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Basildon Pitsea Vet Team

Vets4Pets Basildon Pitsea

Meet the team

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Shola Idowu

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon and Local Owner

I have been a veterinary surgeon for the last 10 years working all over the world. I have been privileged to live and work with some great people in Essex for the last 8 years practising veterinary medicine.

My passion for excellent delivery of animal care and high quality customer centered service has been the main drive throughout my career. My special interests are all aspects of internal medicine and cardiology; I am currently studying for a certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice.

When I am not working, I enjoy reading, jogging, playing football with my three boys and actively policing our exotic fishes from being overfed by the boys!

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Nikki Idowu

Practice Manager and Local Owner

I started my career as a neuro physiotherapist in the NHS many years ago which has and would always be one of the most fulfilling roles I have ever done. Whilst in the NHS, I gained further qualifications in management and progressed into working as a clinical manager organizing and delivering services across South West Essex.

I left this role to team up with Shola to achieve our long term dream of being able to offer excellent patient focused care to all the pets we are privileged to look after whilst at the same time delivering great client experience.

I am blessed with three beautiful boys who ensure that I don’t ever have a dull moment! Outside work, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies and travelling the world.

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Fabien Collard

European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Dipl ECVS) Member of the Veterinary Endoscopic Society MRCVS DVM

Fabien is a Specialist surgeon based at Vets4Pets Basildon Pitsea who operates a full range of orthopaedic and soft tissue cases.

He is based with us in a joint venture with Veterinary Independent Specialists (

Fabien works within the Vets4Pets Basildon team and we also welcome local Practices to refer cases to us.

He also has academic interest in minimally invasive surgery, external fixation and prostatic disease.

After graduating from the National Veterinary School of Toulouse in 2000, Fabien embarked on a further nine years of veterinary study, surgical training and university lecturing in France and Canada.

As a result, his veterinary qualifications, knowledge, experience and surgical skills are of a level normally only found in Specialist referral centres – this is invaluable in helping our clients and patients.

Fabien is an Anglophile so has taken the opportunity to join us in 2018 to truly experience the privilege of looking after Britain’s pets.

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Desiree Herrick

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

Originally hailing from America I joined the Vets4Pets team in September 2014. I graduated with honours from Virginia Tech with degrees in Biology and Theatre Arts, before completing a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Royal Veterinary College. My special interests lie in cardiology and dermatology, and I hope to start towards a certificate in these areas soon.

At home I have 2 dogs, a Doberman named Sasha and a Lab cross named Hawkeye, as well as a horse called Shonee. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time in London, going to the theatre, hanging out with friends and traveling the world.

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Charlotte Heller

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2014. Since then I have worked in Warwickshire in a small animal practice with a keen interest in all kinds of surgery. Outside work I am a keen squash player and enjoy wild camping in the West highlands with my boyfriend and spaniel Monty.

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Dave Livesey

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the University of Liverpool with distinction in 2014, and started with Vets4pets Basildon in June 2017. Before this I was in mixed practice, working with all species but focussing mainly on companion animal work.

My main clinical interests lie in chronic disease management, emergency and critical care and anesthesia. I am currently studying for my certificate in advanced veterinary practice.

Outside of work I have a three year old border terrierist, Gimli, that keeps me busy and I am an enthusiastic (if not overly accomplished) climber. I can also be found obsessing over board games and craft beer.


Elissavet Nikitopoulou

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

I recently graduated from Bristol University and moved to Essex to work with this amazing team. I am very keen to learn and practicing all the things I was taught at University. I have a special interest in cats, internal medicine and cardiology.

In my free time I enjoy, the company of my wonderful rescue kitten, travelling, going back to Greece to visit my family, going to the beach, gymming and reading.



Kat Krasna

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon with an interest in exotics


Katarina qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Czech republic. Kat moved from Slovakia to pursue her dream and enhance her veterinary career in the UK. Since graduating she has worked in small animal practices in Slovakia and Newcastle. Kat has a keen interest in internal medicine of small and exotic animals. In her spare time she loves travelling and seeing new and exciting places.


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Sarah Rawe

Head Nurse and Weight Management Specialist

I am a registered veterinary nurse and joined Vets4Pets in January 2015. I have been nursing for nearly ten years and prior to this volunteered at wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centres.

I am married with two young children, and I also have two rescue guinea pigs and a dog called Rosie.

I enjoy all aspects of nursing but particularly enjoy the interaction with clients and their pets advising them on weight loss and managing long term illnesses.

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Lisa Staines

Registered Veterinary Nurse and out of hours nurse

I originally started my nursing career in 2005 after obtaining a degree in animal behaviour. Whilst training as a nurse in a veterinary hospital I realised how much I loved being a kennel nurse. I especially love caring for critical care patients and animals with behaviour problems, which highlighted how important it is to use behavioural approach to nursing. This then developed into a love of out of hours work. As night work enables me to give the extra quality time that is needed to really care for my inpatients and work on the animals with behaviour problems. This then lead to me to become an out of hours nurse, so that I could learn how to provide that extra high standard of nursing care. I have a very high success rate with all the behaviour problems I encounter in the hospital with the animals in my care especially nervousness and aggression.

I am extremely passionate about animals and the environment. In my spare time I do the occasional bit of dog training and behaviour consults. I do lots of fundraising for Animal Free Research UK and I also run a singles group for vegetarians and vegans. I have a multi-cat household, including one disabled cat at present.

I love being a night nurse as there is always more quality time to spend with the patients, and the best bit to being a night nurse is that there is always more time to cuddle and play with my patients


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Nicole Fowler

Registered Veterinary Nurse

I have been working with the Vets4Pets team for the last 4 years and thoroughly enjoy the huge variety of pets that we see.

The areas of nursing which I enjoy the most are ward nursing, spending time with our inpatients and discussing the best healthcare options with our clients in consult.

Since working with Vets4Pets I have also gained a very handsome one eyed cat named Englebert who has now turned me into a crazy cat lady. I am sure as my career continues I will ‘adopt’ several more waifs and strays!

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Suzanne Walington

Registered Veterinary Nurse

On leaving school I studied for a Diploma in Animal Management though I was unsure what I wanted to do after this so I began grooming, which I did for around four years. I then felt that I wanted a change in my career so I began nursing in 2010 and went on to study my Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, which I achieved in 2015.

My favourite part of nursing is diagnostic imaging, which I find very interesting. I also enjoy medical nursing. At home I have two guinea pigs called Leonard and Sheldon and a Hungarian Vizsla called Ava, in my spare time i enjoy competing in breed and agility shows.

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Amy Joseph

Out of Hours Veterinary Nurse

I qualified in 2010 and went straight into emergency night work in a busy veterinary hospital. I have also worked closely with a greyhound rescue and have developed a knowledge base for working with the breed and their predisposed conditions.

I have now joined the vets4pets team as one of their emergency night Nurses, where I am thoroughly enjoying the hands on Inpatient care role and the nature of emergency work.

At home I like to spend my time with my young son who drags me around Colchester zoo on a daily basis and my hobby is my pride and joy classic mini.

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Reece Padian

Out of Hours Veterinary Nurse

I began working for Vets4Pets in 2013 as a student veterinary nurse while on placement at university, I quickly fell in love with the practice and the possibilities it would bring my love and passion for providing high quality nursing care. It seemed the love was mutual and I was offered a full time placement and a diploma in veterinary nursing which I completed in 2015. Prior to this I have qualifications in animal management and laboratory technicians.

My love for patient care has led me to become the vets4pets night owl, making sure patients are well cared for throughout the night as well as continuing to pursue my interests in anaesthesia, surgical nursing and preoperative nursing.

Outside of work, I enjoy reading, spending time with family and looking after my animal family at home including drake my Rottweiler/great dane, Luna my boa constrictor and tazman my kitty cat.


Emily Eaves

Registered Veterinary Nurse and Head of Inpatient Care

I started work at Vets4Pets Basildon when the practice first opened in 2010, after qualifying as a veterinary nurse with a BSc (hons) in veterinary nursing from the Royal Veterinary College. I went to work at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals at the Royal Veterinary College as a Medicine Nurse for a year where I gained valuable experience in nursing more complicated medical cases and general referral nursing.

I have a keen interest in nursing rabbits but also in anaesthesia, both of which I have completed further courses on. I have recently gained my Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care allowing me to further my knowledge in this area. Outside of work I enjoy looking after my Abyssinian cat, Leo, my two rabbits Teddy and Scarlett and my Rottweiler, Lola.

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Rebecca Shakespeare

Student Veterinary Nurse

I joined the Vets4Pets team in June 2015 to become a Student Veterinary Nurse as it's always what I had a passion for. Previously I completed the Level 3 Animal Management course at Writtle College.

I have a large variety of pets withinmy household which include 5 cats, 2 rabbits, 1 fish, 1 lizard, 1 African land snail, 3 mice and my very own Pug called Penny who I adore! In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my friends, family and pets.


Alicia Tomkins

Student Veterinary Nurse

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Gemma Sorrell

Student Veterinary Nurse

I have only recently joined the vets4pets team as a student nurse but am already finding it to be a very welcoming environment and am looking forward to learning more with this amazing team supporting me.

Before joining vets4pets I studied for a degree in Animal behaviour at university and have spent the last two and a half years working in a rescue centre.

At home I have a Rex rabbit called Robyn and in my spare time I enjoy seeing friends and family, eating out and I love to read.

I am currently working in the Night Services Team. I enjoy being part of the Night Services Team as it’s different every night, she enjoys making sure the animals are as comfortable as they can be in a different environment

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Hayley Hayes

Student Veterinary Nurse

I previously undertook the level 3 diploma in Animal Management at Capel Manor College which I finished in 2013. During which I enjoyed carrying out a lot of volunteer work in farms, stables and zoos.

After college I enjoyed working with reptiles for three years before joining Vets 4 Pets at the start of 2018.

I have always kept many pets including reptiles, small furries and my rescue cat Tom and two rescue dogs Nina and Raffles.

I love working as a night student nurse because it’s all about the animals and spending more quality time with them giving them lots of TLC and pampering.


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Sue Margerison

Veterinary Care Assistant

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Louise Playfair

Client Service Manager

I joined Vets4Pets in 2014 and I am enjoying being part of the team. Previously I worked as a veterinary receptionist and also have experience in customer care, IT and floristry. I spend most of my spare time with my husband and two young children. We have 2 cats named Neslay and Herbie, 2 budgies named Elsa and Anna and several goldfish.I am trying to keep to my promise of not bringing anymore animal’s home from work!

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Jo Chapman


I started working here in May 2017. Within days I felt like I had worked here for years, thanks to the wonderful team I have the pleasure in working with.

I am married and I have 3 children, 2 step-children and 2 dogs that rule all of our lives!!! I love my family/work balance I have managed to find working here.


Jackie Macmaster


Hello my name is Jackie. I joined Vets4Pets Basildon in July 2017 after previously working for a large animal rescue and rehoming centre for 18 years.

I have always been highly passionate about animals and their welfare, and from a very young age I grew up surrounded by chickens ducks rabbits dogs cats and horses, and was forever bringing home strays and injured birds, including the baby crow that I hand reared and named Jo.

I currently own three amazing rescue dogs, a very chatty cat, a cheeky tortoise named Hannibal and a wide selection of frogs. My husband gets great pleasure in calling me a crazy frog lady.

In my free time I love nothing more than taking my dogs for long walks and training them. I also adore arts and crafts and often make needle felts of all my friends pets.

After using Vets4Pets Basildon as my own vets for many years, working here makes me feel very lucky, as I have become part of such a caring and compassionate team.

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Claire Sylvester


I have been part of the Basildon team since April 2016. I am loving being back in the veterinary scene after having a break from it for 10 years. I have worked with animals in one way or another since I was 14 so I think you could say I'm pretty obsessed by them!

Every day brings a new challenge to my role but I enjoy the fact that no 2 days are the same!

At home I have a 9 year old cocker spaniel named Ruby and a tropical fish tank which houses Neons, Guppies and zebra snails.

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Karen Carter

Finance Co-ordinator

I joined Vets4Pets in August 2010. I have previously worked as a Veterinary receptionist elsewhere since 2000. I enjoy spending all my free time with my son, boyfriend and his two children. I have a Staffordshire bull terrier called Daisy and a tortoise called Dave