By her first year in high school, Moore knew that her future was in words, and set about gaining experience. She worked on the high school newspaper staff and credited the editor as teaching her a lot about writing and interviewing. She also landed a position with the town’s weekly newspaper. She’d always been athletic and so she walked into the office of the local weekly newspaper and convinced the editor to hire her as a high school sportswriter. “It was a gutsy move that worked,” said Moore.
After high school, while attending Purdue University, Moore landed a full-time writing position at the Post-Tribune. As a graduate, Moore’s “insatiable curiosity” drove her to spend the next 20 years “chasing stories as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers in Indiana and Florida.”
Along with way, Moore discovered that she could combine her love of writing and interviewing to help people become healthier and to tout the power of pets. “Pets and people—that’s what I am all about,” Moore said. “In fact, I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t at least one tail-wagger in my life.”
When Moore eventually became interested in book publishing and magazine writing, she accepted a position at the Rodale publishing company as a health writer for its book division. She added another position when Rodale started a pet magazine and invited staffers to write for that publication. “I grew up with pets and have always had pets as an adult,” Moore said.“This was a great opportunity to hone two of my loves: writing and pets.”
As a pet magazine writer, Moore had the opportunity to interview some of the top veterinarians and certified applied-animal behaviorists in the country. Moore also elected to complete pet health and behavior courses and attend health and behavior sessions at veterinary conferences. “Knowledge is power,” Moore believes. One opportunity led to another. Soon Moore was being hired by leading pet publications to write articles and signing pet book contracts with Storey Book Publishing.
For a while Moore focused on pet health and behavior, but in 2011 Moore realized she was missing an important component: pet first aid. She addressed this need by taking a course in pet first aid and a course in pet CPR. This led to her becoming an instructor, and then to her receiving certification as a master instructor in pet first aid/CPR. In 2013, Moore launched Pet First Aid 4U, a veterinarian-approved and supported pet first aid program that emphasizes hands-on skill building of students on real pets.
Moore insists on staying current with her pet first aid education. She shadows Dr. Mike LoSasso, a board-certified emergency/critical care veterinarian who runs a clinic in Texas. In addition, she consults top veterinarians who serve on Moore’s Pet First Aid 4U advisory board, and who have certification and training in feline medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine. She also continues to take classes taught by leading pet first aid experts. “I feel it is important to always be both a student and a teacher,” explained Moore. “It’s important to stay current on the latest pet first aid/safety protocols and share them with my students.”
Moore uses her cat Casey and her dog Kona to demonstrate first aid techniques in her classes. She adopted Kona in 2016 at about 15 months from the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in California. According to Moore, Kona was shy but flattened herself against the kennel cage to get as close as possible to Moore during their introduction. When she tested Kona’s temperament, Kona came when called, accepted having her paws touched, and showed respect for the shelter’s cat. After adopting Kona, Moore helped her adapt to family life by house-training her and teaching her to walk on a leash. “Once these were accomplished,” Moore said, “she was receptive to learning. We enrolled in three levels of obedience training, where she excelled. We then completed the AKC Canine Good Citizen training and certified therapy dog training.”
Moore’s now four-year-old orange tabby, Casey, was adopted as a kitten at a mobile pet adoption event in California. At the event, Moore tested her temperament. “I spent time observing his interactions with other cats, people, and even a couple cat-accepting dogs. I was looking for an outgoing cat who wanted to learn. Casey was and still is a natural,” Moore said. Since adopting Casey, she’s spent a lot of time teaching him tricks using clicker training and targeting sticks. She also repeatedly handled him from head to toe to get him used to being touched by others. Like Kona, Casey also proved a natural as a therapy pet. According to Moore, Casey affectionately greets the residents and staff at Brookdale Memory Care center on their weekly visits. Moore is also proud of Casey’s rapport with kids. “We volunteer to give cat-dog talks at the SPCA of Texas Critter Camps,” Moore shared, “He loves to strut his stuff and pose for photos with the kid campers.
To prepare Kona and Casey for road trips as a pet first aid team, Moore introduced both to short and then long car rides and crate-trained them. “Kona and Casey have logged thousands of miles with me all across the country and have stayed at dozens of pet-welcoming hotels,” Moore said. “They make terrific travel mates and never seem to mind when I sing off-key to the radio.”
In 2018, Moore visited Lincoln to help Sadie Dog Fund celebrate its tenth anniversary in a unique way. Pam Hoffman of the Sadie Dog Fund discovered Moore when she was a guest on the Cathy Blythe’s Problems and Solutions show on KFOR-Radio. Hoffman contacted Moore, and the two worked on pinning down a date and location for classes. Moore taught two four-and-a-half-hour Pet First Aid classes over the April 21 and 22 weekend. Twenty-one students took the classes, each receiving a two-year certification. The students learned the items that should be included in a pet first aid kit, three different CPR techniques, handling tips in the event of bites, burns, bleeding, choking, broken bones, poison, and severe weather, and how to give a nose-to-tail wellness check. “It was wonderful to be able to donate all admissions to my pet behavior talk to Pam Hoffman’s Sadie Dog Fund,” Moore shared. “We estimate we raised about $500.”
In addition to Moore’s pet first aid classes, Moore also hosts a podcast in which she draws on her background in pet behavior and health to help pet families achieve harmony in the home. In 2017, her Oh Behave podcast was listed by Oprah as a top three favorite pet podcast. Moore also continues to write, and has more than 24 pet books to her name. After the publication of her book Dog Parties: How to Party Like a Pup, she partnered with Pet Sitters International to stage dog parties with the dual purpose of raising money for local pet groups and engaging pet owners and their dogs in a meaningful way. “Seeing people build better connections with their pets through my teaching or writing does give me a lot of enjoyment,” said Moore.
How does Moore juggle so many commitments? One way is time management. “Often, a guest on my podcast can be spotlighted in a feature article for one of the pet magazines,” Moore explained. Another way is networking. Moore brainstorms and collaborates on projects with other pet leaders.
Moore advises anyone wishing to follow her lead to “never stop learning about and ‘listening’ to our companion animals. Understand that as pet advocates, you have an important mission to give them a voice and to convey accurate information about pet behavior, health, and nutrition. The best pet advocates I know are always striving to learn more ways to make this planet a better place for pets and their people.”
Today Moore shares her home in Dallas with her partner, three dogs, and two cats. She has a following on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. In addition, people can tune into her Oh Behave podcast through Pet Life Radio. Moore is proof that words can be a mighty power for pets.