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Women in Animal Welfare – Team Celebrates Combined 160 Years Work

Posted: 2nd November 2021

A dedicated team of female staff at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home today celebrated a combined 160 years in animal welfare work.


Recipients included Nonnie Kent (25 years), Jeni Anderson (30 years), Angie Gerrard (30 Years), Wendy Mullen (35 Years) and Fifi Smith (40 Years). The women were awarded Long Service Awards by the animal rescue centre in recognition of their outstanding contributions to animal welfare at the Home over significant periods.


Many of the women have held multiple roles at the Home before reaching their incredible milestone and seen significant changes there during their employment. Wendy Mullen, Kennel Manager at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, started her career there in the 1980s as a summer job and was quickly hooked. She said:


“There have been so many amazing moments over the years. At the last count I have looked after around 180 doggy mums and all their babies and still remember every one of them. I was rehoming long before the days of Facebook so it was wonderful when their new owners used to write in later and send photos. I keep all these lovely memories in a big box.”


Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine, CEO at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, said:


“Each and every one of these women deserve recognition for the services they have provided to dogs and cats in need over the last four decades. Every day they inspire me with their stories of the past and the way they continue to innovate to make the Home a better place – both for the animals and for the colleagues they work with. I am thrilled to present them with the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home long service award and join them in celebrating a combined milestone of 160 years’ service.”


The group of committed women have been a mainstay of frontline work at the Home over their many decades in post. Angela Gerrard and Fifi Smith have been known as the cattery ‘Dream Team’ for decades, caring for thousands of cats during their time at the Home, including round the clock care for hundreds of kittens. Angela has worked at the Home for 30 years and although started her career in the kennels, her passion for cats eventually brought her to caring for their feline residents.


Fifi likewise started work at the Home as a Kennel Assistant, when she was just 17 years of age, a role that she won after the previous employee was scouted by Princess Antoinette of Monaco on a visit to the Home. She has lived on site for 18 years and even met and her husband Iain there, who she married in the Home’s large paddock. She will be retiring in November this year after 40 years of service to the Home.


Nonnie Kent, now Rehoming Operations Manager, started her time at the Home working directly in the kennels, before being promoted to Assistant Kennel Managers and then moving into Operations. She leads on the important job of matching pets with the many new owner applications that come into the Home every day. Meanwhile Jeni Anderson, Rehoming Customer Support, has been a familiar face at the Home for decades, and now manages the busy phone lines and front desk. She has seen many animals brought through the Home’s front door over the years, but likewise had the privilege of seeing them leave again with loving new owners.


Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home’s Long Service Awards reflect the Home’s service milestones achieved over the last two years.

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