Everyone at our practice is committed to providing you with the very best in pet healthcare. Our veterinary team bring a wealth of experience to the practice and have individually obtained high standards of professional qualification.
I’ve always had a love of animals, especially birds and bunnies. I worked for the IRS for years but was made redundant in 2008. This presented so many new opportunities for me to bring animals into my life. I spent a short time at Marwell Zoo in management and also at Sparsholt College, where I took the PetLog microchipping course and passed. I then started working at Companion Care Vets. I completed the ANA (animal nursing auxiliary) course in 2011, passing with credit. I also hold a certificate in Rabbit Care and Behaviour, and I am passionate about this. I have also taken a bereavement course via the PDSA, which helps me help others through that very sensitive and difficult time of the loss of a much-loved pet.My bunny rescue work started just after I lost my first special bunny, Fudge, back in 2000. Within days I was asked to take a rabbit who was desperately in need of a home and some TLC. One rabbit needing a home soon became 2, and then 3. The word spread that there was a “lady who rescues rabbits” in Southampton. That was 15 years ago. Since that time we’ve rescued and rehomed 1000’s.I am now enjoying working part-time at Portchester Vets which allows me to spend more time at home with the buns so I now can fulfil both both of my dreams – living and working with animals.
I think I was always destined for a career caring for animals and other living things. As a very young girl, after helping with the gardening I would collect the worms, wrap them in a dock leaf and put them on the garden swing to make them feel better!I started puppy-walking for a local dog breeder when I was a teenager and I learnt how to trim, train, show and breed dogs. It was no surprise to anyone that on leaving school I already had a place to train as a Veterinary Nurse. After several years I decided to take a change of role within the company and moved over to a management position, learning the administration and clerical side of the business. I moved on from there in 2006 and began working at The Cat Clinic (where I met Trudy; we worked together from then until Trudy left in 2010). In 2007 I was lucky enough to be picked to do the SATS dog training course and I thoroughly enjoyed this experience; at one point I was the only qualified SATS trainer on the South Coast.I love all sides of my owner/manager position at Portchester Vets. Being able to run the business in our own way brings a special enjoyment to the job. While we have to work within certain rules and regulations, there is a flexibility which makes many things easier. At the moment while we are growing, I am in charge of all of the business side of things, such as accounts, insurance claims, IT (computers and software) and contracts with suppliers, to name but a few. I am also managing reception duties and client reminders. However in time we will have dedicated reception staff which will mean I can spend more time working on managing the Practice.At home I have 2 cats, called Chicken ( who is a ninja ) and Duffy, so-called because when I rescued her, she was expecting a litter…and also 2 chickens, Nugget and Korma.
I wanted to be a vet from the age of 8 – I never thought much about any other career. I got into the Royal Vet College in London by the skin of my teeth and had a great, if stressful, 5 years. I qualified in 1985 and was lucky enough to get a Houseman position at the Beaumont Animal Hospital, part of the RVC, along with 2 friends from my year. This was a great year – we gained a really good grounding in medicine and received further surgical training. I then worked at a private Small Animal practice for a year before I returned to the RVC to study for a Certificate in Veterinary Radiology which I got in 1988, and I still find the skills I learnt then useful today. I’ve spent some happy times working on the Isle of Wight, and I lived in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia between 1997 and 1999 (an amazing experience, partly because my middle son was born there). In 2000 a college friend and I set up The Cat Clinic in Southsea (where we had a lovely Practice administrator called Jane Sykes!) which at the time was one of only a handful of feline-only clinics in the UK. I left there in 2010 to be a locum and to work for the local out-of-hours emergency clinics, until we stumbled across the old Acorn Surgery, and the rest is now history. We stripped the building down to its bare bones, redesigned the layout, and the new Portchester Vets opened in January 2014. Doing a variety of jobs through my life has given me a good insight into the Vet/Client/Pet relationship. It is an area which is so vitally important. The benefits of improving communications are invaluable and this is probably my main driver for developing the Portchester site. I don’t believe that there is only one way to do things. Of course, there are regulations, stipulations and laws by which we have to agree to work, and we are very proud to have achieved the high standards necessary to be accepted into the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Practice Standards Scheme in our first year; you’ll see the plaque mounted proudly by our front door. Beyond this, we’re keen to help you and your family look after your pets and keep them in tip-top health in ways that suit your wishes, your lifestyle and also your budget.At home, I have 3 sons and 2 daft dogs, Poppy (the Springer with the fox-poop fetish), and Bongo (the neurologically-challenged Border Collie affectionately know as the Idiot – bless him), and of course I love them all to bits.
I qualified in 2001 and have worked as a nurse since then, as well as raising my young boys from 2005 with my husband, David. I have worked at various private practices, a Veterinary Hospital and for the last 8 years, the RSPCA.
I’m pleased to be working a little nearer to home as this gives me a good balance between work and my home life. I really enjoy getting to know clients and their pets and being involved with their health and welfare. I am a huge cat fan, and we have 2 at home, Jasper who is a 6 year old rescue, and Lenny, a larger-than-life siamese x abyssinian with a very colourful attitude!
I’m Penny, the practice receptionist, responsible for customer care. I’ve always loved animals and have wanted to work with them and although I worked at a vets for a short time when younger, I ended up in the IT industry for almost twenty years. I’m very fond of cats and I was a slave to my gorgeous and 19 year old black & white girl, Sky, who sadly is now no longer with me. I love working on reception; every day is interesting and no two days are the same. I find it especially rewarding that I may be able to make a positive difference to someone’s life, in sometimes difficult circumstances.