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Once regarded with skepticism, animal communication is now often seen as an effective modality for getting to the root of a variety of problems.

Taylor still remembers talking with the veterinarian about her dog’s inexplicable behavior problems. It was the mid-1980s, and both she and the vet were flummoxed by Ally’s sudden and unprecedented fear of loud noises. A physical workup revealed no medical causes for the change, so Taylor wondered aloud if it would be worth taking the dog to a local animal communicator she knew of.

“I’ll never forget the way the vet looked at me, as if he thought I was crazy,” Taylor says. “He just shook his head, and dismissed the whole idea.” She nevertheless made an appointment with the communicator, who revealed that Ally’s fears had sprung from an incident when she was home alone and the teenagers next door let off some fireworks in their backyard. Taylor was intrigued, but she wanted confirmation. “I asked the neighbor kids if they’d been playing with fireworks recently and they said yes. Not only that, but they did so on a weekend my husband and I were away and had left the dog in the care of a pet sitter. Ally’s fear of noises had started right after that weekend.”


The field of animal communication has been around for decades. In fact, Penelope Smith, the field’s pioneer, has been helping animals through communication since 1971. She calls the technique “interspecies telepathic communication” and draws on human counseling methods to help her clients. She has authored several books on the topic, and her training classes have educated many and given the field acceptance and respectability. Today, Penelope is only one of many successful animal communicators who have effectively helped thousands of dogs and cats by getting to the root of their emotional, behavioral and sometimes even physical issues.

Though animal communication is still dismissed as bogus by mainstream veterinary medicine, those with an interest in alternative and holistic healing are more open to it. Some holistic veterinarians are even referring patients to animal communicators for a second opinion when their own skills and tools can’t get to the bottom of a particular problem.

Dr. Cathy Alinovi is one of these vets. “I’ve seen it work,” she says. “A client will say an animal communicator mentioned a health concern so they’ve come to me to have it checked out.” She adds that animal communication is also very helpful when it’s time for an animal to cross over. “People are reassured and don’t second guess themselves about the timing.”

It also works the other way around: an animal communicator will often advise someone to take their dog or cat to the vet because she senses he has a physical ailment requiring medical attention.


There are many reasons why someone might take their dog or cat to an animal communicator. Perhaps the animal has an emotional or behavioral issue that just isn’t responding to treatment or training. Perhaps he isn’t bonding with his human family for some reason, despite everyone’s best efforts. Or perhaps his person just wants to understand and connect with her companion better.

There are also many reasons why someone chooses to become a communicator. For Penelope, it was her lifelong ability to telepathically commune with animals. Carol Schultz, meanwhile, left the corporate world 15 years ago to train as an animal communicator after her cat, Panda, went into sudden kidney failure.

“I met someone who was able to let me know how Panda was reacting to what I was doing for her,” Carol explains. “As Panda’s illness progressed, I found I was able to understand her too. That experience was a complete joy. It made her passing a time of discovery instead of sorrow. I wanted to help others connect in the same way, so I set out to learn more.” Carol adds that public awareness and acceptance of animal communication has grown even since she began her own practice. “I now find books on animal communication in the big bookstores, not just the mystic shops.”

Janet Dobbs heard about animal communication from a store clerk who told her about a class being offered. She was cynical, but signed up and took her cat, Kate, with her. At one point, the animal communicator heading the class announced: “Kate says she has a beautiful butt.” As she said it, the cat turned around and showed the whole class. “It caused a laugh, but at the end of the two days, all 15 people in the class, along with a Washington Post reporter, had received validated information about their animals,” says Janet. She went from cynical to convinced and is now an animal communicator herself.


Those who doubt that animal communication is possible usually don’t understand how a non-verbal being such as a dog or cat can “talk” to a human being. But words are not necessary, according to Janet. “Information comes in different ways, sometimes as a picture, a knowing or a sound,” she says. “The challenge is putting it into words.” For example, Eddie’s person wanted to know if her little dog enjoyed the show ring. Janet says she saw him puff himself up in her mind as if to tell her that he loved to walk in the ring so people could see him.

Animal communication is often done in person, but it doesn’t have to be – a definite advantage if the communicator nearest you lives hundreds of miles away. In fact, Carol says most of her consultations are done by phone – she works from a photo of the animal, and also asks the client for his name, age and a description of where he lives. Communicator Miranda Alcott also works this way, according to Vivian Eisenstadt, whose newly rescued Schnauzer, Hope, had been peeing on the bed for six months. Using a photo of Hope, Miranda learned about the trauma the dog suffered before Vivian found her on the street, and then explained to her that peeing where you sleep is an unacceptable behavior. “Right after our consultation, Hope stopped peeing on the bed,” says Vivian. “I could get rid of the plastic mattress covers. And I learned better ways to communicate with my dogs.”

Animals are usually just as eager to enter into communication with humans – and sometimes their messages are life-saving. “Animals have a role as messengers,” Carol says. “They come to us for a reason. One cat I talked to was not using his litter box. When I listened to him, he told me he was fine but one of his people was sick.” After hearing what Carol passed along, the man didn’t believe it but went to his doctor anyhow. He was diagnosed with a serious medical condition. His cat resumed using the litter box.

Animal communication can be emotional, rewarding and life-changing for client, communicator, dog and cat alike. Penelope, Carol and Janet state that everyone is born intuitive, so we all have the ability to communicate with animals if we can quiet our minds, pay attention to the animal, listen with our hearts, and find a supportive teacher to help us learn more. “If we all could just hear and listen to the animals, it would be a totally different world,” says Janet.

Disclaimer: Animal communication is not a substitute for veterinary care. If your dog or cat is sick or injured, take him to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

BY Sandra Murphy for Animal Wellness Magazine May 2017

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