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Melissa Harris is the owner and operator of Barks and Recreation London. Her professional work with pets began in 2006, when she enrolled at Georgian College to become a Veterinary Technician. Melissa graduated with Honours distinction in 2008, also winning a special award in Nutrition Studies. Following graduation, she passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination, becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician. Melissa went on to work as an RVT at several clinics in London Ontario, including the local veterinary emergency hospital.


After retiring from full-time work in the veterinary industry a few years ago, Melissa missed being able to provide care for people's pets on a daily basis. As a mama to four sweet, funny, spirited cats (and one beloved dog who recently crossed the rainbow bridge), she understands how important it is to know that your pet's needs are met when you can't be at home with them. 

Barks and Recreation London was created in 2018 so that Melissa could continue her lifelong dedication to caring for companion animals and their people. It is a privilege to provide loving, thoughtful care for your pets. In the last year, Melissa hired two additional employees, Kim and Alyix, both of whom share the same love of animals and commitment to providing exceptional care while you are away from home. We are excited to offer solo dog walking, group dog walking, pet sitting (now including overnight care in your home!), and pet taxi services! Barks and Recreation supports the OVC Pet Trust Fund and is a member of PIJAC Canada. Insurance and bonding are provided by ProFur.

Melissa has maintained her professional interest and education in animal health, and the whole team is excited to continue caring for animals by providing experienced, reliable pet care services for your pets in the comfort of their own home. If your pet requires special attention, or if you just want pros you know you can trust, please contact us - we would be delighted to care for your furry family members!

Professional Pet Care Certifications

Graduate of Georgian College Veterinary Technician program 2008, with Honours

Special award for Nutrition Studies

Passed VTNE for RVT certification in Jan. 2009

Experience caring for: dogs, cats, rabbits (and other pocket pets), fish, birds, reptiles, and horses.

We are professional pet sitters & dog walkers, with nearly two decades of experience in animal health & pet care.

PROfur Pet Insurance for Pet Care in London Ontario

Quick Links for Pet Care in London, ON

As a part of our mission to help care for your pets, we like to provide clients with useful information to help navigate any problems that might come up. Here are some links to sites with important information for your pet's health and safety. London has many resources for pet owners and animal lovers - see below!

Smiling Dog Being Cared For By Barks and Rec London

London Regional Veterinary Emergency and Referral Hospital 

Currently open Sundays at 7am through Thursdays at 7am

Cat sitting a cute cat with blue eyes

Pet Poison Helpline

Contact any time for emergency information if your pet has ingested a toxin.

Two happy dogs ready to go for a walk in London Ontario

London Animal Care Centre

Pet licensing, by-laws, adoption, and much more.

Dog and Cat Cuddling on Grass During Pet Sitting Session

London Humane Society

Pet adoptions, fostering, education, and animal cruelty reporting/investigations.

Cute kitten sitting

Ontario Veterinary Medical Association

Information resources for pet owners, listings for local veterinarians.

Cute squirrel eating a nut


Local wildlife rescue and education centre. Call directly for emergencies.

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