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Hello, I'm Hattie

Veterinary Surgeon

I love that Beacon VetCare is at the heart of the community, and there is a clear emphasis on saying “yes” to helping animals.


Our clients at Beacon VetCare help to support a local, independent business, with a genuine interest in helping the pets of Cornwall. The team’s number one goal is to make poorly pets better, and we will always do our very best to make that happen.

My Story

Early background


I grew up close to Cambridge and Newmarket, and worked on racing yards in summer holidays, before getting injured one too many times and realising that might be a silly idea! Thankfully, I then developed a passion for the ocean, (less likely to kick you for no reason?) which is what brought me down to Cornwall, and I have never looked back!


As a child I was a bit of a chicken enthusiast, and won 1st place in the “best trick” category for doing a lap of the ring balancing a chicken on my head. I hasten to add, I have since grown out of my chicken phase. 


When/why did you first decide to become a vet?


My life has always revolved around animals. Science was my favourite subject at school, and I also really enjoy working with people - a vital part of veterinary, as every patient comes with an owner/ “pawrent” if you will. So the combination of animals, science and people made veterinary an obvious career choice.


How was your journey getting into vet school?

Getting into vet school of course involved a lot of hard work, but knowing my end goal made slogging through all those exams a bit easier! I also gave up many evenings, weekends and holidays doing placements on farms, stables and small animal vet practices to gain the necessary experience. I am so grateful to all the farmers, vets and veterinary nurses who shared their knowledge with me and helped me on my way.

Vet School interviews were very nerve-wracking, but I recall being ecstatic when I received a phone call from one of the Professors at my University to say I’d been accepted. 


University experiences

I went to Nottingham Vet School. My favourite part was the fact it’s very practical from day one – many an hour spent trying to round up the stubborn vet school cattle, get them into the crush etc.  We were also lucky to have weekly practicals with the vet school dogs (owned by the lecturers) who tolerated us trainees poking and prodding them whilst perfecting our examination techniques.

I was president of the campus Running Society whilst at Uni and was also known for my extravagant fancy dress – my housemates and I won a prize dressed as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Pumpkins” for Halloween one year. Other costumes also included a tractor, a 3-person pirate ship, and some others I can’t mention on here.


What other jobs have you done previously?

Growing up, I used to babysit and pet-sit a lot, and work on farms helping with lambing duties.

My Veterinary Career started with a 2 year stint in mixed practice, working with cows, sheep, horses, goats, the occasional alpaca, as well as cats and dogs, however for the last 3+ years I have only worked with companion animals.


What’s your interests aside from your professional life? 


I started my career in Devon (although I try not to mention that to Cornish people!) but then got into surfing, which brought me to Cornwall. I also enjoy running, pub lunches and coastal dog walks. I am also a big fan of watching RuPaul’s Drag Race! 

In my spare time I volunteer for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), helping to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured seal pups. The seal pup season is roughly September-March, so on days off in the winter I can often be found at the seal pup hospital. I enjoy learning about the similarities and differences between seals and my usual species. They are similar to dogs and cats in some ways, and we use a lot of the same medications, but seals need restraining and handling in a very different way to avoid those razor sharp teeth!


Do you have any pets currently? 


I have a rescue lurcher called “Dingo” – he is special because Colin (Beacon VetCare Director), operated on his leg to fix an old fracture he sustained in his previous life. He is now less wonky and can do zoomies again! Apart from that, his special skills include taking up the whole sofa, being handsome and stealing loaves of bread off the kitchen sideboard.

My previous dog (sadly no longer with us) was an end-of-life foster dog via the RSPCA. She was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called “Roxy”, and she ignited my passion for chronic pain management, geriatric medicine and end-of-life care. She enjoyed just over a year of being spoiled and loved (assisted by plenty of pain meds to keep her comfortable), and was the sassiest girl ever.


Why have you chosen to live in Cornwall? What makes this place special to you?


I love Cornwall because of the ocean and the coastline, and also the friendliness of people down here. Being a country bumpkin, there is no way I could live in a big city, but Cornwall has everything I need!


Do you have any favourite walks, places to visit, restaurant, pubs in Cornwall?


I really enjoy the stretch of coastline between Holywell and Crantock. It’s just as beautiful on a clear summer’s day as it is in the middle of a winter storm! 

Food wise, Shiva in Nansledan never fails – amazing smoothies, cannolis, waffles, sandwiches – literally everything on the menu! They are also super welcoming every time (and dog friendly). 


Why have you chosen to work at Beacon VetCare?


I love that Beacon VetCare is at the heart of the community, and there is a clear emphasis on saying “yes” to helping animals. Although providing excellent care for your pets does cost money, the prices are set fairly to ensure we can cover the cost of up-to-date equipment, clean and comfortable facilities for your pet, and pay staff fairly (Dingo’s monthly treat bills need covering after all). The practice is independent (not managed by a bigger chain), meaning all decisions from medication choices, investment in equipment, staff training, and even what food to offer your pet after a procedure, are all made right here at Beacon VetCare.

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