Party Animals 4

Traveling Petting Zoo Squeals on Wheels

Founded by husband and wife team John and Jill Phillips, Squeals on Wheels traveling petting zoo combines their passion for animals and family togetherness. Squeals on Wheels brings goats, rabbits, piglets, hedgehogs and other sweet animals to your child’s (or grown-up) party. They work to ensure all kids have fun learning about and interacting with the animals and each other. Their son, Grant, was kind enough to give us a sneak peek into this zoo on wheels. We also scored an exclusive interview with the family’s African Pygmy Goat.

How did you come up with the idea for Squeals on Wheels?

My parents started Squeals on Wheels as a fun way to share our pets with the community. As it grew over the years, my brother, Tyler, my sisters Chelsea, Marlena and Raquel and I all helped on weekends and when we were home from school to support the family business.

How do the children react when they see your animals—what’s the best part of it?

The best part is seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces and teaching them something new. Education is a big part of our company’s mission, and we work to make sure all attendees walk away with a better understanding of the animals around them.  

What’s the most unusual request you’ve had for a Squeals on Wheels party?

We had a wedding request for some of our pets to be the “ring bearers” for the ceremony. Another client asked us to a 70-year-old’s birthday party. His brother wanted one of our goats to wear a sign that read “happy birthday, you old goat.” And last, but certainly not least, a young man asked if one of our alpacas could help him ask his date to prom. 

Where do the animals stay when not on the road? Describe their care.

They stay on my parents’ farm in Potomac where they hang out in the barn, pastures and with three generations of our family. They are all family pets and get lots of love when at our farm.

African Pygmy Goat

How long have you worked for Squeals on Wheels?

This is my third year with the best family I have ever had!

What’s the best part of your job? The worst?

What’s not to like? Life with Squeals on Wheels includes getting scratches behind my ears and sampling the best lawns the DMV has to offer. I love the variety of lawn flavors!

After a long day of being petted by happy children and adults, how do you like to unwind?

The best part of my day is being out in the community and getting big hugs from the kids and kids at heart. Coming home, all my goat brothers and sisters share stories about the day we had and the friends we made.

Who is your best animal pal in the petting zoo, and what do you do together?

Captain Jack, our dwarf horse, is my best friend. He’s great at finding the freshest spot in the yard!  

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