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Meet Our Head Animal Training Expert and Production Coordinator!

Joel Norton - Head Animal Trainer and Production Coordinator

Joel Norton
Director of Education
Studio Trainer
Production Coordinator

Hollywood Paw's Top Animal Trainer and Production Coordinator

Joel Norton is presently Head Trainer and Production Coordinator at Hollywood Paws.  He has over 10 years of experience working with animals as well as numerous production credits to his name. At a young age Joel discovered his love for animals, and as a child he had dreams of being a veterinarian, but soon discovered there was more out there than just healing the wounded and sick. He began his Animal training career at the age of six with his first pet, a hamster named Rodger and after seeing a few episodes of "The Crocodile Hunter" Joel knew he wanted to be just like Steve Erwin and learn, hands-on as much as he could about animals.

Extensive Training and Education in Animal Training

Mr. Norton attended Cal-State San Bernardino where in his second year he took a zoology class and realized his path was set. With a new career in mind, Joel transferred to Cal-Poly tech. Pomona which offered Zoology as a major. After two more years studying animals he heard about America's Teaching Zoo - Moorpark's Exotic Animal Training and Management program. This two-year program furthered Joel's knowledge with in-depth animal training, diversity, behavior, veterinary care and education for live shows. He learned hands-on the handling and training necessary for the zoo's over one hundred and fifty species from Bangle Tigers and white nosed coatis to Sea Lions and everything between. This opportunity at Moorpark also allowed Joel access to internships at some of the finest animal facilities in California including the Los Angeles Zoo, the Santa Barbara Zoo, The Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, and Steve Martins Working Wildlife. After graduating Moorpark College, Joel accepted a position working with Universal Studios at their Live Animal Show and continued to learn the art of training animals for production work from some of the best in the business.

Educating Hollywood Paws Students on Animal Training and Care

As much as Joel loved working at the Universal Studios Live Animal Show, He was ready for a change and joined Hollywood Paws with a goal of building an educational program that not only taught the most sought after production behaviors, but also educated Hollywood Paws students on how to better understand and care for their pets. Joel continues to develop and improve the Hollywood Paws animal education programs in addition to working on his growing list of production credits.

Animal Training and Acting Credits

Some of Joel's credits include: The Necessary Assassination of George Lucas, KTLA 5 Morning News - Air Buddies Promo with Retriever Puppies, Lassies Vet - Rat, Bird and Dog Training and Consulting (On Camera), Easy Turf Astro-Turf, New York Film Academy Short Film Mon Animal, JCPenny Maternity catalog shoot, CBS Watch magazine, Stiletto (Feature Film), MTV Series NEXT, Burger King, Animal Planet's Pet Finder, Ed Hardy, Nickelodeon Fido Awards, Entertainment Weekly, and the Florence Henderson Show to name a few!

The Love and Care of Animals Begins at Home

Currently residing in Palmdale, California, Mr. Norton shares his residence with a variety of animals including dogs, snakes, a 100 year old tortoise, exotic fish, and numerous other reptiles. Joel's love for animals has only increased since working at Hollywood Paws and he continues to be on the look out for new animals to add to his ever growing family of production animals.

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