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Eilis Calnan

M.S. in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) Candidate 2022

B.S., Psychology, Keene State College, 2021

What were you doing before entering the M.S. in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
Since 2015, I have been a certified dog groomer. Throughout my tenure at Keene Sate College, I was working as a part-time groomer at various salons. These past couple of years, I had been grooming at Fast Friends Dog Daycare and Boarding/Greyhound Adoption Center in Swanzey, NH. At this job I would groom client dogs, as well as incoming greyhounds that were rescued from different parts of the world. Through this job I was able to gain experience by working with stray dogs, as well as pets who were already homed. This showed a broad range of behavioral and personality differences between the rescued dogs and the dogs who had been living comfortably.

What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
There are many reasons that I decided to join the MAPP program, but the main aspect that drew me to it was how it focuses on human-animal relationships. I believe that it is important to educate the larger community about animal policy and how to stimulate the status of animals in our society. Another reason that I chose to join the MAPP program was because it can be tailored to your specific interests. I am very passionate about dogs and the important role that they play in human lives. Joining the MAPP program will allow me to work with dogs while promoting better lives for them.

Interests in and experience with animals
For my entire life, I have always loved animals, especially dogs. I have gained experience working with dogs in many different fields and settings over the years. As a young child I would assist an agility trainer over the summer and dog/cat sit whenever possible. The most educational and informative work I did with dogs was grooming. I was able to make a personal connection with many different dogs, as well as being exposed to different breeds and different personalities. I also became very familiar with breed traits and the variety of behaviors certain breeds possess. Another enlightening experience I had working with dogs was when I interned for an animal behaviorist at the Humane Society for Greater Nashua, located in Nashua, NH. Through this internship, I worked with incoming stray dogs that needed to be evaluated on their temperament around food, people, and other animals.

What do you want to focus on at MAPP?
My focus in the MAPP program will be advocating for homeless animals and promoting the usage of adoption centers and shelters. I was drawn to this through experience when working with animals that were in those circumstances. I would like to do this by following the applied track the program offers, focusing on human and animal interactions/relationships.

What are your career goals?
My career goal is to work at an adoption center/facility that proactively rescues stray dogs and can successfully provide a better life for them. I also would like to be able to educate the community on the importance of adopting animals, instead of buying from breeders and shops.

What are your outside interests?
I love traveling and being in nature. Hiking is something that I have always enjoyed doing throughout the year. I am also an avid reader and am always eager to watch a new movie or, TV series.

Number of pets? What type?
At my home in Peterborough, NH, my family currently has one dog, Mocha, who is a 14yr old mixed breed rescued from Puerto Rico.

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