Veronica knew she wanted to work with and train animals from a very young age but it wasn’t originally dogs she wanted to work with… it was orcas. In pursuit of this dream, Veronica attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in marine biology while also minoring in psychology. After graduation, she attended Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL and completed her Master’s degree in marine biology with a focus on marine mammals.
During her schooling, she took jobs dog sitting for friends and family and a short-term at a dog day care and kennel in North Carolina. Between NC, FL, and CA, Veronica has volunteered at several animal care facilities and organizations. These include the Fort Fisher Aquarium, Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project, Marine Animal Rescue Society, a manatee tagging survey for Sea to Shore Alliance, and the San Diego Zoo. Veronica enjoys painting and drawing while stuck inside but loves being active outdoors. Just like most animals, she loves to go running and hiking.
After graduating with her Master’s degree, Veronica was accepted into the Animal Care and Training Internship with the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program. For 5 months, she worked hands-on with the daily care and training of bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions. These animals are training for specific tasks and are considered enlisted and active in the U.S. Navy. Veronica was able to help with the three different parts of the program: breeding, college (still training and learning the jobs before graduating into full enlistment), both dolphins, and deep-sea recovery (sea lions) while also spending short periods on time on other projects on ‘off’ days. Each animal she worked with showed her their unique personalities and different ways they responded to training. She would love to share personal pictures of her during this time but is unable to do so due to the nature of the work and its classification.
She has been able to help her sister train her puppy and show her a few tips on training at home and dogsit for both her sister and her brother. Veronica grew up having cats but her parents never wanted a dog of their own, so she would spend time with the neighbor’s dogs when they wandered over. Veronica still doesn’t have a dog of her own as she feels that she has been moving around too often to give a dog the proper amount of time and attention necessary. Instead of a dog, Veronica got a sugar glider while in grad school and could easily travel and work with their nocturnal schedule. Her name was Tink and was loved beyond measure for eight wonderful years. Now, Veronica enjoys loving on all the dogs here at Coventry School for Dogs so she can still get her fix of animal-loving until she can find another furry child of her own. She has worked at Coventry since February 2019 and loves getting to see and work with all of the dogs and their personalities. She loves to work with the dogs one-on-one during enrichment to see how they respond and take to training in different ways.