Luling teen’s new business focuses on exotic animals

Catherine Stoutz graduated early from Hahnville High School in January, and the 18 year old has hit the ground running this summer on starting her own unique business – Cloud 9 Exotics and Encounters.

“I’m getting an LLC and making it all official,” the Luling resident said. “I love animals. This is the only consistent hobby that I’ve had. The animals themselves … they’re all different and they’re all so beautiful and unique in their own way.”

Stoutz said she hopes to parlay her love for exotic animals – a love she was introduced to at a young age – into a business that will include educational shows, mobile petting zoos, animal adoptions and ownership education.

“My dad was the one who got me into it,” she said. “Growing up he worked with a lot of zoos and exotic owners from out of state and I still travel out of state still with my dad. We go and visit zoos and other exotic facilities and owners … that’s where it started. I’ve traveled with him my whole life.”

Stoutz said she enjoys educating people about the animals, as well as helping people to navigate the legality of ownership based on where they live.

“My uncle in Florida … he owns animals that you can’t own here,” she said. “Louisiana has one of the strictest exotic animal laws. We are not allowed to have big cats … lemurs … those sorts of things. But there are some very exotic and cool animals that you can have. I like to educate people on them and show them.”

Stoutz will start college in the fall at Southeastern Louisiana University, where she plans to major in business and minor in animal science.

“I plan to continue rescuing and educating in Hammond, as well as here in Luling,” she said. “I’m just starting to get my name out there.”

Stoutz and her animals recently visited a kids’ summer camp in Destrehan, and she said the experience was amazing.

“They loved it,” she said of the kids. “Their faces lit up. The kids were eager, excited and the smiles on their faces said it all. It was really awesome. I hope to keep on expanding and adding more things.”

For more information on Cloud Exotics and Encounters, call or text 504-315-8572.


About Monique Roth 714 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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