Meet the Team


Elmtree Luxury Pet Hotel


Thomas Pipkin – Area Manager

Tom spent his teenage years living at a large family run boarding and training kennels & cattery and has his whole life worked within this sector. He started by working during weekends and after school at the kennels and carried out a work experience placement at Medivet 24 hour Veterinary Hospital in Enfield. He then went onto complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma of higher education. Once he finished school, he joined the company full time and became the licensee. Over the next few years he spent much of his time training dogs with some well-known dog trainers as well as running the business. He also obtained contracts dealing with rescue/stray dogs and status dogs, working alongside organisations such as the Metropolitan Police, local councils and some large rescue charities. In his free time he did voluntary work for the RSPCA Enfield & District Branch. Tom then joined what started as a very small team at Elmtree Luxury Pet Hotel in November 2009, he grew the business focusing on improving the standards of animal care in the industry and luxury boarding services for pets. The business grew at an unbelievable rate and he now heads a fantastic team of 20+ staff from various backgrounds, including welfare & rescue, behaviorist’s, dog groomers and veterinary nurses. As part of his ongoing commitment to become more experienced and qualified in this field, he attends regular courses, training and seminars and is hoping to complete a Level 3 qualification in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals in 2016. In the early part of 2015, he received the prestigious “Level 3 Student of the Year Award” at The College of Animal Welfare Awards Ceremony. Later on in the year, he opened and set up our new facilities “Elmtree Canine Country Club” where he lives with his partner and their 2 dogs.

During his free time he enjoys spending time with his dogs, doing activities such as hydrotherapy and personal protection dog training. He also loves horse riding, fishing and spending time with his partner and family.

Kennel and Cattery Management 2010 :: QCF Level 3 Diploma in Land-based Animal Care and Welfare 2013/14 :: Dog Handling 2014 :: Microchip Implantation Trained :: SJA Level 3 First Aid at work 2014 :: Certified Fire Marshal 2015 :: Level 2 AoFA Canine First Aid Qualification :: Advanced Canine First Aid



Angela Hancock – Head Receptionist

Everyone that knows Angie, knows that she is a true character, she is front of house at Elmtree and really is the heart and soul of the company. She has previously had many leading roles front of house within large companies and joined our team in June 2009 and quickly settled into her role as head receptionist, in her own words “I’ve never looked back since”.

“Hi, my name is Angie and I have been lucky enough to work at Elmtree for 5 years. I live locally to the Hotel and it’s a pleasure to drive to work and the fabulous surroundings, I could be anywhere!! Being the Head Receptionist at Elmtree has truly changed my life. Working at Elmtree has made me understand why pets are so important to their owners and their lives. I get great pleasure out of seeing the owners collect their pets looking so happy. I look forward to coming into work in the morning and greeting my customers and my furry friends and having a good chat. Also the team I work with are like my family, this is just another bonus to add to a great day at Elmtree!”

Generally Angie just loves to have a great time and enjoy life.



Maria Poessinouw – Part Time Receptionist

Maria previously worked as a receptionist for a small but busy company. She then joined Elmtree Luxury Pet Hotel in November 2015. Maria quickly settled into her busy role front of house, fortunately she already had a good knowledge of the business as her daughter and son-in law are already part of our team. In her own words she says “whilst I still work in a very busy environment, I am now dealing with the most adorable pets, a similar job in many ways but with friendly four legged customers.”

“I love working at Elmtree Luxury Pet Hotel with its beautiful safe surroundings, happy pet boarders and wonderful caring staff. I am a pet owner myself and have 2 dogs called Bambi and Flo, they are both Chihauhau’s. I can honestly say that working at Elmtree is a pleasure as each and every day is different. Having your pet looked after in a safe, loving environment is very important to every pet owner.”



Amanda Rogers – Full time Senior Kennel Staff (A/B Kennels)

From a very young age Mandy had a desire to care for animals, her grandparents owned a working farm and every minute of her spare time was spent at the farm looking after the animals. Mandy’s greatest passion was horses. She owned a horse and enjoyed competing in show jumping, cross country and long distance rides. When she left school she started working as a groom/stable hand at Kings Oak Equestrian Centre, which she loved. Mandy then settled with her partner and started a family. Once her children had grown up she decided that she wanted to go back to working with animals. She then got a senior position at a local boarding & training kennels and cattery and she knew from that point onwards that this is what she wanted to do long-term. Mandy stayed there for 3 years and gained an unbelievable amount of experience in all aspects of the industry. She handled many different breeds and temperaments during her time there. Mandy then joined our team in June 2009 and quickly became established in her role as a senior member of the team. Mandy already had a wealth of experience but wanted to obtain her qualifications and carried out the Kennel and Cattery management course in 2010, she then went on to complete a Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care and Welfare. Mandy recently received a “Personal Achievement Certificate” at The College of Animal Welfare Awards Ceremony. Mandy, her partner and youngest daughter live in one of the staff houses at Elmtree Luxury Pet Hotel with their 2 dogs, Precious a British Bulldog and Mini Mouse a Chihuahua. Living on site means that Mandy is also on call 24 hours a day to provide out of hours care for the pets that we have staying with us.

“I love working at Elmtree and I am completely dedicated to all of the dogs in my care. I treat everyone as if they were part of my own family”.

Mandy enjoys spending time at home with her dogs, family and friends. But living on site means that most of the time (even on her days off) she can be found somewhere in the kennels or with a dog that needs some extra TLC.

Kennel and Cattery Management 2010 :: QCF Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care and Welfare 2013/14 :: Personal Achievement Certificate 2014 :: Animal First Aid 2014



Natalie Poessinouw – Full Time Cattery & Small Animals Staff

Growing up Natalie always had a natural love for animals. From a young age she had many different pets which she enjoyed caring for including dogs, cats, reptiles and a variety of small animals. Her passion for working with animals really started when she got a part time position in a local pet shop/grooming parlour. Natalie then joined our team in July 2011 and lives on site at “Elmtree Canine Country Club”. Like all staff that live on site, Natalie takes her job very seriously and is always ready to be called on 24 hours a day, to assist in night checks, emergencies or medical arrangements out of hours. Natalie went on to complete her QCF Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care and Welfare in June 2014. Natalie recently received a “Personal Achievement Certificate” at The College of Animal Welfare Awards Ceremony.

“I love spending time with the more nervous or scared dogs. It makes me smile to see a nervous dog completely turn around into a happy outgoing dog, and then I know all the hard work has paid off”

In her spare time Natalie likes to do girly things with her friend’s. She enjoys having her nails and hair done regularly as they don’t last too long once she’s back at work! Natalie also enjoys spending time with her partner and family.

QCF Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care and Welfare 2013/14 :: Personal Achievement certificate 2014 :: Understanding and Treating Dogs with Aggression Problems 2014 :: Animal First Aid 2014



Chloe King – Full time Kennel Staff (C/D Kennels)

Chloe first discovered her love of animals when she got her first dog Jake a Yorkshire Terrier, from then on she started looking for courses and qualifications that she could take that involved looking after animals. Once she left school she enrolled on a Level 2 Animal Care course at Capel Manor College and she “never looked back”. After completing her Level 2 course she decided that she wanted to stay on at college and then went on to do a further 2 years of studies, completing an Extended Diploma at Level 3. Whilst studying at college, along came a new addition to her family, a handsome Sprocker Spaniel named Dodger. During the years that Chloe studied at college she completed a number of work experience placements from veterinary practices to pet shops and then Elmtree being her last. Chloe clearly had a great deal of love for animals. After completing her placement with us she knew that she wanted to continue working with dogs, so she joined our team in April 2012.

“Every day is different working at Elmtree. Giving love and affection to dogs that have never stayed away from their family and seeing them come out of their shell gives me great joy.”

During Chloe’s spare time she likes to go to the cinema and spend time with her family.

Level 3 Animal Management Extended Diploma



Sophie Atkinson – Full Time Kennel Staff (A/B Kennels)

Sophie joined our team in December 2012. She grew up surrounded by animals and currently has 6 dogs Millie (Staffordshire Bull Terrier), Gizmo (Shih Tzu), Lulu (Shih Tzu), Lola (Pug), Sausage (Dachshund) and Bear (Labrador), she also has 4 cats. Sophie has had an enormous amount of hands on experience in breeding and rearing puppies and says “I prefer the company of animals rather than humans”. Sophie studied Level 1 and 2 Animal Care at Capel Manor College and volunteered at Crews Hill Reptiles for 10 weeks, she also thoroughly enjoyed helping with the lambing at college. After 2 years of studying a CMC Sophie knew that working with animals was the only career that she ever wanted.

“Dogs are my favourite animal as they are the most loving, loyal animals you can get, who instantly become part of your family. I enjoy my job as I get to work in all of the different sections (Kennels, Cattery and Small Animals) so there’s always something new to learn and I enjoy learning new breeds that I have never heard of”

During her free time Sophie enjoys reading and socialising with her friends – Eating out, shopping and going to the cinema.

Level 1 Animal Care :: Level 2 Animal Care



Andy Voniatis – Chauffeur Service Driver

Andy officially joined our team in October 2013 but he has lived on our site at “Elmtree Luxury Pet Hotel” with his partner Mandy and his Daughter Maria since 2011. For some, living on site could possibly pose a strain being so close to work, but Andy and Mandy absolutely love being at Elmtree (even if it means being on call 24 hours a day). Andy was originally a professional driver and has driven delivery vans for over 10 years. Andy has an amazing knowledge and a massive amount of experience in driving in and around London and its surrounding areas… “He knows it all like the back of his hand”. Andy has done various courses over the years including defensive driving courses and holds a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence. Andy takes pride in meeting our customers’ when out on his travels and he is very thorough when trying to find out all of the information necessary to ensure that each animal has a happy stay with us. He always talks to owners to find out about the individual character of their pets and their likes and dislikes. Andy’s passion does not stop once he has delivered an animal, he takes an active interest in all of the pets that he delivers to our site, how they have settled in and even takes time out of his own free time to walk some of the dogs that he has formed a special bond with. This ensures that when he delivers each pet back to its owner that he has a better knowledge of their time spent at Elmtree.

“I love meeting Elmtree’s customers, whether they are new or regular. I find it natural when talking about Elmtree and try to reassure each customer that their pets will be in the best hands”

Andy spends most of his free time with his daughter Maria and his two dogs Precious a British Bulldog and Mini Mouse a Chihuahua. He also does professional filming and editing for events such as Weddings and Christenings.

Level 2 AoFA Canine First Aid Qualification :: Advanced Canine First Aid



Jade Gibbs – Full Time Kennel Staff

Jade completed her Level 1 Animal Care at Capel Manor College. Whilst at college she started doing voluntary work at Empire Poodle Parlour, it was at this point she decided that she wanted to pursue a career in dog grooming. Once she had completed her Level 1 she then went on to complete a Level 2 in Dog Grooming at Oaklands College in Hatfield. Whilst studying for her Level 2 qualification she volunteered at Natural Looks for Dogs in Winchmore Hill. Jade joined our team to in April 2015, she has Jack Russell called Dudley and a cross breed called Bruno that she rescued.

“I’ve always had a passion to work with dogs. I was brought up around dogs and have had pets all of my life. I love coming to work everyday and i love working with the dogs, elmtree is like my second home.”

Jade enjoys spending her free time with her family and her two dogs.



Alice Smith – Full Time Kennel Staff (A/B Kennels)

“I take great pride in my job, ensuring that all of the animals in our care are happy and content. It is great to see each animal exhibiting their individual personality and temperament.”

Alice spends most of her free time with her son and partner but also enjoys spending time with her pets.

Level 2 AoFA Canine First Aid Qualification :: Advanced Canine First Aid



Spyridon Kiaris (Spyros) – Full Time Kennel Staff






Claire Breslin – Part Time Kennel Staff






Sam Wilson






Nicola Monteath (VN) – Doggy Day Care Centre Assistant Manager/Veterinary Nurse

In 1990 Nicki started working as a trainee veterinary nurse at East Barnet Veterinary Practice, by 1992 she had become a qualified veterinary nurse. Over the next 17 years she worked as a Veterinary Nurse for many different establishments, from London Zoo to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital furthering her knowledge of many different types of animals. She also worked at a referral veterinary practice in Putney, specialising in spinal and soft tissue surgery. Nicki has attended many courses throughout her career which include animal behaviour, animal husbandry and infectious disease. She has two daughters that share her love and passion for animals, between them they look after rescue pets and their 3 horse’s.

“I have always had a passion for working with animals. My children and animals are my life.”

Nicki enjoys spending time with her two daughters and has a whole menagerie of rescued animals from horses, dogs and cats to chickens, reptiles and hamsters.

Veterinary Nursing 1992



Henrietta James (FdSc) – Behaviourist & Welfare, Part Time Kennel Staff

Hettie studied applied behavioural science and welfare at The University of Greenwich and graduated in 2014 achieving a Merit. During her studies she was required to do 300 hours work based learning in a field that she was interested in, she decided that Elmtree would be the perfect place to do this and after completing her hours in March 2013, she then joined our team. She is fascinated by animal behaviour and finds it amazing why animals behave in certain ways and the behaviour patterns of each individual animal. During her time at university she enjoyed training pigs so they could be easily handled and teaching the baby Kookaburra birds to fly onto the scales when asked. Before Hettie started at Greenwich University she decided to take two years leave from studying, she spent these two years in South Africa doing volunteer work with Lions and also spent much of her time in Thailand working with elephants.

“I own a young Dalmatian called Barney who I take to work with me, I really enjoy training him and applying my degree to real life situations at work. I thoroughly enjoy trying to work out why a particular behaviour is present and then presenting an outcome and a solution to the problem”.

Hettie enjoys socialising with her friends, walking and spending most of her time with Barney.

FdSc Applied Behavioural Science and Welfare



Lindsay Mullins – Full Time Doggy Day Care Centre Staff

Level 2 AoFA Canine First Aid Qualification :: Advanced Canine First Aid





Keda Avis – Full Time Doggy Day Care Centre Staff






Jeyda Grant – Part Time Doggy Day Care Centre Staff






Terence Wall – Groomer





Elmtree Training & Education Centre


Lyn Wilson

Hi, I’m Lyn Wilson, partner of Elmtree Education and Training Centre – Formally Happy Dogs, I live in Enfield with my two children who both take an active interest in the welfare of our two dogs, Abby, a working Labrador, and Fudge, a really great Heinz 57 variety. My own dogs participate in a wide range of classes all for fun, they have both passed their Gold Good Citizen Award and take part in our Display team and promoting responsible dog ownership. I have been involved with dogs all my life and for the last 20 years I’ve been interested in dog training and behaviour. I am passionate about responsible dog ownership and the healthy balance of owning a well-trained dog and still having a life, which involves all the other things such as work, family, and hobbies. I have attended and assisted at many different training clubs before deciding to set up a training centre that could offer everything that the owners I speak to want. We now have a amazing facility that offers a wide range of classes to satisfy everyone. We have a display team who attend local school fetes and shows to promote responsible dog ownership and to show what fun a well trained dog can be.

I am experienced in the fields of obedience, working gun dogs and agility using a variety of training methods. I have attended college for canine studies (theory and practical) and I am working towards Kennel Club Accreditation. I am an Affiliated Member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers and the RCDTBP and Instructor qualified with the I.A.B.T.C as well as being a qualified Agility Instructor.


Sue Aspinall

Sue has been with us for just over 4 years and has a wealth of knowledge in Dog Obedience as can been seen in her very well behaved rescue Pointer, Bailey. She has recently attended and passed a Instructors course with the B.I.P.D.T and has endless patience both with dogs and owners. Sue is a real asset to the club and is great at spending 1-2-1 time with our puppy class owners to ensure they gain the most from their sessions. Sue is our Fly Ball instructor as well as teaching our Good Citizen classes and puppy courses. Sue regularly attends courses and seminars to keep updated with latest methods and ideas.


David Drew

David is our behaviourist and is fantastic at working with high energy, nervous or fearful dogs, he has a calm, positive attitude along with a wealth of experience and many techniques to get the best results from your dog. He can offer 1-2-1 sessions at our premises whilst other classes are in progress with the aim of integrating and socialising your dog to eventually join in a group class, he also runs our Harmony and Sensitivity classes for dogs who find life quite stressful. David is working towards a BA (Hons) Degree with the Cambridge Institute of Dog Behaviour & Training, he attends as many seminars as he can, to keep up to date with modern practice, these include CFBA Dog Law, CFBA Know your dog inside out and Gert De Bolster aggression seminar. He owns 5 English Bull Terriers and a Hungarian Vizsla, all have trained with us at different stages, in the past he has successfully bred and competed at competitive shows with his dogs. He promotes responsible dog ownership especially amongst the Bull breeds.


Kerry Sullivan

Kerry has been with us for just over two years and in that time has become one of our key trainers. She has a easy friendly approach and a wealth of knowledge in responsible dog ownership. Kerry has endless energy and is currently gaining her Instructor qualifications with the I.A.B.T.C. She teaches our Rally classes as well as our Good Citizen and puppy courses.

Her beautiful Golden Retriever Oscar is a credit to her newly acquired Instructor skills and is a perfect example of how a well trained dog should behave.


Clare Drew

Clare is one of our inspirational trainers. Her training focuses on fun and positive ways to teach your dogs, her friendly and encouraging personality inspires people to keep on coming to achieve their desired goals. Importantly to have fun and bond with your dogs. She is qualified in Canine Care, Training and Management and has recently passed a Instructor course with the I.A.B.T.C as well as attending many Seminars including, IABTC Puppy Parties, IABTC The Confident Dog Instructor; IABTC Inside the Dog Owner’s Mind; CFBA Dog Law Unleashed; CFBA Know Your Dog Inside Out, and Dog Aggression with Gert De Bolster. She is also animal first aid qualified. She owns four dogs of her own, including bull breeds and gun dogs. One of which has competed in championship level showing. She also enjoys taking part in agility with her Bull Terrier. She is passionate about educating people regarding responsible dog ownership. Clare came with us to our introductory session to Dash and Splash and is now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the pool!


Jodie Nazimi

Jodie’s passion is teaching agility, she has been teaching agility since Oct 2013. Jodie passed her Agility Club instructors course in October 2014 and her Agility First Instructor’s qualification in January 2015. Dog training is a new career path for Jodie but she is able to draw on her skills from her background in education from when she was teaching. She has also competed at obedience for many years.
Jodie loves to keep her classes fun and light hearted, to ensure both handler and dogs have a great time together, with the aim of making sure owners build on their skills each week at their own pace. All Jodie’s teaching is reward based, turning her teaching in to a game with toys for the dog when possible. Elmtree agility club started in 2015 and we have had a successful first season in the agility club league tables being promoted to division 3. Our club members have also managed to win numerous awards this year. Some of our handlers even compete at agility and some just want to have fun with their four legged friends, Jodie welcomes everyone in to her Agility classes at Elmtree, both competing and non-competing handlers are sure to enjoy themselves.