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Virginia Heath

A long, long time ago (over 40 years) in a far, far away land (the east coast), Virginia began her work with animals, her first rescue was a giant tortoise that found it's way to her backyard in New Jersey from an adjacent swamp. Back then her idea of “rescue” was to keep the turtle in a sandbox, feed it leftover lettuce and ride on it's shell. Many years later Virginia found herself living in California with three dogs of her own. Soon after arriving in the area Virginia found her way to the Marin Humane Society where she learned to put her love for and natural instincts with canines to good use.

Currently, Virginia is an instructor and behavior consultant at the Marin Humane Society. Virginia and Trish King, Director of Behavior and Training, developed the concept for the Bully Breed Basics class taught at the shelter. The class was in response to the growing number of Bully Breed dogs enrolling in the shelter's Difficult Dog classes. Virginia and Trish felt that the specific needs of these dogs warranted a breed specific class, and Bully Breed Basics was born. Virginia devised the curriculum for the class which is now a staple of the Humane Society's obedience class offerings.

Virginia is also the Behavior Volunteer Coordinator at the Humane Society, as such she is responsible for training and supervising volunteers in the Behavior Department. Virginia is also an instructor for the Pen Pals Program. This program partners shelter dogs with Inmate/Trainers in San Quentin Prison who foster care and train the dogs in preparation for adoption.

But, just so you know Virginia is not just a crazy dog lady, she graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a BA in English Literature and a Minor in Women's Studies – just short of a double minor in Philosophy. Fresh out of college, Virginia went right to Law School. She passed the New York Bar, the first time! Virginia retired her bar license in May 2006, dashing her parents' belief that she may one day enter politics – they just had to accept the fact that she'd rather work with dogs than politicians.

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