Rugby animal rescuer Sophie in line for top award

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A Rugby woman who set up a sanctuary for old and abused cats has been nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sophie Peacock, of Lowhills Animal Behaviour and Pet Sitting, is a category finalist in the Animal Star Awards, set to be announced on October 19 in Portsmouth.

Sophie has been working with rescue animals since 1997, aged 18, and knew this would be something she always wanted to do. She became interested in animal behaviour and welfare and studied to get her qualifications in dog behaviour, training and animal welfare, landing a position as an animal welfare officer and dog warden in 2005.

A few months after starting her full-time job she started her own rescue saving the lives of stray, abandoned and neglected dogs and cats for the next few years, rehoming several hundred dogs and cats within that time.

Unfortunately due to moving locations, she had to give this up, but carried on with her sanctuary, which remains at her home in Rugby, caring for old and abused cats.

After working for 12 years for three different local authorities, Sophie wanted to launch her own business in the pet care industry offering premium in-house pet sitting for dogs and cats.

It initially started so that reactive or nervous dogs and cats which couldn’t go to a boarding environment could be looked after at home while their owners were away.

This has turned into a much needed service for all types of pets, including large multi-animal households.

Sophie also runs a dog training and behaviour consultancy, including one-to-one training, classes and incorporates in-home training during her pet sitting ventures.

She became a mental health advocate recently after suffering from anxiety and depression herself and hopes to use animal therapy in her work in the future.

She said: “It was wonderful to find out I had been nominated and been made a finalist, fingers crossed I get to win the award.

“Working with animals is all I’ve ever wanted to do. It’s not been an easy route, I’ve had lots of obstacles and challenges, but I’m glad I followed my dream to get where I am today.”