Rory O' Neill - Dog Behaviourist & Trainer
Many owners and vets call dogs "aggressive" when they are only scared, nervous or unsure. Dogs do not deserve to be killed due to being misunderstood, they can be rehabilitated and their owners can learn how. In most cases, it is relatively simple. ~ Rory O'Neill, Dog Behavioursist, Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue
To the world you are nothing, to a rescue dog you are the world ~ Author unknown
Rory O'Neill is a recipient of the Pioneer Spirit Award for rescue efforts during and after the worst pet disaster in history, Hurricane Katrina. She is also certified in Canine First Aid and currently working on Animal Rescue Certification. Some heartwarming achievements are listed below:
- Pioneer Spirit Award
- Our Canadian Angel - A tribute to Rory O'Neill for finding homes for the pets left orphaned by Katrina (YouTube Video)
- Canadian Angel - Newest Immigrants (YouTube Video)
- Celebrate Me Home - From Hurricane Katrina (YouTube Video)
- Dogs Rescued from Streets of Tijuana Arrive in Calgary (CTV Calgary Feature)
- News & Press
Volunteering, Humane Efforts, Career:
No one can do everything, but everyone can do something ~ Author unknown
Early Beginnings: Rory grew up always loving animals, graduated from San Jose State University in California, and compelled to help homeless dogs in the nearby kill-shelter that routinely took the lives of highly adoptable dogs and cats within days of arriving and notoriously misrepresenting the information on the cards on their cages, she began adopting one or two animals out at a time. The "shelter" used a cheap and fast way to destroy animals by gassing. The horrible gas chamber at the Pound (there's no easy way to kill a healthy animal), was their mode of killing homeless animals.
Out of sight, out of mind, the animals were terrified facing these dilapidated chambers by heartless employees who forced a terrifying and painful death upon thousands and thousands of helpless loving animals. This was common in many "shelters" throughout the U.S. and Canada and still goes on today. Most people "don't want to know". Rory would adopt/purchase a dog, cat or bunny take them home, bath and teach basic training to dogs, advertise to find them good homes, and basically do what she is doing today (and what anyone can do to help a homeless pet on "death row").
While rescuing from the nightmarish pound, Rory learned many people would not go into an animal "shelter" because they don't want to see all the dogs and cats that would never get out. The potential adopters felt they wouldn't be able to "pick just one", they wanted "to take them all", therefore, wouldn't save a one. Hence, breeders and puppy mills continued to exploit pets for profit at the detriment of hundreds of thousands of puppies and kittens in cages at animal shelters.
Wanting to work hands-on with animals and learn about dog training to help more shelter dogs, Rory was hired at a ranch in the California hills managing animals trained for film. Responsible for administration of the compound, Rory also began to spend one-on-one time with many of the neglected caged animals and focused on learning how to earn trust and be friends with many of the extremely bored, unstimulated, captive exotic animals in small cages on the compound. A Disney movie was in pre-production upon being hired at the compound and wolves were in the script, so Rory spent time with the trainers to learn how to train wolves, train without force, use positive reinforcement techniques, and with the use of the clicker, trained wolves to perform on cue. Involved in prepping dogs for another Disney movie, Rory learned that most of the dogs in film were from breeders. Consequently, Rory went to animal shelters looking for the breed and type of dog requested for the movie role, adopted it, trained it, took it to audition with producer, and one of the dogs was chosen for the staring role.
Wanting to further help animals and learn more about dog behaviour, Rory moved to Santa Barbara to work with a gifted dog behaviourist, John Sorosky, at Camp Canine. Working one-on-one with John, She learned about dog training, dog behavioral problems and consulting. Rory worked daily training in-house dogs basic obedience as well as consulting clients with difficult pet dog problems such as fearfulness, aggression, fixation, separation anxiety, phobias, and obsession. Rory's goal was to solve the behavior problem, help the frustrated pet owner, and keep the pet in its home!
Natural Disaster Rescue Efforts:
Rory spent over two months rescuing dogs and cats left behind at the demands of the police and military during Hurricane Katrina (there was a No Pet Policy...!!), and witnessed the corruption and chaos that left many people's beloved pets locked inside their own homes, starving for weeks and months at a time, endlessly waiting for someone to help them. She found many dogs and cats left in boarded-up houses in bathrooms or closets (the safest place during a hurricane, as long as there is no flood!). Not knowing the levies would overflow and break and the town would be flooded, pets were left swimming in the darkness of their homes now riddled with floating furniture, refrigerators, and little air to breath. Many dogs were forced to swim and stand on what they could to keep their heads above water for two weeks until the pumps to drain the city were put in place and working.
Rory can be reached at: email@example.com.