Becoming who Animals need us to be

Learning does not make one learned: there are those who have knowledge and
those who have understanding. The first requires memory and the second philosophy.
– Alexander Dumas

At Kerulos, we believe learning only becomes meaningful when linked to action. This is why our training and education programs combine online and applied, hands-on experience in trauma-informed care of Animals. We offer learning-in-service courses, Animal Care Professional Training and Certification, internships, workshops, and mentoring for students, rescue and sanctuary workers, health care and legal professionals, teachers, and others. Our programs integrate three areas of learning:

  • Science that provides insights into Animal minds, emotions, and cultures
  • Somatics that explores ourselves and Animals though the lens of movement and body
  • Contemplative studies that revitalize, deepen, and align our connection with nature


Our primary goal is to raise awareness of Animal sentience and guide learners in how to put this understanding into practice through nonviolence, plant-based living, and support of Animal self-determination. Our programs provide opportunities to share experiences and build a supportive network that includes guest teachers in the healing sciences and arts and contemplative practices. As graduates of our courses, learners become part of a trans-species community – people changing their lives so that other Animals can survive and thrive.

Thomas Goodwin shares his experience as a Kerulos intern at a gorilla and chimpanzee rescue center in Cameroon, West Africa.

From Internship to Career

Kerulos Intern Erin Johnson

In addition to being an intern with The Kerulos Center, a member of the All Bull Elephant Sanctuary Project team, and a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, I am a graduate student in Georgia State University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

The Master’s program, like the university itself, takes great pride in nurturing the unique and diverse passions of every student.  Even so, my interest in utilizing clinical treatments to ameliorate Animal trauma made me an unusual outlier among the pool of talented applicants and interviewees. Though the journey to acceptance was challenging, I have been welcomed by classmates and professors with thoughtful curiosity and respect.

The first semester of coursework focused on the development of the strong moral and ethical character required to be a compassionate and just mental health counselor. What resonated most strongly with my experience with Animals was the value placed on courage and a dedication to social justice.  While it may not have been the intention of those who designed the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics to speak on behalf of Animals, the values they uphold reflect that all living beings regardless of background deserve equitable, compassionate consideration. These lessons reinforced my conviction that an education in counseling alongside a Kerulos Internship would provide me the needed support to find successful treatments for Animal trauma.