Meet The Team
Owner and Trustee Steve established the kennels with Sandra (his long suffering wife) and their son Dean in the late 90's. When the site was first purchased Steve stayed on site, with Dean 24/7 sleeping in the kennels with the dogs or in the van on site. Over the years they have worked tirelessly to make the site 'Clarks Farm', fighting many barriers and planning regulations along the way.
While Sandra was solely responsible for getting the family involved in greyhounds, after purchasing Steves first greyhound in the early 90's, Dean becme a trainer himself with many successess.
it was through sheer grit and determination, that Steve and Sandra succeeded in making the Centre what it is today, with constant development ongoing to better the dogs care. While Steve took a front seat in the rehoming of the greyhounds, Sandra provided the ongoing support and advice, with bucket loads of canine knowledge and experience behind her, ensuring the greyhounds welfare both in kennels and in their forever homes.
Although Steve and Sandra have taken a step back in regard to the day to day running of the Centre, they do make an appearance from time to time. Dean is with us now on a more regular basis and has over 30 years greyhound experience, he is always readily available to assist with any injuiries or concerns that you may have.
It is always a pleasure to see them on site, inevitably regular visitors will recognise Steve long before they see him, due to his always shouting (due to his deafness) and moaning about all the important things that we have no control on, but we love him for what he has achieved and the number of hounds we have rehomed inbetween.
Clarks Farm wouldn't be the same without them!
Kennels Hand Aimee joined us in mid-2020. Having originally studied to work in childcare, Aimee made the move to join the team as a volunteer after her family adopted their third greyhound!
Aimee has always felt a deep connection with the greyhounds, and since joining the team she’s never looked back. She has become an invaluable help in caring for the greyhounds. Hard working and happy to get her hands dirty you can really see just how much the dogs light up when she comes into work each day!
When Aimee started spending as much time at the Centre as the staff, she became a permanent fixture like the rest of us. The dogs always look forward to her coming in as they know they are going to get an even greater amount of cuddles and pampering than usual!
Not long after starting with us, her and her family took on kennel favourite Draco as a foster...which inevitably failed! He is now living the most spoilt life in his forever home with them, as their fourth greyhound! We aren’t kidding, they get Sausage Saturday and a full roast on Sundays! Absolutely spoilt rotten!
Currently working toward her degree in canine psychology, Aimee's biggest passion in life is the greyhounds, having had them in her life from a young age. Her rainbow bridge dog, Flossie, made a lasting impact on Aimee's life and she has dedicated every day since she passed away to helping as many as she can. Though, with three hounds already in residence, and knowing they can’t possibly fit another hound in the house on a permanent basis, Aimee and her family have successfully fostered some of our hardest to home dogs!
While they utterly failed in their first attempt at fostering. Each and every hound thereafter that they've fostered has helped prepare them for retired life, and in being compasionate, empathetic and understanding in her approach, each one has successfully been adopted into loving forever homes...although how they managed to avoid keeping one or two more of them, we'll never know!
Aimee has overcome so much adversity in her young life and yet always comes out stronger for it. It really is amazing how she keeps on top of everything!
No matter the task, she can be counted on!
Kennel Hand Hope joined the team at the end of 2022 and we’re wondering how we ever got on without her!
Hope had previously volunteered with us while she was a student at Writtle University, studing toward her Level 3 Animal Management qualification. She chose to complete her work experience hours with us and she was as exceptional then as she is now. Would it have been that we had position available at the time, we would have kept her!
But, it wasn’t meant to be and when a job came available at a busy local boarding kennels we recommended that they hire her...and sure enough she got the job! As if it was even a question!
Her time there gave her a huge amount of additional experience with a variety of breeds, both big and small, well behaved and not so behaved! But despite loving the dogs she was working with, she knew she wanted to have a career in rescue and when a Kennel Hand position came up here, she was hot on it!
We welcomed her back without question, and have never regretted it. While Hope would much rather hang out back with the hounds than be up front doing customer service...we don't blame her! No offence, but we'd chose dogs over humans any day! But as a result, many of our regular visitors may not have met her yet, and it may be a while before they do, as she is quiet and her singular focus is ensuring that the dogs get everything they need, and more, each day. She just gets in and gets the job done!
Hope is very dedicated to the dogs, she always makes sure that they get everything they need. Whether it’s their daily enrichment or making sure they all get out for walks, it is often the case that we’ll go round to check in or make sure somethings done, and she’s already done it! She is committed, organised and incredible caring...the dogs have never known it so good!
No job is too big, Hope cracks on without complaint and has an amazing work ethic for such a young woman! Caring deeply for all the dogs in our care, she seems to have a theme in having the naughtiest dogs amongst her favourites! She loves a sassy moo! Goodness knows the dogs are always thrilled whenever they see her!
With several pet rats, who she adores, and a beautiful rescue staffy of her own at home, she knows what it is to give extra care to the dogs with special needs! Within weeks of working with us, she had her family converted to the joy that are greyhounds. They've been to walk the dogs for us several times and her aunt even adopted the beautiful Olive who is doing magnificently! Hope get's daily picture updates of the lucky hound!
It doesn't matter how behind we are, somehow Hope always manages to pull it all together to finish on time.
As with the others, we are grateful every day to have Hope as part of our team!
Our wonderful part time Kennel Hand, Julie, officially joined the team in 2023, after volunteering with us for over a year where she made herself an indispensable part of the team!
Having spent many years as the sub-editor for a newspaper, she returned to the position after taking a career break to have her children and support them through years of competitive swimming. However, Julie always wanted to work with animals but had never been brave enough to take the plunge...because let’s face it, we definitely don’t do it for the money!
Wanting to make a change, and finally in a position to follow her dream, she came to volunteer in the hopes of getting some experience under her belt for animal job applications in future...except she never left! It happens a lot. Clearly there is something about this place!
We welcomed Julie onto the team and never looked back. She is an absolute super star and no matter how stressful or chaotic the day is she always manages to get everything done and done well! Honestly, I’m not sure the kitchen has ever been as clean as it is now.
The number of times I’ve walked in on her standing on the kitchen counters, cleaning the walls...well, let’s just say she’s dedicated to each and every task! But not only that, she’s excellent with the dogs and is very empathetic, compassionate, and guiding for them.
Whether It’s cracking out the dog walking or poo picking the paddocks, Julie never complains and is happy to just get on and get it done.
You can definitely tell she’s someone that has run a household, because there is never any mess left in her wake. Everything is spotless wherever she goes!
Though while we won’t hold it against her, she is secretly a cat person! She has a lot of dogs in her life, and obviously dearly loves the greyhounds (because how could you not) but she does have 3 cats of her own at home. Though that’s pretty tame for her, at one point she had 7!
It’s a good thing that greyhounds are basically cats in dog form, sleeping all day and being demanding and melodramatic when they are awake!
So, while we’re unlikely to convert her into having dogs at home, we love Julie to bits and are so grateful that she joined the team!
Toni is a fully qualified Veterinary Physiotherapist and Hydrotherapist and the owner of Level Up Physiotherapy! She has come on board to provide her amazing services to greyhounds and beyond, based here at Clarks Farm!
Having always been drawn to animals since she was little, she reached for and achieved her dream of working with them, graduating with an Integrated Masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy and Level 4 Canine Hydrotherapy from Writtle University College.
During her studies at Writtle, she learnt her skills on greyhounds that were supplied by Clarks Farm, including many beautiful and loved souls such as Maestro, Mario, Roger and Evie who all greatly benefited from their attendance. Having developed her skill base on greyhounds, she is an invaluable addition to the team as she has a deeper understanding of their unique anatomy and physiology.
She believes in Physiotherapy for it’s holistic approach to each individual’s care. It restores motion and movement, relieves pain and tension, improved strength and encourages the healing process and cellular health.
Having worked within the veterinary field as well, she has a deep understanding of the different aspects of animal welfare. Having loved studying, she is always aiming to expand her knowledge to further her career to ensure she stays up to date with the industry, to ensure she is able to provide an exceptional level of care to her patients.
The proud mum of a sweet elderly Jack Russell and a Blue Tongue Skink, we are very excited to have her on board here at Clarks Farm...not only for all the beautiful hounds we rehome but for all the other canines out there that can benefit from her services including: physio, hydro, electrotherapies (including Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy and Ultrasound), Low Level Laser Therapy, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) and Cold and Heat Therapy
How exciting is that!
Volunteers have been a massive part of Clarks Farm since it’s foundation over 20 years ago.
Whether they are helping walk dogs, cleaning out kennels, gardening, general maintenance or just picking up donations from around the area, all of our volunteers are an invaluable help. We wouldn’t be able function without them!
With upward of 40 dogs to take care of on a daily basis, having those extra pairs of hands is essential and we are so grateful to everyone that gives up some of their time each week to come down and get stuck in...some of which have been coming for years and years!
We are also privileged to be supported by local colleges and universities. We provide placements to animal management, canine care, vet nursing and other students to gain experience during the school semesters. It’s brilliant to be able to help shape the future of animal care!
Our volunteer’s dedication to Clarks Farm and the dogs knows no bounds and we are eternally grateful!
If you would like to join the team and help us out, give us a call on 01621 788315!