Our Story: Here’s What Makes VetCare Different From Other Organizations

Blending the Personal Touch of Private Practice with the Strength of Community Support

Andrew VetCare CEO Testimonial
I founded VetCare back in 2015, following inspiration from my pet Buddy. His healthcare journey got me thinking about the relationship we have with our pets and the humanization of veterinary care.

I wanted to foster a way for veterinary professionals to provide the best possible care for animals — a way for teams to forget the worries of management, focus on the medicine and share knowledge, experiences, and skills within a larger community.

Our story starts with a dog named Buddy.

Buddy, a lively Black Labrador Retriever mix, was the best friend anyone could ask for. With his shiny black fur and big, expressive brown eyes, it was impossible not to love him.

Always up for a game of fetch, a cuddle on the couch, or a walk in a familiar Ottawa park, Buddy lived up to his name and earned his spot as an irreplaceable part of the Black family.

Even though Buddy wasn’t exactly the guard dog type, he had this special way of making everyone feel safe and loved. He was like the heartbeat of the house, always there with a wagging tail, a deep bark to say “hello”, and a friendly nuzzle whenever someone needed it most.

But Buddy had one major problem: his skin was always inflamed and sore. Though he hid his pain well, his family could tell he was suffering. They tried every remedy suggested by each veterinarian they consulted – shampoos, topical creams, supplements, the works – but the solution remained elusive for years. It wasn’t until they made multiple adjustments to his diet that Buddy finally found relief.

Inspired by Buddy’s resilience and the deep connection they shared, Andrew Black realized there had to be a better way to help our best buds live healthier and happier lives.

In 2015, Andrew founded VetCare with two practices in Mission, BC. The following three years were dedicated to meticulously studying the veterinary industry.

It was during this time that Andrew defined our mission: “To be a leading provider of high-quality veterinary medicine in Canada. Through a network of well-managed practices, our care will enhance the quality of life of our patients, the comfort of our clients, and realize the ambitions of our medical team.”

Today, with nearly 50 practices coast to coast, Andrew remains committed to improving pet health, uniting veterinary professionals, and preserving the distinct heart of every practice.

Here’s what makes us different.

At VetCare, a proudly Canadian-owned organization, we believe in fostering a warm and welcoming environment as the foundation on which our medical teams can build a lifelong, fulfilling career.

We genuinely care about your journey and invest in your growth to deliver exceptional patient care, all while building a community unmatched by any other. Our self-reflective and collaborative process creates an environment of continual improvement in ourselves, our teams, and our patients’ health.

I greatly appreciate the freedom VetCare gave me on how to practice veterinary medicine according to how I deem it to best fit the needs of our patients and clientele.

One of my biggest motivators is seeing and following through with a patient who gets better as a result of my treatment protocol.
-Dr. Irene Arboleda, DVM at Thomas Glen Erin Animal Hospital

We support this by investing in our team members’ growth, from DVMs to Client Care Specialists and everyone in between. Our Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs) are encouraged and supported to practice at the top of their license. Internal growth is nurtured by promoting managers from within, both at the practice and the regional level. Plus, VetCare’s talent acquisition strategy revolves around matching individuals with the right culture fit through a ‘place the ace’ methodology.

I was excited when our practice joined the VetCare community. To me, it wasn’t just about a change in ownership; it meant exciting opportunities ahead.

VetCare has allowed me to work at the top of my RVT license and expand my career beyond what I originally thought possible. Being part of this network opened doors for growth and advancement.”
-Sasha Latimer, RVT Development & Programs Manager at VetCare

What’s more, we truly appreciate and celebrate the diversity within each individual hospital’s culture. We understand that every veterinary professional has a unique point of view, so we’re committed to continuous improvement and self-reflection based on our community’s valuable feedback.

We are focused on creating a people-first culture that is inclusive and values-based. Without our people, we would be nothing; they are the ones who make us successful and allow us to grow.

That’s why we offer many perks to our team that are aligned with our CARE values. From yearly market compensation reviews to comprehensive benefits (including enhanced mental health support) to CE allowances, tuition reimbursement programs, and more, we prioritize taking care of and listening to feedback from our people.
-Lori Anne Paanenen, VP of People & Culture at VetCare

Though there is always room for growth in the VetCare community, it’s not just about expanding our reach; it’s about building a unique mosaic of compatible practices. That’s why our team meticulously evaluates each one before it joins the VetCare network. Our priority is to provide a fair valuation – not an inflated one – so that we can find goal alignment, offer competitive wages, and weather any future bumps in the road without unnecessary financial pressure.

We’re very selective when it comes to which practices we invite to join our community, not just to share our space but to enrich our collective vision.

Everyone wins when we provide the best possible medical care to our patients. Our goal is to learn from one another, share best practices and continuously raise the bar in everything we do.
-Adam Foley, Chief Financial Officer at VetCare

So, what’s next?

We envision a future where each patient receives high-quality, innovative medical treatment that’s as custom as every paw print.

VetCare is a movement towards a more compassionate, comprehensive, and community-oriented approach to veterinary care, proudly rooted in Canadian soil and principles. Join us as we continue to set new standards in the veterinary industry, ensuring that every pet receives the tailored care they truly deserve.

When I graduated, veterinary practices were silos, and the person down the street was our competitor… whereas with VetCare, we’re developing that sense of community in our practices.

We’re able to get veterinarians to see each other as part of a larger entity, and to learn from and lean on each other. We’re building a strong, unified, collaborative network that, ultimately, leads to better patient care and a more enriching work environment.”
-Dr. Albert Wimmers, National Medical Director at VetCare
Wondering what a team transition might look like for your practice? Reach out to our team directly today by emailing transition@vet-care.ca.
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