WAYLAND — There was plenty of sunshine and excitement at the grand reopening of a community petting zoo and leather shop.


Dinky Doo Petting Zoo and Pony Rides Too and Free Spirit Leather Shop got an expansion over the last few months. On May 5 they held a grand reopening to celebrate all of the hard work with animals, food, entertainment, and tours.


Laura Lane, Livingston County Chamber president, provided the ribbon cutting, and spoke about how she felt about the continued success.


“This is the third ribbon cutting that we have had the privilege to participate with Cherie (Carter) here. When you think about an entrepreneur you think about somebody that constantly looks at their business, and sees what they need to do to keep it relevant,” she said. “They see what their customers are longing for, and what the community needs. Cherie has done that with hours and hours of sleepless nights.


“The amount of work that you have put into this operation, and the friends and family you have here with you speak to the kind of person you are,” Lane continued. “We are so proud of the example that you set when somebody has a dream, and puts all of their spirit and their hard work behind it.”


Cherie Carter, Dinky Doo Petting Zoo and Pony Rides Too owner, said she is very touched by the people who have helped her get this far.


“Unfortunately my family can not be here today, but if it wasn’t for my father I wouldn’t be who I am today,” she said. “Miss Marian is my main mentor, and I want to grow up to be just like her. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the help and support.”


Marian Crawford said that Carter is doing a great thing for the community.


“Cherie is an entrepreneur extraordinaire. When Cherie first came here people would ask me what happens if it doesn’t work out. I always told them that Cherie would make it work,” Crawford said. “Cherie has the energy and vision to make it happen. This is the best thing to happen in Wayland in a long time. It is fantastic, and we should all be proud.”


There has been a lot of expanding with a bigger building, new well, septic tank, roof, and handicap accessibility. There are more animals and a party room that can fit 40 people comfortably.


“There is still a long way to go yet,” Carter said. “We are making everything handicap accessible, and I already have a few parties booked. I am making it educational for school field trips. The parties are Sunday only anytime after 1 p.m.”


The Dinky Doo Petting Zoo and Pony Rides Too along with Free Spirirt Leather Shop is located at 1864 State Route 63 in Wayland. They can be reached at 585-978-5611. For more information visit https://dinkydoospettingzoo.wixsite.com/home