Landing a job at Kellyville Pets at just 15 years old, Ben Dessen has gone on to become a published author, appear on television, and work his way up to Retail Manager at Kellyville Pets, Australia’s largest pet store.
“I’ve always been fascinated by animals. When I was six years old, my parents gifted me a children’s python for my birthday. I think that learning to care for that tiny snake was the catalyst that sparked my driving passion and decision to dedicate my life to working with animals. Countless other creatures followed, filling our home and capturing my heart,” explained Dessen.
Now the Retail Manager at Kellyville Pets, Dessen oversees the daily operations of the business, leading a team of over 90 dedicated animal experts. Dessen also recently published his first book, The Ultimate Pet Handbook, which is something he has dreamt of doing for many years.
“I wrote it as the book I wish I had as a young animal lover growing up and It’s been so heart-warming to see many children around Australia already connect with the book and its messages.”
At Kellyville Pets, sharing the passion for responsible companion animal care has always been a priority for Dessen, and now through the new online Pet Masterclass, which Dessen presents, their goal of providing accessible, informative and engaging educational resources for animal enthusiasts is being re-envisaged.
“Presenting the Masterclass series has provided me with the opportunity to share the combined knowledge of the Kellyville Pets team with a global audience. I am extremely proud of the many heart-warming messages of gratitude we regularly receive from new ‘pet-parents’ who value what they have learned through the Masterclasses.”
Dessen says he is fortunate to have been surrounded by inspiring leaders throughout his career in the pet industry, including John Grima, Managing Director of Kellyville Pets, Richard Sheen, General Manger at Kellyville Pets, and Dr Harry Cooper, who was an idol of Dessen’s as a child and they now collaborate on projects together.
“Above all, I am inspired by the many young people I meet each day who have a driving passion to share their lives with animals responsibly and will hopefully go on to be the vets, scientists, zookeepers, and conservationists of tomorrow.”
Looking to what he hopes to achieve in his career, Dessen says the most important impact he could hope to have is to ensure that the well-being of animals remains at the forefront of everything they do.
“The special bond between animals and humans is undeniable. Society’s expectations have evolved to appropriately demand that animals be treated with the greatest care and respect.
“By prioritising the needs of animals above all else, the pet industry can play a pivotal role in promoting a more humane world that enriches the lives of companion animals and people alike. I also hope to highlight the role we can all play in improving the lives of animals everywhere, to better protect and conserve our natural world.”