I am a practising veterinary surgeon and clinical animal behaviourist registered with the ABTC. I am also a member of the BVBA and FABC.
I was awarded an MSc with distinction in Clinical Animal Behaviour from Lincoln University in June 2019, and continue to expand my knowledge of canine and feline behaviour with regular courses and conferences.
Much of my free time at home is spent walking, playing, training or snuggling with my two dogs – Pecan the whippet and Wynny the rescue terrier. I am a cat-lover too, and when she was with us the amazing Fat Meg could “sit”, “spin”, and give “paw” on cue.
In a recent survey of my behaviour clients, 100% said they would recommend me for any pet behaviour concerns.
I knew I wanted to be a vet from the age of 4, and achieved this dream in 2014, graduating from Cambridge University and winning a college prize for outstanding results in my finals. Along the journey I developed a strong interest in behaviour and psychology (human and animal) and in the third year of my veterinary degree I obtained an intercalated MA(Cantab) II.i. in Physiology, Development and Neuroscience with modules in psychology and neuroanatomy.
Early In My Career
As a practising veterinary surgeon, I rapidly realised the true impact of behaviour and training on my patients. In one day early in my career I saw two dogs presenting with an identical problem: a grass seed lodged deep in their ear canal. The first patient was calm and relaxed at the vets: her owners requested a “down” and “over” on the consulting table, and I removed the grass seed conscious with a pair of crocodile forceps in less than 10 minutes. The second patient was stressed and scared: I couldn’t look down his ear to know whether there was a grass seed or not, he was trying to bite me. This dog required a double dose of sedation for the grass awn to be removed safely. It is neither the fault of this dog, nor their owner, that he was so worried at the vets, but it occurred to me then that anything I could do proactively to help other dogs from suffering in this way would be hugely beneficial. I knew I wanted to learn more about behaviour and training so that I could help set young dogs up for success, and minimise the stress for those rescued or just generally anxious dogs who suffered at the veterinary clinic and elsewhere in their lives.
MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour
In September 2017 I embarked on the MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour at Lincoln University, studying part time whilst continuing in practice as a veterinary surgeon. Towards the end of my academic study I began offering home visit behaviour consultations to veterinary clients. Following the rigorous academic course, I went on to complete a research project supervised by Prof. Daniel Mills. This was a very busy period for me as I launched a local charity “StreetVet” in March, got married in May, and submitted my MSc thesis two weeks later. I graduated with distinction in September 2019, and my thesis was published in July 2020. The thesis is available to read in full here.
Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist
Never one to stop learning, expanding and testing my knowledge, I went on to achieve full CCAB (Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist) status for dogs in August 2020 following a rigorous assessment process by the ASAB (Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour).
As part of my CCAB status I commit to undertaking 30 hours of relevant animal behaviour “continued professional development” each year to ensure my knowledge is always up to date and scientifically accurate. Most recently I have attended the Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians Annual Congress with detailed study of animal emotion from Rachel Casey, Jon Bowen, Daniel Mills, Helen Zulch and Sarah Heath.
Currently, I continue to work as a practising veterinary surgeon at the Veterinary Hospital in Lincoln on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and 1/3 Saturdays. On Mondays and Wednesdays I am able to offer home visit behaviour consultations to clients both through the Veterinary Hospital and on veterinary referral from other practices. All clients are provided with three months of follow up email and telephone correspondence. In a recent survey of my behaviour clients, 100% said they would recommend me for any pet behaviour concerns. See the testimonials section to find out more and see some of the wonderful animals I have met in the last year.