Our People – Trustees

ABTC Board of Trustees

Harold Burrows - Chairman

In 1966 Harold watched Search Dogs training and was so impressed by their skill – finding people under snow or hidden underground – that he decided to train his own dog and joined Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) Wales.  He realised there were no national standards of training.  He was awarded a Churchill Travel Fellowship in 1992 and spent 3 months in USA where there were also no national standards.  Although he had worked with many good trainers, Harold felt it was important to formalise standards. In 1997 the National Search and Rescue Dog Association (NSARDA) was set up.   Standards were eventually agreed, but unfortunately some search dog associations decided that it wasn’t necessary and would not join. Internationally Harold has helped to train handlers and dogs in the USA, Ireland, Iceland, Malta, Australia and Guam and sharing NSARDA search dog standards.

Chris Laurence - Treasurer

Chris Laurence qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Bristol University in 1968 and went into mixed practice in Somerset. A year later he moved to Chippenham and was subsequently Chief Veterinary Officer at the RSPCA and Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust. He retired in August 2011. He was awarded the MBE for services to animal welfare in 2007, granted Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2017 and awarded the OBE for services to animal welfare in 2022. Chris is involved in a number of other charities including the British Veterinary Behaviour Association and is Chair of the RSPCA’s South West Regional Board.

Jane Williams - Secretary

Jane Williams is an Animal Training Instructor and Clinical Animal Behaviourist working in the East of England and on-line. She has been ABTC registered since 2008, an ABTC Trustee since 2018 and was its Chair 2018-2020. Jane has been a full member of the APDT since 2008 and of the APBC since 2009 and was the APBC Chair 2017-2020. Since gaining her M.Sc. from the University of Southampton, Jane has delivered CPD to vet practice staff, developed resources to improve owner understanding of their pet’s behaviour and worked hard to promote animal welfare through the ABTC and APBC. Alongside a full and varied career as a behaviourist and trainer, Jane lives with a number of reptiles, 6 rescue dogs, Harry the rabbit and another equally animal-mad human.

David Montgomery - President

Following a first career in the Army and a spell living in France I attended Oxford Brookes University as a mature student. After graduating with a Combined Studies degree in Psychology and Animal Behaviour I moved into adult education and taught in the Prison Service for a few years. I have now been involved in the delivery of education to students worldwide in Animal related topics such as behaviour, conservation and welfare for over 25 years. Since 2010 I have also been closely involved in the work of ABTC creating the standards and infrastructure needed to support a true profession.

Justine Harrison

Justine is a Certified Horse Behaviour Consultant with the IAABC. She is also the organisation’s UK Co-Chair and a member of the Application Review Committee. She is registered as an Accredited Animal Behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour & Training Council. Justine lectures on the Equine Behavioural Science BSc degree course at Writtle University College and also acts as an expert consultant in legal disputes and court cases involving equine behaviour.  She holds lectures and workshops around the UK and regularly contributes to a wide variety of international publications including Your Horse, Horse & Rider (US), Horse & Hound and Bit (Netherlands) – either writing articles, commenting or answering specific questions about horse behaviour and training. For more information see www.equinebehaviourist.co.uk

Fiona Cooke

Fiona's PhD focused on the role of local government in the implementation and enforcement of animal welfare legislation. In addition to work in welfare law and policy, her welfare science research focuses on assessing and improving animal welfare, particularly in shelter environments, using innovative and practical tools. Fiona currently leads the Research (Europe) and Ecology teams at The Donkey Sanctuary, working globally to improve the welfare of donkeys and mules. She is a lecturer in law and runs an animal behaviour company working with complex behavioural issues of dogs and cats. Fiona is a full member of the APBC and an ABTC registered CAB.

Hanne Grice

Hanne Grice is a Clinical Animal Behaviourist and Training Instructor covering the South East of England and online, working primarily with dogs and cats. She has been a full-time practitioner since 2006 and has an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour & Training. Hanne is also an Animal Sciences lecturer, responsible for the MSc Animal Behaviour Consulting and Human-Animal Interactions & Psychology modules at University Centre Bishop Burton. She is an assessor with the APBC, holds membership with several animal organisations, and is a volunteer Educational Officer with Blue Cross. Hanne has a special interest in human-dog relationships pre- and post-partum.

Lauren Johnson

After ten years lecturing in animal science, welfare, behaviour and nutrition, Lauren set up one of the first commercial track liveries in the world. This was motivated by a keen interest in elevating welfare in domestically kept horses and cementing the role of management in good quality, positive reinforcement based training. Lauren has a BSc (Hons) in animal science, is a qualified teacher, AMTRA trained and is currently undertaking the ABTC accredited ATI qualification. She trained as a hoofcare provider in 2014 to compliment the rehabilitation work undertaken at her livery yard. She is also a freelance writer, having had many articles published and in 2023 will publish her own book on track systems.

Nikki McLeod

A crazy cat lady and self-confessed study geek, Nikki has been a RVN since 2000. With her fingers in many pies, she splits what little time she has between working as the Cat Advocate and consulting nurse for a small animal practice in Fife Scotland, and studying for multiple certificates. Not satisfied with gaining her first undergraduate degree at 50, she is now studying for a Clinical Animal Behaviour Masters degree at University of Edinburgh, with a view to becoming a practice-based Clinical Animal Behaviourist. She is also keeping a BVNA Council seat warm for the next three years.

Sian Jones

Sian Jones is a passionate pet guardian, immersing herself into the world of training and behaviour through her dog's journey from puppyhood to adult. This journey was not simple or easy, with Sian requiring professional help to navigate the tricker aspects of his behaviour. This sparked an avid interest in learning about her dog’s behaviour, and how we as handlers can fulfil their needs based on the dog’s individuality. Navigating the complex world of dog training brought Sian to learn about ABTC and inspired her to embark upon a journey to becoming an Animal Training Instructor. Sian is passionate about and committed to showcasing high animal welfare standards associated with training and behaviour therapy.

Stephanie Ismail

After a career in communications in the UK and abroad, Stephanie turned to teaching in 2017. Living in Central London sparked her academic interest in the science of animal development, learning and behaviour. She embarked on a journey to discover more about helping dogs and humans better connect and adapt to living together in our modern world. She has worked intensively on building her professional experience while studying at various levels. Stephanie is an Animal Training Instructor, and full member of APDT. Her passions are around public awareness so that the domestic animals in our care may be better served.

Anna Williams

Anna is the Academic Lead of the Higher Education Animal Science department at Bishop Burton College. She has worked in academia for over 10 years, starting as a lecturer with a focus on animal behaviour in wild and zoo animals. She supervisors’ students undertaking undergraduate or post graduate research in a diverse range of topics. As Academic Lead she is responsible for writing new programmes and ensuring the current portfolio remains fresh and students graduating have the skills necessary for industry.

Jen Makin

Jen has worked in the dog training sector for a number of years and has benefitted enormously from working closely with Clinical Animal Behaviourists. She is going to be studying Applied Canine Behaviour at Bishop Burton from the Autumn. As an outspoken advocate for ethical training, Jen is passionate about the training and behaviour industry’s progress towards consistent standards of knowledge and modern practices, to improve welfare for all species we share our lives with – from dogs to cats to horses.