December 28, 2023

Faces, Places & Voices Of PVREA: Backyard Barnyard

Human Interest Stories

PVREA Member & Mobile Petting Zoo

Take a moment to recall the first time you held a rabbit. This probably happened when you were quite young, wide-eyed and curious, like the small bunny you held. Remember the soft, velvety fur, lighter than a dandelion’s fluff. And the long-ear’s quick breaths and heartbeat, which you soon noticed matched your own.

For many of us, this memory remains, reminding us of the extraordinary beauty that blooms when we take the time to truly appreciate and connect with the natural world around us.

This experience, and many like it, is what PVREA member Backyard Barnyard helps create through their unique mobile petting zoo.

Owner Louise Walker shared how her lifelong passion for animals led her to bring Backyard Barnyard to life.

“Growing up around animals was such a fundamental part of my development into a responsible, grounded, successful adult,” Louise said. “When I had two kids of my own here in Fort Collins, I knew I wanted them to also grow up being responsible for animals.”

Louise and her family first started with Nigerian Dwarf goats named Leo and Marty. Then moved on to chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, and a pony. When her carnival of creatures reached a total of 15, a thought came to Louise: “I could share this experience with other kids, get other people’s kids excited about animals and caring for them.”

Today, Backyard Barnyard brings small and large petting zoo setups to events from Denver to Fort Collins. They even offer Easter photoshoots with chicks and bunnies, or for something really magical, Snowman the unicorn pony will come dressed to impress.

“We believe that being with animals is grounding,” Louise said. “And in many cases, it’s healing.”

Learn more about Backyard Barnyard online at or see photos and videos of them in action on their Facebook and Instagram.