Paw-Prints, Howls and Purrs!
I am an animal lover who has had a lifetime of experience with animals in a variety of settings. My love for animals began as a small child overseeing the cats that were around my uncle's junkyard. This then continued with our own family dog, Scruffy, she was my best friend in the entire world. Her devotion and love for myself and others made the world such a better place.
As time passed I would bring home stray dogs, cats and birds that I would find and try to find their homes. As an adult I volunteered in many different environments. I volunteered at places with Raccoons, Swans, Owls, Ducks, Geese, Eagles, Ravens, Osprey, and more. I was also honored to volunteer at the National ASPCA in NYC. There I met a dog named Junior who was one of many who offered a piece of his heart. He had a disease that affected the use of his back legs. He was a big part of my motivation to work with animals with Special Needs. Beginning in 2006, I invested my time at the Alaska SPCA, first as a volunteer, a kennel tech, then became Assistant Manager of the Adoption Center and then as the Animal Care and Adoption Coordinator (I am no longer a part of the SPCA but continue my volunteer work with other groups that involve rescue and outreach).
There I met Mojo, the most amazing and wonderful creature who has touched my heart forever. He was part of a big rescue we did back in October of 2009. Mojo was feral and did not understand the kindness of people. His story is one that will need to stand by itself. He, like Junior, developed Degenerative Myelopathy. He later had to use a wheelchair to get around, but he always had a smile on his face. He is my daily inspiration to continue working with our special creatures. I enjoy working with all of our animals, but my specialty is working with shy and animals with special needs. One of the greatest rewards is seeing the most shy dog or cat blossom and become the pet that everyone wants to have in their home. I know from first-hand experience the difference what one on one interactions makes in the life of an animal who has had a most difficult time. This then transfers to the relationship between the dog/cat and his adopter (though some might argue that the dog or cat does the rescuing). His name lives on in our rescue group up here in Anchorage. Mojo's Hope, A Rescue Group for Animals with Special Needs. In 2013, I began building Alaska's KAAATs, Alaska Kitty Advocacy Awareness and Adoption Tails, who I later developed into its own non-profit.
Without professional training it can sometimes be a frustrating relationship. Trying to determine what may be the cause of some underlying behaviors can be tricky, but with an investment in good training, patience and compassion, a wonderful transformation will occur. I have worked with many animals who came from difficult environments and their potential adopters for many years. Seeing their positive transformation and the joy in their adopters eyes makes it all worthwhile. As a certified ABC-DT and an Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant-ACCBC, my mission is to help you and your family member enjoy many happy years together on many levels.