Collegiate Canine has recently relocated from Winston-Salem, where Erin served the greater Triad dog-owning community for 6 years. During this time, she began focusing more and more on behavior modification over basic manners and honed her skills further.
Prior to relocating to Winston-Salem, Erin was hired specifically to develop — then launch and manage — a new Behavior and Training Department for the Spartanburg (SC) Humane Society. Her responsibilities at this shelter with open admissions of 18,000 animals annually included:
- Instructing approximately 400 clients in care, management, and problem solving related to companion animals.
- Creating/teaching a broad range of classes at the new Good Dog Academy, including clicker-based instruction for puppies from 8 weeks to 10 months old, obedience and manners for beginning through advanced levels, and play group opportunities.
- Providing one-on-one behavior consultations for clients facing more complex issues.
- Addressing basic behavior questions by phone.
- Conducting behavior evaluations to determine placement options for shelter dogs.
- Implementing a kennel enrichment program to improve behavior and enhance the quality of life for dogs, cats, and small animals housed at SHS.
- Training staff and volunteers in puppy handling, impulse control techniques, and behavior modification.
Erin offers clients a broad range of skills and perspectives honed from internships in nonprofit and governmental sectors that include:
- Guide Dogs for the Blind, San Rafael, CA – Observed/supported various aspects of training department's work with Labrador and Golden Retrievers.
- USDA/APHIS/Animal Care, College Park, MD – Among other assignments, solicited and analyzed public opinion on proposed Pet Animal Welfare Statute.
- American Humane Association, Arlington, VA – Researched mandatory spay-neuter and anti-tethering legislation for the Office of Government Affairs, attending bill mark-ups and other meetings on Capitol Hill. Also identified/recruited 120 shelters and rescues with programs eligible for recognition through AHA's Getting to Zero Initiative.
With community service as a long-standing priority, Erin has further expanded her knowledge base through the following commitments:
- Currently volunteering with both Carolina ACD Rescue & Rebound and ABMC Belgian Malinois Rescue as a foster home and transport driver. Also screened potential adopters for MidAmerica Border Collie Rescue.
- Assisted with the DOGS! Course, an intensive five-day seminar covering learning, training, and behavior modification techniques for veterinarians and their staff. The Course is offered by Purdue University's highly respected Animal Behavior Clinic, which also sponsors the ABC Puppy School that she assisted with as well.
- Participated in animal-assisted activities and/or therapy at health care centers, public libraries, summer camps, and schools since 2003.
- As a high school student, donated 1,000 hours of service to the Bloomington (IN) Animal Shelter and Monroe County Humane Association. Served as adoption counselor, socialized and temperament-tested incoming dogs, and fostered animals as needed. Also designed/piloted a dog-training program to increase adoption rates, wrote "Training Talk" column for newsletter, presented clicker-training demonstrations, and helped with fundraising.
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