About Us

Our Practice Today

Our practice is headed by two of our longstanding veterinary surgeons, Dirk Brink and Abby Pye. Dirk qualified from Onderstepoort in South Africa in 1992, joined Priory Lodge Vets in 1995 and became a partner in 2001. Abby qualified from Cambridge University Vet School in 2003, joined Priory Lodge Vets in 2004 and became a partner in 2017. They are supported by an experienced practice manager and head nurse, who ensure the smooth running of the practice, as well as a fantastic team of vets, nurses and receptionists.

Dirk and Abby jointly manage the practice and lead the clinical team. Ruth Wadsworth, Nicola Stouppa-Moss and Allie Woodward complete the team of veterinary surgeons and each vet provides their own skill sets and specialities.

Today we employ over twenty team members including vets, nurses, receptionists, and animal nursing assistants. Visit the team pages to find out more!

Our head nurse, Alison Drew, leads our strong team of veterinary nurses. They run their own clinics, support our consulting vets and work in the operating theatre and hospital kennels. Our nurses also take it in turns to look after overnight inpatients and stay on site overnight and on weekends to provide essential support to your sick pets.

Our practice manager, Elaine Hind, leads our receptionist team. Elaine is responsible for all aspects of customer care and handles insurance claims. Our friendly receptionists are well known to most of you and they do a splendid job answering calls and emails and assisting clients at the practice.

As part of Pennard Vets, we collaborate with our neighbours to provide our patients with the best possible care. We do provide inpatient care ourselves in our own hospital however and all hospitalised pets are looked after overnight on site by our duty nurse. A vet is always on call for support. On rare occasions we may recommend that your pet be transferred when intensive nursing care is required.

Looking Forward

During the past five years we have built an amazing team and are truly proud of how far the practice has come. Everyone pulled together during the Covid pandemic, and we are so grateful to the entire extended Priory Lodge Vets family for the support we have had from our team and our clients.

We have become very busy with all the new puppies and kittens which found their way to us during the pandemic and are conscious that we need to expand to cope with the demand for our services.

In 2020 we rebranded to “Priory Lodge Vets” and commissioned a new logo which we feel better reflects our ambition to provide an enhanced level of care that is usually beyond the capabilities of a first opinion practice. With this in mind we have exciting plans to significantly extend the practice building to provide brand new surgical, imaging and dental facilities as well as new separate dog and cat kennels.

Then in 2023 we joined the Pennard Vets team. This enabled us to retain our independent status and as a result our ability to forge our own future with the best interests of our patients and their owners in mind. 

It also means that our practice is now employee-owned, with Pennard Vets being the world’s largest employee-owned vet group. You can read about the benefits of Pennard Vets’ pioneering approach to the industry on their website.


Initially providing for farm-animals, the practice was owned by a colourful local character called Paddy Hislop and was then bought by Graham Hunt and John McCaig, working from the rather claustrophobic premises at 1 Bank Street, at the entrance to Tonbridge Market.

The practice moved to our current site in 1979 when the medical practice now known as Dunorlan Medical Group moved to new premises higher up Pembury Road. At that time, we were a mixed practice run by four partners and the name Priory Lodge Veterinary Group was first used in preference to individual surgeon’s names. There have of course been many changes since then, most notably becoming a small animal practice only in 2001.

We undertook major refurbishment in 2006 resulting in our inviting reception area and air-conditioned consulting rooms. The kennel room was upgraded in 2017 and a year later we completely transformed the upper floor of our building to provide bright, airy office space for our growing team of vets, a conference room, smart staff rest areas and luxurious overnight accommodation for our duty nurses.