Today we’d like to introduce you to Molly DeVoss.
Molly, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Shelter euthanasia is the leading cause of death in cats in the U.S. and I’m trying to reduce that, one behavior at a time.
I’ve had a passion and special connection to cats my whole life; I’ve served on the Dallas Animal Commission representing District 2, Councilman Adam Medrano since 2010 and I volunteer every weekend at Dallas Animal Services with the cats, of course.
I made the decision to return to school and obtain my CFTBS (Certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist) and now, I work with cat owners who are experiencing behavior issues, typically: inappropriate urination, aggression (to other cats and/or people), clawing furniture, yowling in the middle of the night, etc. I help cat guardians enable their cats to express natural behaviors but in ways that are acceptable for both the humans and cats. Cat behavior consulting is a dynamic process which structures and changes a cat’s environment in a way that provides behavioral choices to them and draws out their species-appropriate behaviors and abilities and enhances their welfare.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I thought the classwork would be easy. Because of my knowledge of cats, I joked that I could test out of this program. Much to my pleasant surprise I was quite challenged by the course material and how much I didn’t know.
Cat behavior cases are like detective work; I have to “sleuth” for what is occurring in the environment causing the cat to act out. Cats are very stone face so they don’t convey much emotion. Guardians often anthropomorphize the situation and guess at emotions the cat might be feeling or they overlay their knowledge of dogs upon cats, both leading to inappropriate conclusions. It is a challenge to educate guardians about cat behavior and convince them to be committed to the treatment plan.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Cat Behavior Solutions is a non-profit, 501(c)3 company specializing in working with cat guardians to modify unwanted behavior in their feline companions. I am a Certified Cat Behaviorist. I am most proud of my focus of reducing euthanasia in cats in shelters. I take on low cost and pro-bono cases for families who can’t afford to hire a behaviorist. Donations help off set the costs of products given and time spent.
What were you like growing up?
I was always a trail-blazer, dreaming up new and creative things. I have always felt a very strong tie to animals, cats in particular. In many ways, when I was young, I felt much more of a connection to the animal kingdom than people. I have always had an interest in art, and often paint cat portraits from the shelter.
- Cat Behavior Consults run from $125-$300
- Address: 121 Payne St.
- Website: www.catbehaviorsolutions.org
- Phone: 214-732-6382
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catbehaviorsolutions/