At Behavioural Referrals we really believe in a team approach.

The clinical team is composed of the veterinary and rehabilitation teams who work very closely together to provide you and your pet with the best possible service. The veterinary surgeons will meet you and your pet and through taking a comprehensive history will reach a diagnosis of the emotional motivations for your pet’s behaviour. They will devise a management and treatment plan which is tailored to you and your pet. After your initial consultation the rehabilitation team will keep in regular contact with you and offer ongoing practical support with the implementation of the treatment plan.

The clinical team is ably supported by the administration team, who work tirelessly to ensure that your experience of dealing with Behavioural Referrals runs smoothly from the first time you contact us. Our overriding aim is to optimise emotional health in companion animals and we care deeply about you and your pet. Pet ownership is a privilege and a pleasure – we will work with you to enable a deeper understanding of the species you live with and a greater appreciation of their needs. We want both you and your pet to gain maximum pleasure from your relationship.

Veterinary Surgeons
Sarah Heath
Veterinary Surgeon/Clinical Lead
Sarah Heath BVSc DipECAWBM(BM) CCAB FRCVS. RCVS Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine. EBVS ® European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine. Visiting Lecturer in Small Animal Behavioural Medicine, University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science, Sarah qualified from Bristol University and spent four years in mixed general practice before setting up Behavioural Referrals Veterinary Practice in 1992. She is an RCVS and European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine. In 2018 she was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for meritorious contributions to the profession. Sarah is an External Lecturer in small animal behavioural medicine at Liverpool University and also teaches on the veterinary undergraduate course at Surrey University. She is a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist under the ASAB accreditation scheme. She sees clinical cases across North West England. Sarah lives in Chester with 3 cats, Sami, Louis and Didi who were hand reared at Cats Protection Warrington and came to live with Sarah in 2017.

Elizabeth Ayrton
Veterinary Surgeon
Elizabeth has been a vet for over 30 years in both mixed and small animal practice and, more recently, has studied for a Masters degree in Clinical Animal Behaviour at Lincoln University. Outside of work, she loves spending time with her family and four Bearded Collies and likes walking the Lake District fells. She also loves choral singing and music in general and plays the recorder (it can sound nice!) and in recent years has also played the viola.
Carrie Tooley
Veterinary Surgeon
Carrie qualified as a vet in 2012 from the Royal Veterinary College and spent three years in mixed general practice in Norfolk and Cornwall before deciding to pursue her interest in behavioural medicine. Carrie began a Master’s degree at the University of Lincoln in September 2015 and started working part time at Behavioural Referrals in January 2016, she also continues to do small animal first opinion veterinary work as a locum. Carrie spends her time away from work playing rugby, paddle-boarding and training Patch – the four legged, work-in-progress responsible for her choice of career specialism.
Natasha Cocker
Veterinary Surgeon
Natasha has always had an interest in behaviour and psychology, firstly completing a Science degree in Neuroscience in 2010 at the University of Western Australia. Following this she qualified as a Veterinarian at the University of Melbourne in 2014. After graduation Natasha worked in Australia in small animal practice for 2 ½ years before moving to the UK. In the UK Natasha has made the most of locuming as a veterinarian by working in a variety of locations including the Isle of Wight and Northumberland to facilitate explore the English countryside. In 2018 she started her Masters in Clinical Animal Behaviour at Lincoln University and in 2019 commenced work with Behavioural Referrals part time while she completes her studies. Outside of work Natasha enjoys spending time with her cat Harvey who she has brought over with her from Australia. She also enjoys most outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, camping and playing sport.
Rehabilitation Trainers
Laura Francis
Head Of Rehabilitation
Laura graduated from the University of Chester in 2012 after receiving a first class BSc (Hons) in Animal Behaviour. She is now studying for her MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy at Harper Adams University. Prior to working at Behavioural Referrals, Laura used to run dog training classes as part of the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme, as well as working in a boarding kennels for a number of years. Now Laura is Head of the Rehabilitation Team and is responsible for implementing and modifying individual rehabilitation programmes for dogs, as well as writing and running the Positive Puppy Training Courses. Laura also implements the practical part of our DEIP course. Laura has a Hungarian Vizsla called Fern and a German Shorthaired Pointer called Bracken, as well as a large collection of reptiles and amphibians at home. Laura is also a full member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, UK and a registered animal training instructor under the Animal Behaviour and Training Council.
Emily Daffern
Rehabilitation Trainer
Emily is one of our rehabilitation trainers and has been with us since July 2018. Prior to her role with us she studied Animal Behaviour at The University of Chester, graduating in September 2018. Emily is passionate about all areas of animal behaviour and has worked in both catteries and kennels extensively. Outside of work Emily owns a grey tabby cat, Penny, as well as a rabbit family. As a fan and previous owner of greyhounds, Emily hopes to welcome one into her home soon.
Administration Team
Lynne Renshaw
Practice Administrator
Lynne is part of our Administration team and has worked for Behavioural Referrals for 5 years. Lynne has two cats, Milo and Rocco, and a guinea pig named Missy. In her spare time Lynne likes spending time with her pets, pottering in her garden and visiting National Trust properties and gardens. One of Lynne’s favourite destinations for a holiday is Venice.
Courtney Goode
Administration Assistant
Level 4 business administration apprentice. Level 4 business administration apprentice. Courtney has been studying business for the last 5 years, she joined the team at Behavioural in 2017. In November 2018 Courtney successfully completed her level 3 business apprenticeship and has recently progressed to level 4. Courtney is your first point of contact when a referral is made to Behavioural Referrals, she will be delighted to help with any of your queries and will guide you through the referral process. Courtney is also our student coordinator, so will be your point of contact when booking an EMS placement. Courtney has a Shar Pei called Skyla, who she has had since a puppy.
Emily Jones
Administration Assistant/Positive Puppy Coordinator
Emily joined the Behavioural Referrals team in 2016. She has completed her Level 2 NVQ in Business and Administration and is currently completing her Level 3. Emily will be your first point of call when contacting Behavioural Referrals, and will be happy to help throughout your pets treatment process. Emily is also our Positive Puppy Training coordinator, so will be your point of contact when booking puppy packages. Emily has a Jack Russell X Border Terrier called Buster, who she has had since a puppy.
Simon Robinson-Stynes
Practice Manager
Simon graduated from the University Of Liverpool in 2005 with an honours degree in Sociology & Social Policy. He has more recently studied again at the University Of Liverpool for his Certificate in Veterinary Business Management (Cert VBM). Simon has two Cats, Molly & Dolly, who live with him and his partner in Liverpool. Simon is an avid music fan and enjoys going to concerts and the theatre in his spare time.