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 almost 20 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

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

CRAN DAVIS, Pet Care Specialist

Hi!  My name is Cran!  

I grew up in Alabama and moved to Richmond after graduating from the University of Alabama with my MBA.  I love football season and cheering on the Crimson Tide!

Dixie, my 15 year old Labrador retriever, has brought so much happiness to my life!  Our journey together has included competing in dog agility and volunteering as a therapy dog team.  In my spare time, I am a puppy raiser and sitter with Guiding Eyes for the Blind.  It is so rewarding to help the pups blossom and learn their way in the world so they are prepared for the formal guide dog training program.  I’m thrilled that the last puppy I raised is in harness training right now to be a working guide dog. 

I have loved getting involved in the community through my many years in the Junior League of Richmond, where I have served on the Board of Directors.  My professional career is in project management; I’m adept Scrum and Agile practices.  I enjoy driving change and process improvement in the corporate world.


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

GAVIN MCGRATH, Pet Care Specialist

Hi, my name is Gavin McGrath!


I was raised mostly in Chesapeake, VA and moved to Richmond in 2013 to attend VCU for a degree in Biological Sciences with a focus in Zoology.


My parents are animal lovers, so this means I grew up with cats and dogs before I could even walk. I discovered a love of animals through not only my parents, but through people and things like Steve Irwin, aquariums, and zoos. I began to care for pets like lizards, guinea pigs, fish, snakes, a cockatoo, and more cats and dogs throughout my childhood. Now, I am a parent to two male ferrets, Meeko and John Wayne, who are my pride and joy.


I also currently work with another Leash and Lead Caretaker, Sarah Glass, at Maymont Park in the Zoology Department. I ensure that my education, work experience, and personal animal experience are enough to take care of your animals, no matter the size, breed, or species!


 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
RACHEL KILGORE, Pet Care Specialist

Hi, my name is Rachel!

I am originally from a little town in Kansas and in 2013 I moved to big town Richmond to be closer to family. Growing up I have always had a passion for animals and was always on family friends' farms taking care of any animal they would allow me to. Sometimes I feel guilty for getting paid for what I do because this is my absolute passion to spend one-on-one time with your animals! I have pets of own and I constantly am fostering animals. I'm excited to be a part of the Leash and Lead team and I can't wait to get to know your pets! 

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

SABRINA ODELL, Pet Care Specialist

Hi, I’m Sabrina! 


I moved to Richmond in 2016 to attend VCU. I will be graduating next year with my Bachelor’s in Psychology and Health Science. I grew up with lots of Himalayan and Tabby cats and a Schipperke pup! I now have two dogs of my own that I adopted, Charlotte and Zeeko. My life wouldn’t be the same with out them! I absolutely love animals of all kinds and I look forward to meeting and spoiling your pets like I spoil mine! 

Questions for me? Reach me at contact@leashandlead.com
TAMARA HARP, Pet Care Specialist
Hi, my name is Tamara!

I was born and raised in the small town of Goochland county! I'm currently figuring out what I want to pursue for a career in the future. Along that journey, I figured why not spend it with as many furry friends as possible. I've had a dog in my life as far back as I can remember including my sweet mixed mutt that just recently turned 18! The purest form of love is the bond between a pet and its owner. I have a genuine love for animals and have been presented the opportunity to turn that love into a full time job!

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.