Animal Behavior College (ABC) (http://www.AnimalBehaviorCollege.com/info) held its fourth commencement ceremony on November 21, honoring the achievements of its Dog Trainer In-Classroom Program students.
The graduating class of military veterans received certification for mastering various dog training tools and techniques using positive reinforcement for handling canine behaviors. The program also covered effective problem solving, pet first aid and an opportunity to gain hands-on experience via internship.
“You have all come a ways since starting this program, and I am sure there were times when some of you wondered if you would make it through,” said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College, to an audience of family, friends and employees of the college. “I know as former members of the armed forces this isn’t the first adversity you have faced. You dealt with each day, each challenge and as a result, you are sitting in graduation regalia ready to be certified ABCDTs [Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer]!”
Debbie Kendrick, vice president of operations for ABC, praised the graduates’ accomplishments before handing out complimentary certificates to enroll in an ABC Continuing Education Program (CEP) of their choice. Appelbaum joined Kendrick and Candace Mason, ABC’s director of admission, in presenting award certificates to students. Those students include Richard (Ricky) Kripps, Kristen (Meghan) Clark, Jesse Araujo, James (Jim) Minick and Carlos Valle Jr.
Beth Harrison, a certified dog trainer and course instructor for ABC’s Dog Trainer In-Classroom Program, thanked her former students for their military service and for their dedication and commitment to working in “the world of humans and dogs.” Amanda Yocom, a caregiver and playgroup coordinator for Best Friends’ Animal Society, also thanked students for volunteering at the shelter and complimented their “eagerness to learn.”
“After graduating from college with a degree in fisheries and wildlife management, I served 10 years in the Navy. However, I always wanted to work with animals,” said James Minick, ABC honors graduate, during his commencement address. “After leaving the Navy and getting a job, I came to a crossroad in my life. What am I going to do? I knew I wanted to work with animals and needed a viable living. That is when I found ABC.”
For Minick and other ABC dog-training graduates and other animal care and service workers, the jobs forecast in the U.S. appear promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment will grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. With more people in the U.S. owning dogs (35.5 percent or 43,346,000), ABC’s programs are ideal for veterans and career changers. As certified dog trainers, they have the option of working for an established company or building their own dog training business.