With this very exciting new knowledge of positive reinforcement clicker training techniques being used with their now family of three felines, Victoria's co-worker Laurie encouraged her to volunteer at the Michigan Humane Society in their Pawsitive Start (link here) animal environmental enrichment program for cats and dogs. Victoria is thrilled to be a feline personal trainer at the Berman Center for Animal Care in Westland, Michigan. Using positive reinforcement techniques helps shelter cats feel less stress in their environment, come to the front of the cage to greet visitors, and generally be more social. Victoria enjoys mentoring volunteers in this program as well as answering a multitude of questions from visitors wanting to provide that special feline a forever home.
Victoria and Mike Blais live in Livonia, Michigan USA and have had cats in their lives for over thirty years. Victoria, having a bachelor of science in medical technology, has worked in a hospital laboratory, while Mike's bachelor of science is in metallurgical engineering. When they adopted two very active European Burmese in 2008, they realized cats do not need to be declawed and that felines can be trained! They use training techniques made popular by Karen Pryor ClickerTraining.com (link here). Attending three days of seminars for trainers at Clicker Expo(link here), as well as attending the American Association of Feline Practitioners' (link here)international conference for veterinarians in Washington DC in 2016 has been incredibly inspirational for Victoria to develop techniques for making vet visits easier for both owner and their cat.
Mike & Victoria Blais enjoy grooming and training their cats Chewie, Mallory, and Haddie. Caleb arrived in 2013.
Laura Monaco-Torelli with Victoria Clicker Expo
Victoria and her husband Mike opened Clever Cats Livonia to lend assistance to cat owners in dealing with cat behavior issues and training, including nail trims. As a trainer Victoria is a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC link here) Cat Division and a feline training professional member of The Pet Professional Guild(link here). She is a feline behavior and training specialist in Michigan with Fear Free Professional certification Level 3 (link) and Better Vet Visits certification (Karen Pryor Academy link). Through these organizations and various professional seminars, Victoria continues increasing her knowledge of feline behavior modification and environmental enrichment, helping cats be happy and healthy as well as have a closer bond with their owner. Victoria is in the process of obtaining her feline behavioral consultant certification.