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Meet The Braintree Vet Team | Vets4Pets
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Vets4Pets Braintree

Meet the Braintree Vet Team

Samantha Baker JVP

Samantha Baker

Veterinary Surgeon & Partner

Having originally trained in New Zealand, I graduated from Massey University in 1995, and during the 19 years that have flown by since then, I have gained a wealth of knowledge in small animal practice. I have been practising in the UK since 1998. In 2006 I began working at Companion Care Chelmsford, which has grown hugely from the two-vet clinic it was when I first started there, into the busy four or five-vet clinic it is today.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my career so far, during which time I have developed a passion for canine and feline medicine and therapeutics and a great enthusiasm for working with small furries (rabbits, guinea pigs & hamsters). I now relish the challenge that having my own clinic will bring, along with the chance to develop and nurture my fabulous team, some of whom I have worked closely with before.

At home I have two cats – Jack and Tom - as well as Mr D my guinea pig and Martha my hamster. When not at work, I enjoy the outdoors, live (rock) music, theatre, cinema and travel. At Vets4Pets Braintree, clients can be assured of receiving the best level of both clinical and customer care. I shall endeavour to instil an atmosphere where they feel welcome, nurtured and respected and where their pets are treated as though they were part of our family.


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David Taylor

Veterinary Surgeon 

I qualified at the Royal Veterinary College and have worked in small animal (dogs and cats) equine and farm practices variously, along with brief experiences with zoo animals, so a real mixed bag of experience. I had my own practice for many years based in Hockley near Southend and saw it grow from being single handed to 3 vets and two surgeries before selling it and working part time.

My interests in the small animal field include surgery, where I am happy performing many orthopaedic procedures, and I particularly like some of the more challenging soft tissue surgeries, correcting abnormalities in anatomy and dealing with large tumours. I supported and was involved in dealing with dog and cat behaviour problems and after I sold my practice the two nurses I worked with, went on to establish a very successful behaviour and pet training business in this area, and continue to do very well.

My wife Denise and I have bred Dalmatians for many years, specialising in producing calm and sane pets for families with children. I have competed nationally with horses in carriage driving trials winning at Royal Windsor and have been awarded National Champion on a number of occasions with horses in tandem.

I have grandchildren, a number of which fortunately live close by, such that we are able to spend a lot of time with them as they grow up which we both find very rewarding.

We have three Dalmatians of our own and my daughter has a Pug. We also have ducks, chickens, a pony and horses at home, so we have a very animal orientated home life.


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Sophie Brown

Veterinary Surgeon

Since graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011, I have practised all over Essex, London and on occasion further afield. Alongside a role in charity practice, honing my long term medical management and critical care skills, I have been fortunate enough to work with the team here, at Braintree, since the practice opened over 2 years ago. Now a permanent member of the team, I look forward to building a good rapport with all clients and their pets.

My other joys in life are my husband, our two Labradors and tea and cake!


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William Lewis

Veterinary Surgeon and Exotic Specialist

Growing up in South Africa I always wanted to work with animals. As a youngster I kept all the usual small mammals and fish and also had a large collection of birds. Holidays were spent working at the local Pet Shop or at Horse Stud farms.

I graduated in 1988 in South Africa and after 2 years Military Service I started work in small animal practice.

I moved to the UK in 1993 and have worked in a number of small animal practices in Woolwich, Acton, Leamington Spa, Wickford, Upminster and Brentwood.

Two of the practices were run by Exotics specialists, and I obtained my Certificate in Zoological Medicine in 2003. Whilst I enjoy seeing all pets, a large proportion of my time is spent in practice with exotic pets from hamsters to alligators, rabbits to parrots and even the unusual pets like raccoons, raccoon dogs, skunks, sugar gliders as well as snakes and lizards. I have also been lucky enough to work with lions and elephants.

I enjoy sharing my knowledge and have written chapters in 3 textbooks, published a number of articles and have lectured extensively both in the UK, Ireland, Latvia and the Czech Republic. I teach Exotics to students at Universities in London and Cambridge and teach MSc students at London Zoo how to neuter Lizards.

In my spare time my 3 daughters keep me busy. My wife and I take part in triathlon and marathon running. We have completed 6 Marathons and 3 Ironman Triathlons in the past 3 years. The last member of our family is Sammy - our lovely cat who came with my wife from South Africa.

Gemma Rudd Vet Nurse Braintree

Gemma Rudd

Head Nurse

Having been brought up on a dairy farm, working with animals has always been part of my life and I could never imagine doing anything else. Every day is different and just as rewarding as the next.

I began a work placement at Companion Care Chelmsford in 2007 and I was then lucky enough to join the team to train to become a nurse. I have been nursing now for seven years and qualified as an RVN in 2011.I am also a trained clinical coach, so I can pass on my knowledge and skills to other nursing students, which I thoroughly enjoy.

Outside of work, I have two guinea pigs, Toffee and Lola, of which I share ownership with my younger sisters. I enjoy the usual things in life: seeing friends, eating out, films, music and reading.


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Nikki Baker

Registered Veterinary Nurse

From a very young age I knew I had always wanted to work alongside animals in one way or another, as it is a huge passion of mine. I started my career and training in Chelmsford where I gained much of my knowledge. I have been nursing since I was 17 years old, and qualified in 2015. I thoroughly enjoy nursing, we see so many amazing and exciting procedures and no two days are ever the same.

At home I own my gorgeous American Bulldog called Kylie, two Guinea Pigs, an Alexanders Parakeet, a Bearded Dragon, and lots of chickens. In my spare time I enjoy playing netball, walking the dogs with friends, going to the cinema, and when I get chance jetting off on holiday.


Claire Cook

Registered Veterinary Nurse

I have worked in the veterinary profession for over 13 years and I started my career working for a large UK veterinary charity as a nursing auxiliary before being given the opportunity to train as a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). Since qualifying, I have homed my skills and a particular passion for small furries (rabbits especially) and physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

Outside of work I have three cats, two of which I hand reared and four rabbits. When I am not spending my time caring for them I enjoy horse riding, yoga and pole fitness.

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Emily-Jade Gruender

Student Veterinary Nurse

I first aspired to become a Veterinary Nurse at the age of 4 after developing a love for animals. I worked hard through school to achieve good grades in order to help me get this goal. I had many pets as I grew up which really helped me understand how to care for them, such as cats, fish and hamsters which I adored.

I started working at a retired Greyhound kennel in 2012 when I received my first dog, called Danny, as a Christmas present from my Grandparents. Since then my love for Greyhounds has grown and my family now owns 4, Brian, Merlin, Sid and Buzz Lightyear being my own.

I’m currently studying at Writtle University to become a qualified Veterinary Nurse and have been at Vets4Pets Braintree since February 2016. I enjoy working with all animals and my favourite thing to do is care for inpatients. I hope to enhance my learning here and gain skills that I will need in order to become fully qualified.

Brandon Burgess

Veterinary Care Assistant

I graduated from Bangor University with BSc in Zoology with Marine Zoology in 2013. Before that I had gained experience working at Pets At Home stores and completing my National Diploma in Animal Management.

After University I once again worked for Pets At Home and had the opportunity of working at the Royal Veterinary College caring for animals. Whilst at the RVC I developed my knowledge working with all types of animals from mice to cows but realised I wanted to work in a more veterinary environment. I applied for the job as a Veterinary Care Assistant here and was over the moon when I got the job.

In my spare time I enjoy reading, playing guitar and video games as well as caring for my five pets who keep me busy.

Holly Ralph

Veterinary Care Assistant

I have loved animals from a very young age and could not imagine not working with them every day. In 2011 I studied Animal management at Writtle College for 3 years which I enjoyed thoroughly and this heightened my knowledge in caring for and handling animals.

In November 2016 I applied to become a Veterinary Care Assistant here at Vets4pets Braintree. I enjoy coming to work every day to work with a brilliant team. I am looking to start training to become a veterinary nurse and continue to help all the animals that come into the practice. At home I have rabbits, guinea pigs and three dogs Murray, Roxy and Rosie. In my spare time I like to socialise, go to the cinema, concerts and go on holidays!

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Hollie Sawyer

Head Receptionist

My interest in animals began when I was a small child and I was thrilled when my parents bought me a puppy Westie when I turned 13. I walked him, bathed him, trained him and spent every spare minute I had with him.

Two years ago I applied for a weekend receptionist job at a veterinary surgery and was over the moon when I got the job. I loved my time there and gained my interest in the veterinary industry. I am very excited about my new venture as a full time member of a veterinary team and meeting lots of new people with their furry friends in the Braintree District.

I have Alfie the Westie who is now 11, Flo the rescue kitten who is now roughly 6 months and they keep me very busy. I enjoy netball, socialising, cinema and long walks with Alfie and cuddles with Flo.

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Lily Dover

Receptionist

I was born and raised on the Isle of Wight just off the south coast where, having access to the vast countryside, I developed an interest in wildlife and animals very early on in life. Growing up I had two cats called Woody and Bill, a Miniature Schnauzer called Ted and two horses called Gilby and Solitaire.

I finally left the Island at the age of 18 to pursue my degree in Sports Therapy at the University of Chichester and graduated in 2014. I now live in Braintree with my boyfriend and two cats Buzz and Tiptoes and as I still have the two horses on the island, I am frequently travelling back to ride them.

I originally applied for a weekend receptionist job at Vets4Pets in Braintree to do alongside my Sport Therapy work. At the time of applying a full time vacancy came up, and here I am working full time with a fantastic team of veterinary staff who make it a pleasure to come to work every day. Outside of my work here I continue to enjoy practising my sports therapy.