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Popovich Comedy Pet Theater pulls into town

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Rescued dogs, cats to perform in Gallup

Dogs and cats are the main actors of the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, coming to Gallup Nov. 10. These furry stars have performed for Jay Leno, David Letterman and Craig Ferguson and were featured on Animal Planet and made the finals on America’s Got Talent.

Lifelong animal rights advocate Gregory Popovich is a Gold-­Medal winner in Paris, France, a Special Award-holder in Monte Carlo, and a Grand Prix receiver in Moscow at multiple international festivals.

Popovich has participated in fundraisers for animal shelters and neutering programs across the nation. Public-­service announcements promoting responsible pet adoption are staples of Popovich’s Comedy Pet Theater. All pets that perform in Comedy Pet Theater are rescues from shelters – and serve as furry ambassadors for animals seeking homes.

“When people see these amazing, healthy animals on stage and decide to adopt an animal from a shelter themselves, my main message has reached the audience,” says Popovich, who grew up backstage outside the circus spotlight where his parents performed, with pets frequently his only playmates. He bonded closely with the dogs and cats, learning to communicate via words, signals and body language; a skill he likens to that of Mowgli, the child character in Jungle Book.

Today, the furry or feathered performers in Comedy Pet Theater live in comfortable quarters as members of Gregory and wife, Izolda’s extended household in Las Vegas, Nev. Those who grow too old for the stage live in pampered retirement.

Popovich is a master animal trainer who employs positive-­reinforcement techniques in his training – coaching individual animals to perform tasks based on their natural habits.

He has shared his expertise for raising, training and living harmoniously with pets in two books: You CAN Train Your Cat: Secrets of a Master Cat Trainer, and, Doggy Gone Good: A Master’s Guide to Teaching Manners, Tricks and Healthy Habits.

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