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Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Meet the Leeds Birstall vet team

Day Team

Keith Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Keith Leonard

Veterinary Surgeon and practice owner

I’m Keith the youngest of four son’s all of which are currently practicing vets, as is my father but who will be soon retiring. I grew up in Cheshire and qualified from Liverpool University in 1997. After a period of small and large animal practice I started full-time small animal work in 1999 and have worked all over the UK since. In 2006 my wife Julie and I travelled across Africa and our first son Ollie was born in South Africa. After returning to the UK in 2009 and working in several large practices in West Yorkshire, both Julie and myself fell in love with the countryside and people of this region and decided at once to set up home, expand our family (Ollie, Amelia and Charlie) and start our own veterinary practice inside Pets at Home, Birstall.

I love all aspects of my veterinary work, and have a particular interest in orthopaedic surgery, completing my Certificate in Small Animal Surgery in 2015. I have never been happier than when owning my own practice and working with my enthusiastic team.

Jo Winestone

Veterinary Surgeon

Hi, I'm Jo. I was brought up in Leeds and have always loved animals. I have never had the opportunity to have a dog or cat growing up, although I would have loved them. Luckily, I was still able to have rabbits, a lovely wee guinea pig and a couple of ponies.

I am particularly interested in medicine in dogs, cats and little furries, and I am presently studying for my Certificate in Small Animal Medicine.

In my spare time I like to be outside, walking ,as well as doing yoga and cooking.


Arianna Fortunato

Veterinary Surgeon

Hi, I’m Arianna. I graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Padua, Italy, in 2012. After working in private practices near my home town close to Venice, I moved to the UK where I worked in practices as a day and out-of-hours vet on a locum basis. I have worked in the Manchester and Leeds area allowing me to run first opinion branches and be able to work alongside very highly skilled, certificate holding, vets when working in busy hospitals.

I enjoy all aspects of small animal practice with a special interest in internal medicine but my main focus is veterinary dentistry and I am currently studying advanced veterinary dentistry with the University of Luxembourg. In my spare time I enjoy cooking and baking as well as pretending to go to the gym.

I love travelling, discovering the countryside and more recently Diving too. But most of all I love spoiling my two 3 year d old cats, Pomo and Pero, who my husband rescued at only 5 weeks old.

I joined Vets4Pets in May 2017 and am looking forward to meeting you all (with a touch of Italian mixed with a beautiful Yorkshire accent).

Abi Shrimpton

Veterinary Surgeon

Hi, I'm Abi. I grew up in Worcestershire and qualified from University of Liverpool in 2011. I have worked for Vets4Pets since 2012 and joined the Birstall team 2 years ago. Since my childhood I have been a cat lover. 

I have 2 cats; a quiet, affectionate grey and white female called Tilly and a mischievous brown tabby called Toby who I hand reared from 1 week old. I have a special interest in feline medicine and gained a certificate in Feline Practice in 2015. 

I have recently returned from maternity leave after having my daughter Ava in June 2017. I'm excited to be back!

Esther Keevash

Veterinary Surgeon

After graduating from the Royal Veterinary College (London), I travelled in Peru working for a neutering charity before moving back home to Leeds. I have worked at a busy practice in East Yorkshire, before joining the Birstall team at the end of 2017. I enjoy all aspects of general practice but am particularly interested in canine and feline medicine.

Davide Malucelli

Veterinary Surgeon

Hi, I'm Davide and I'm a Vet Surgeon originally from Italy. I recently joined Vets4pets after relocating to Yorkshire. I have a strong interest in all things surgical, but my true passion is orthopaedic surgery. When I'm not at work I'm exploring the countryside with my two dogs Nike and Mr. Donovan.

Helen Garbett Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Helen Garbett

RVN Qualified Veterinary Nurse and Head Nurse

I have been working here at Birstall since the practice opened in 2012 and love the team that I work with. I qualified as a registered veterinary nurse in 2010 and gained an Honours degree in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management in 2011 but have been working in practice since 2007. This is a great place to work and the progression in my career and knowledge since being here is vast and have worked my way up to Head Nurse.

I am always keen to progress further in my quest to keep learning new things and new advancements in veterinary medicine. I get an incredible amount of satisfaction when nursing your furry family members back to health from illness or surgery and getting involved with the more tricky aspects of anaesthesia. I have 2 dogs who are very different characters but make me laugh on a regular basis, their favourite things to do are eating, going for long walks and getting up to mischief.

Gemma Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Gemma Jackson

Head Nurse

Hi my name is Gemma. I am a qualified Veterinary Nurse. I have been qualified since 2004. I lived and worked in Australia for 5 years and have been back in England since 2009. I have 2 cats, a hamster and 2 fish. One cat is an Ozzie!

Vikky Healy

Veterinary Nurse

My name is Vikky and I have been a qualified veterinary nurse since 2004. Animal welfare is my passion, which is why I enjoy working for Vets4Pets. I believe the most important role of my job is to educate our clients on how to care for their pets. Through running nurse clinics, Vets4Pets enable their clients to receive up to date knowledge of all aspects of health care - all free of charge. I came to Birstall after being a locum for other Vets4Pets all over Yorkshire for the past 3 years. A part-time position became available, so I jumped at the opportunity after being very impressed by the level of compassion for animals and client care here.

I have just begun a COAPE (Canine Psychology Course) and I hope to start their 3 year diploma in Behaviour and Training once this is completed. I live with my 4 cats (2 were strays and one I hand reared from being 1 week old after him, his brother and 2 sisters were abandoned); my 2 crossbreed dogs who were both rescued (one from the streets of Romania after my last rescue dog died at the age of 17); and a very lovely hamster who has a problem with his eyes, but we manage this by applying eye drops regularly! I also home-board dogs, cats and small furries and walk other peoples dogs, so I never have any free time and my house is always full of animals but I love it!

Helen Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Helen Fitzgerald

Veterinary Nurse

Hi, I’m Helen, also known as ‘Fitzy’ or the crazy cat lady! I have worked in veterinary practice for the past 17 years, I joined Vets4Pets in October 2013 and absolutely love it. I enjoy both the medical and surgical aspects of nursing, particularly anaesthesia. I am very passionate about animal welfare and have previously worked for rescue charities both home and abroad. Outside of work I’m a volunteer for the Blue Cross and run a small re-homing cattery from home on their behalf. I have 5 of my own rescue cats; Lion, Panther, Puma, Cheetah and Alley Kat, and my ambition is to one day work with real big cats!

Julie Ali Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Julie Ali

Student Veterinary Nurse

My name is Julie, I started training as a Veterinary Nurse in January 2014 and really enjoy my job. At home I have a jack Russell x names Patch and two rabbits named Sox and Nibbles.

Vets4Pets Leeds Birstal Steph.jpg

Steph Ellis

Veterinary Nurse

Hi I'm Steph. I qualified as a Veterinary Nurse 5 years ago and previously worked in Wetherby. I have also done additional training to become a Veterinary Physiotherapist.

I really love the variety of work involved in my job, but my real interest lies in supporting patients through surgery - especially following this up with physiotherapy after orthopaedic operations.

I enjoy indoor rock climbing and yoga, but I spend most of my spare time with my large Munsterlander, Folly - she loves coming running with me!

Cheryl Cartwright

Veterinary Nurse

Becky Gowler Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Rebecca Gowler

Practice Manager

My name is Rebecca and I have been working here since the practice opened in 2012. I have always been passionate about animals and have a degree in Animal Health and Welfare. Previously I have worked in both the NHS and for the Police as a communication operator. I love working at Leeds Birstall. We are a close knit team who all share a passion to deliver gold standard client and patient care. My love for animals extends into my home life. I have two beagles, five guinea pigs, two gerbils, a bearded dragon and fish. It’s basically a menagerie!


Claire Carr

Registered Veterinary Nurse and Senior Nurse

Hi, I’m Claire and I’m a Senior Veterinary Nurse. I’ve been in practice since 2004 and qualified in 2007 from Myerscough College in Preston. I have a certificate in Anaesthesia and currently I’m in my second year working towards a certificate in Emergency Critical Care, and I have a keen interest in surgical nursing, emergency medicine and critical care. In my spare time I enjoy walking with my two springer spaniels, Sheldon and Penny.

Gemma Makin

Registered Veterinary Nurse and Senior Nurse

Hi my name is Gemma. I am a qualified Veterinary Nurse. I have been qualified since 2004. I lived and worked in Australia for 5 years and have been back in England since 2009. I have been working at Birstall Vets 4 Pets since it opened in 2012. In this time I have been head nurse, had a daughter (Jessica), left for 3 months to work at the Brighouse practice and returned where I am now a Senior veterinary nurse. I have 2 cats (Gutz and Cida), a hamster (Mole) and a Goldfish (Killer). 

Jessie Farrar

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Hi I'm Jessie, also known as the crazy Guinea pig lady! I qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in November 2016 and have been working in practice since 2010. I joined Vets4Pets in March 2017 and I love working here! 

I currently have 8 Guinea pigs of my own all living in piggie palace! I have 4 girls- Magnolia, Layla, Hazel and Mya, and 4 boys- Dougal, Ted, Paco and Robin (My 3 legged Pig). My dream would be to own a Guinea pig Rescue and have facilities to nurse sick piggies back to health.

Outside of work and Guinea pigs, I love to dance and compete in Modern Jive competitions.

Courtney Holden

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Hi, I’m Courtney. I’m a veterinary nurse and I qualified in August 2017. I have been in practice since 2015. My main interest is dealing with emergencies, so working in a 24/7 practice is very rewarding. At home, I have a horse, a dog , a cat, 3 chinchillas and a tortoise.

Vicky Morgan

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Hi, I’m Vicky and I joined Vets4Pets Birstall in 2014 as a Veterinary Care Assistant and spent a lot of time on reception meeting all our lovely clients and their pets.

 I qualified in 2017 as a Veterinary Nurse after two years of hard work! I love caring for our patients whilst they are at the practice and nursing them through their illness or surgery. 

At home I have a beautiful Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever called Rosie, she is full of energy and always ready to give me lots of kisses when I get in from work!

Kat Cooper

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Hi I’m Kat, In 2015 I qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse after training at Vets4Pets. I joined the team at Birstall in 2017, and love the variety of cases we see every day. My main interests include orthopaedic nursing, senior pet care and emergency & critical care. 

I hope to train as an animal physiotherapist in the future as well as get a certificate in emergency and critical care nursing. 

When I’m not at work you’ll find me going on adventures with my dog Harlow, and daughter Jenna. You may also find me doing weird and wonderful things for charity, or most likely napping and watching films.

Amy Campbell

Student Veterinary Nurse

Hi. I am Amy, I've been a qualified veterinary care assistant for the past 3 years working in small animal and mixed practices. I have just started my veterinary nurse training at Birstall Vets4Pets, which I am really excited about. 

I really enjoy all aspects of my job but my favourite part is looking after the in-patients and the medical parts of the job. 

Outside of work I am usually at the stables with my 2 horses, I also like being out and about with my 2 dogs, and I also have a cat at home to cuddle up with!

Courtney Brennan

Student Veterinary Nurse

More Information coming soon!

Fran Chapman

Student Veterinary Nurse

Hello, my name is Frances and I’m a student veterinary nurse at Vets4Pets. I started vet nursing in September 2014 and loved and enjoyed every day since I started. I adore animals, especially horses. I love working at the practice and get on really well with my colleagues. I also love dancing and I dance for a majorette group called Stanley Starlights. I have a mad dog called George who is a boxer.

Vicky ACA Leeds Birstall Vets4Pets

Vicky Young

Veterinary Care Assistant

Hi my name is Vicky and I’m a Veterinary Care Assistant at the practice. I currently spend my time on reception and helping the nurses with their work. I enjoy meeting all our clients and their animals. I have a degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology and next year will be attending college to train as a Veterinary Nurse. At home I have a beautiful Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever called Rosie and we are currently training to compete in flyball.

Lauren Leeds Birstall.jpg

Lauren Thompson

Veterinary Care Assistant

Hi, I’m Lauren, also known as titch! I’m the veterinary care assistant and I love taking care of all your lovely pets that come and stay with us. I have been in the practice for two years and I have loved every minute here, with hopefully many more years to come, and last of all I love corgis!

Julie Leonard Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Julie Leonard

Client Services Manager

I’m Julie and I have an absolute passion for animals (both domestic and exotic). Having studied my BSc. Hons degree in Zoology at Edinburgh University (1997) and PhD in Biological Anthropology from the Zoological Society of London and UCL (2005), I specialised in Primatology (monkeys, apes and rainforest ecology). 

I’ve spent most of my working career abroad managing wildlife conservation projects in both Asia and Africa and also presented wildlife documentaries for BBC1 (Scotland the Wild 2005, and Living with Monkeys - Tales from the Treetops 2009). 

2006/7 saw Keith (vet surgeon above) and myself embark on a one year overland trip where we drove through Northern, Western and Central Africa, visiting wildlife projects along the way.

 We’ve now come back to the UK and settled in lovely Yorkshire with 3 little monkeys of our own (Ollie, Amelia and Charlie) and our black and white cat Pippa, who keep me very busy, along with the vet business.

Emma Dobson.jpg

Emma Dobson

Client Services Manager

I’ve worked in veterinary for 12 years and Vets4pets for 5 of those years. I transferred to Birstall in November 2017 so I’m still a relatively new face here.

I’m originally from Lincoln and moved to Yorkshire to live with my partner. Still miss my home town but couldn’t give up the hills for the flatlands of Lincolnshire now.

At home we have a mini zoo of 4 dogs, 5 cats, 2 guinea pigs and a tortoise. When I’m not working, apart from looking after the animals I’m a sci-fi and fantasy geek. I also enjoy making Lego kits and spending time with our granddaughter.

Kelly Sumner

Client Services Manager

Hi, I’m Kelly I have been working for Vets4Pets for a number of years. I love all animals and I look forward to seeing our clients and their pets every day. My two ragdoll cats are the true loves of my life Milo and Marley, but I am also a small furry fan with my two rabbits Peppa and George. My journey started in Leeds as a student where I achieved my degree and I have not left since. Hope to see you soon.

Kelly Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Kelly Sumner

Head Receptionist

Hi, I’m Kelly the first person you may see when you come to visit this amazing practice. I love all animals big and small. Horse riding is one passion of mine, but my two ragdoll cats are the true loves of my life Milo and Marley. I have lived in Leeds for about five years and I love it! I started here as a student at Leeds Metropolitan University where I gained my degree in Sport Business Management. Since working here I have met so many lovely people and I cannot wait to meet many, many more.

Lynsey Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Lyndsey Banton

Client Service Co-ordinator

My name is Lyndsey and I have recently started working at the practice as a Client Service Coordinator. I graduated in the summer of last year from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Animal Biology and moved to the Leeds area only a few months ago. I am very much enjoying working as part of the close-knit team at this surgery and in the future would like to complete a qualification in Veterinary Nursing. At home I have a black and white kitten called George who was rescued through the Blue Cross. Probably the first of many!

Ellie Coopland

Client Service Co-ordinator

Hi my name is Ellie. I have aspired to work with animals from a young age and started as a trainee veterinary nurse with another practice in February 2016. I currently have 7 cats and 3 dogs, you may see my collie ‘Luna’ on reception from time to time. I have now moved to Vets4Pets to come away from nursing for a while to focus on reception as I really enjoy the client interaction. I also have a level 3 qualification in Zoo and Collections Management and hope to progress and work with more exotic species in the future. This is a lovely practice and I am very happy to be in the position I am in.

Elizabeth Horsaman

Client Service Co-ordinator

Hi I'm Elizabeth, and I joined the practice in October 2017 as part of the reception team. I have always wanted to work within a vets and moved to Leeds to study my degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, I am loving my time with Vets4Pets so far! At home I have a Japanese Spitz x Poodle, 2 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, 1 syrian hamster and 4 rats who keep my very busy. I have grown up with a range of pets and have a particular interest in small pets and their welfare and care, but I love spending time with all animals!

Lauren Midgley

Client Service Co-ordinator

Hi, my name is Lauren. I am new to the VetPets Birstall family. My job role is to welcome you all when you arrive with your pets. I am a huge lover of all animals. Especially dogs! I have animal management qualifications to a triple Distinction star level. I have three pets of my own including; 2 Jack Russell’s called Jack and Robert and a cat called Frankie. I am loving my time working here, getting to know the amazing team you all trust your beloved pets with and getting to know all of you when you pop in to visit.

Rachel Charles

Client Service Co-ordinator

Hi I'm Rachael and I'm a Client Service Coordinator at Vets4Pets Birstall. I have worked with animals for over 10 years as well as gaining qualifications in animal care and welfare. I joined the team in January 2018 on a part time basis alongside running a pet sitting and dog walking business of my own. 

I have a passion for all animals, not just the furry ones! I have a huge interest in charity fundraising for various animal related charities and have my very own rescue baby in the shape of an extremely cheeky grey cat called Marcus. 

My favourite thing about my job is getting to know our amazing clients and their beautiful pets, so you can always find me on reception ready with a warm welcome!

Night Team

Rebecca Fletcher

Veterinary Surgeon

Hi, my name is Becky and I am a vet. I grew up in Yorkshire, not far from Herriot country, which is where my love for animals began. Shortly after graduating from Liverpool university, I travelled and worked in Australia, but my love for Yorkshire soon pulled me back and I returned to my home town of York. 

I joined Leeds Birstall Vets4Pets in 2016 as I have a love for small animal medicine and I am particularly interested in emergency critical care. 

When not at work, I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie, my passions are surfing, skiing and mountain biking. I'd love to be able to kite surf but I'm not very good at it ...... (yet). I have a lovely cat called Jasmine who I rescued in 2015, she's quite the little diva.

Alex Simon

Veterinary Surgeon

Hi, I’m Alex. I graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Timisoara, Romania in 2010.After a period of large and small animal practice in 2013, me and my wife Romina who is also a veterinary surgeon decided to move to the UK to start a new life. 

 I thoroughly enjoy my career as a veterinary surgeon and especially love working with small animals. 

I have a special interest in general surgery and internal medicine. My wife and I have recently welcomed our baby boy to the family. As well as spending time with my family I also enjoy spending time with my two dogs Uma and Joy.

Stephanie Clough

Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2010. I grew up near Burnley and returned to Lancashire to work as a small animal vet for the first few years of my career. I joined a Vets4Pets practice in West Yorkshire in 2015 and now help Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall to run the 24/7 service through the night.

 In 2018 I will be embarking on further education in emergency medicine and surgery. I like to work with all animals but cats with ‘cattitude’ are my favourite. I live on the Lancashire-Yorkshire border with my husband, three cats rescued from work and a Border Terrier called Scout. Scout regularly comes to work with me and loves to try to make friends with any animals that have to stay in with us overnight. 

During time off I enjoy growing things, making things and doing up my old house. Scout enjoys woodland walks, trying to sneak on the sofa and being as near to the cats as they will let her! 

Emma Copley

Registered Veterinary Nurse

I started in veterinary practice in 1997 as pre-student veterinary nurse and qualified in 2002. I've gained my advance veterinary nurse diploma in 2012 and have just completed the certificate in emergency and critical care.

 I've had many pets over the years but currently live with 4 dogs, 2 cats and 5 tortoises. I love tortoises and have rescued all my girls, plus others, which unfortunately we're too ill to save. In my spare time I enjoyed walking dogs, baking and reading.

Samantha Critchley

Registered Veterinary Nurse

My name is Sam and I qualified in 2004 with a BSc (Hons) Degree in Veterinary Nursing. I have since worked in small animal first opinion practices in Lancashire and West Yorkshire as an RVN, C-SQP and Practice Manager. 

My favourite aspect of being a Veterinary Nurse is inpatient care, ensuring patients are warm, clean and comfortable, giving them their medication and managing their intravenous fluids. Oh, and lots of TLC! I treat every pet as if they are my own so you can rest assured that whilst you sleep your family members are in safe hands. 

When I am not at work, my time is mainly spent caring for and running around after my own 4 pets. Dainty, my Irish Sports Horse loves to be ridden and her absolute favourite thing is travelling to different places and jumping. Beanie is my 12year old Miniature Yorkshire Terrier who has bundles of energy and is constantly on the go. His favourite thing in the world is agility. Ted is my ginger DSH cat who absolutely adores cuddles and catnip. He spends most of his time sat on the shed, upstairs in bed or sprawled in front of the TV! 

Finally,I have a very friendly Russian Dwarf hamster called Pablo who was a Support Adoption for Pets hamster who couldn’t be rehomed due to needing regular teeth trimming. As this is something I can manage myself I adopted him and he has since settled in well.