I’m Ronnie – self-confessed as the most laid back, laziest cat ever! I’d like to introduce you all to my team at Towerwood, but first a little bit about me as I’m by far the most important person here!
I came to the practice for treatment in around 2003 by the local branch of Cats Protection. I was suffering with a skin condition at the time with open wounds and sores on my neck. It took me a couple of weeks to get better but once I was the Cats Protection took me back their holding pens to wait for a new home. I’m not sure if you know me but I’m not a kept cat, so I made a successful bid and I escaped. However I was found by Cats Protection again but I was quite grateful as my skin disease had returned so I needed more treatment from everyone at Towerwood.
This happened to me a couple of times, and on my third stay at Towerwood I convinced everyone that this was where I wanted to stay so as of 2004, when the head vet Brendan officially adopted me, I’ve been part of the practice and the best thing is that I’ve never had any problems with my skin since! I’m getting on quite a bit though now, I was around 7 years old even back then, which now makes me about 18 years old and although I might not be spritely any more I keep all these nurses and vets in check around the place.
I can frequently be found standing up to Rottweilers in reception without even batting an eyelid, just because I love to sneak through to see my best friend Sue on reception. My favourite pastime by far is sleeping in the staff room, I like to wait for everyone to come on their lunch so I can have a cuddle. I can be persuaded to play with catnip toys from time to time to keep them all entertained, but only just a little bit before I have another snooze.
Meet our head vet Brendan and his loveable Labrador Pippa! Pippa came to live with Brendan as a puppy in October 2011 and has been his shadow ever since, she’s now 4 1/2 years old. She loves nothing better than to have a good run for her Kong toy followed by a snooze next to a warm fire. Last summer Brendan chose an adorable Springer Spaniel puppy from the litter of one of our nurses dog Lottie, Stacey you’ll meet below. Arti has been causing chaos in the household ever since, but has turned in to a lovely friend for Pippa. At home Brendan also has a little rescue cat called Spider, who was brought in to the practice when just a few days old by a concerned client whose dog found her in the woods in a carrier bag. She was hand reared and ended up staying. This follows a theme as his other cat, owned by his wife Kristina, called Pud is also a hand reared rescue cat.
Brendan has been the head vet and practice owner at Towerwood Vets since 2003, having joined into the partnership as it was in 1998. The practice was first set up by John Saxton, a renowned holistic veterinary surgeon, back in 1971. The practice has come a very long way since then and Brendan’s proudest achievement so far is building the current team as it is, with the practice fast becoming one of the leading centres for integrated veterinary care for the pets of North Leeds, both in holistic and convention medicine.
Brendan has long had a passion for holistic veterinary care. As a vet student Brendan could be considered a sceptic himself until seeing first-hand time and time again how thinking a little bit differently about a case could change the course of care for that pet and the overall balance and wellbeing of both pets and their owners. He feels that respect for the owner and pet bond is one of the things that should remain at the core of anything he does as a veterinary surgeon.
Out of a very busy work life Brendan loves to travel to new places, anywhere and everywhere but he particularly loves taking Pippa and his family to the Lake District. He also enjoys sport of any kind, but particularly enjoys watching Rugby, taking Pippa for a cross county cycle ride and walking in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.
Meet David and one of his lovely cats Pepper. David also has another cat at home called Tango, but let’s just say that Tango wouldn’t have been as patient as Pepper was to have a photograph taken!
David has been with the practice a very long time, a former partner alongside John Saxton who set up the practice in 1971, David has been an integral part of the Towerwood team since 1977 when he first qualified from university. David decided that it was time to slow things down a little and now works part time at the practice happily leaving Brendan to run things during the last 10 years.
When asked why he became a vet, he loves to joke that it seemed like a good idea at the time! However in all seriousness he had always wanted to be a vet and recalls his parents saying that he had since he was the age of 10.
Davids most memorable patient in all these years remains a little dog called Thomas who was hit by a train and had his leg severed. Despite the odd’s against Thomas he was such a friendly dog with a will of steel to get through his ordeal and made a full recovery back to good health.
In his spare time David loves to travel and enjoys travelling with his wife, and goes birdwatching with his daughter. He enjoys sport, especially following the football and his home team Bolton Wanderers is a perfect Saturday afternoon for David! He also finds military history fascinating. His proudest achievement so far, he says, is celebrating 37 years of being happily married which is a rarity these days – we say ‘cheers’ to that David!
Meet Ruth and her lovely little rescue cat Arthur! You can’t tell from his photo but he in fact only has 3 legs, having being rescued (along with Bethany’s cat Rider) and finding his furever home with Ruth. She also has a couple of chickens at home.
Ruth loves the team work involved with working as a veterinary surgeon and within our close team at Towerwood. Ruth joined the practice in 2010, but having had two children in this time now only works part time. She has a strong passion for science and loves combining that passion with a love for animals.
One of Ruth’s most memorable patients was a little boy’s goldfish that just wouldn’t stop eating gravel, and she had to help clear the gravel from the goldfish’s mouth quite regularly!
Ruth loves to bake cakes in her spare time, so when she’s working there’s never a shortage of treats to keep the team going!
Meet our head nurse Helen and her very vocal Bengal cat Marley! Helen sadly lost Marley last year to illness, but a new little bengal kitten called Noah joined the family at the end of last yea. She also has a rescue cat called Oscar who is always up to mischief and Betsy, a French Bulldog who you may find around our website.
Helen has always wanted to be a veterinary nurse from a very young age as she’s always loved animals. Her most memorable patient to date is a dog called Thomas, a stray who ended up with us after being hit by a train and losing a leg as he made an amazing recovery.
Helen loves to shop with her daughters, loves cats because they are full of character and feels that her biggest achievement to date is having 3 children whilst managing to remain relatively sane!
Meet Amanda and her lovely little dogs Panda, Norman, Lily and Maisie (left to right). Amanda has had her patterdale terriers Lily (13) and Panda (11) since they were tiny puppies and Norman is in fact Panda’s son. Maisie, a bichon / West Highland Terrier cross came to join in the fun about a year ago when Amanda sadly lost her dog Cody.
Amanda, as you can see, is clearly a dog lady and can be found most Wednesday nights running our busy puppy parties at Cookridge, and once a month on Saturdays at our Greengates branch. She loves meeting all the new puppies and running our nursing clinics at our Cookridge surgery. She loves working at a practice, as she has an open mind towards complementary medicine and loves to follow our cases through.
She loves dogs because they are amazing companions, with a gentle, trusting nature who love their owners unconditionally, so she enjoys spending all her spare time walking and relaxing with them and socialising with friends.
Meet Stacey and her spaniel Lottie. Lottie is a working gun dog, who regularly can be found running the fields around Yorkshire. Last year Lottie had a litter of puppies, one of whom she kept who is called Roxy. Our head vet Brendan Clarke also has a puppy from Lottie’s litter, she’s called Arti.
She loves the care and attention required by horses and how much love they give back, and fun riding through the countryside, but Stacey decided to become a veterinary nurse rather than pursuing an equine career as she loves all animals and caring for them. She has a particular interest in the theatre and in patient element to her role at the practice and loves working at Towerwood Vets with such a close and caring team of people.
Out of work most of Stacey’s time is spent looking after her young son Henry, but loves to get out riding from time to time and her and Henry can often be found walking the dogs together. Stacey is also currently pregnant with her second child and due to go back on maternity leave in August.
Meet Katie and her gorgeous Cockerpoo Dexter, her family surprised her with Dexter as her 21st birthday present as she’s always wanted a loyal companion of her own. At home she has two guinea pigs called Peppa and Layla. Katie qualified in 2013 and loves working in our friendly team, she has recently taken the position of deputy head nurse within the practice. Katie loves to talk about raw food feeding and seeing the benefits this brings to our patients, as well as looking at alternative ways to help treat pets. She loves using the K-Laser to help patients and seeing the improvement a course of treatment can make to that patients life.
Katie’s most memorable moment in practice so far was helping a dog who was giving birth who had some puppies that were stuck. Following a lot of nursing care everything turned out well and she loved how rewarding this dog was to nurse.
In her spare time Katie loves to spend time walking her dogs and socialising with her friends, her family have a caravan and she loves taking holidays in this country with her dogs. She says her proudest moment was passing her driving test the first time round at the age of 17 – well done Katie!
Meet Beth and her adorable little Teddy. Sadly Teddy is now no longer with us, but remains very much a big part of Beth’s heart.
Beth loves her job at Towerwood as she really enjoys meeting and getting to know each patient as an individual. As a nurse she enjoys building that bond and trust with all the patients she deals with too. She’s always wanted to be a veterinary nurse as she loves biological sciences and wanted to be around and care for animals.
When not at work Beth enjoys playing music, and has played keyboard/piano for 19 years now. She also has a keen interest in geology and observing features at home and when travelling, she loves to fossil hunt, at the time of writing. Beth has recently returned from maternity leave so she feels her greatest achievement by far is having her daughter Ruby, who is certainly keeping her busy. She is currently on maternity leave with her second child, so will be kept very busy over the coming year!
Meet Charlotte and her lovely little old lady Annie and bouncing goofball Rosie! Rosie came to her family with a few behavioural problems which her and he family have spent a lot of time working through. At home she has a full house with Tara the tortoise, Dougal the guinea pig, Henry the rabbit, Maggie the cat and lots of chickens.
Charlotte joined the practice as a student who needed to do some training placement hours for her course at Askham Bryan and has gradually increased her hours to join our team on a more full time basis. Charlotte loves working with our inpatients in our wards and theatre areas, learning about their individual personalities and characters from their dedicated owners.
She’s always loved animals but rescuing Rosie really cemented in Charlottes mind that she wanted to be a veterinary nurse and help more pets in the same way. She loves to spend time walking her dogs and loves art, so she can often be found drawing and painting at home.
Meet Katherine and her adorable giddy boy Max! Katherine also has a blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Dylan who you will find lurking around the pages on our website. Katherine thinks her dogs give the best cuddles, and even admits she can’t resist those sofa cuddles sometimes even though they aren’t allowed on the sofa really! Max is Dylan’s son, and she admits Dylan can sometimes be nervous of his own shadow, and even banana’s for some strange reason, but he can suddenly turn into a grumpy old man when he doesn’t get his 8 hours beauty sleep!
Katherine is a student veterinary nurse carrying out placement hours at our practice, as well as working with us at the weekends and filling in hours where she can. She loves working at the practice as it gives her the feeling she is making a difference when caring and working for animals. She entered a career as a veterinary nurse to help those she feels just can’t ask for it themselves.
In her spare time, when she isn’t studying hard for upcoming exams, Katherine loves to play the piano and is very proud to have achieved her grade 5 theory exams. Well done Katherine!
Meet Billie and her gorgeous whippets Alfred (left) and Rufus (white head). Billie adopted her duo both from the Dog’s Trust but not at the same time. Alfred is 5 years old now and Billie adopted him when he was 18 months and Rufus is 3 ½ years old, Billie adopted him just 6 months later to keep Alfred company. Alfred is a bit of a lazy bones and loves to watch tv from the comport of the sofa, whilst Rufus keeps up enough energy for the pair of them being a flyball champ!
Billie is one of our student veterinary nurses, she attends Myercough College at various times during the year to complete her nursing qualification. She’s always loved animals and following a period of working at the PDSA knew she wanted to be a qualified veterinary nurse. She loves working at the practice meeting all the patients we see and particularly loves helping out with the puppy parties when she gets the chance.
Away from work Billie is a guide leader, which is something she’s very passionate about, and she feels her greatest achievement in life so far is helping to renovate a school in a small village in the Himalayas – something we think she should be very proud of.
Meet Hazel and her lovely rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier Bruce! Hazel also has a horse call Squiggles at a local yard, who she rescued from being euthanased as a foal in 2008. She brought her for £5 and has been a loyal companion ever since.
Hazel is currently a student nurse at the College of Animal Welfare in Leeds, she attends once a week and will start her second year this autumn. She loves to work with our inpatients and in the theatre helping patients get through surgery safely and in comfort.
Hazel has a little boy called Emmit, who loves to join in helping us with the dog shows we run during the summer. She loves to watch him learn and grow, as well as going for long walks with the dog and of course horseriding Squiggles!
Meet Nicole. She joined us last year to get more experience in practice as part of her second year of student nursing, and has enjoyed becoming part of the team at Towerwood.
(More about Nicole coming soon)
Faye is our newest member of the team currently, and will be hoping to train as a veterinary nurse over the coming years with the practice.
(More about Faye coming soon!)
Meet my best friend Sue! Where you find Sue quite often you will find me snoozing away by her feet in reception. Sue has 2 cats at home called Ruby and Millie, they are two rescue cats she adopted together who are a Mum and daughter.
Sue came across the practice quite by accident when looking for a new job, she came to join us on reception over 10 years ago now and she says she wouldn’t do anything else now as she loves meeting clients and their pets. She loves being part of our close team at Towerwood and we wouldn’t be without her on reception!
Sue loves meeting all animals in the reception area and the unconditional love and bond she sees between so many cats and dogs and their owners makes her role at the practice very satisfying for her.
In her spare time Sue loves to go to the theatre and socialise with friends, and loves to read and watch a good drama series on television. In a past life Sue was an air hostess with British Airways and she says one of her proudest moments was when she was involved in an emergency landing at Heathrow airports and received a letter of commendation from the management on how the emergency landing was handled.
Meet Kristina and her lovely little cat Pud! Pud is a rescue cat that came to Kristina’s care during her first job as a student veterinary nurse back in 2000. At the time a tiny kitten of only a few days old, Pud was found in an elderly ladies shed abandoned by his mum. The elderly ladies son brought the little kitten into the practice Kristina was working in, she took pity on him and hand reared him. Needless to say he stayed and is now 14 years old. His favourite pastime now of course is sleeping, but loves to run about with his little friend Spider who is also a rescue cat found by a client at Towerwood.
Kristina took on a role within the practice at the beginning of 2013 as an assistant to her husband Brendan, helping him to complete projects in all areas of the practice that he just didn’t have the time to run and manage. Since then she has become involved in all areas of office management as well, working alongside Lorraine to get the operational side of the practice running smoothly.
Out of work Kristina loves travelling with Brendan and loves the tranquillity and peacefulness of the Lake District. She’s also recently developed a love for sewing and knitting, and can often be found at home attempting to make a new top or dress, or knitting a new scarf.
Meet Bethany and her cat Rider! Rider is a rescue cat from the RSCPA owned by Bethany for around 2 years now, he’s now around 6 years old.
Bethany works part time at the practice, mostly helping out with the puppy parties on a Thursday night alongside her main job she’s training for in a grooming salon. She also loves to help our nurses during the week as and when she can and loves meeting all the new puppies we see.
Her most memorable patient so far is a little stray cat called Arthur who had to have his leg amputated, despite this he was still very loving to all our nursing team!
In her spare time Bethany likes watching films, hiking in the dales and socialising with friends and she feels her biggest achievement so far is completing the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge – well done Bethany!
Meet Lorraine, and her adorable puppy Cooper, who’s not so much a puppy anymore! She loves working behind the scenes in the office supporting our veterinary team to help people and their pets live healthier lives. At home Lorraine has a cat called Tia who is very timid as she was rehomed from a family who’s daughter played a bit too rough with her.
Lorraine’s spare time is mostly spent looking after her horse Wallace and taking Cooper for long walks. She loves horses and finds them very relaxing to be around as they can be so calm and patient.
Meet Elaine and Molly! Elaine joined the team towards the end of 2015 mostly to help with office administration, but also loves to help out on reception when needed and meet our pets and pet owners. She loves meeting all the new puppies that come through the door, after all cuddling new puppies is certainly one of our favourite parts of veterinary work!
Elaine has two daughters, Cara and Roisin, who take up most of her spare time when she isn’t at work. Although she loves to eat out with her husband and family, take Molly for long walks to help tire her out, and you’ll often find her in Horsforth Park with the bootcamp fitness teams!
Meet Melissa and her dogs Chester and Murphy! You might notice a family resemblance to our deputy head nurse Katie and you’d be right, Melissa is Katie’s younger sister.
Melissa joined us two years ago to complete an apprenticeship in administration and business. She’s now achieved her apprenticeship which we are all very proud of, and has joined the team full time as a reception and admin assistant. She is often found on reception helping the reception team and getting to know our pets and owners who come through the door. Not surprising that Labradors are Melissa’s favourite animals!
Melissa enjoys walking her dogs in her spare time and going to the gym. She feels her greatest achievement so far is passing all of her GCSE’s, and she’s enjoying getting stuck into her new college course.