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  08/01/2012      03:00 pm

Out of the Fog with Karen Hager: Nicole Chillemi and The Healing Gifts of Animals

Guest Profile

Nicole Chillemi

Nicole Chillemi


The path of Nicole Chillemi's life has always been paved by her love of animals. "I have learned so much from the animal friends I have shared my life with. One of the first, and greatest, lessons came when I was about 10 years old. I found a baby robin under a tree. My parents and I took him to the vet and learned how to properly raise him. For the first time in my life there was a little being that was dependent on me. After a few months, it was time to let him go. I realized that as badly as I wanted to keep him it wouldn't be fair and so I took him to my backyard, kissed him on his head and said good-bye. Although I couldn't keep him, the lessons he taught me would be with me forever; lessons of love, friendship, responsibility, caring, and ultimately, unselfishness. These are the lessons that I have carried with me through the years. They are the lessons that made me realize that I wanted nothing more than to share my life with as many animals as I could. After that experience I went on to volunteer with an adoption agency, Paws to Love Adoptions. I also met a couple of wildlife rehabilitators, named Lou and Ro, and worked alongside them from when I was 13 until now. In 1998, as soon as I turned 16, I got a job at a local animal hospital. I became a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator in 2000, and graduated from Mercy College in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in Veterinary Technology. I then went to work as a Licensed Veterinary Technician at Valley Cottage Animal Hospital. Unfortunately, in May of 2005 my allergies to cats became extremely severe and with great reluctance I had to make a career change. I am currently training animals for movies, commercials, TV shows etc. and share my life and heart with a number of amazing creatures."

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