Mark R. Johnson DVM
Global Wildlife Resources
Visit our website at: www.wildliferesources.com
Register for one of Mark’s capture and handling course listed on our website Course Schedule
Dear friends and colleagues,
I wish to use this blog to share my stories about working humanely with fearful dogs. The names we use for them does not matter: feral/street/fearful/fractious, they all respond to us in magical ways when we: 1) Look to see who they are and where they are coming from, 2) Watch how we are responding and choose not to add to the conflict in our minds and hearts, and 3) Use the proper techniques and equipment. The goal is not just to provide training material and to create other instructors, it is to strengthen a culture of compassion for all animals and all people.
I am committed to teach, learn, and generate discussion about progressive approaches for dog capture and handling. I hope this blog, my YouTube Channel, and website will benefit animal control programs, animal shelters, disaster responders, and trap/neuter/release programs around the world.
I wish to significantly help with rabies eradication and address dog overpopulation to reduce human and animal suffering. I am producing a variety of training materials on compassionate dog handling in the form of books, e-books, videos, and resources. My goal is to eventually have these training materials reach the smallest animal welfare programs in the most remote parts of the world.
Please let me know what you would like to read about or discuss!
I am 60 years old (feeling much younger), married to an incredible equine therapist (a healer of horses, dogs, and wildlife), Elizabeth, and living in Hamilton Montana. I have worked with a wide array of wildlife. I have taught rangers in Yosemite National Park how to handle black bears and managers in Glacier National Park how to handle grizzly bears. I have worked in New Mexico to help capture and transport desert and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and on tribal lands to gather mule deer and antelope. Other species I have worked with include: fox, coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, bobcat, lynx, raccoons, and badger and others. Each animal I touch is a part of me and teaches me.
My greatest teacher has been the wolf. While working as a wildlife veterinarian for Yellowstone National Park, I was Project Veterinarian for the 1995-96 Gray Wolf Reintroduction Program. I have handled hundreds of gray, red, and Mexican wolves and they will always be a big part of my life. The knowledge I gained from working with wild and captive wolves has been my foundation for gathering tools and skills for handling the feral dog who is currently my strongest animal teacher. I am very proud about honoring each person I work with and have good relationships with very diverse groups from the Humane Society of the United States to ASPCA to USDA Wildlife Services.
My first story is about my trip to Ladakh, India to help a spay/neuter program capture dogs in a manner that is in sync with their Buddhist values, but I have handled over 2,000 feral dogs in the U.S., on Indian reservations, in the Caribbean, in Palau and with rescuing dogs after Hurricane Katrina. Whereever I work, I teach as well as learn. And so this is a wonderful opportunity to share my adventures with colleagues, to learn from each other, and to teach programs around the world how to humanely capture fearful dogs with care, honor, and respect.
I welcome your comments to develop this valuable blog and our website.
Thank you for visiting,
Mark R. Johnson DVM