The Handlers

Meet our Therapy Dog handlers


Kim Hepple (Buddy’s Handler)


I worked for Hull City Council for ten years as a Sports Development and Community Participation officer. 

Whilst working for Hull Sports Development I worked alongside at risk children and provided them with

role models and activities to divert them from crime and anti social behaviour.


Through my work I identified a need to teach respect about all living things.

Many children have pets but often do not understand their feelings and needs.


During my time at Hull City Council, I used to take children in the care system to Hull Animal Welfare Trust to walk and play with the rescued dogs. 

The young people learnt many skills and how to socialise with the volunteers.

I realised the effect that animals, especially dogs can have on children.

I have qualifications in First Aid, Canine First Aid, Dog Psychology, Teacher Training, Yoga, Sports Science,

healthy eating, Dementia Awareness and various Hull City Council Training Courses.

I resigned from Hull City Council in April 2010 to concentrate on Pet Respect.


Marina Hartley (Jess’s Handler)


I have Qualifications in Animal Assisted Therapy and Pet Bereavement Counselling; I have helped run a dog training club in Hull. 

I have completed many courses including dog Psychology, teaching Dog Agility, Flyball, Canine first aid, understanding Autism and Dementia Awareness.

I have worked in various places, Capper Pass, Drewton Kennels, Selles Chemist, Vista Video and volunteering for various charities.

I have always owned collies and have a love for all animals and I enjoy working with people of all ages.


In 2002 my mother suffered a severe stroke.  She was paralysed down her left side and found her Physio hard and tiring.

At the time I was fostering a dog called Charlie and I took him to visit my mum.

This was when I saw first-hand the positive effect an animal can have on a person who is not well.

My mum’s mood improved instantly and she forgot her limitations and tried to stroke the dog with her poorly hand. 


Therefore I was inspired to become an animal assisted therapist and train and work with my own therapy dog.

Jess was from a litter of eight puppies and I was lucky enough to meet her mum, dad and grandparents.

I chose her because of her temperament within the litter and visited twice a week until she was eight weeks old and then came home to us.

Jess took two years to train and passed her Therapy Dog assessment in 2010.

We have a very special bond and I love her to bits! Now Jess is fully retired she’s enjoying the rest!

Thanks to Pet Respect and Kim, my dream came true as I worked with Jess nearly every day. 

I love our work and have the job satisfaction of watching the positive health effects our dogs have on others, it is well worth our hard work.


Sally (Sookie’s Handler)

I work alongside my gorgeous rescue dog, Sookie, who adores doing therapy with Pet Respect.

I am currently studying Applied Animal Behaviour and Training at University,

my passion lies with understanding animal behaviour, behaviour modification and trick training,

using up to date scientifically proven methods such as positive reinforcement which enrich the lives of all species. 

Teaching animals with kindness and showing those we help through animal assisted therapy what kindness can achieve. 

Once I receive my degree, I hope to work closer with Pet Respect to
reach the goals and my own business eventually. 

I adore educating and helping those we encounter through the dogs and therapy work

and I hope to apply what I am constantly learning through my studies to the charity work and the work they do,


şevleda / Shev (Daisy’s Handler)

My name is şevleda and I am originally from Turkey, although people call me Shev for short! 

I have lived in England for the last 18 years and I am a Level 3 early years’ practitioner.

I have worked at a Children’s Centre as a nursery nurse for 10 years, I then went on to work in a school nursery.

I have always loved animals and enjoy working with Pet Respect alongside Daisy.

Daisy and Buddy met at East Park have been friends ever since, it’s really nice being part of the team with Pet Respect making a difference in the community.