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Joel Slavens Professional Animals

Joel Slaven has over forty years experience working with animals. He began his career in Columbus, Ohio, raising and training exotic animals at the Columbus Zoo. It was there that he worked for Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus and Host of “Jack Hanna’s: Into the Wild.” He has been the head animal trainer and show producer for parks such as Cypress Gardens, Silver Springs, Six Flags in TX and GA, and Arabian Nights Dinner Theatre. He has worked with, and trained a variety of exotic animals including: lions, tigers, cougars, primates, camels, hoof-stock, birds, reptiles, and numerous other small mammals. He was the animal expert for several television shows including: “The George and Alana Show,” “Crook and Chase,” Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Club”, and “The Carol & Marilyn Show.” His production work includes training animals for “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” Disney’s “That Darn Cat,” and “Rain Maker,”...to name a few.

Joel Slaven and joey

In 1997 Joel established “Joel Slaven’s Professional Animals, Inc.” Today, it is safe to say that JSPA, Inc. is the largest producer of domestic animal shows in the world. We are the proud rescuers of over 350 cats, 400 dogs, 3 dozen pot-bellied pigs, and numerous ducks, pigeons, rats, skunks, and exotic birds from shelters across the country. We have an excellent reputation for our quality shows and the professionalism of our staff. We pride ourselves on our animal care and the lives we provide them, from adoption to retirement.

Currently, we provide domestic and exotic animal shows for Sea World San Diego, Sea World Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and the Columbus Zoo. JSPA is also proud to have rescued and trained the dogs for “101 Dalmatians, the Musical,” that toured the United States from Oct 2009 to April 2010.

We are dedicated to conservation education and animal rescue, in hopes of building a better future for animals and people alike.

Our clients can be confident that we have one of the best animal facilities in the country. Our enclosures exceed all USDA and Fish & Wildlife requirements, as well as providing an immense amount of enrichment for each animal.


animal ambassadors

training servals

leaping lemur


feline enclosure