Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A talk with an animal communicator

I had occasion to inteview Janet Roper, a Shorewood, MN animal communicator (AC), via email. I posed a slew of questions to her -- some of them a little skeptical. She wasn't at all put off and didn't try to make a believer out of me. I've never used Jane's services and can't speak to her abilities, but we had a pleasant exchange and she gave me a good understanding of her approach in working with animals and their owners. A few nuggets of our email conversation are below. Hope you enjoy...

What does it feel like to communicate with animals? What is the experience like?
There is no right or wrong way to receive psychic information, and there is not necessarily only one way to receive information. My background as a musician and spiritual director both involve highly developed and active listening skills. I believe it is because of this training and background that the animals usually choose to communicate with me via clairaudience, the hearing of words, or thoughts.

When you say you have conversations, do the horses actually "speak in plain English?" To be honest this is something that has made me skeptical. How do horses articulate thoughts?
Animals send out and people pick up information in whatever sense the person is the most comfortable working with. For instance, I do hear words, and I believe it's because I'm an extravert & my background as a musician has provided me with listening skills that are way above ordinary. When an animal really wants to get my attention, I get physical feelings, as I mentioned above.

Now, Now, having said that, I have been thinking a lot lately about vibrations. I am beginning to wonder if a more accurate way to describe how AC works is the animal sends out vibrations about some experience, I pick up those vibrations and translate them through the sense that I feel most comfortable working in. I don't know that for a fact, just some thoughts I've been fiddlin' around with. I do know for a fact that when I am talking to an animal, 98% of the time I hear words.

What are common things that horses tell you -- or is it all over the map?
Pretty much all over the map ;-) Horse people need to be aware, and I mean REALLY AWARE of saddle/equipment fit & how their riding is affecting the horse. A lot of times I see the person is assuming the horse is just being a snot or a brat, when that horse is in actual, physical pain, and telling the person, the best they can (usually through body language) that they are hurting and in real pain.

I had one foal keep referring to her beautiful legs & what she actually meant was that she wanted to be in the show ring (so people could admire her beautiful legs).

Do you succeed in getting a read from every animal?
Not every animal, but I'd say 98%. The funniest time I didn't get an answer was from a Corgi who knew I was going to 'rat him out' to his human on what he'd been doing during the day when she was gone. He not only refused to talk, he went to the door, sat with his back to me, and kept looking between the door handle and his human.

In some cases, there are ACs more experienced and better equipped than I am to handle certain situations, for instance rescue and lost animals. However, I am very good at balancing relationships, hospice & death & dying. When I come across a situation where I feel either the animal or the human can be better helped by someone else, I give them 3 referrals. Interestingly enough, I know when a case is not mine to do because I get nauseous! To protect myself, I do have a disclaimer.

How do you set your fees? Is there a travel charge? Is the charge by time or a flat rate?
My fee is $125/hr plus, if travel is involved, the standard IRS mileage fee of $0.585 per mile. Minimum fee is $75 for up to a half hour. I do communications in person or via email or phone.

What are the traits of a reputable animal communicator?
Qualities of reputable communicators/intuitives include:

  • A willingness to do their own ‘inner work’. Think of this as CEUs
  • Has an essence that makes you feel comfortable and at ease
  • Does not profess to have all the answers, but is willing to refer you to another source of reference, possibly even another communicator
  • Will strive for the highest standards in their language and actions
  • Will use their psychic energy for the best outcome for all involved
  • Will hold your information in confidence
  • Will allow you to use your free choice
  • Displays high integrity
  • Works well with both animals and humans
When you connect with a communicator that resonates with you, you will feel it in your gut. Listen to your gut when you meet an AC. For more information see Janet's blog entry on characteristics of reputable ACs.

What are the signs that you may not be working with the right person?
  • Anyone who promises to solve all your problems
  • Does not provide referrals or references
  • Only strokes your ego
  • Demands and expects automatic acceptance and compliance with all they say
  • Does not do their own ‘inner’ work - signs of this are chaotic or unhealthy lifestyles
  • Anyone who claims to have all the answers
  • Expects you to become a groupie
  • Tells you what you must do or dire outcomes will occur
  • Expects continuing streams of income from you
  • Speaks only vaguely or in grandiose terminology Does not provide referrals or references
For more information see Janet's warning signs of pseudo-intuitives.

What is your opinion on the animal communicator community? On the whole a good bunch? On the whole effective? Something else?
The professional animal communicators I have worked with, trained with & dealt with are a good group of people and have the best interest of the animal at heart. And yes, I say effective, too.

Is there an organization or affiliation of ACs who you consider to be the premier "organizational body" representing ACs?
Penelope Smith is considered the 'grandmother' of animal communication. Her site is Animaltalk.net. Many, many communicators have studied with her and she has an organization and magazine.

Are there apprenticeships or professional development/education opportunities? An organizational body or association?
I know there are communicators who are starting universities of animal communication (Carol Gurney, Janet Ranquet), as far as I am aware there are no across the board standards.

Is there a code of ethics for ACs?
Penelope Smith at Animaltalk.net has a code of ethics that has been widely adopted by other ACs.

Do you have any personal guidelines or are there "best practices" for ACs?
I have been trained as a spiritual director, so I personally use those--such as confidentiality--unless I feel the animal is a grave danger to him/herself, to someone else, or from someone else. I personally don't feel it is my job or my place to help every animal that comes along (and believe me, that can be 'fighting words' in the AC arena!).

Thanks to Janet for taking the time to respond to these questions. If you have questions of your own, I'll give a shameless plug for Janet's Talk2theAnimals First Friday Forum Teleconference. The next one is scheduled January 2, 2009, 7:00-8:00 PM. It's a chance to listen in to others' questions or pose some of your own. Skeptics welcome :-)

Janet Roper's Web site is at Talk2theAnimals.net.


  1. Hi Stacey,
    Thanks for doing the interview and help spreading the word about animal communication. It was a pleasure working with you. And yes, in my book, skeptics are definitely welcome!

  2. Wow! Super interesting.I didn't even know ACs existed! Thank you for that.

  3. Very interesting interview! Thanks, I'll go check out her website. :)

  4. I've really been enjoying this series on animal communicators, Stacey. Like you, I've always been a little bit skeptical, but the idea really intrigues me. Jane Smiley writes some about using animal communicators in A Year At The Races (true stories about her racehorses) and her novel Horse Heaven. She too, is a skeptic, but had some really interesting outcomes from her experiences. Some of her animal communicators saw "images." The horses would flash pictures of other horses or whatever was on their minds. It all seemed very believable to me.

    We can communicate with horses by learning their personalities and body language and such. It's not entirely unlikely that we can on a deeper level too.

  5. This is very interesting. I have a pretty good clue what my cats think based on their body language and behavior, but I never heard them actually speak words. It would sure be fun if they did! This post reminds me of the old TV show, Mr. Ed, who would only talk to his owner. I loved that show!

  6. Stacey, I passed on an award to you. You definitely deserve it. Details are at http://ace.regardinghorses.com/time-get-back-in-the-groove/.

  7. Stacey: Check out the Saving Argus blog; a couple of posts down she shows the animal communicators that came to talk with Argus when he first arrived and also recently to help with the loss of a herdmate. She obviously puts some store in their work. Thought you'd be interested...

  8. I liked hearing Janet's answers. I have been quite skeptical in the past. My own personal experiences make me less so now. I still think that it's important for all owners to trust their own intuition.

  9. Thanks! It's really nice to know that with some reason people do tend to change their minds.

    This is really interesting and would love to read more about this.


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