A pet groomer who tries to get to know every animal she cares for has won this year's Watford Observer Pet Groomer of the Year competition.

Rachel Burke started Beauty Barks when she was 18 alongside a part-time job at the National Animal Welfare Trust.

Starting with just a bath, she took City and Guilds qualifications has worked long hours ever since to build up her clientele, with the aim of making every dog clean, comfortable and beautiful in as stress-free a way as possible.

The business last year celebrated its fifth anniversary with a dog party at Watford Rugby Club, where dogs and their owners were photographed in front of a floral wall and each pet took home a slice of liver cake.

Based in Beechwood Rise, Watford, Rachel now has a new electric bath and table - adaptable to the needs of every dog - and has just opened a new styling room, as well as offering spa treatments for extra pampering.

She has clients from across the South East and the business has its own Facebook page @BeautyBarks.

She said: "I am delighted and over the moon, just so grateful for the people who have taken the time and effort in their day to vote for me.

"I never thought that when I went to Discover Dogs in 2013 to buy my first little bath that it would have led me here.

"I work extremely hard to ensure I am very thorough in my grooming. Getting to know the individual characters of each pet and building up a good, positive relationship is very important to me. I give the upmost care to every dog I have the pleasure of meeting.

"Beauty Barks has come a long way but still has plenty more to offer and has many plans for the future."