Alison has always been a keen animal enthusiast and has never lived without being surrounded by animals and birds of all shapes and sizes. In childhood, her father took in injured wild birds which were passed on to him by the local vets and so helping with injured and ailing animals became very much a way of life.
With this background Alison intended to work with animals and train to be a guide dog trainer training guide dogs for the blind, but was diverted into the law by completing a law degree and going on to qualify as a solicitor in March 1990. For most of her legal career she specialised in brain injury litigation and throughout her career she was actively involved in voluntary work with Headway and the Child Brain Injury Trust supporting victims of brain injury and helping to organise and fund specific rehabilitation packages.
Her interest in psychology and rehabilitation grew and she embarked on a psychology degree through the Open University in 2002 working within her legal practice full time (She was fortunate enough to be able to work from home), studying at weekends and in the evenings and still managing her menagerie at home. Alison graduated with a first class honours degree in Psychology in 2006. On completion of her studies she trained as a listener for the Samaritans and became a volunteer for various German Shepherd Rescues, providing foster care for a number of dogs, many of which were judged to be ‘difficult’ animals in need of rehabilitation, time and patience to give them a chance and keep them safe.
Alison’s interest in rehabilitation naturally transferred to the animals in her care and to broaden her academic knowledge in this field she started a post graduate diploma in animal behaviour counselling at Southampton University in 2009 which she completed in 2011. She is a graduate member of the British Psychological Society and a provisional member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors.
Alison is a co-founder of Southern Counties German Shepherd Rescue which provides care and rehabilitation for dogs in need. Her home currently houses one husband (Iain), two horses (Simba and Jimmy), one pony (Polly), and a number of foster dogs.