A fur-tastic conference to start the year for Petpals!

26th January 2024

Petpals kicked off the year with a fur-tastic conference that surpassed expectations. The event went above and beyond, said Petpals Director, Kevin Thackrah, offering talks and round-table discussions that provided invaluable insights to strategically position the organisation for sustained growth throughout 2024.

The conference featured a diverse range of exciting and educational topics, covering everything from dog-related matters to cat behaviour and body language, and best practices on how to care for small furries and reptiles. The goal was to enrich the knowledge within the network, ensuring exceptional standards of pet care.

With a lineup of esteemed guest speakers, including Clinical Animal Behaviourist Claire Arrowsmith, Veterinary Surgeon Sophie Bell of Animal Love Pet First Aid, and Petpals Darlington Cat Manager Jill Forster, along with host speaker Berkeley Harris, a global trainer in sales, management and leadership, the program aimed to enhance both practical pet care and business skills.

As is customary with our annual conference, we hosted a charity raffle, where all proceeds go to an animal charity of our network’s choice. This year we raised a significant amount for our charity of choice ‘Pets As Therapy’ whose primary aim is to bring temporary but regular animal companionship and comfort to patients, residents and young people in hospitals, hospices, day care centres, nursing homes, schools, etc, by means of visits from PAT Volunteers and their registered, healthy, temperament-tested PAT Pets. Studies have shown the benefits that animals can have on people’s mental health, and how they can help to alleviate loneliness by offering comfort and companionship.

We’d like to offer a huge thank you to RevPR for kindly donating a luxurious prize to our charity raffle, which encouraged many generous donations towards our chosen charity.

As is tradition with our conferences, we host our Petpals awards ceremony to recognise and celebrate excellence within our network.

There have been so many wonderful achievements across our network throughout 2023, from community work to financial accomplishments and we’d like to once again congratulate our award winners for your contribution.

The winners:

🏆 Top Performing Franchise

Winner: Petpals Darlington & Yarm

Runners Up:
Petpals Chislehurst
Petpals Chelmsford, Maldon & Danbury


🏅 Most Improved Franchise

Winner: Petpals Chelmsford, Maldon & Danbury

Runners Up:
Petpals Chislehurst
Petpals Poynton & Stockport East

🚀 Most Productive Franchise

Winner: Petpals Chislehurst


📱 Outstanding Social Media Engagement

Winner: Sharren Redmond – Petpals Sefton


⭐ Rising Star

Winner: James Callow – Petpals Crawley


🌟Franchise Employee of the Year

Winner: Paige Batehup – Petpals Sefton

The heart and soul of Petpals franchises are often its dedicated employees, and Paige Batehup of Petpals Sefton stood out as the Franchise Employee of the Year. Her exceptional commitment, professionalism, and passion for pet care have not only made a significant impact on the franchise but have also set a standard for excellence.

Paige’s exceptional actions extend beyond the call of duty, showcasing her devotion as a pet caregiver. In a remarkable incident following storm Babet, she bravely put herself at risk to save a dog that had fallen into a flooded drainage ditch. Without hesitation, Paige waded neck-deep into the water, unable to touch the ground, rescuing the dog. Despite the soaking they both endured, they completed their walk, with the only casualty being Paige’s waterlogged phone, which needed replacement.

Paige’s selfless act demonstrates a level of dedication that goes beyond standard expectations. It’s a testament to the remarkable individuals who form the backbone of Petpals franchises, making a significant impact not only on the business but on the lives of the pets they care for.

As we applaud the winners and recognise the collective efforts of the entire Petpals network, the awards ceremony served as a reminder that we are not just colleagues; we are a family united by our love for pets and our commitment to providing the best possible care. The awards signify not only past achievements but also a collective commitment to striving for excellence in the future, making Petpals a beacon of quality in the pet care industry. 🏆🐾


To find out more about this wonderful charity visit Pets As Therapy

And a special thanks to our guest speakers:

Sophie Bell, Veterinary Surgeon and owner of Animal Love Pet First Aid.
Claire Arrowsmith, Clinical Animal Behaviourist of The Pet Behaviour Centre.