I’ve always adored animals and had a desire to care for them. One of my earliest memories is going out to the garden with my Granny to leave food out for a family of hedgehogs! I’ve worked for an animal assistance charity as a community fundraiser and I got to meet some remarkable people and incredible dogs. That’s what really fuelled my interest in how animals learn and communicate to each other and us through their body language and facial expressions. Being around people who were blind and partially sighted and seeing first hand how they got on with their lives despite their sight loss inspired me to be brave and set up my own business. I got in touch with the Princes Trust after browsing their website. I went on a weeks enterprise course with 6 other young people with a business idea – the course covered skills such as marketing, book-keeping and sales. After working with an experienced business mentor, I then presented my business plan to a panel (no dragon’s to be seen thankfully!) and was approved for a loan to help me kick start my pet sitting and one to one dog walking service. I feel very proud and privileged to have had the Princes Trust support and my Mum and I, due to the success of launching business, were lucky to have been invited to Buckingham Palace to celebrate Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday Patronage along with 5 other Princes Trust supported businesses.
I’m particularly interested in animal body language, ethology and caring for elderly pets. I’m committed to expanding my knowledge regarding reactive dogs and simulation for indoor cats. I’m a strong advocate of scientifically proven force-free pet care and training and am a member of the Pet Professional Guild. I am committed to continual professional development and have completed a professional dog walking diploma course. I volunteer for the Blue Cross education team and give free talks across Hertfordshire promoting responsible pet ownership. The talks range from how to look after different pets on how to stay safe around dogs. Over 200,000 people are involved in dog attacks each year, most of them children. By visiting primary schools to teach children about dog body language and how to behave around dogs we are making a difference. I have also volunteered on the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement support line – losing a pet can mean losing a best friend. As a volunteer I listen to people and provide emotional support on the phone who have experienced pet loss from bereavement, family break up’s and financial issues. Unfortunately, losing a pet often results in disenfranchised grief, as people don’t feel that they have anyone to talk to who will understand the magnitude of their loss and this is where the service can help.
I want to know all there is to know about companion animals so I can provide the best care for them whether I am walking a dog or cat sitting for your feline friend so I invest a lot of time and money into expanding my knowledge by attending courses and seminars.
I was thrilled to win a ‘Woo Hoo’ achievement award’ – recognition for my achievements in the St Albans Business community.
My client nominated me in the ‘dream achiever’ category for accomplishing my dream of caring for animals, and the care I showed to her dog Bud and the help I gave to her elderly Mum as Bud was staying with her, whilst his human had a well-earned break!
I was also really pleased that Albany Pet Services was nominated as ‘best dog walking and pet sitting business’ in Global Health and Pharma’s 2018 awards.
Millie Llyod-Griffith joined in 2019 after meeting Lisa at a presentation at Oaklands College in St Albans. Millie is studying towards her Level 3 Animal Management Qualification. Millie has done work experience at a veterinary surgery and a groomers. Millie provides solo dog walking, puppy care and cat visits.
Angela Sinnott joined in 2018 and has completed a pet first aid day at the Royal Veterinary College. She was a teaching assistant at a local school and provides pet and house sitting services in St Albans.
Asher Gilbert joined in 2018, he’s now at the University of Chester studying Animal behaviour and Welfare and comes back and works with us in the holidays. Asher has volunteered for the Cinnamon Trust, helping elderly people walk their dogs. He’s also completed 300 hours of volunteer experience at a local animal rescue centre and now volunteers an animal assistance charity working with people in care homes that enjoy the company of animals.