Fiona’s been looking after pet owners for 21 years

A former chef who swapped pots for pets is celebrating her 21st anniversary as senior receptionist at a Borders veterinary practice.

By Kevin Janiak
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 12:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 12:22 pm
Fiona Kennedy with clinical director Jim Ross outside the practice in Galashiels.
Fiona Kennedy with clinical director Jim Ross outside the practice in Galashiels.

Fiona Kennedy gave up cooking to start welcoming clients when they arrive with their pets at Border Vets in Galashiels.

She is now preparing to celebrate her 21st anniversary and has marked the occasion by overseeing a major revamp of the surgery in Gala Terrace.

The practice has been transformed to improve client care and experience when visiting the branch during what can be a stressful or emotional time for pet owners.

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The practice has been renovated to create a much larger, modern-looking reception and waiting room for clients, as well as an extra consulting room so the clinical team can see more clients.

It has also created a much more pleasant working environment for Fiona and her reception team.

She told The Southern: “We’ve really transformed the practice and it is looking much fresher and more welcoming.

"Clients have commented on how much better it looks and it is a nicer area for the team.

“We knocked down a dispensary wall to create a bigger, open reception and our old reception that was tucked away in a corner is now a consult room.”

In the year Fiona joined Border Vets, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the highest grossing film, Hear’say won TV talent show Pop Stars and Tony Blair’s Labour party was re-elected at the General Election.

The practice was then called Gibson and Gibson and also looked after farm animals and horses, before focusing solely on small animals.

Fiona added: “I love working here and that’s why I have stayed here for so long.

"Every day is different and you never know what cases will come through the door.

"I love being front of house at the practice, welcoming the clients with their pets and also handling insurance claims.”

The practice, now part of the national group VetPartners, employs four vets, four veterinary nurses and four receptionists.