After witnessing the affects of animal cruelty first-hand at the rescue where they adopted their Pit Bulls, Cindy Peregolise and her husband, VJ, knew they had to do something to help. So, in September of 2007, Cindy and VJ founded Bikers Against Animal Cruelty, a nonprofit organization that raises money to help cover vet bills of animals suffering from acts of cruelty.
The decision to become a dog trainer evolved from wanting to help save more dogs from ending up in the shelter. “We were getting so many requests to help place people’s dogs and lots of them were because of behavior issues,” Connie said. “It was easy for me to train my own dogs, but when it came to someone else’s, I had no idea what to do. That’s where Animal Behavior College (ABC) really helped me.”
Cindy attributes her success at rehabilitating shelter dogs, and would-be shelter dogs, to her education at ABC. She believes that the thorough and tough curriculum, paired with hands-on training, enabled her to learn how to teach pet owners how to understand their dogs’ language. “I have been able to talk a lot of people into keeping their dogs by telling them I am a Certified Dog Trainer,” Cindy said. Being able to communicate effectively with both the owners and the dogs plays a crucial role in Cindy’s ability to prevent pet abandonment due to behavioral issues.
In addition to helping keep dogs out of shelters, Cindy helps rehabilitate those who are already in the shelter and suffering from the effects of living in a cruel situation. This is another instance where Cindy sees the ABC program as the reason she has been so successful with these dogs.
When she is unsure of how to handle a dog, Cindy said her best resource is Animal Behavior College’s Alumni Forum. “It’s funny how I will have a situation where the common techniques just weren't working and I'd get an e-mail from the [alumni] forum discussing that exact topic and someone will switch that ‘ah hah’ light bulb on.” Cindy said. This allows Cindy to help the dogs overcome their problems and gives her a sense of satisfaction that can only come from saving a life.
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