Having moved to Ruthin from Dorset
with her mother and their then two ponies some 16 years ago, Jess has since
developed a life-long love of ponies, as well as dogs and cats.
That love of animals led her to studying animal care and management at Llysfasi college, while at the same time helping her Mum and Stepdad produce and show Welsh section A and B ponies. This remains an important part of her life and encouraged her to pursue her career in the animal health industry.
“I was so proud when I was offered a job in Wynnstay Ruthin and when offered the chance to do the AMTRA qualification, I jumped at it. I get so much pleasure and satisfaction helping our customers gain new and valuable knowledge to help improve the lives of their pets and livestock. As well as being a RAMA, I am also BASIS storekeeper and a first aider for our store,” she says.
Having joined as a sales assistant, before working her way up the role of supervisor and equine specialist, Jess has been able to combine her passion for animal care with excellent customer service, which she finds so rewarding.
“I think for customers to feel well advised and supported is so important. We share a huge common interest so naturally it feels right to help them, the best we can, to find a solution that works for them and their animals and is often more cost effective,” says Jess.
“I think when your intentions are clear that you have a genuine interest in their animals, you listen to their concerns and work together to find an answer, trust and a good rapport is built.”
Jess believes the most important part of her role as a RAMA is to educate, advise and encourage.
“We are so lucky that we have access to the most up-to-date and in-depth knowledge that we in turn can share with our customers,” she says.
“We need to make sure that the information we provide is accurate and clear and through attending regular CPD meetings we can ensure that the information is current and relevant to the challenges owners face. We have a duty of care to our clients and a responsibility to the animal health industry to encourage responsible use of medicines using the correct product at the right time,” adds Jess.
No two days are ever the same for Jess, but generally they consist of product ordering, stocktaking, selling to and advising customers, feed advising, receiving of goods into store, stock replenishment, creating displays, banking and booking in of stock.
Jess is also heavily involved in Faecal Egg Counting (FEC) for horses. As we head into June and July, she is hopeful this will be a busy time to consider horse health plans.
“June and July will hopefully bring fine weather but often it doesn’t come alone. This summer, as every summer, will be a time to be aware of seasonal challenges such as ticks and fleas in small animals, flies on farm stock, blowfly on sheep and worm burdens,” she says.
“I am hopeful it will again be a busy time for the faecal egg counts to test for worm eggs in horses, and an opportunity to discuss plans for the rest of the year. I would advise owners to look out for signs of internal and external parasites and maintain good pasture management,” she adds.
With prevention always being better than cure, Jess says we need to be ahead of the game.
“Being efficient and effective with necessary treatments against problems such as fly strike is vital in order to ensure your animals are as happy, healthy and productive as possible” she concludes.