Leash & Lead
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MEL HANNAN, Owner & Pet Care Specialist

Hi! My name is Mel!

I grew up in Richmond, graduated from Collegiate and then Auburn University, and have lived in Atlanta and South Florida. I returned to Richmond about 10 years ago and truly am happy to be back. In my spare time I volunteer with local organizations in order to give back to this community that I love!

My love of animals has been strong throughout my life. My family has always had pets (cats, dogs, fish) thereby fostering my love of animals. Early on I showed an interest in horses and riding. I was fortunate to learn to ride (both English and Western) and have been riding horses for 28 years. To me, animals make a family complete! I always cared for a variety of friends' pets - birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, dogs (small and large), fish, and cats. I have always wanted to transition into a career where I could work with animals. Leash & Lead is the fruition of that dream and I am so happy to be able to fulfill this need in Richmond.

I am the proud pet parent of a deaf 9 year-old German Shepherd. She was adopted from a rescue shelter. Along with all her predecessors, I have learnt a great deal about animal behavior. From puppy to senior, and all the issues in-between, as well as socialization, rehabilitating behavior issues and developing handi-capable dogs into well-adjusted pets, I have it covered! I believe that education and training never ends and working with pet and owner will create a successful and happy relationship for both.

I am American Red Cross certified in Pet First Aid.

Questions for me? Send me an email at mel@leashandlead.com

ALLISON BOESCH, Pet Care Specialist

Hi, I'm Allison! 


I moved to Richmond about four years ago, and am still having so much fun exploring the city.


I grew up taking care of my family's pets, and have developed a life long passion for animals. I have been petsitting for nine years, and am experienced working with all kinds of pets. Recently, I became a dog-mom to Deckard (named after Harrison Ford's character from Blade Runner), a springer spaniel lab mix. We love going to the dog park, playing fetch, and taking long walks together. 


I am also a floral designer, with a background in fine arts and received a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design. When I'm not hanging out with dogs, I love to draw, paint, and create portraits of my friend's pets. 


I will care for your animals as if they were my own, and can't wait to get to know them! 

Questions for me? Reach me at contact@leashandlead.com
ANNE HIGINBOTHAM, Pet Care Specialist

Hi, My name is Anne! 

I grew up in Suffolk, Virginia and have recently made the leap to move to Richmond! I've taken classes at the University of Mary Washington and am now taking classes a little closer to home to complete my degree. Unfortunately, my apartment building doesn't allow pets, but my future pet plans include at least a cat and a couple lizards.


I grew up with a veritable zoo of pets. Dogs, cats, lizards, hamsters, an entire ant colony... if it could be kept in a tank or within the fenced in back yard, I attempted to keep them. I've been pet-sitting for friends and family since I was 11. I have been unable to have a pet since starting college and miss having fury friends around. I would love to be able to care for your pets as I would my own and I can't wait to meet them!

Questions for me? Reach me at contact@leashandlead.com

SARAH GLASS, Pet Care Specialist

Hi!  My name is Sarah!  


I grew up in Lynchburg, but I moved to Richmond with my husband and daughter in 2014.  My life has always been full of animals, including dogs of all sizes, cats, rabbits and rats.  My grandfather had a farm where I would visit in the summer giving me amazing opportunities to work with goats, horses, llamas, camels, pigs and more.  While I grew up getting chances to ride horses, after college, I spoiled myself by finally taking riding lessons and I can ride Hunter/Jumper, Western, and bareback.  My current pet family consists of a Chiweenie named Toby and a Lionhead Rabbit named Hazel.


My bachelor’s degree is in Theatre, but I’ve returned to my original love of animals.  I am currently an animal keeper at a farm and wildlife park in Richmond.  I get to work with and train a wide variety of animals.  It’s amazing to learn about these wonderful animals and care for them every day.


Whether your pets are big or small, I love animals hoof, paw, or claw, and I cannot wait to help care for them all!


Questions for me? Reach me at contact@leashandlead.com

DIANE GUNTER, Pet Care Specialist

Hi my name is Diane!

I am a Richmond, Virginia native, a graduate of James Madison University, and a life-long animal lover. I have had both cats and dogs as pets from an early age, and I have cared for the pets of friends and family members. I am currently Momma to two sweet cats, Squidgie and Jakey, 12-year-old littermates.


I also work in film production, and animals are present in my film career more frequently than I thought they would be.  Horses are used often on historical sets, and commercials and movies often feature or include pets. Families on renovation shows have had as many as 6 dogs, chicken, and geese.  Another time I had to find two look-alike cats with grumpy faces and long hair that were trained. 


When I am in between projects, I am psyched to spend that time helping take care of your animals!


 Questions for me? Reach me at contact@leashandlead.com

JADA BROWN, Pet Care Specialist

Hi my name is Jada!

I am a senior at Randolph-Macon College. I am majoring in Biology and plan on continuing my education by going to Vet school to become a Veterinarian. I have wanted to be a Veterinarian since I was six years old. I grew up always having a pet in the house, whether it was a dog, goldfish or even a hermit crab. I am a certified Vet Assistant. I have experience working in a dog day care, vet clinics, and last January I completed over 130 hours at a Large Animal Hospital. 

Right now, I currently have one dog named Angel who is a poodle and Jack Russell mix. My sister owns two big dogs that I take care of from time to time. One named Zion is a boxer and lab mixed and the other Luca is a Pitbull and Cane Corso mix. 

I have been an animal lover all my life, and until I become a licensed Veterinarian, I will be the best pet care specialist I can be and will spoil our clients' dogs like I do my own. 

Questions for me? Reach me at contact@leashandlead.com
JESSICA GILMAN, Pet Care Specialist

Hi, my name is Jessica!
As an animal lover through and through, I am very excited to be part of the Leash & Lead team! I was born and raised in Richmond, and hold a Bachelor’s degree from JMU as well as a Special Education Master’s degree from Regent University. I grew up in a home full of dogs, but I now share my home with my awesome husband and our cat, Luna, who is a total diva. She is an indoor cat, but loves to chase stuffed mice and make clicky sounds at squirrels from the window.
I have many passions, but caring for pets and teaching children top my list. During the week, I work as an Exceptional Educator at a private school in Richmond’s north side. My evenings and weekends are spent with Leash & Lead giving expert care and plenty of TLC to pets all around the Greater Richmond area. I’m looking forward to meeting your furry friends!

Questions for me? Reach me at contact@leashandlead.com


Mel with 'Leash & Lead!' is great with dogs and all animals. My pup is a big fan. I'm sure your critters would love her!


                                                                               - Meredith J.



We used Leash & Lead when we traveled over Thanksgiving weekend and could not have been more pleased. They took great care of both our lab puppy and our older dog. It was awesome knowing the dogs were in good hands while we were away.

                                                                                - Bill W.

If you are looking for a pet sitter who will love your pet(s) like you do...Leash & Lead is the right place to call.


                                                                               - Patricia H.