To quote from Ralph W. Gerard, an American neurophysiologist and behavioral scientist, “No age or time of life, no position or circumstance, has a monopoly on success. Any age is the right age to start doing!” Like Dr. Gerard, success and major accomplishments can occur later in life for some, and you should not allow your age to limit yourself in fulfilling your calling. Animal Behavior College’s (ABC) graduate, Camille Re, can attest to this!
From Mom to Cat Expert
Ms. Re has spent most of her life as a stay-at-home mom with her four children, one of whom has special needs. With her children being her number one priority, she had not worked a job outside of being a mom in over 30 years. She found her identity in this role, but now that her children are grown adults, she wondered if it was too late to pursue her dream of working with animals and giving back to her community.
Then a tragedy occurred when the pandemic hit and Ms. Re, unfortunately, fell ill and was hospitalized with Covid. She had complications and was afraid she would never return home. Thankfully, Ms. Re was able to pull through and recovered. It was then she realized some important life changes were necessary.
She came back home and got started on making those life-changing decisions. Some of these changes involved health-related issues, eating better, being more physically active and losing weight. Others involved Ms. Re’s taking steps to ensure her dream of giving back and working with animals would come true. As all of us know, consistency is key to changing patterns and behavior. While not always easy, Camille stuck with the promises she made to herself and not only dramatically improved her health but also enrolled in ABC’s Cat Management and Training Program.
When asked why she chose the Cat Management and Training Program over the other courses, Ms. Re stated, “I have always loved cats and dogs, but there are so many dog trainers, and I did not want to be in constant competition. Initially, I did not see a large career path for it and did not see a lot of cat trainers in my area. So, I knew it was going to be a challenge but took it as an opportunity to pioneer it in my county.” Pioneering a career path is exactly what she did.
Starting Her Own Cat Training Business
Shortly after graduating, she started her own business with the great name of HelpMeowt. Camille offers in-home training and counselling on feline behavior. She gradually built a clientele, but things drastically changed when she had to take one of her cats to the vet at The Animal Hospital of Sussex County.
While giving background information to the veterinary hospital, she mentioned being a Certified Cat Trainer which caught the attention of the Veterinarian. The doctor was intrigued, which led to an opportunity for Camille to come work at the hospital. As it turned out this hospital was in need of someone who could help with cat behavior and training and were ecstatic to finally meet someone who had knowledge and training to help meet their needs.
Ms. Re took a position at the hospital as their Certified Feline Behaviorist. She has her own office and travels all over the area to help kitty parents with their challenges. In addition, Ms. Re conducts training programs for her clients, maintains her business, and still is available to volunteer at local shelters. Ms. Re assists her daughter, Carmella Re-Siguria, with her business in breeding British Shorthair cats and raising their Bernese Mountain Dogs. Camille loves being around both cats and dogs.
Not only does Camille Re feel more positively about her life after the changes she made, but she also believes that her choices “made me more independent and allowed me to be seen as an impactful person in my community.” Plus, she is now in a position to help cats and the people who love them enjoy better lives together.
Introducing The Certified Cat Trainer
When asked about sharing some advice on taking the ABC program and becoming a Certified Cat Trainer, she stated, “Being a cat trainer is rewarding. If there were more cat trainers, there would be less cats going into shelters, more being adopted and far fewer being returned. Being a cat trainer isn’t easy, it can be challenging at times but also very rewarding. Like all animal training, trainers must have patience.”
When asked about the hands-on portion of the program, Ms. Re said; “The mentorship part of the ABC Cat Management and Training Program was very rewarding. My mentor, Bridget, was amazing and such a wonderful cheerleader/instructor throughout the process. She was just a fresh air of positivity!”
Ms. Re went on to say, “Start working with shelters to get hands-on experience while taking the course, because it helped see first-hand and then apply what I was learning. Go to cat shows and talk to the breeders to learn more about different cat breeds, because when you get a call, it could be about any of those breeds. She stressed how “it is important to know and understand the breeds of each cat for their personality, lifestyle, and potential health issues. Understanding these varying factors for diverse types of breeds will help you assist clients in finding the right cat to fit their needs. She also pointed out an especially important fact, “I break down training concepts and techniques in a fashion that makes it easy for pet parents to understand. That’s critical because most cat training is really about training owners.”
ABC is proud to see the recent achievements of Camille Re and hopes this inspires others to keep searching for a dream career they will love. If you are interested in enrolling in the programs offered at Animal Behavior College, check out more information at www.animalbehaviorcollege.com or call 800-795-3294 and ask about dual enrollment opportunities.
*The testimonials and experiences presented on www.animalbehaviorcollege.com are applicable to that of the individual and not a guarantee of the same or similar results for every student or graduate.