Real life Dr. Dolittle

Photo by Sue Suchyta. After seeing a photo of dog Molly, 12, animal communicator and psychic Leslie Cirinesi (left), tells librarian Carolyn Smith of Taylor that her dog is in good health and is not upset with the new cats recently introduced into the household.

Photo by Sue Suchyta. After seeing a photo of dog Molly, 12, animal communicator and psychic Leslie Cirinesi (left), tells librarian Carolyn Smith of Taylor that her dog is in good health and is not upset with the new cats recently introduced into the household.

Sunday Times Newspapers

HEIGHTS – As a child, Leslie Cirinesi unquestioningly believed she understood the thoughts and emotions of her family pets, especially her bassett hound.

“When I was young, I thought that I knew what they were thinking or they were feeling,” Cirinesi said. “But everybody told me it was just my imagination, so after a while, I just thought it was my imagination, too.”

Cirinesi met with pet owners at John F. Kennedy Library, 24602 Van Born, Aug. 25 and 26, and using photographs, communicated psychically with living and past pets.

She said she shut her feelings away until a few years ago, when a connection at the Montana Grizzly Encounter, a sanctuary in Bozeman, Mont., brought her communication gift back to the forefront.

When she went to the sancuary to apply animal reiki — an alternative medicine that practioners believe transfers life force energy through them to promote healing — she said she realized that she could understand what the grizzly bears were saying to her.

“It kind of freaked me out a little bit,” she said. “But there were three bears that I talked to that day, and the director there would validate everything that I was telling her, and there were things that there was just no way that I would know.”

She said the bears gave her pictures in her head, or pictures with thoughts.
Brutus, a bear who had been featured in movies, kept sending her images of him eating and enjoying candy canes.

“I kept thinking, ‘That can’t be right. They wouldn’t give a grizzly bear a candy cane,’” Cirinesi said. “I asked the director, ‘Does he like peppermint?’ and she said, ‘He loves candy canes. He has fans and at Christmastime they will send him candy canes, and he will get them as a treat.’”

Cirinesi said that was an “aha” moment for her.

“It’s not my imagination,” she said. “I can’t deny it any more.”

Cirinesi said she has some Native American ancestry, and her mother told her that she had a great grandmother who was a psychic.

She said most of her animal psychic communication helps clients understand if their pet is sick or in pain.

Animals will often hide when they are in pain, she said, because in the wild, weakness is a sign of vulnerability.

“I can tell if they are (in pain). I can feel it on myself,” she said. “I always tell (owners), ‘Don’t go by what I say, but take this information to your veterinarian.’”

Cirinesi said she can communicate with wild and domestic animals. While she usually works with dogs, cats and horses, she works with bears at the Montana Grizzly Encounter, and camels at Camel Discover Treks and Adventures in Livingston, Mont.

She said she can use a photo, sent to her electronically, to connect and communicate with an animal psychically – she does not have to physically be with the animal.

People have told her that animals sometimes calm down right away, or they tell her that a desired behavior change occurred later.

She said she prefers to contact humans psychically with a card reading, but she has had positive outcomes using the animal communication technique with a baby who was having digestive problems, and a non-verbal dementia patient whose family wanted to know why she was agitated and crying.

With the baby, she was able to tell the child psychically to consume their milk more slowly, after which the family told her the digestive issues abated.

With the elderly woman, Cirinesi learned she was upset her feet were wrapped in multiple layers and were too hot, something the family had forgotten had bothered her when she was younger.

Cirinesi said she can’t blame others for being skeptical, because she was skeptical for so long.

“It’s a weird thing. Let’s be honest,” she said. “But I just feel that if they really need me, they will come to me. Sometimes they will be open enough to at least try it. Then they’ll say, ‘You know, I never would have believed it, but there is no way you could have known that.’”

Cirinesi also uses photographs to communicate psychically with the spirits of deceased pets. She said some people feel guilty about having euthanised a pet, and want to know if they resented it.  Others are unsure how an existing pet who is ill or in pain would react to an end-of-life decision.

Cirinesi said she can tell pet owners whether a current pet wants to stay, or is ready to pass on, and she can reassure pet owners when a past pet isn’t angry at them, and is in a better place.

She said while all animals will communicate with her, some shelter rescue pets don’t want to communicate neglect or abuse from their past.

Cirinesi tells pet owners that she is more of a translator, and can only pass on a message an animal wants to share.

Animals – especially younger ones – are sometimes initially surprised and confused that she can communicate with them.

Sometimes people don’t know what they would use an animal communicator for, Cirinesi said.

“I think the greatest amount of calls I get is, ’Is my pet in pain or sick?’” she said.

Resolving behavioral issues, and communicating upcoming life changes are also high on the owner-to-pet communication list.

She said pets can be stressed and confused by a move, a vacation, or a family dynamic change, and are more in touch with our emotions than our words.

Librarian Carolyn Smith of Taylor brought a photo of her dog Molly, 12, to Cirinesi, and was pleased to hear her pet is in good health, and not upset by the new cats in their household.

Smith said she would recommend pet owner friends meet with Cirinesi.

“I think they should do it,” Smith said. “It’s a great experience.”

Adult services librarian Rob Butler said he brought Cirinesi to the library because psychic phenomenon and animal program topics have been popular with library patrons in the past.

He said he hopes to schedule a visit with her for next summer at Caroline Kennedy Library.
People wishing to meet Cirinesi sooner can do so at two upcoming dog shows: The St. Clair Kennel Club, Sept. 12 and 13 at Goddells County Park, 8345 County Park Drive, Goddells, and at the Monroe Kennel Club, Sept. 25 to 27, at the Monroe County Fairground, 3775 S. Custer Road.

To reach Cirinesi, or learn more about her services, go to, or send an email to