Laura is King's Creatures Animal Training's owner. She is a Certified Dog Trainer and a member of the Therapy Dog Committee with the International Association of Canine Professionals and Professional Affiliate of the Midwest Bat Working Group.
She spent her childhood shadowing and helping her grandfather in his veterinary clinic and on his farm as well as shadowing other animal care professionals. She is a graduate of Oakland University with a B.S. in Biology.
Laura began training animals professionally in 2012 at the Saginaw Children's Zoo, a facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). She went on to work for Joel Slaven's Professional Animals, Inc at two other AZA-accredited facilities, SeaWorld Orlando and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. She then entered the pet-training field at Found Chicago, where she trained dogs under Fabian & Brittney Romo & Jeff Jenkins. Laura launched King's Creatures in Tomah, WI, in September 2017. In September 2019, she moved King's Creatures to Cedar Rapids, IA.
She has worked with parrots, chickens, raptors, lemurs, marmosets, sugar gliders, otters, snakes, lizards, deer, pigs, cows, goats, sheep, camels, donkeys, tarantulas, cockroaches, skunks, rats, raccoons, cats, and dogs -- just to name a few! She utilizes her wide variety of animal training experience to work with her clients to develop the best training plan for their pets so that animals and humans alike can easily enjoy their lives together. She is always striving to meet the need in our community for a better understanding of animals that will allow humans and animals to happily coexist for years to come.
Laura lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband, Billy, and their cats, Azula and Mai, and dogs, Zuko, Korra, and Gouda. Billy is the pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids and North Liberty. He supports King's Creatures in a variety of ways including (but not limited to) starring in many training videos, serving as the friendly stranger for CGC testing, setting up for classes and events, and welcoming many animals into his home.
Laura spends her free time offering pro bono training services for Living Creatures Ministry, a program that trains and certifies therapy animals for WELS churches, volunteering with local animal shelters and rescues, volunteering at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, kayaking and hiking with her husband and pets, reading, finding "Giant Thing" roadside attractions with her husband, going to as many plays and musicals as possible, and drinking margaritas.
To create and strengthen relationships between people and animals in our communities that allow them to fully enjoy life’s adventures together.
Azula is a rescue cat that Laura adopted as a kitten from the Michigan Humane Society back in 2012. Since then Azula has moved with Laura to 6 different states! Besides being an expert traveler, Azula helps desensitize training animals to life with a cat. She loves to spend her days on top of the cat tree, snuggling in a fuzzy blanket, or darting around to tease the dogs while they work on stay.
After 25 years with "Dog" at the top of her wish list, Laura's dreams finally came true in 2016 when she worked with Found Chicago's rescue program (now named Canines & Company) to pull Zuko from Chicago Animal Care and Control. Zuko is our "circus dog" -- always eager to learn tricks and try new things as long as there is a treat or squeaky toy involved. Zuko helps out by demonstrating appropriate behaviors and teaching foster puppies and kittens how to respect an older dogs space. His favorite treats are carrots and banana pieces.
In 2017, Korra joined the King family. After working for just a few days at the Monroe County Dog Shelter, Laura met Korra and knew she had to bring her home. Korra is our bubbly ray of sunshine. She is always eager to play with any new kittens or puppies, but she also isn't afraid to put an unruly young critter in its place if they have a rude play style! In the summer of 2019, Korra became one of the first two Certified Therapy Animals in the Living Creatures Ministry program. She loves to be pet by anyone and everyone!
Mai (pronounced May) was dumped on the door step of the Monroe County Dog Shelter in 2018 and quickly made herself an integral part of the King family. While she loves wrestling and chasing her dog siblings, she is quick to teach any new dogs to respect her! Mai adores snuggling with humans, but her very favorite thing in the world is food (or anything that smells or looks remotely like food). Mai enjoys leash walks and attacking wagging dog tails.
Gouda was also adopted from the Monroe County Dog Shelter! (Are you sensing a theme yet?) She joined the King family in 2019. Imagine our surprise when this puppy we initially thought to be an Australian Cattle Dog only weighed 11 pounds at 6 months old! This mini mutt still holds her own though! Gouda has very strong toy drive, so stay tuned as we continue to develop her trick and dog sport repertoire.
KCAT's mission is:
1. To cultivate a compassionate relationship between people and animals
2. To provide and promote opportunities for people and animals to improve each other’s well-being
King’s Creatures achieves this mission through:
TRAINING & BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION
KCAT offers individualized pet training plans that address the unique behavioral needs and training goals of each owner and animal. Since no two people and no two animals are alike, KCAT utilizes a wide variety of training methods, tools, and services to meet each training need.
Through the KCAT Club, classes, events, and social media, KCAT shares meaningful content with local communities and a broader online community of those who share a passion for improving the well-being of people and animals.
KCAT provides a pro bono training and certification program for therapy animals, Living Creatures Ministry (LCM). LCM allows WELS churches to utilize animals to share Christian love and comfort and to strengthen relationships within their communities.
KCAT fosters a supportive community that encourages lifelong training, education, and improvement for people and animals alike.