With more than a half a million pet books in print and hundreds of articles on pets and their care and training to her credit, Nikki Moustaki is considered one of the country's leading pet experts. She also is an award winning freelance writer, animal trainer, and pet industry expert, and her tireless work feeding shelter pets with her innovative website, The Pet Postcard Project, along with her hands-on rescue efforts and vocal advocacy for homeless animals, has led her to be dubbed "Saint Nik."
Nikki Moustaki is also considered an "Urban Dog Guru," specializing in training city dogs for their particular needs. She has published more than 45 books of nonfiction, primarily on the care and training of pets.
Her pet books and articles have been translated into five languages and her books have sold more than half a million copies worldwide. In addition to working as a dog trainer, Nikki is one of the country's foremost experts on parrots, having authored more than 24 books on birds and their care and training. Her expertise in pets ranges from dogs and cats to fish and hermit crabs, and everything else in between.
The memoir about Nikki's childhood with her paternal grandfather and their shared love of birds, “The Bird Market of Paris,” is forthcoming from Henry Holt in early 2015.
Nikki's two primary interests – writing and animals – collide in her work, allowing her to travel through both the landscape of the literary writer and the interesting world of the pet industry. She writes feature articles for many pet-related magazines, including Dog Fancy, Popular Dogs, Dogs USA, CATS Magazine, Cat Fancy, Pet Product News, Bird Talk, Birds USA, Ponds, Rescue Me, and Water Garden News, among others. Nikki also writes a rescue column, MUTTerings, for Dog Fancy magazine's website, DogChannel.com and a training column called "Ask the Trainer" for iLoveDogs.com.
Nikki writes on "people topics" as well, and has penned articles for Latina Magazine, the Village Voice, Jane, National Endowment for the Humanities Magazine, Zagat’s, and currently writes for Time To Spa Magazine.
She also works with pet product companies on product development, marketing and positioning, and social media, and has worked with Halo Pets, Canyon Creek Ranch, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Rachel Ray Nutrish, Wigzi toys, Lafeber Company, Wahl Pet, Alen Air, Home Again ID (Schering Plough), Spectrum Brands, Critter Zone, and Tick-SR, among others, and has been a national spokesperson for several pet products and companies, including Purina.
An energetic, lively, and personable TV and radio guest, Nikki also hosted a pet-related cable show on The Beach Channel in Miami Beach, and she hosted, co-produced, and co-wrote the national NBC/MSN show, The Celebrity Pet Dish, with her Miniature Schnauzer, Pepper, as her co-host.
Nikki has been featured in The New York Times, The New York Post, Glamour Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal, among others. Her television and radio highlights include CNN, Howard Stern (XM Sirius Radio), NBC News, ABC News, Inside Edition, South Florida Live, Inside South Florida, FOX News, CBS News, Martha Stewart Radio (XM Sirius Radio), and BBC Radio, and has appeared on national talk shows, including The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors. She was also the animal handler for the second season of the Tony Danza Show, where she often appeared live on-air along with her parrot and dog.
Nikki Moustaki holds an MA in poetry from New York University, an MFA in poetry from Indiana University, and an MFA in fiction from New York University, and has taught writing at both of those universities, as well as The New School in New York City.
She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in poetry, along with many other national writing awards, including three Pushcart Press nominations. Her poetry and essays have appeared in various literary magazines, anthologies, and college textbooks, including Poetry After 9-11: An Anthology of New York Poets, and America Now, chosen by Robert Atwan, editor of the Best American Essays series.
Before beginning her career as a freelance writer and editor, Nikki worked as an acquisitions and development editor at Macmillan Publishing and IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., where she specialized in the non-fiction market.
During her second year in graduate school at NYU, Nikki held a year-long publishing internship at Regan Books, a division of HarperCollins. She also freelance edits books and magazine and web content, and produces video content for pet product companies.
Nikki is a volunteer mentor at PowerPoetry.org, helping kids ages 13 to 21 fulfill their dreams of writing poems, and has volunteered with Starbuck’s Urban Blend writing series, in conjunction with Scholastic, helping youth hone their writing skills and publish their writing, and volunteered with a program at the Public Theater in New York City teaching playwriting to children who lost a parent on 9/11. She also volunteers weekly at The Wild Bird Fund, Manhattan's only wildlife care center.
Nikki splits her time between New York City and Miami Beach with her three rescue dogs, Pearl, Zoey, and Jasmine, and a variety of fish. When she’s not writing, you can find Nikki rocking out on the drums, teaching herself 80s metal on her Gibson guitar or strumming the ukulele, rescuing dogs from the shelter, and working on her various charity projects, including The Pet Postcard Project.
“There is a popular misconception that writing happens out of sheer genius or inspiration, and that all artists work alone. Most writers I know rely on someone they can trust with their work, which essentially implies someone we can also trust with our lives. Luckily, I found both a long time ago in Nikki Moustaki, a brilliant author and poet in her own right. When I needed feedback on my first drafts of the inaugural poem (One Today) I immediately reached out to her, as I have many times before, needing her input more than ever given the circumstances.” --Richard Blanco, Inaugural Poet