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Gina Spadafori ...

Gina Spadafori has two loves in her life -- animals and writing. As former director of the world's largest online area for animals, and with her award-winning columns and books, she has finally accomplished one of her life's goals -- a career writing about animals.

Gina has written a weekly column on pets and their care since 1983, and these Pet Connection columns have been a popular part of the Pet Care Forum since 1995. Her columns are distributed to newspapers and websites internationally by the Universal Press Syndicate, home to such diverse offerings as Dear Abby and Doonesbury.

She is the author of "Dogs for Dummies" and co-author of "Cats For Dummies" (with Paul D. Pion, DVM, DACVIM), both from IDG Books Worldwide. "Dogs For Dummies" was named the Best General Reference book by the Dog Writers Association of America as well as the most outstanding writing on dogs in 1996. "Cats For Dummies" was named "Best Work on Feline Behavior," "Best Work on Feline Nutrition" and "Best Work on Responsible Cat Care" by the Cat Writers Association. Both books are top-sellers, offering nearly 400 pages of advice on choosing, raising, training, caring for and living with a pet. They've been translated into several languages.

Her newest book, "Birds For Dummies," will be out in September 1990. Her co-author is the internationally respected avian specialist Brian L. Speer, DVM, DABVP.

Gina has also been a columnist and regular contributor to the AKC Gazette, the official magazine of the American Kennel Club, and she has written on pets for other magazines, including Modern Maturity. She has also been quoted in scores of newspaper and magazine articles, and appeared on TV and radio.

She has taught basic dog-obedience classes and competed in obedience trials with her own dogs. Gina has earned the praise of trainers and other top-selling pet writers, all of whom have praised her breezy writing style and dogged pursuit of the facts. She also counts among her readers scores of veterinarians, many of whom use her articles in their practices to help educate their clients.

Gina has been active in efforts to help homeless pets, organizing and running a breed-rescue program in her community. She has served on the board of directors for both the Cat Writers Association and the Dog Writers Association of America, and served as contest chair of the DWAA writing contest in 1993. The DWAA has three times awarded her its Maxwell Medallion for Best Newspaper Column, and Pedigree dog food presented her with its Outstanding Journalist Pet Care Award in 1993. In 1995, she was honored with the Geraldine R. Dodge Award for an article promoting cooperation between shelters and breed-rescue groups. The Cat Writers Association has twice awarded her column a Certificate of Excellence.

She shares her home with three dogs and a bird. The dogs are two flat-coated retrievers by the names of Benjamin and Heather, and Andy, a Sheltie. Her bird, Patrick, is a Senegal parrot.

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