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Lifelong Passion for Animals Becomes a Career


Before working at Box Hill Institute, Verity Hall had various jobs in dental nursing, human resources and business management. This all changed when she suffered a physically and emotionally exhaustion condition called compassion fatigue, a condition that can occur in someone who attends to the caring of others.

Verity said, “After suffering compassion fatigue, I decided to get back to working with animals and went on a journey to learn how to groom my own animals professionally.”

Armed with a lifelong passion for animals, Verity grew up in the country. She had pet sheep, chickens, rabbits, a cat, several dogs and rode horses. The youngest of three siblings, she often brought home stray animals to join the family. She said, “My parents used to tell me I just had the natural knack with animals, especially dogs!”

​​​​​​​It’s this passion for animals that Verity brings to her classroom. She now teaches pet grooming at Box Hill Institute, alongside running her own business, and emphasises the importance of grooming animals for their health and wellbeing. “In my business, I specialise in grooming dogs that are anxious, had previous negative grooming experience or dogs with special needs such as [being] deaf, blind, old age, rescued or pervious physiological trauma.”

​​​​​​​Now in her fifth year of teaching at Box Hill Institute, Verity said, “The Certificate III in Pet Grooming provides students with the opportunity to learn how to bathe, brush and clip animals safely. But also learn [how] to identify and respond positively to animal behaviours, and understand how groomers can contribute to the animal healthcare and welfare.”

At Box Hill Institute, students have the opportunity to interact with pet owners and animals under the direction of industry professionals at Pets on Elgar, the campus veterinary clinic and training workplace. It also forms part of students’ practical assessments.

Pets on Elgar suffered a blow last year due to the COVID pandemic. It was unable to open and lost over half of its grooming clientele. The team is eager to build the grooming clinic back up so that students can fulfil the necessary requirements to graduate. Employees, students and members of the community can bring their dogs in to be pampered by the team and can choose from a range of services, including:

  • Full Groom - Which includes; Bath, Blow-dry/Towel dry, Sanitary & Nail clip, Full body clipping & scissoring (Pet Trim or Breed Clip)
  • Tidy Groom - Which includes; Bath, Blow-dry/Towel dry, Brush-out, Sanitary & Nail clip, Tidy Face, Feet, Ears & Tail
  • Bath & De-shed - Which includes; Bath, Blow-dry, Brush-out coat & nail clip

You can arrange a booking at Pets on Elgar by emailing POEgrooming@boxhill.edu.au. The clinic is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays from 8.30am to 4.00pm.