James Dodge began working at Bell-ans last century, 1986 to be exact, and though he sits at the helm today, the scion of the family’s legacy didn’t start at the top. As a boy, his first job was picking up cigarette butts for a penny.

One his fondest childhood memories are of the animals that flocked the grounds at Bell-ans. Horseback riding, scouting bugs, chasing ferrets and lizards, rescuing birds—these are the times of well-spent youth. James has turned his childhood passion for animals—both big and small—into a lifelong pursuit. And pursuit he has. Coming to the aid of more than just a few feathered friends and four-legged buds.

Part Doctor Doolittle and part matchmaker, James encouraged a peahen suitor named Sophia to lure a philandering peacock off a neighbor’s roof and back to the nest where they’re still living happily ever after. Two goats, Angus and Elvis, and a sweet swine, Piggy Smalls, are also indebted to James for saving them from fates unknown.

When not rehabilitating the lives and well-being of his animals, you’ll likely find James passionately plying his skills as the resident restoration expert at Bell-ans. He keeps things real and authentic without sacrificing the original character or flavor of the family’s historic grounds. He also has a lifelong love affair with antique cars and spends countless hours restoring European and American classics. Vroom!