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Jul 14, 2015 10:29 AM ET

Archived: Adrienne – Animal Intuition: A consulting business dedicated to improving relationships between animals and people

iCrowdNewswire - Jul 14, 2015
Personal Story

I wanted to be a veterinarian as early as I can remember. I have always had a deep connection with animals that has never wavered. I started working as a veterinary assistant just after graduating high school. The goal was to go to vet school, but as I had no way to pay for college I worked full time while going to school. I started as a kennel attendant, and before very long I moved up to assisting the veterinarians. Within two years, I was performing medical procedures and had moved to more advanced veterinary hospitals. It took me ten years to get my undergraduate degrees, but I did it.

By this time I was a very experienced technician, and had passed my certification to become a state licensed veterinary technician. I had been working in emergency and specialty hospitals, and loved the fast pace of emergency and critical care. The drama of taking in an emergency, stabilizing a critical patient, being the support and information person for the family, and seeing the case through to discharge, was all incredibly rewarding. But many cases that came into the ER came in because the humans were not thoroughly educated about their animals physical and emotional well-being. Owners coming in after feeding their dog human food or medication that is toxic to dogs; heatstroke; dogs having problems giving birth because of inadequate veterinary care; behavior problems; the list goes on. Many of these people could have avoided an emergency room visit if they had an accessible source of information they could act on in time.

Even after finishing my undergraduate degrees I wanted to continue to help people and animals, so I applied and was accepted into a PhD program at UCLA in Neuroscience. I was interested in researching chronic pain, and began to work on methods to alleviate chronic pain without cognitive side effects. I completed two years before I wasn’t able to continue financially. I returned to working as a full-time vet tech. I continued to be nagged by the feeling that there was a real lack of dissemination of the important information people needed in everyday situations with their animals. That’s when I decided I wanted to open a retail store, and sought out help from the Green Garage, a sustainability incubator in Detroit. I worked with the Green Garage for several years developing the structure of the business and slowly started reducing my hours at the animal hospital to accommodate my increasing number of clients. Eventually I stopped working in veterinary medicine all together. In my years in the veterinary ER, I saw many difficult cases, and many rewarding cases, but now I’m ready to make a difference further up the line.

Business Description

Animal Intuition is a consulting business dedicated to improving relationships between animals and people. I have several services available, but my bread and butter is individual behavior counseling around understanding behavior, end-of-life assistance (loss consulting, help with medical decisions); helping building managers set appropriate policies for tenants with animals; developing protocols in organizations such as the feline behavioral testing model I developed for Michigan Humane Society (MHS); care for animals with extensive medical needs while their humans are away; etc.

During a consultation with the MHS cruelty investigation team, I learned that the majority of their calls result in education, not punitive action. I also learned that the majority of the people in my area that MHS interacts with do not have computers or internet access at home, but they do have smartphones. So I am building a smartphone app that uses conversation, information, and technology to change the way people treat their dogs. It will be searchable, have tips and information, a FAQ, a way for people to ask me questions, a calendar of events, lost and found section, and occasional push notifications for giveaways or extreme weather alerts. E.g. sending a push notification if the temperature is expected to be above 90 degrees with an alert about the high temperatures, and a link to get information on keeping your dog cool.

Every time I walk by a dog on a chain, it breaks my heart. So I’m pursuing this project because I love them enough to feel like I have to try. There are a lot of people that do wonderful things for animals and I’ve now found my way to try to change the culture around how animals are treated.

What is the purpose of this loan?

I’m working with a graphic designer and an app developer on this project, both of whom are freelance. This Kiva Zip loan will be used for the $5,000 quote from the developer. She is heavily discounting her fees because she is an animal lover and guardian for a pair of dogs of her own. I’m planning on having small ads on the site so that it can eventually support itself.

We’re working on designing it in a way that it could work in any region because there’s no reason why animals everywhere couldn’t be helped with this information.

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