Congratulations to our BCI Writer, Terri Florentino

Northeast Woman!

Animal advocate: Salem Twp. woman turns childhood passion into a way of life

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2014:04:03 12:59:07

MICHAEL J. MULLEN / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Terri Florentino, hospital manager at Abington Veterinary Center, with dog-in-training Angelina, left, and two of her own border collies, Mirk and Echo.

Terri Florentino not only works with animals but also sees them as part of her identity.

The Salem Twp. resident, 46, has had a natural affinity for animals since childhood, and it carries into her professional and personal lives. Her love for animals led to her career at Abington Veterinary Clinic and Springbrook Kennels, her volunteer work with Griffin Pond Animal Shelter and her hobbies, which include sheep-herding and obedience competitions.

Mrs. Florentino grew up in Bucks County, where she spent a great amount of time on her family’s farms and always chose to play with and write about animals.

“There was no conscious time in my life where I decided I wanted to work with animals; it has always been a natural part of who I am,” Mrs. Florentino said.“I remember when I was in sixth grade, my teacher pulled me aside and told me to stop writing (all her writing assignments) about animals. It was devastating.”

Mrs. Florentino got her first job at the age of 15 at Montgomery County’s Hatboro Animal Hospital as a kennel attendant. When she was 16, she purchased her first horse, an appaloosa-Tennessee walker cross she named Duke. He was underweight when she purchased him, but after devoting her time to nourishing him to a healthy weight, he was ready to compete.


“We were soulmates,” Mrs. Florentino said. “He would have followed me to the ends of the earth and I worshipped him.”

Working with horses evolved into an interest in working with dogs. After earning a degree in business from Montgomery County Community College, she combined her passion with a profession.

“I knew loving animals was going to be a big part of my life, and I needed another skill to be able to financially support myself,” Mrs. Florentino said.

She now is the hospital manager at Abington Veterinary Center, where she oversees the day’s operations and manages staff, schedules and payroll.

At Springbrook Kennels, she is the director of training programs, classes, puppy kindergarten, Canine Good Citizen certification and Pet Therapy International.

Mrs. Florentino favors new dog-training methods because they encourage positive and motivational training.

“Violence begins where knowledge ends,” Mrs. Florentino said, quoting Abraham Lincoln.

Mrs. Florentino also volunteers at Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, where she trains dogs so they have an easier time finding homes.

She currently works with Angelina, a dog of unspecified breed who was dropped off at Griffin Pond with a litter of puppies in October. Mrs. Florentino has trained Angelina for about a month and hopes to help her find a home. She takes Angelina to PetSmart on Sundays for meet-and-greets and marched with her in the Scranton St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Mrs. Florentino also helped foster a border collie named Scout, who recently found a home. She has five border collies of her own — Mirk, Echo, Deja, Wyn and Tulley — all of whom she has entered in either obedience or sheep-herding competitions.

When she has time, Mrs. Florentino takes Echo, a Therapy Dog International, to nursing homes and hospitals to visit with residents. Tulley, meanwhile, once had bad habits until Mrs. Florentino rescued and trained him.


“Many people thought he would need to be euthanized,” she said. “Now, he and my husband are inseparable.”

Mrs. Florentino runs a blog, as a way to share stories about her dogs so people may learn from them and also is working on her memoirs about working with dogs, horses and sheep.

Mrs. Florentino believes her love for animals “is a gift.”

“I feel blessed to help these animals and make a difference,” she said.

Contact the writer: cdi

Meet Terri Florentino

At home: She lives in Salem Twp. with her husband, Edward, and their twin daughters, Amy and Heather. She also has a son, E.J., who serves in the Navy, and five dogs, Mirk, Echo, Deja, Wyn and Tulley.

At work: Manager at Abington Veterinary Clinic and director of the training center at Springbrook Kennels

Inspirations: Her grandfather, Walter Urey; her parents, Dick and Sandy Johnson; and her husband, Ed.

Aspiration: To publish
her memoir
Diversions: Reading, writing, skiing, swimming, hiking, kayaking, going to sheepdog trials, and date nights with her husband

Aversion: Excuses

Quote: “Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Contact the writer: cdi

8 responses to “Congratulations to our BCI Writer, Terri Florentino

  1. That’s one chick..she can train my dog anytime…

  2. That’s one hot chick, she can train my dog anytime…

  3. Congratulations! Nice article.

  4. Wonderful article! Congratulations, Terri!

  5. Sharon Valvano

    I think Terri has become my new idol !

Whatcha thinking? Gimme that! Grr! Grr!

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