It seems that when you work with animals for a living, it is quite common to end up 'bringing your work home with you'! From 'Manny' the pet Mantis to a litter of newborn Spaniel puppies which I hand-reared, 3 ferrets which came to live in our house for 6 months and 'Eric' the Madagascan Tenrec - life in our little home is never boring.
I have always had a particular soft spot for ferrets. One of the first things I did when I began my veterinary training was to rescue a little ferret. Now, I can't imagine ever being without at least one or two of the little rascals causing havoc in my house! Their cheeky little antics never fail to bring a smile to the face of anyone who meets them. 'Matti and Rosie', a pair of little Polecat coloured ferrets, are the most recent additions to the family.
Eight years ago, my husband and I took on a rescued Border Collie called Jess (or 'Mummy's little Chicken', as she is more commonly known!). She was three years old when we got her and a little bit on the feral side. Having missed out on vital puppyhood socialisation, she is still wary of strangers and some other dogs, but at home she is the most loyal, happy and affectionate dog we could ever ask for and we feel very lucky to have her.
Whilst working at the exotics pet store, I also offered a forever home two homeless pythons: a Jungle Carpet python called Striker (aptly named!) and a Royal python called Zara.
Lastly, we have two Indian Runner ducks named Pingu and Izzy, who have just had their 5th birthdays. They have the free range of our garden, provide us with delicious duck eggs and also love to help me with the gardening by eating all the slugs!
It all started when...
I began my career with animals at the tender age of 12, when I started working on a voluntary basis at my local Veterinary Centre. After leaving school, I worked for one year as a zoo-keeper where I had the privilege of being involved in breeding programmes for several endangered species and caring for some truly amazing creatures.
In 2002, I moved to the beautiful Chilterns to begin my training as a Veterinary Nurse. After passing my exams and working as a Qualified Nurse for several years, I moved away from practice for a few years to gain more experience with exotic species. Working with a well-known local exotic pet store and rescue centre, I gained experience in the handling and husbandry of everything from stick insects to sugar gliders, and tree-frogs to tarantulas!
Why RVN Pet Care?
The pet care industry has grown dramatically over the last few years and, unfortunately, is largely unregulated. During my employment in veterinary practice I was asked countless times to look after clients' animals whilst they were away on holiday and, having such a menagerie of creatures of my own, I know how stressful it can be giving a stranger the keys to your home and trusting them to take good care of your non human family members. How can you be sure that they are responsible, professional and 100% trustworthy?
After almost 12 years in a Veterinary Practice, I decided in June 2015 to leave my 'day job' and set-up my own business. RVN Pet Care was created with the aim of providing the kind of care that I would want for my own animals.
How am I different?
I am qualified, experienced, insured, trustworthy and fully flexible, to meet the specific needs of your pet.
As a Registered Veterinary Nurse I am bound by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' Code of Professional Conduct, which requires me to maintain my professional knowledge and skills through ongoing continued professional development (CPD).
I do not walk large packs of dogs. Dogs are walked in small groups of 2-3, depending on size and energy levels. I also provide one-to-one walks for dogs who prefer not to socialise with others.
I do not drive with your dog tied up in the back of a van, or sitting on the passenger seat of a car! I have a small van, professionally converted by Lintran, with 2 giant, or 4 medium sized kennels. Each kennel has its own escape hatch in case of emergency and the van is fitted with a powerful ventilation system. Your dog will have his or her own kennel and never be transported in the same kennel as another dog (unless they live together).
Your dog will never be left unattended in my van whilst I walk another dog or visit another client's pet.
You can be sure that all pet care is carried out by me. I do not employ inexperienced 'helpers', nor give the keys to your home to anyone else without your permission.
I board only a very small number of animals in my home at any one time. If your pet is boarding with me, and is accustomed to living indoors, then he or she will live in my home and be treated as part of my family. They will not be kept in a garage, outbuilding or shed.
I have experience in caring for most species of 'companion animal', so whether your little pal is a cat or a crested gecko, a dog or a donkey, you can have the peace of mind that they are in safe hands.