Tori has always loved animals from the start. Growing up with all different types of animals has shaped who she is today. She has raised everything from a yak to geckos, and has always been intrigued by training. She has trained goats to walk on a loose lead, her mini horse to do tricks, and rabbits to pose for conformation shows.
Her dog Niki, sparked Tori to start training professionally. The Central Asian shepherd breed can be challenging, which continues to make Tori a better trainer. Niki is very cat-like which prepared Tori for life as a cat trainer. In addition to Space Cat Academy, Tori is a dog trainer in Madison, WI through Dog's Best Friend Training.
When it comes to cats, her interests are in nutrition, enrichment, and behavior. By focusing on the animal as a whole, Tori has a broad, yet targeted perspective when training animals and building strong bonds between pets and their guardians. Feline communication is extremely important for the strength of the bond and is something she heavily emphasizes when working with cats. She uses positive reinforcement and high value rewards to motivate the cat's desire to engage in training.
Tori graduated cum laude with a degree in Animal Biotechnology & Conservation: Small Animal Science with a specialization in behavior from Delaware Valley University. With an education in the animal science field, she has an understanding of both the mind and body of animals and uses this to form a holistic approach to her training. She stays up to date with current scientifically proven methods in training, animal health, and nutrition.
Tori and her family had recently moved to Wisconsin and decided to go for a drive in the country to view the sunset. This night they explored a new area which led them to miles of corn fields and woods with farms in the distance, when suddenly, they saw a little orange flash run across the road. They stopped to investigate and found a tiny orange kitten. From the first moments that they met her on the side of this back-country road, they knew she was no ordinary cat. Instead of hissing or running away, she just stared at them meekly through her swollen eye. Tori had a supply of dog treats, so she tossed a few towards the little kitten. Peach gratefully started eating them and it wasn’t long before she was purring. They decided to take her because they suspected that she wouldn’t make the night if they left her. Of course it was the one time that their car was spotless and they realized that the only items they had to contain this little kitten was a paper bag and a sweatshirt. The little kitten purred and kneaded her lap the entire way home.
By this time, it was already nine at night, but they ran to the only open store and bought kitten food, cleaned her wounds, and gave her a comfortable bed. By the next morning, they knew that she would be staying with them. They brought her to the vet many times over the next couple of months. Peach had wounds on her face and shoulder. She dealt with double ear infections and was even supposed to get stitches for her wounds, but healed so fast that by the time the vet could do it there was no need!
In the meantime, Peach stayed busy by doing tricks. She was very interested in doing everything that her dog sister could do. In under two months, Peach earned her Novice Trick Cat title through an organization that mainly certifies dogs! Peach amazes her family every single training session by how fast she learns. She passed her Expert Trick Cat title, making her the first cat to achieve this. Peach is a bandana and bow tie model for several companies and inspires other people to train their pets!