College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies: Natural Animal Therapies Consultant
Portland Community College: Nutritional Therapy
Pet Partners: Pet Therapy Team-Certified: 4 years
California State University, Sacramento: Communications: Interpersonal & Small Group
What can I say, I have a huge heart for animals! After graduating with a degree in Communications at Sacramento State University, I discovered that my true passion in life was to support the human-animal bond. I have followed this passion in a variety of ways, beginning as a volunteer with my "furkid" Izzy, as a pet therapy team through Pet Partners. Visiting hospitals, convalescent homes, and assisted living facilities were eye opening and transformative. Seeing how beautifully an animal can touch a person's life through these visits expanded my heart to help animals in other meaningful ways. It was then that I took a job at a Humane Society for many years, where my heart for adoption really took root. It was at the Humane Society that I learned how uniquely different animals are. I found that each animal was unique in personality, behavioral tendencies, and physical issues even within the same breed.
Working at the Humane Society changed my life and my view of the human-animal bond. Knowing that I wanted to support pet-parents further I took a job managing an independent pet store who's mission aligned with mine, which is to help improve the health, wellness and longevity of dogs and cats. It was at TrailBlazer Pet Supply that I discovered my passion for nutrition. What I found was that the majority of my customers had a strong desire to help their pets who suffered from the following: chronic ear infection, bacterial and yeast infection, digestive upset, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, diabetes, liver disease, constant itching and licking, skin infections, flea and tick infestations, abnormal changes in skin and coat color, gas and bad breath. Knowing that food is the building blocks of life, I found that finding the right nutrition was key to overall healing success.
Wanting to expand my education about nutritional healing I decided on a Nutritional Therapy program through Portland Community College where I graduated with a certification that focused on anatomy, physiology, biology, Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbal medicine and of course nutrition. After interning with a local doctor I decided that I wanted to further invest my time into a pet nutrition program. After much research, I decided on the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies. It was important to me to receive both veterinarian technician credits as well as participate in a science based program facilitated by a nationally accredited training program recommended by veterinarians I have great appreciation and esteem for. http://www.civtedu.org/post-graduate-qualifications/
Empathizing with pet parents
I have one amazing "furkid" named Izzy Santosha (Santosha means contentment). Izzy has been my greatest teacher! Izzy was rescued from maltreatment and abuse when I lived in Florida as an AmeriCorp Vista volunteer after graduating from college. Izzy was suffering from mange, yeast infections, food sensitivities, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic ear infections, as well as extreme fear and anxiety. Izzy was treated 3 times for mange, was bathed in medicated washes 3 times per week, was on a variety of ear ointments and washes, took a variety of prescription drugs and was even placed on a prescription diet, all before her 1st birthday!
After moving to California, I discovered a holistic veterinarian who talked to me about the importance of a raw diet and boosting overall health and vitality through nutrition. Izzy was definitely not thriving on her current diet, that much we could see. After switching Izzy to a raw food diet most all her symptoms began to disappear. She not longer had constant bouts of diarrhea, ear infections or multiple skin issues.
As Izzy's environment and age has changed she has developed further issues with her skin and coat. Instead of suppressing her symptoms, like traditional medicine, I have created healing plans for Izzy in order for her to detox naturally and boost her immune system accordingly. Because of these specialized healing plans I do not have to used traditional flea & tick medicine on Izzy. Izzy has received the Glacier Peak Sensitivity test to further guide her specific nutrition plan. Along with chiropractic and acupuncture treatments, Izzy is thriving at the age of 10!
Healing is a process that changes over-time. Looking back to when I adopted Izzy and how frustrated I felt during her health crisis, I can empathize with my current customers. Just as I have found help along Izzy's healing journey it is my mission and passion to help other's in need. Together we can fuel your pet's health and vitality!