Pet owners typically rely on veterinarians to diagnose and treat issues pertaining to an animal’s physical health. But when frightened cats, lonely dogs and turkeys struck with seasonal anxiety endure emotional pain, one Arizona woman claims to pick up where veterinary medicine leaves off.
Debbie Johnstone, who calls herself an animal whisperer, says she depends on her sight, hearing, smell and taste to read animals’ thoughts, the Arizona Republic reports.
"As a child, I collected stray animals," Johnstone told the news source. "I thought everybody heard them the way I do."
The self-proclaimed animal communicator typically services clients who are dealing with the possibility of euthanizing an animal or those who want to know if a deceased pet has passed on to a better place.
An at-home visit from Johnstone costs $125 per hour, though the specialist can perform sessions over the phone and by e-mail.
Though Johnstone has made a modest business with her niche enterprise, her line of work is not free from judgment.
Arizona veterinarian Dr Gregg Townsley told the news provider that owners are taking a "dangerous risk" when they rely on animal whisperers as an alternative to veterinary services.