes it viable for disability groups or those needing animal assisted activities to be able to afford the encounters without exhausting their funds.

Private - We offer Midweek, Saturday and Sunday charge rates. A lot of our private business is at weekends, where it is slightly more expensive than a weekday encounter. We have to pay our staff and ensure that our business runs 7 days a week to accomodate the encounter bookings on Saturdays and Sundays, which is why they are a little bit more expensive.

Business - Our business rates reflect the level of professional encounters that we can provide to the commercial sectors. The directors of Animal Days Out both come from top City and West End of London large companies, and are well aware of the requirements to provide team building or open days to a standard required for professionals in business and of course just how much it costs!

Q. What areas do you cover and can you travel large distances?

A. We cover mainly London and the South-East, although we often visit venues in Hampshire, Sussex, East Kent, Essex, South Hertfordshire and other areas within the Home Counties. As long as the journey is not excessive, we will consider visiting you. For some of the longer distances, the animal choice may be restricted, simply because some of our animals don't travel long distances well and we would not want to put them under any stress that may harm them.

Q. I live about 50 miles from you. Will it cost me more?

A. The answer is Yes. If you live outside a radius of 30 miles of our animal centre, we charge an additional 75p per mile to cover our diesel and fuel costs. For example, if you live 50 miles away, then that is a round trip of 100 miles for us. Therefore to cover the cost, we would charge an additional £15 (50 miles - 30 miles = 20 miles. 20 miles x 75p = £15). As you can see, we don't charge for the return trip.

Q. I live over 2 hours from you, will this cost me more?

A. Again the answer is Yes. In the first instance we would have to ensure that the animals would not be stressed on the journey and whether it was viable to do the journey in a reasonable time. If all is well, then we would calculate the additional travel time over 1 hour and then charge an additional 40p per minute thereafter. If you lived 2 hours away, then that would be an additional hour travelling time we would charge you to cover our staff costs, which comes to £24 (2 hours - 1 hour = 60 minutes. 60 minutes x 40p = £24)

Q. How do I know you're not charging me extra mileage or time than it really takes?

A. We don't want to rip anyone off with inflated estimates of travel distance and the time it takes to travel to you. We simply use the Route Planner on the AA website, which calculates the best routes and the time it should take to reach you. Its both independent and fair. (


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