WE are delighted to announce that Claire Shepherd has been crowned
Petplan Veterinary Nurse of the Year.Claire Shepherd

Claire, who works at Parker & Crowther Vets in Formby, Maghull and Birkdale, was among nearly 19,000 veterinary professionals to be nominated by clients or colleagues in the awards that recognise the hard work and dedication of veterinary team members.

The judges were particularly impressed by Claire’s volunteering efforts and exceptional contribution to animal welfare.

The judges said: “She puts in copious amounts of time and energy alongside her job, all for the benefit of animals in the community.”

Ben Pugh, a Clinical Director at Ashfield House Vets in Nottingham, was shortlisted in the Vet of the Year category.

After two years of working at the practice, Claire is a familiar face to clients who bring their pets to Parker and Crowther, and she received 10 nominations for the award.

She recently completed a Diploma in Feline Nursing through the International Society of Feline Medicine to help make visiting the veterinary practice a less stressful experience for cats.

Claire also advises owners on how to create a home environment so cats are happy and content.

Outside of work, she volunteers for Warrington Animal Welfare, where she was part of the team that recently neutered more than 70 cats to reduce the amount of unwanted litters.

Claire has also volunteered four times with Skiathos Cat Welfare Association, where she is part of a team working on a neutering programme to reduce the Greek island’s stray cat population, as well as providing flea and worm treatment.

Claire said: “I always wanted to work with animals and that was my focus from a very young age. I love my job as a veterinary nurse and the best bit is helping animals and their owners.

“The best thing about working at Parker & Crowther is my colleagues. We have a group of nurses and vets who all work really well together and it’s like a family atmosphere. I was shocked when I heard I’d been shortlisted for the award. I’m really grateful to everyone who nominated me.”

After studying for a zoology degree at Liverpool John Moores University, Blackpool-born Claire worked at Freshfields Animal Rescue in Liverpool, before becoming a veterinary care assistant at the PDSA.

She then moved into veterinary nursing when she joined Parker & Crowther and recently celebrated two years of working at the practice.