Michelle Sharpee (Sr. Behaviorist)
- Over 27 years experience with training exotic and domestic cats
- Certified Cat Traniner
- Certified Animal CPR
Born in Anniston, Al and raised in a small town in Jasper, Ga. Michelle had a great upbringing with horses, dogs and cats. Michelle has a B.A. degree in Communication with a Minor in Psychology which works with people as well as animals. Michelle’s 24 years of working with animals and passion for understanding the behaviors and needs of them lead to working with all types of animals.
Zoo Atlanta: She started at Zoo Atlanta in the wildlife show working with a pot bellied pig, 2 goats, a barn owl, a harris hawk, a blue and gold macaw, snakes, a blue iguana, a sun conure, and a vulture. She soon learned that each animal had their own unique personality which drove their motivations. The vulture liked to play with pull toys and shoe strings, the hawk liked mice over chicks, and the pig loved a pet on the belly. These preferences were used for behavior modification to obtain the desired effect of the show.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Flights of Wonder Bird Show: Worked for and learned from the world famous bird trainer, Steve Martin. There she worked with 144 species of birds and other animals which include but are not limited to eagles, pied crows, abyssinian ground hornbills, chickens, green winged macaws, african grey parrots, galas, rats, hawks, kestrels, falcons, king vultures, and a rupples griffin vulture. Steve increased her knowledge of the main drive behind behavior modification: positive reinforcement, or the offering of desirable effects or consequences for a behavior with the intention of increasing the chance of that behavior being repeated in the future.
Caribbean Gardens, The Zoo in Naples: At Caribbean Gardens, Michelle had the privilege of working with some of the above animals along with caracals, servals, jungle cats, tigers, binturongs, lemurs, and kinkajous using the same form of behavior modification; positive reinforcement.
From there, Michelle has carried her knowledge to the domestic side of things. She wants to share her passion for animal husbandry (care) and behavior modification with those she pet sits for. The idea behind Cloud 9 Feline is built on the foundation of finding out what the animal needs to be happy and healthy and delivering that to the animal.