SPIDERS, snakes, scorpions and rats may be the stuff of nightmares for many people, but they hold no fear for St Helens veterinary nurse Craig Tessyman.
Craig, who works in the exotics department at Rutland House Veterinary Hospital in St Helens, the treatment of exotic pets, and his skills and expertise have seen him shortlisted for one of the veterinary profession’s most prestigious awards.
He has reached the final of the Vet Nurse of the Year category in the 2019 Petplan Veterinary Awards. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on April 4 in Birmingham.
The annual event celebrates the UK’s most outstanding veterinary professionals, who have been nominated by pet owners and colleagues for their hard work and dedication to keeping pets healthy.
Judges were impressed by his passion and willingness to go above and beyond for pet owners, as well as his compassionate approach. He actively promotes the profession through talks and charity events.
Craig’s introduction to the veterinary profession began when he worked as a weekend cleaner and receptionist while studying for his A-Levels at Gateacre Comprehensive in Liverpool.
He joined Rutland House Veterinary Hospital in 2006 and is now a senior veterinary nurse in their exotics department, which looks after everything from rabbits to rats, tortoises to tarantulas and parrots to pythons.
Craig said: “I love working with exotic pets because every day is different and every appointment that comes through the door is different. It could be a parrot being brought in for a nail clip or a chameleon or a duck.
“It is a huge honour to be shortlisted for the Vet Nurse of the Year award and makes all the long hours and hard work worth it.
“Working 100% with exotic species itself is a challenging but rewarding job. For a client to acknowledge the work us nurses do and nominate me is amazing, but to get to the final three is mind-blowing. I still can’t believe it’s real.”
Craig, who lives in St Helens with wife Jenny, owns five tarantulas, two axolotl, five ducks, a tortoise and three cats.
He regularly works with the RSPCA to help rehome exotics species and on one occasion owned 85 tarantulas.
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