Animal Behaviour & Welfare Consulting
Vancouver-based Animal Behaviour & Welfare Consulting specializes in providing science-based:
Pet behaviour therapy and counselling for cats and dogs;
Expert opinion in animal legal cases, involving 'dangerous dogs', animal cruelty, civil suits, pet custody disputes and more - across Canada and internationally;
Education, including teaching professional programs, public talks and media;
Urban planning, integrating animals into urban landscapes;
Policy development involving animals, for Municipal, Provincial and Federal governments.
Dr. Rebecca Ledger & Poppy
About Dr. Rebecca Ledger
BSc (Hons) MSc PhD CBiol FRSB ABTC-CAB
Dr. Rebecca Ledger is an animal behaviour and animal welfare scientist, based in Vancouver, Canada. Working with people and their pets has been Dr. Ledger’s passion from a very young age. She grew up surrounded by animals in her family home, and as soon as she was allowed, she started to work on weekends, holidays and after school at her local vet clinic and pet boarding facilities, over the years, caring for thousands of pet cats and dogs.
After gaining her undergraduate Honours degree in Biology from the University of London and a MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour & Animal Welfare from the University of Edinburgh, Dr. Ledger worked at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition (researching the relationship between diet and behaviour in pets), and later with the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare as a Researcher (studying the effect of noise levels on shelter dog welfare).
After gaining her PhD in companion animal behaviour and welfare from Brunel University, Dr. Ledger undertook three post-doctorate Fellowships, funded by the RSPCA, Friskies Petfood, and Sanofi Sante Animale (now Ceva Sante Animale), including researching the effect of behaviour medications in dogs.
Dr. Ledger became University Lecturer at Brunel University, while also working as an Animal Behaviourist with Dr. Roger Mugford at the Company of Animals. Later, she moved from the UK to Canada to become a Visiting Scholar at the University of British Columbia - roles where she supervised many of her own students in animal behaviour and animal welfare at BSc, MSc and PhD level. On leaving full-time academia, Dr. Ledger became Animal Behaviour & Animal Welfare Manager for the BC SPCA, where she developed a variety of programs on the humane management of animals in shelters. Following this, she also studied Clinical Behavioral Medicine with the NAVC.
Dr. Ledger has given hundreds of presentations and written many peer-reviewed scientific journals articles on animal behaviour and welfare science. She has also written hundreds of articles for the popular press. From 2013 to 2018, she was the pet columnist for the Vancouver Sun.
In 2015, she was presented with the Digital Journalist Award by the Summit for Urban Animal Strategies for her work as an animal journalist. Dr. Ledger has served on animal welfare committees for various organizations, including The Pedigree Foundation, the Proctor & Gamble Pet Care Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, various BC SPCA committees, the Ministry of the Solicitor General (Ontario), and the Canadian Council for Animal Care Dog Sub-committee.
Dr. Ledger is now a part-time faculty member of Langara College, teaching courses in animal behaviour, animal welfare and animal law in various professional programs, including the Animal Control Officers Basic Training. She has also taught courses in animal behaviour, veterinary forensics and ‘The Violence Link’ to Police organizations, physicians, animal cruelty Prosecutors, Animal Control Officers, veterinarians, students in animal law and veterinary forensics at many universities, and various other animal welfare professionals.
Dr Ledger is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and Chartered Biologist, a FullMember of the Association for Pet Behaviour Counsellors, a Clinical Animal Behaviorist accredited by the Animal Behaviour and Training Council, an Associate Member of the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior, and a Professional Member of the Canadian Association for Professional Dog Trainers. For the past 15 years, Dr. Ledger has primarily split her time between being a Clinical Animal Behaviourist and an Expert Witness in legal cases involving animals.
About Office Manager, Ali Wennes
For more than two years, Ali has been working closely with Dr. Ledger, forging meaningful connections with pet owners and their companions. As a devoted mother to a senior springer spaniel herself, Ali possesses a unique understanding of the worries and uncertainties that often accompany shifts in pet behaviours. Enthusiastic about the ever-changing nature of her role, Ali finds joy in providing assistance and support wherever it's needed.
The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) is a network of skilled practitioners collaborating with veterinarian-led teams, specializing in various species such as dogs, cats, horses, small mammals, reptiles, birds, and others. APBC members offer diverse in-person and remote services, extending internationally. Full APBC members meet rigorous standards established by the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC), ensuring regulated and qualified practices that prioritize animal welfare through behaviour training. Full members, Like Dr. Ledger, possess unparalleled expertise, encompassing a wide range of skills and knowledge in the animal behaviour industry.
The Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) sets and maintains standards for animal trainers, instructors, and behaviour therapists, overseeing an international Register of qualified professionals. Comprising major animal welfare charities, educational institutions, and practitioner groups, ABTC ensures high standards, requiring ongoing criteria fulfilment for registration. ABTC represents the sector's interests to the public and government bodies.
The Royal Society of Biology is a single unified voice for biology: advising Government and influencing policy; advancing education and professional development; supporting our members, and engaging and encouraging public interest in the life sciences. The Society represents a diverse membership of individuals, learned societies and other organisations. Individual members include practising scientists, students at all levels, professionals in academia, industry and education, and non-professionals with an interest in biology.
Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers (CAPDT) unites Canadian dog obedience trainers for education and idea exchange. Established in 1993, it evolved with a membership of nearly 300 by 1997. CAPDT promotes humane training methods, supports learning opportunities, and collaborates with stakeholders like veterinarians and shelters. It shapes the industry through expert-backed position statements, serving as a national voice.
Founded in 1976, The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) brings together veterinarians and researchers aiming to understand animal behavior and address related issues. AVSAB shares science-based education, consensus statements, and offers networking opportunities. Membership caters to veterinary graduates and those with a PhD in animal behavior or related disciplines.