“Animal mad” Claire takes over the kennel and cattery from Todmorden


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Claire Cooper at Sunnyview Kennels and Cattery, Todmorden.

The 33-year-old has been passionate about animals from a young age.

She said: “As a child, I was always crazy about animals, helping my grandparents hear cows on the farm, walk their dogs.

“As a teenager, I worked at a local riding school and looked after my family and friends’ pets and livestock while on vacation.

Millie the Black Labrador in one of the new kennels.

“I’ve always been crazy about animals.”

When it came to choosing which career path to take, Claire knew what she wanted to do. She studied animal care in college, then studied animal welfare and management. It was during her college studies that she began an experience internship at Sunnyview Kennels and Cattery.

Sadly, around this time, in 2010, Claire was diagnosed with a rare cancer. But she says it was her studies that got her through the treatment and gave her something to focus on. “I spent seven months taking classes from a hospital bed, but still got the best grade possible,” Claire said.

“Sunnyview owners Lynn and Wayne Mitchell offered me a part-time job while in college, with me attending training sessions. I knew this was where I wanted to be and I worked full time after graduation.

After more than a decade in the kennel, Claire took over the business following the retirement of Lynn and Wayne.

Claire said: “It feels good to progress in my career in something that I’m so passionate about and a job that I love. It’s not often that you can say that you like getting up to work every morning after. 11 years old.

“The kennels and cattery have been recently renovated, with the addition of a brand new luxury kennel. They even have TVs! I look forward to bringing new ideas to the company.

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