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About Leslie

Born to Explore

Born in Bainbridge GA, and raised in New Canaan CT after being adopted, with an extensive background in zoology, exotic, & domesticated pets, Leslie started training dogs and horses 27 years ago and practices positive reinforcement (r+) & LIMA (Least Intrusive Minimally Invasive). She is a Premium Professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), the American Kennel Club (AKC), the American Stock Dog Registry (ASDR), the United States Australian Shepherd Association (USASA), the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA), the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), is in the Victoria Stilwell Dog Trainers Academy (VSDTA), and is a seasoned whelping specialist and dog breeder who follows Puppy Culture, Badass Breeder, AVIDOG, and other protocols. Leslie is a professional dog trainer, breeder, & behavior consultant, specializing in puppies and dogs, using her vast experience with over 200 other species as well. After being diagnosed on the autism spectrum she understood her gift with animals & her difficulty she’d had with humans her whole life. Her enormous amount of empathy & curiosity inspired Leslie to believe in creating a seamless relationship between humans & their animal companions, & encourages their own curiosity & exploration of this world together as teams. She’s been giving humans a calming, trustworthy, and lasting safe & joyful relationship with their animals for 20 years.

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Newest (still working on it!) Website

Leslie’s Story

Curious Adventures✨

Leslie has been around animals since birth. Raised from birth with a bonded pair of house rabbits, she moved from Manhattan where she’d been in classical ballet classes since age 3 to Connecticut after the birth of her younger brother, where she continued her dance career and raised every legal domestic pet she could find as well as taking it upon herself to successfully nurse & rehabilitate the wild animals from the beautiful & expansive wildlife reserve next to her house.

Finding animals more relatable, easily understandable, and easier to talk to than humans, she got her first dog in 1995 from renowned breeders. Charlie traveled all over the country with Leslie and lived for 19 wonderful years. To this day, she is still friends with his breeder who continues to offer insights, advice, anecdotes, & encouragement along Leslie’s breeding journey ever since Leslie was inspired by their clear expertise at producing long-lived healthy family members. At age 12 she started to be seen as the horseback riding student that was given the mustangs, the recovering abused horses, the “green” off the track thoroughbreds, the “difficult” horses, and more—she has “soft hands” in the saddle and her instincts with horses and other animals started to become more widely noticed. When she was 16, she read Kicked Bitten & Scratched, determined to also attend Moorpark’s Exotic Animal Training & Management School (EATM) with the ultimate goal of training Bengal tigers & marine mammals for movies inspired by her fathers first movie script she remembered & all of the “actor dog” cards for the main role and by the Siegfried & Roy show she saw in Las Vegas when she was 12. She kept training, riding, dancing, & learning husbandry until college. Once she moved to Marin County in the Bay Area of San Francisco at 18, she started taking the pre-req’s and fell in love with the science side of animals.

She continued her training education as well, shadowing trainers at humane societies, taking courses with top professionals, and volunteering her knowledge as a behavior consultant at rescue organizations helping to place shelter animals (ALL species of shelter animals). In 2013 she began to put her zoology instincts & collegiate knowledge to work in the area, volunteering at the Marine Mammal Center rehabilitating, nursing, caring for, and releasing the west coast’s majestic California Sea Lions, Elephant Seal pups, Harbor Seals, and Walrus pups, & other centers & organizations as she progressed through her collegiate curriculum, and in 2010, she studied marine mammal & aquarist training in the Bahamas, working with & training Hurricane Katrina survivor dolphins, young sea lions, and assisting in the care of pregnant bottlenose dolphins and supervising delivery of their calves. Inspired by her own diagnosis, her own dogs, and the tragic loss of a dear friend, Leslie attended the annual 2020 Dog Behavior Conference with Victoria Stilwell (as usual, every year), where J Nichole Smith - Whyfinder ©, Branding Expert & author of Million Dollar Dog Brand© was one of the speakers. Leslie immediately reached out to Nic & began her journey realizing her lifelong dream of creating multiple brands & companies that would allow her to share her gifts with the rest of the world’s humans and animals.

Leslie is also a horseback riding instructor in English after 27 years of studying under strict English protocols & growing up learning at New Canaan Mounted Troop learning basic military & mounted police protocols as well, & has been learning the Western disciplines for 15 years. She practices natural horsemanship (Pat Parelli and others) as well and believes in approaching traumatized horses in as much of the same way as she approaches traumatized dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, & their shaping & training as well. She started English at 5 years old, and after moving to California after high school for college to study biology with a concentration in zoology, she got her first horse Leonidas (a 4 year old off the track thoroughbred [OTTB] out of triple crown winner Seattle Slew) at age 20 & began studying under Erin King of All The King’s Horses in Marin County, California. She continued to ride, train, and compete until age 30, starting her instructor career at age 20 in Medina, NY where she oversaw the health, farrier & vet appointments, feed, and management of 62 horses and about 60 children (male and female). After volunteering at Giant Steps (therapeutic horseback riding lesson volunteer for disabled adults and children) at the same horse park as her horse, and after connecting with Temple Grandin and learning of her OWN Autism diagnosis, Leslie realized there was a unique & special correlation between healing, trauma, autism, and horses. After getting her AKC Australian Shepherd service dog, she realized not only did dogs and horses also seem to be vulnerable to PTSD-type issues & behavior, but also that possibly the ways in which we treat humans for this may just actually work on our beloved animal companions as well (starting with early recognition and prevention).

Today, Leslie lives in upstate NY on her ranch with her 7 Australian Shepherds, 2 rescue cats, 2 foster kittens, & soon a couple horses. She occasionally continues to purposefully, ethically, & responsibly breed Australian Shepherds for everything from ranch work, family pets, & service work, to search & rescue & therapy work. She continues to train dogs in everything from basic puppy obedience to problem behaviors, AKC titles such as CGC & trick titles, and personalized plans such as service work, puppy socialization, and offering consultations on feline, canine, & equine behavior & training. She has clicker trained everything from dolphins and horses to her cats and horses. In 2023 she’ll be entering the ASDR & AKC show arenas as well as others. She continues to foster, rehabilitate, and adopt-out or release (depending on if wild animal or domesticated), and spends every day with her animals in her fields thinking of ways to take her curiosity & unique perspective & create innovative and new ways to provide animal enrichment and understanding as well as continuing her education on all things animal; but above all, health, happiness, & longevity of our beloved animal companions.

Second website..

Who Are We?

Leslie Bordonaro

Hi 😊 I’m Leslie. I started this page, this website, and am the CEO & Founder of Starstruck Ranch. We breed wonderful puppies the right way, with more than a lot of time, dedication, & our own money because your new furbaby living as long as possible is of paramount importance to us, & we don’t take breeding lightly. We also have a non-profit in the works, are a team of positive reinforcement dog trainers, horse trainers & horseback riding instructors, & source for all things animal (as my website will show 😅). We want you to feel relaxed, satisfied, & taken-care-of in our honest, transparent, & trustworthy hands—just like our pets! We believe animals can transform our lives, and heal trauma (while I heal theirs), & I firmly believe I speak animal better than human. 🖖🏻🤓 Our new location is being unveiled soon, as well as some exciting announcements, so stay tuned! Got a question? Head on over to my ranch Instagram @starstruck.ranch & Drop me a message or visit the site or fb page! 😊❤️✨🌟