Valerie graduated from the Veterinary College of Ireland, University College Dublin in 2003. She worked as a veterinarian in mixed practice in Wales; the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and Eurogroup for Animals in Brussels; for a local horse racing track (flat racers) and a companion animal clinic in Mumbai, India. She was also an invited expert at several local animal shelters and a riding club in India. In 2006 she attained a Masters in Laboratory Animal Science (Ghent University, Belgium) her Masters thesis was on “The care and use of horses and ponies as research animals” with a focus on behaviour and welfare. During that time Valerie visited equine research centres in India, The Netherlands and the UK. In 2010 Valerie attained a Certificate in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, UK). After her time in India, Valerie spent almost 4 years at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University in the Netherlands where she worked as a behaviour veterinarian, behaviour/welfare researcher and lecturer.
Valerie now owns and runs Animalytics Veterinary Behavioural Medicine and Animal Welfare Consultancy (www.animalytics.nl) in the Netherlands. Under the flagship of Animalytics, Valerie sees all of her cat and dog behaviour cases at the Dutch Veterinary Referral Centre, de Wagenrenk (www.wagenrenk.com), a specialist veterinary referral clinic in the Netherlands. Horse behaviour and animal welfare consultations/expert opinions are by private appointment only. Valerie also conducts scientific research, and is a well-known lecturer on both the national and international circuit.
Valerie became a Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine (sub-speciality Behavioural Medicine) in early 2015 and was the first person to achieve this in the Netherlands. In September 2015 Valerie became a Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine (subspeciality Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law). Again, she was the first person in the Netherlands to have achieved this title. In June 2015, Valerie set up the Dutch Veterinary Behaviour Group (Nederlandse Werkgroep Veterinaire Gedragskunde – NWVG) and acts as its Chair. Valerie sat on the Examination Committee of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine from 2015-2018 and is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, the Fear Free Advisory Board and the Vet Visuals Advisory Board. In September 2017 Valerie became the Honorary Secretary of the ECAWBM.