Business-in-residence Spotlight: Animal Intuition

adrienne

Helping Animals and People Learn From Each Other

What do they do?

Animal Intuition is a consulting business that works with individuals and organizations to better relationships with animals. They do this by forming an environment for both animals and people to learn from each other.

Who’s in charge?

Adrienne Wisok

When and why did her business get started?

Animal Intuition started about three and a half years ago. Adrienne had been laid off from a job as a veterinary technician and decided to open her own business. She initially thought of opening a retail store, and came to Tom at the Green Garage (GG) for help in starting the business. Through the business development process at the GG, she discovered that her true passion was animal ethics and enhancing the human-animal bond.

How did her education impact her career?

Having an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, Adrienne started college with the hope to attend veterinary school. Yet, once she began working as a veterinary technician, she realized that both job descriptions seemed awfully similar: “being a patient advocate for my animal patients and helping the people that care for them.“ And by choosing to continue her work as a veterinary tech, she could “do that without $100k+ in student loans.”

What are her goals?

Adrienne worked as an emergency veterinary technician for 20 years before deciding to gather her knowledge and share it with people. She says, “I hope that some of what I share with people means they can avoid those late-night visits to the emergency room, and open their eyes to the possibilities of a fulfilling relationship with their animal companion.”

Do she have anything in the works now?

Starting with her own neighborhood, Adrienne has created a project to decrease the amount of dogs used as security in Detroit. The biggest challenge was to figure out a way to, as she put it, explain the emotional complexity of dogs to her neighbors without insulting them. After giving this question weeks of thought, inspiration struck in the form of an education campaign that would provide education without judgment. The pros of this campaign extend from increasing public safety to emotional rehabilitation for both guardian and animal companion. Adrienne then took her plan a step further, by looking into security companies that were willing to provide security systems at a discount to the members of her neighborhood, so that neighborhood residents would no longer need to rely on their dogs to serve this function. Adrienne is now working with an app developer to create a smartphone app which will provide judgment-free education about dogs to the residents of her neighborhood.  If you would like to know more about Adrienne’s project, read here.

What sets her business apart?

According to Adrienne, many people who work in her field focus on training dogs. However, she focuses on facilitating a learning relationship between animals and people. “To that end, I prefer to not use the terms ‘pet’ or ‘owner’ and the reason is simple: Those terms refer to ownership. And I don’t think it’s ethical to ‘own’ a sentient, feeling being.”  She is still working out the lexicon, but she currently prefers to use “guardian” and “animal companion.”

Want to connect with Adrienne to learn more about  Animal Intuition and ways of enhancing the learning relationship between people and animals? Contact her at [email protected]

Green Garage business-in-residence spotlights are written by Nehe-Miah Scarborough, a student at Detroit Cristo Rey High School who’s working with the Green Garage during the 2015-16 school year.

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