Feathers came to Eileen Garfinkel in a dream. Garfinkel’s cat had an infection, but her veterinarian couldn’t find the source.

In the dream, Feathers touched his mouth three times, and Garfinkel said she knew the source of the infection was “a rotten abscess tooth.” The next day, the veterinarian called with a rotten tooth diagnosis. From then on, Garfinkel knew she had a way with animals that others did not.

Until recently, Garfinkel only used her talents for family and friends. But two and half years ago, she started a business as an animal communicator — Dreams of Amelia. She talks to cats, dogs, birds and turtles around New York on behalf of their owners.
“It’s very focused work, but once you connect it’s very open and it comes very quickly and there is a lot of it,” she said.

How it all works
People most often call on animal communicators when a pet is having behavior problems, but sometimes they just want to know how the animal is doing.
Garfinkel explained that she connects with the animal’s energy through telepathy, a mind-to-mind communication. She doesn’t seven have to meet the animal — she just needs to see a picture of the pet and learn its name. “It’s energy work. It has no boundaries, no borders,” Garfinkel said.

Donna Lozito, a longtime animal communicator, said she also can communicate with animals after they have died, and works with clients who have lost pets.
Animal communicators are careful to say that they are not psychic. They are also no substitute for a veterinarian’s attention.

A learned trait

Although not everyone can talk to animals, some say we all could if we tried.
“Telepathy is just using a part of the brain that humans don’t use anymore,” said Lozito, who is also an animal communication workshop leader. “People just need practice.”
Lozito, who founded her company, Whispers of the Spirit, in New York 16 years ago, helps people in receiving and interpreting messages from animals.

Find a communicator

There are about four animal communicators in New York City and 16 in the state, according to a quick search on animal communicator site animaltalk.net.
And experts say the best way to find a communicator is through referrals.
There are no licenses for animal communicators, but one school, Animal Spirit Healing and Education Network, offers certificates.

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Lozito said that people are warming up to the field.

“Sixteen years ago they wanted to put me away,” she said. “Now people seek me out.”

The pay
Animal communicators charge $30-$60 per half hour, but the work isn't steady, and they often have to supplement their incomes