PAWSPetsitters was founded in 1997 by Val Henderson, who was brought up in the Welsh Countryside surrounded by dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, cattle and of course sheep.
After settling in Grove became Office Manager for four years at the Veterinary Surgery in Wantage. During her years at the Practice, it became quite apparent to her and through speaking to clients, that some sort of alternative was required for pet owners that did not want to use either catteries or kennels for their pets. There was also nothing available at that time to provide holiday care for rabbits, guinea pigs, small caged pets, chickens, etc and Val began PAWSPetSitters whilst working part-time from Steventon Veterinary Surgery.
The experiences that Val has gained has reaped rewards many times over the years, giving her the experience and intuition to spot potential medical problems quickly and have a wide array of veterinary professional contacts to discuss any concerns with which has often proved invaluable to our clients and their pets.
From Sept 2009 to Sept 2011, Val and her husband were also volunteer foster carers for the local RSPCA centre. During this time, they fostered six adult female cats and thirty one kittens (some were born at their home) plus several guinea pigs. They found caring for the newborns and the emergency kittens really enriching before giving them all back to the RSPCA. They then began fostering kittens for Cats Protection Oxfordshire branch until July 2012 and fostered over sixty kittens.
In 2013, Val began to be assisted by Tracey Steptoe a dear friend, and another serial lover of animals, and trusted confidant. Tracey’s role has increased since then, and on 1st August 2015 Tracey assumed control of PAWSPetSitters, with Val becoming Consultant, after retiring to live in France.
PAWSPetSitters is different because the welfare of animals has always been paramount!