Meet the team
‘If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life’. My father often says he loved every day in his job. After starting Wicklow Pet hotel I understood how he felt.
I spent my childhood outside, mostly in the garden pottering with my father or in the forest next to our house in Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow. We always had a cat growing up. Garfield was the one I remember most. At age 10 I badgered my parents into getting hens – Agnes, Aunt Lil and Daisy. I was a little too relaxed about allowing them to be free-range! I had rabbits for years too. I also brought the odd hedgehog into school for the craic. We didn’t get a dog until I was a teenager, a cavalier named Dougal.
After studying Geography in UCD my life went in an unexpected direction. I spent the next 15 years working in frontline emergency services. Dogs and cats were always a necessary part of my life, grounding me and keeping my love of the outdoors alive. Over the years I had many dogs, Rough Collies (Bronte in photo) whom I showed and breed, a Cavalier called Billy who sadly died from cancer aged just over a year and two shih tzus Coco (in photo) and Darcy.
In 2009 I made the risky decision to open a kennels and cattery. With the support of many people it took off and I never looked back. Spending my days outside minding animals brought me right back to my childhood passions. What a feeling to realise you have found the job you love.
Today I share my life with my amazing daughter Aisling, two dogs and two cats. Our dogs are two Bernese Mountain dogs, both girls. Rori and Riley are the first large dogs I have ever owned. They are so loving and affectionate. They are experts at hugging and snuggling, knocking laps and glasses off tables with their tails, eating everything they shouldn’t and digging craters all over the lawn!
We rescued our kittens in the summer of 2020. Their mother and siblings found their forever homes and Donal (in photo) and Eamon stayed here. They are full of mischief, always making sure Rori and Riley know who’s in charge, sure what cat isn’t?
Amanda, originally from Virginia in the US, has lived in Ireland since 1998. Ever since her very first childhood pet, a cocker spaniel named Smurf, a house has never felt like home until it was full of pets. She currently shares her home with four cats, three kids, one dog, one bearded dragon named Thanos, and a husband for good measure.
Amanda is an invaluable member of the team here at Wicklow Pet Hotel. As well as a genuine love of dogs and cats, she also brings her in-depth knowledge of cat behaviours with her. Quickly seeing if one of our guests isn’t themselves, or out of sorts, she is caring and highly competent. Her attention to detail and forward planning helps keep the show on the road. Karen would be lost without her. Amanda joined the team in 2017.
Emma, from Arklow, grew up in a house filled with animals and drove her parents mad bringing home every “stray” animal including birds, guinea pigs, cats, and dogs. She followed her childhood dream and became a horse owner as an adult, competing regularly. She has been involved with animal rescue for many years and dabbled in the dog show world for some time. She also plays Rugby for Arklow. She is a mammy to 2 Kerry Blue terriers, a horse, and a little boy.
Emma is an amazing photographer. Since she started taking photos of our guests, many clients have remarked they are the best ones they have seen of their dogs and cats! Emma has a deep love for all animals. She is in her element here at Wicklow Pet Hotel spending time playing with dogs and cats. If there are kittens or puppies here, well-we can forget about any work being done! Emma will loose track of time playing with them. Emma is a fantastic, valued member of our team. Her energy and enthusiasm, combined with a real love for animals and their wellbeing adds greatly to the enjoyment of the dogs and cats holidaying with us.
Ewelina, originally from Wojkowice in Poland, has lived in Ireland since 2004. She joined the team in 2020 while Wicklow Pet Hotel was rebranding. Huskies are her soft spot. So is the sea, psychology, arts & crafts. Currently, she lives in Bray, hoping to find a secure place to have a dog and a cat (again).
Ewelina is our brand wizard and works on all the visual aspects of Wicklow Pet Hotel: our photography, videos, and graphic design for web or print materials. She is so patient with Karen, who must often be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the ever-changing technological world of business management. The re-branding of the business from Wicklow Kennels & Cattery to Wicklow Pet Hotel would never have been achieved without her.