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#VetPawsitivity: Justine’s Story

This week #NPM2021 focuses on #VetPawsitivity and how veterinary practices have adapted throughout the pandemic.

‘The general spirit of everyone trying to do our best through these months, despite the complete change in all of our lives, has really made me smile,” says Justine Shotton, BVA Junior Vice President. 

“While the times have often been quite desperate, I think it's important to maintain a sense of humour and I'm grateful to have worked with amazing teams that have kept each other laughing in the face of immense pressure and challenges.”

She adds: “It’s been challenging as a manager in terms of keeping team morale up, but I’m so impressed with how my team has evolved and adapted and kept on mutually supporting each other.”

Justine says adapting to more remote working for her and her team has been one of the biggest challenges.

“At the zoo, we have adapted, with many non-clinical team members working offsite or being furloughed, and during my small animal locum work it has been interesting moving to phone-based consultations while the pet is dropped off at the clinic for examination.”

A working day looks very different presently, but there are some pluses, explains Justine.

“My informal chats with the team over coffee breaks has become more structured, via check-in online meetings to check everyone is doing ok, whether they are working on-site or from home. I have enjoyed less time commuting and this has given me a chance to have more time to feel on top of emails and admin, which has been nice. 

She adds: “In December we held a 'Team Awards' ceremony for my team, championing what each member had done and achieved through these challenging times. I felt very proud of all of my team members.  I also felt very proud to become the BVA's Junior Vice President in September, and have loved stepping into this position despite meeting many of my new colleagues only remotely so far. I can't wait to get into the office and deepen the relationships with my new colleagues through face-to-face chats.”  

Press Office

For media information, images or to speak to a spokesperson about National Pet Month please contact Taz Thornton or Asha Clearwater at Turquoise Tiger on +44 (0)7920 461 044 or email

Please note we have access to a range of spokespeople via our coordinators, sponsors and most animal welfare organisations and charities who get involved with NPM.

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