Who runs Adventures for the Wild at Heart?

Adventures for the Wild at Heart was founded by Dee Cooper, who continues to be the mastermind behind all our adventures. She brings compassion, support, and a sense of wild adventure to all the animal experiences she facilitates. Read more about Dee here.

What is Dee’s experience with leading groups to connect with animals?

Dee has been facilitating animal encounters since 2009. She’s coordinated animal encounters in with dogs, horses, and wolves, and globally with dolphins, sea otters, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, and elephants.

How are these trips different from other vacations?

Our group trips and custom adventures have all the benefits of an amazing vacation, plus the additional depth that can only be found in our facilitated animal encounters. Emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth are just as much a focus as adventure and exploration, all through the lense of joy and play!

Who are these animal encounters for?

These trips are for just about everyone! If you’re interested in encountering wild animals, these encounters are for you. We particularly enjoy working with people who desire deeper connections with themselves, others, and animals.

What kind of animals can I encounter?

We currently have encounters organized for encountering horses, wolves, dolphins, lions, and elephants. We organize custom encounters for a variety of other animals – you name it and we’ll see if we can organize it for you!

How do I know which kind of animal experience is best for me?

Good question. This really depends on your interests, schedule, and budget. Read about our different trip styles, and contact Dee for advice on planning your perfect experience!

I want to combine a couple of different animal experiences Is this possible?

Yes! Many people choose to combine several animal experiences into one, big trip. Read more about customizing your own trip, and contact Dee for more information.

The group trips look great, but none of the dates work for my schedule. What do you recommend?

If none of our group trips times work for you, let us know! We can help you customize a trip for your schedule. You can also sign up for our newsletter to see when new trips open up, and let us know if you’d like to request any trips or dates. If enough people show interest, we’re often able to open up new offerings.

I’m a little afraid of animals. Are these trips for me?

A little bit of fear is perfectly normal, and even if you’re extremely fearful of an animal, you might want to consider facing your fear through one of our trips. Through Dee’s guidance, meeting an animal you fear can be a wildly healing experience. Contact Dee for more information and to see if this type of encounter is right for you.

Do you offer programs for special groups?

We love working with special groups. Whether you have a school group, family reunion, women’s circle, retirement community, or something else completely, we’ll be able to work with you to create the perfect experience for your group.

Do you have any special programs for children or teens?

We will gladly create individual programs for any special groups, including children and teens.

Am I guaranteed to get to interact with animals?

All of the animals we encounter have their own free will, and we can’t force them to directly interact with our participants. However, between Dee’s coaching and our selective process for creating animal experiences, we’ve found that most of the time the animals do choose to engage with our groups.

What happens if an animal rejects me?

Being rejected by an animal can be a painful and confusing experience. However, there are lessons involved and internal measures you can take to heal from the experience and potentially invite greater interaction. Dee will support and guide you through this process.

How do you determine the cost of your trips?

We keep the costs of our trips to a minimum, so you can enjoy your encounter knowing that every penny is put to good use. Our costs include all the fees of the local companies we use, as well as tips, taxes, insurance, and local transportation. We work hard to make sure there are never any surprises for you.

I like playing with animals, but is this really good for them? How does this actually help?

We only facilitate animal encounters at centers that truly have the animals’ well-being at heart, and we never force animals to have interactions that they don’t want to have. When we visit, we support rescue centers financially, help with recovery activities, and learn how to educate others about caring for our wild friends.

How can I do more to help animals?

We’re so glad you asked! Part of our mission at Adventures for the Wild at Heart is to support animals and the organizations that we believe are doing good work. Take a look at our companies page to learn more, contact us for suggestions, and follow our blog for more ideas.


Have more questions? Contact us!
We’re happy to help.