Who we are
Chairman | Webmaster | Temporary Data Officer
I’m a single mum of two teenage boys and own a Staffordshire Terrier named Oscar.
In September 2018 I started a petition to have the Guidance Notes accompanying the new Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities) Legislation 2018 reviewed by Parliament. Since then a campaign took off which ended with a sit down meeting with DEFRA. Along the way it became clear that there was no one representing the voice of home boarders and day carers, so the Association of Dog Boarders was born.
I’ve been home boarding and day caring for just over 2 years, I walked dogs prior to expanding the business. I’ve a history of working in primary schools teaching the new Computing curriculum and looking after their network’s and websites. I sat on the committee board at my local Sea Cadets and was responsible for fundraising and marketing.
My vision for the Association:
I would like to grow and build the association into a recognised name for our industry. I’d like us to negotiate sensible and workable laws for those of us working in our industry. I’d very much like to bring in new businesses starting out to support and mentor them.
I run Waggy Walks 4 Dogs in Farnborough, Hampshire and have been trading for nearly 4 years.
Before this, I worked for 17 years in the pharmaceutical industry, in both human and animal medicines divisions. My roles were hugely varied over the years but they always remained within the area of quality and compliance. I was responsible for leading government licence inspections on behalf of my company, and have much experience in risk based inspection management, challenging inspection results, developing process documentation, writing and leading training courses, and in project and change management.
During my time in corporate-world I struggled to find suitable care for my English Toy Terrier and my Whippet. Thankfully my husband was able to change his role at the time, and with my home working allowance we made it work, but during my redundancy process I would often joke to colleagues that I would give it all up and become a dog walker. As my work end date drew near, I thought ‘well why not’? I have never regretted the transition!
My Vision for the Association:
Even though I was aware of the 2015 consultation document regarding the changes to our industry, there was no clear mechanism for my voice to be heard. I do not want myself, or any other home boarder to be in this position again. This is a fast growing industry and definitely needs regulation – however it is important for me that we find a reasonable balance between regulation and maintaining the ‘home feel’ that our customers are looking for. I have high hopes that the Association of Dog Boarders will be able to help to shape this balance.
After many years of owning, fostering and rescuing German Shepherd Dogs, family and career circumstances dictated that, for some years, I couldn’t devote the time needed to own my own dogs. 4 years ago that all changed when my job enabled me to work from home and we welcomed Dylan and Bailey, 2 Cavapoo pups, into our lives. 3 months later Max and Rocco, also Cavapoos, needed a new home and 2 became 4! Not long after I took redundancy from my job and set up my own business working from home. It was at this point that my husband Stuart and I decided to set up our home boarding and daycare business to offer customers the home from home environment that we wanted for our own boys.
Having been a recruiter for 20 years, I now run my own recruitment consultancy and have a wealth of experience in dealing with people from all walks of life and all levels of seniority, from shop floor operatives to CEO’s of multinational organisations. My communication, negotiation, relationship management, administration, organisational and reporting skills are all necessary and relevant to the efficient running of the Association.
My vision for the Association:
To become the nationally recognised official voice of home boarders and daycarers throughout the UK. Home boarding and home daycare is a relatively new concept but is fast becoming the number 1 choice for pet owners when deciding how they want their pets to be cared for. As an industry we need to be heard by Government and be able to have an input into any changes in legislation
I have owned and operated Canine Assist for 10 years principally a canine behaviour business (where last year we surpassed 5000 dogs helped), that opened a Home Boarding element for my clients who’s dogs were barred and refused from other places (due to the problem behaviours) due to the work we do in Behaviour we were able to accommodate these dogs.
I have worked with dogs for over 30 years starting out as a volunteer Carer and Walker at our local rescue centres where I gained a reputation for working with the most difficult dogs – this led to requests to from the centres to assist the new owners in the transition of the dogs, which then led on to the Veterinarians who attended the rescues asking for help – The seeds of my love & passion for dogs were planted. Since that time I have completed extensive studies and gained Diploma’s, qualifications and accreditations in Canine Behaviour, Dog Training, Canine Aggression, Canine Nutrition – Through organisations including The Pet Professional Guild (where I am a Licensed Instructor and Assessor), The Victoria Stilwell Academy, The Institute of Modern Dog Trainers. I am also a certified Pro Dog Trainer with Absolute Dogs and an Approved Dog Trainer with the Dog Training College. Along with many online courses to top up knowledge
Before starting my own business I spent many years as a successful senior retail business manager, where profit growth through team motivation and engagement were my specialities. I have worked on many Retail/Government committees and partnerships like LEONE (the Leicestershire retail BID) which taught how complex and time consuming government processes are.
My Vision for the Association:
Knowing how government agencies work and that on the whole we are individuals it is important that we are the voice. Any association would have complexities due to the individual nature of how we operate and how passionate we are about our business but we must have a united voice – the difficulty comes in the form of no “one size fits all”, So this association should set out to provide the majority a strong voice while maintaining a relationship with the governing bodies and working to help those that may fall outside due to the bespoke nature of our business.