Karen Boyce, regular contributor to our magazine, dog trainer and owner of Awesome and Rawsome Pets has won an Animal Star Award to recognise her work helping dogs.
Karen, 56, is originally from Shrewsbury, but now lives in Froncysyllte. She has been helping families and their pets for 20 years and was voted Dog Behaviourist of the Year as part of the Animal Star Awards last month.
Through her training programmes at Beastly Thoughts, Karen has worked with over 4,000 dogs, many of whom are reactive so her support is vital. Karen said: “The most important thing as a dog behaviourist is keeping dogs and owners together. People come to me for help in desperate situations. They love their dog dearly and want them to be able to enjoy life, but often their pets’ behavioural problems prevent this.
“I’ve worked with many reactive dogs and puppies and I’ve been able to set them on the right track from the start so it is lovely to have this recognition.”
The Animal Star Awards were created by animal lover Mary Burgess to celebrate the incredible bond we share with our animals and people who have done extraordinary things to help them. Karen was presented with her award at a ceremony in Portsmouth attended by pet professionals, special dog owners, animal charities and celebrities, including Will Travers of the Born Free Foundation and actress Jenny Seagrove from the Mane Chance Horse Sanctuary. The category judge Luke Balsam said what stood out was Karen’s range of services and her dedication to helping owners tackle reactivity.
Mum-of-two Karen has a team of nine instructors and runs weekly classes for puppies, clubs and walks and advises owners on how to ‘puppy-proof’ their homes and lives.
A former consultant in the transport industry, Karen was inspired to retrain as a pet professional when her own dog Gem started showing signs of aggression. She now has three dogs: German Shepherds Jasmine and Evie and Shetland Sheepdog Benjamin.
She said: “I wanted to help Gem and the more I learned, the more I felt compelled to share my understanding of how dogs’ minds work. I’ve been the helpless dog owner myself and know how upsetting this can be, but with patience and the right support, problem dogs can become happy, family pets. It was lovely to go to the awards to get out of my dog walking clothes and dress up for the night and winning was the icing on the cake.”