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Two veterinary surgeons, who met as students in South Africa 20 years ago, are now opening a new practice together in Somerset

Brunhilda Septer, from Glastonbury, and Johan van Sittert, from Bridgwater, first crossed paths at the University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort in 1997, as they studied veterinary medicine in the same class.

They both separately moved to the UK after qualifying, but stayed in contact with each other, and have now become joint owners of the new Vets4Pets practice in Street, Somerset. 

 Brunhilda achieved a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and medical cell biology, before turning her interests to the veterinary science.

 She grew up in Durban and moved to the UK in 2003, where she worked in small animal practices in the Lake District and Somerset, before opening her first Vets4Pets practice in Weston-super-Mare.

 “I’ve known Johan for many years, but at university I never thought we’d end up working in the same country, let alone owning a practice together,” said Brunhida.

“The veterinary school was situated on a farm away from the rest of the university and only had 80 students on the course, so everyone got to know each other quite quickly.

“Last year, Johan contacted me about the opportunity to own the new Vets4Pets practice opening up in Street.

“I had already considered the practice myself, as it is very close to where I live, but I thought that it may be too much work to do alone, which meant opening it with Johan was the perfect opportunity.

“It’s fantastic to be able to open a practice with someone I know from South Africa and someone I have a great deal of respect and admiration for.

“We complement each other well in our work, so it made perfect sense to open the practice together. We want to be a trusted part of the local community and will always go the extra mile to offer pet owners the best customer service possible.”

After moving to the UK in 2003, Johan worked in Cambridgeshire for three years at a small animal clinic, before moving back to South Africa for a few years to work with cattle.

He then got married and moved back to the UK and worked in London for six years before opening his first Vets4Pets practice in Bridgwater in 2014.

“After four years at Bridgwater I heard about the opportunity at Street, and knowing Brunhilda was nearby, I approached her to see if she it was something she wanted to do together,” said Johan.

“Brunhilda and I have never worked together before, so Street will be a new experience for us both, but I think our ways of working and personalities will work really well with one another.

“She is great with people and clients so I think she will take charge of client service and colleagues, and as I’ve just achieved my surgery certificate, I will carry out more of the clinical work, as well as liaising and working with our Support Office.

“We’ve now been friends for many years and opening Street is something we are happy and comfortable to do together. Now I’m just looking forward to the future and providing a great new vet service to the local community."

 About Vets4Pets and Companion Care Vets

  • Vets4Pets and Companion Care are part of the Pets At Home Vet Group, operated with their Joint Venture Vet Partners  
  • As at 4th January 2018, The Pets at Home Vet Group operated 449 Vet practices across the UK, including 153 standalone and 296 in-store practices under the Vets4Pets and Companion Care brands 
  • The Pets at Home Vet Group is committed to delivering first class service and high standards of care in their national network of small animal veterinary practices. It achieves this through joint venture partnerships with experienced and ambitious veterinary surgeons 
  • Each Vets4Pets and Companion Care practice offers a comprehensive range of treatments from vaccinations, neutering, general healthcare and advice to the more specialised services of intensive care medicine and surgical procedures

 www.vets4pets.com and www.companioncare.co.uk