Sarah Grannis Stewart
Sarah has always been a passionate supporter of animal rescue, for all species. It was about a decade ago that she noticed reptiles were frequently overlooked amongst traditional animal rescue groups – and she decided to get involved. Sarah has a wide-ranging background, from being a former competitive equestrian, to volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center & numerous high-volume animal shelters, and previously working at a veterinary clinic. She’s learned from all of these journeys and used the experiences to help shape the development of Badgerland Reptile Rescue.
Outside of the rescue, Sarah and her husband Bill live in Kenosha with their a small zoo (two dogs, a Maine Coon mix, three sugar gliders, two hedgehogs, a bearded dragon, a small herd of box turtles, two leachies, enough uroplatus geckos to completely take over their guest bedroom, and various Badgerland animals that need a little extra TLC). She works in remote tech support for Fi Dog Collars, enjoys cheering on the Boston Red Sox, watching ridiculous reality television and cuddling up on the couch with a good book.
Madison Culver grew up in a big family in Wisconsin. She’s one of nine siblings and the mother of three children. When her husband Raven declared “Gotta catch em all!”, she took that advice and began fostering reptiles for Badgerland Reptile Rescue.
Madison is also on the Board of Directors for the Madison Area Herpetological Society as the Milwaukee Young Explorer Coordinator. She has her certificate from the Amphibian Foundation as a Master Herpetologist and she also works with WPS Reptiles doing educational parties. Madison also enjoys doing embroidery, reading, and every new craft she can learn.
Melanie Grotto is a longtime animal lover who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, finally settling down in West Chicago in 2020. There she discovered a very small nonprofit greenhouse with an amazing mission where she happily spends the majority her time planning for, along with propagating, planting and growing tens of thousands of plants each season.
In 2021, she joined Badgerland Reptile Rescue as a foster, volunteer, and hopeless adopter of any sweet set of eyes that enter her home. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, working in her garden, propagating plants to add to enclosures, finding new spaces in her home for new enclosures, and a good snuggle session with her husband and cats.
Michelle Miller grew up with almost every animal in the book, and a mother who didn’t know how to say no to her animal needs. Her mom used to take Michelle and her brother to reptile expos growing up and she would have dreams of having her own reptile room – that dream eventually became a reality. The first reptile Michelle owned as an adult was a 10-year old corn snake she named Sir Magic Snakewell.
After getting Sir Magic Snakewell, her love for reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates grew even more. From there, she always pictured herself having a reptile “farm/barn” to use for educational purposes (and located hopefully out west). When Michelle learned about Badgerland Reptile Rescue, she was more than ecstatic and knew she had to be involved. In 2022, she joined the Badgerland team as a foster and event volunteer. Michelle plans to take the Master Herpetologist course from the Amphibian Foundation in 2023, as well as any other classes she can get herself into. On the other end of life, Michelle is a licensed Cosmetologist and all-around nature lover. You can find her basking in her reptile room, snuggling up with her dog and two cats, outside taking in all aspects of the earth, or with her very tight knit group of friends in front of the speakers at a show or music festival.
Hope Nye is a public school teacher in Madison, Wisconsin. She holds Master’s degrees in Education and Biology and is a certified Wisconsin Master Naturalist and active Master Gardener. Since 2006, she has volunteered with various animal rescues, shelters, zoos, aquariums, and citizen science programs. In 2017, she adopted her first reptile through her local herpetological society and has kept a modest number of animals ever since.
In 2021, she joined Badgerland Reptile Rescue as a foster parent and event volunteer. In 2023, she began serving on Badgerland’s Board of Directors as secretary. In her spare time, she enjoys wildlife photography, hiking, board games, doodling, podcasts, reading, spending time with her family, and pursuing more interests than her time reasonably allows.
Mike Stefani is a lifelong animal keeper, naturalistic cage builder, and reptile breeder. Over the last 30 years, he has concentrated his efforts on various species of monitor lizards. Mike describes himself as “58 years young”, a retired Cement Mason with Local 502 in Cook County, and has a wonderful family of eight children. His wife Karen also shares his love for animal rescue as she is very involved with Common Ground Community Rescue Network.
Bill has been a reptile keeper since he was eight years old (which was a very, very long time ago) and continues to learn & grown in this hobby. In addition to being on the Board of Directors for Badgerland Reptile Rescue, Bill is the Executive Director for the Madison Area Herpetological Society. He is also the owner of WPS Reptiles LLC and the Brand Consultant/Lab Tech for Zilla Reptile Products.
Bill is also a licensed clinical social worker, he is both the owner and clinical director for Impact Child and Family Therapies in Kenosha. He uses his love for reptiles in his professional life by facilitating “reptile therapy” groups, which uses animals to teach coping skills, verbalizing feelings, mood regulation and attachment.