Claire Bannister MSc - Business Owner


As a child I wanted to be Dr Doolittle but I didn’t want the animals to speak to me in English, I wanted to learn to speak their language.  This is what has driven me to become an animal behaviourist and I may not quite be a doctor yet (watch this space) but through a lifetime of experience and education with a large variety of animals I have become an expert on their evolution, physiology and behaviour. This is essential to fully understand their needs and motivations so that we can give them the best lives possible and provide the highest welfare standards for the precious animals in our lives, because they truly deserve it.

Working with dogs is such a great job. They constantly surprise and amaze us and as a scientist I know that we have only scratched the surface of their abilities.

I am highly qualified with a Master’s degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, which means I not only understand the theory of training and behaviour modification but have practical skills at that level too. 

The language of dominance is now completely out-dated and scientifically debunked. I adhere to and teach a strict code of ethics using the most modern behaviour methods and only use positive reinforcement.  I find that love works so much better than fear and creates a healthy, well balanced relationship between you and your dog. 

I have three dogs and two cats so animals keep me pretty busy in my spare time as well.

Kaycee Lowley - Daycare Manager

Kaycee Lowley

I am 19 years old and from Barrowford. I have a beautiful 4 year old Husky/GSD/Collie cross called Maisie, she has a loving 'mummy dog' temperament. In my spare time I spend most of it with my dog out walking, especially through forests and she often enjoys joining me on a run. She loves having her ball thrown for her and just being outdoors, which is where I am mostly. I enjoy watching films in an evening, being creative, and also broadening my knowledge of dogs with lots of reading and researching. I am also the Barka Lounge social media manager, responsible for our Facebook and Instagram accounts! 

I have a level 2 diploma in art and design along with a level 2 diploma in animal studies. I always wanted to have a career with dogs, and I am lucky as I am able to use both my diplomas in my career at Barka Lounge. My love of photography is also really useful.

I completed my first work experience on a farm and I spent most of my time with the dogs and there decided I loved dogs the most. I decided to go on and study a level 3 diploma in animal management and worked at Barka Lounge since its opening day, this confirmed I had chosen the right career path.

Growing up my family has always fostered dogs so I had already spent a lot of time with different breeds, and I adored each one. I also spent a lot of time with my grandma’s dogs and when I was younger they were like family, as a child I would always want to run up to dogs to stroke them.

I have always wanted to make a difference to the lives of dogs and in this job I believe I do, by making sure the dogs in daycare all go home happy and tired after a long day. 

I love my job because I also get to see puppies grow up into amazing dogs. I get to see happy dogs blossom into even happier dogs feeling comfortable in themselves. I get to see puppies get braver and see lots of new friendships made. I get nice cuddles at nap times and most importantly have lots of fun! All the dogs have their own little characters making each day different. I have learnt
so much, including dog first aid. Barka Lounge continues to increase my knowledge of dogs and I plan to attend more courses on behaviour in the future. Dogs are the best, they listen to you, they make you giggle, smile and laugh and they always show so muc
h love and gratitude. 

Matt Wright - Full-time Daycare Uncle Matt

I’m 22 years old and live locally in Colne.  I have always loved animals and wanted to work with them.  After I left school I was unaware that there were college courses that led to qualifications in animal care, so I studied ICT for 2 years, but I knew that this wasn’t what I really wanted to do.  Around that time I discovered the animal care course and animal management course at Craven College and studied there for 3 years.

During my time at college I volunteered at a local exotic and domestic animal sanctuary, and at that time I thought that I really wanted a job in a zoo. But then I started to volunteer for a dog walking business which is when I realised that I truly wanted to work with dogs. I found them really fun to be around and I learnt about the different behaviours that they display and their communication. Since volunteering for the dog walking business I wanted to get more involved with dogs and found Barka Lounge and fell in love with the place.

At this point you would be expecting me to say that I have two dogs at home when in fact I have 2 tortoises one called Wilson … yes that Wilson from the movie Cast Away, many people who come to the house usually end up calling out his name when he trots away (in a Tom Hanks voice).  The other tortoise is called Norris just because he looks like a Norris (he just defines the name).  And a lot of the time they do display playful behaviour, just like a dog.  

In my spare time I like to go to the gym, reading and learning about animals and history, playing acoustic or electric guitars, I have around 9, mostly vintage guitars at home.  I love hunting in charity shops for vintage clothing from the 80’s and 90’s, my wardrobe is literally a step back into the past!

Emily Birkett - Full-time Daycare Auntie Emily

Biography - Coming soon.....

Neve Rose Kinsella - Full-time Daycare Auntie Neve

Biography - Coming soon.....

Introducing - The Awesome Hip Human Volunteers / College and School placements......

Auntie Lindsay
Auntie Kath
Auntie Rachel
Uncle Keir
Auntie Jenny
Auntie Sameena
Auntie Evonne