Dog Trainer Graduate Profile: Success and Disaster
Ashley Rendon is an ABC Certified Dog Trainer who focuses her professional efforts on public service. After making the most of her MyCAA benefits, she now works for the Red Cross, where, among a great many other responsibilities, she educates pet owners about how to include their Furry Friends in disaster preparedness planning. When necessary, she also helps those pet owners rebuild stability for their pets in the aftermath. If you’d like more ideas on disaster planning for your pet, click here for our guide.
Ashley Rendon, ABCDT,
Military Spouse Graduate
Certified Dog Obedience Training Program
El Paso, Texas
Ashley Rendon worked as a veterinary assistant for six years and she wanted to further her career experiences in the pet industry. Always a strong advocate for animals and fascinated by animal behavior, she was very happy to find the Certified Dog Training course at Animal Behavior College (ABC). “People can speak for themselves, but animals need someone to fight for them,” says Ashley. She was also pleased to find out she qualified for the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts Program (MyCAA) as a military spouse, and received her tuition free for her dog training certification to help her reach her goals.
Pursuing her advocacy support for animals, Ashley is now working at the El Paso Chapter of the Red Cross as their Chapter Support Specialist and she wears many hats. She assists with community preparedness, special event planning and is the government liaison for her chapter. Additionally, Ashley has started the “Animals in Disaster” program which allows the chapter to provide for the specific needs of families that own pets that have been affected by disaster. Through a generous grant from the ASPCA, the chapter is able to provide $50 vouchers for veterinary care if a pet parent is worried that their pet was injured or made ill during a disaster. They have also partnered with Pets Barn who provides vouchers that allow disaster victims to go to one of their stores and pick out a leash, collar, bowls, food and treats. “When families lose everything in a home fire, flood, or other disaster, their pets lose everything too,” says Ashley. She is also the instructor for the Red Cross El Paso’s Dog CPR course.
Ashley’s husband Steven is an Army Captain at Fort Bliss. He is assigned to A Co, 1-35, 2-1 AD. The couple lives off post with their “lovable, huggable” 115 lb. German Shepherd, Ruger, who has now become the face of the Animals in Disaster program. He has a pack with a Red Cross patch that he wears to community events and people love to pet him and take pictures with him. “It is a great lead-in to educating people about how to incorporate their pets into their family’s disaster plan,” says Ashley.
Ashley feels that ABC’s in-home study experience was a great option for her. Between work, family and the Army Reserve life, she was very busy and appreciated having the flexibility to decide when to sit down and study as well as being able to choose a time when she was in a calm state of mind. “The in-home option gave me an opportunity to spend more time with Ruger since he was my guinea pig throughout the course – and he loved the Kong that ABC sent to me!” said Ashley.
The Certified Dog Training program at ABC gave Ashley a great all-around picture of how to begin a career in the pet industry and she would recommend it to anyone looking to work professionally with animals. She says, “Not only does it teach you how to train dogs, it teaches you how to understand them. I gained so much behavioral knowledge from the ABC program and I also learned why my Shepherd does some of the things that he does!”