Find out what previous owners are saying about our company, our philosophy, our process and more.

Succession Planning

“I had recently made the transition from associate to owner, and I was still enjoying practising veterinary medicine, but I was not enjoying being an owner. At the time, VetStrategy was the only Canadian-owned large veterinary corporation, and it just made sense to deal with VetStrategy instead of a corporation from the States. I wanted to talk to VetStrategy to inquire about the acquisition process, the potential to retain equity, and their valuation of our clinic.”

I was brought to the conversation of succession planning for two reasons: I was unhappy being an owner, and my business partner (who was 22 years older than me) was looking at phasing out. To be honest, I was only surprised by two things: how quickly things came together to close the deal (in the final phases) and how much more value our clinic seemed to have in the eyes of VetStrategy (i.e. the total valuation figure).

It seems that VS cares about keeping things relatively unchanged. They care about our staff. They care about ensuring everyone is happy.”

Dr. Cameron Morrison
Barriefield Animal Hospital
Kingston, Ontario

Founded: 1995
Joined VetStrategy: 2017

Unfounded Fears

“I didn’t realize how ready I was to transition out of practice ownership until I sat down and discussed things with VetStrategy. My biggest fear in considering the sale was what would happen to my staff. It turns out these fears were completely unfounded. Two and a half years after the sale, I’m still valued by my clients, co-workers and new employers.”

Dr. Beverly Baxter
Baxter Animal Hospital
Sudbury, Ontario

Founded: 1997
Joined VetStrategy: 2014

Positive Change for all Staff

“I chose VetStrategy because of their Canadian roots and their reputation for retaining staff and not altering practices.

There is no dictating of medical practice or control over which drugs to use, nor are their “monthly performance targets” that veterinarians are required to reach. My Office Manager has been provided with guidance and education and has become our Practice Manager with a better future that is no longer limited by these four walls. In short, there has been only positive change for everyone in the practice, particularly myself.

I now work part-time and have almost no stress at work as I only have to worry about practising medicine and surgery.

I have not regretted that decision at all. Every single one of my staff and veterinarians have stayed on with the new company and the atmosphere is the practice has remained exactly as it was before the sale. My vets remain happy and continue to practise in exactly the same way that they did before.

The sale resulted in a secure retirement for myself and my wife, a happily engaged staff and a strong future for both my staff and the practice I worked so hard to build.”

Dr. Mike Steen
Hillcrest Animal Hospital
Trenton, Ontario

Founded: 1971
Joined VetStrategy: 2015

Respected the Heritage

“VetStrategy’s commitment to respecting the heritage of our hospital was a key factor in our decision. We still practise medicine the way we always have. From our clients’ perspective, nothing has changed.”

Dr. Chris Forbes and Dr. Leo Hylkema
Mill Bay Veterinary Hospital
Mill Bay, British Columbia

Founded: 1992
Joined VetStrategy: 2016

Now Have Work-Life Balance

“I found that managing the practice stole my time from my young family. I didn’t want to miss being around at this time in their lives. I feared I would always regret it and since selling to VetStrategy, I’m so thankful I made the right decision. I don’t miss school concerts anymore, I am at home to help with homework and am finally able to take my kids trick or treating for Halloween.”

Dr. Aaron Shackelton
Embrun Veterinary Hospital
Embrun, Ontario

Joined VetStrategy: 2018

Divestment from Ownership Burdens

“For a number of years before I sold to VetStrategy, I thought about selling the practice.
I wanted to go back to what I loved doing the most, which was veterinary medicine. So selling to VetStrategy allowed me to divest myself from the ownership burdens. The sale process went very well and very smoothly. From the time that I decided to sell to the time the deal was closed was 5 months, so it went very quick. Dealing with VetStrategy is easy.”

Dr. Dave Kerr
North Hill Animal Hospital
Bolton, Ontario

Founded: 1986
Joined VetStrategy: 2012

No Meddling in the Practice of Medicine

“I am approaching a time in my life where I don’t want to have as many managerial responsibilities. VetStrategy was a great fit!

The immediate impact of the sale was negligible – we just kept working as we had been. It didn’t affect us or our clients.

One of the reasons I would recommend VetStrategy is that they are a Canadian company! Also, they don’t meddle in your medicine (which is so important for a holistic practice. They kept their word. They listened to our opinions and took our advice. They kept us all firmly involved in the transition and they offered fair market value.

I’m more than pleased with VetStrategy. The staff and practice benefits are overall better than I could offer as a solo practitioner. The management training has been great for our manager, and there are opportunities for staff advancement.”

Dr. Jennifer Bishop
Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives
Darmouth, Nova Scotia

Founded: 1999
Joined VetStrategy: 2016

Common Vision

“We had a common vision with VetStrategy which was very similar to what we wanted to accomplish. It’s a little hard to let go, but I’m very satisfied. I do believe that it has extended my veterinary career, which I still love and still have a passion to do every day.”

Dr. Francis Arsenault
Riverview Animal Hospital
Riverview, New Brunswick

Founded: 1973
Joined VetStrategy: 2012

A Fruitful “Discovery Day”

“A Discovery Day meant meeting, in person, with the people I would be dealing with in the future. My goal from the Discovery Day was to determine if VetStrategy and its team members were trustworthy. I came away feeling comfortable and confident about my future.

The biggest surprise is that there were no surprises. VetStrategy does exactly what they say they are going to do. I would like to think that VetStrategy wanted to meet me in person as much as I wanted to meet them. Dr. Kerr from North Hill Animal Hospital seemed to be happy with his experience and was still working for them after 4 years.

There’s no impact at all on the medicine at the practice. VetStrategy has let us continue to do the great work we always did and provide the high level of care that we are known for.”

Dr. Paula Davies
Kamloops Veterinary Clinic
Kamloops, British Columbia

Founded: 1968
Joined VetStrategy: 2016

Smooth Transition Process

“It was like finding a business partner that allowed you to focus on what you do best: medicine and surgery. All those other things fade into the background.

The transition process was well organized. There is always a lot of angst in the teams with transitions and they kept them informed. They had an obvious plan and they shared it at every step.”

Dr. Rick Swinemar
PetFocus – PetWorks Veterinary Hospital
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Founded: 1979
Joined VetStrategy: 2015

Not the ‘Corporate Boss’ that Everyone Fears

“I have had succession planning in the back of my mind since acquiring the Campbell River Vet Hospital in 2008. I always assumed that one of my associates would have taken over. I also knew that it could be tough to find associates who would want to own a veterinary business, so I always had the option open to some of them to buy in.

I was attracted to VetStrategy because after the acquisition they would not change the culture at the hospital. We worked very hard and long to provide the customer care that we do and get the staff all on board. So I didn’t want all that messed up.

VetStrategy has some of the nicest people. Steve and Lisa were a joy to meet at the beginning of the process, and probably played a bigger role than they realized in my decision to sell to VetStrategy. VetStrategy surprised me with the speed of their offer. I thought the selling process was cumbersome but it went relatively smoothly.

After the sale, I now have much more free time to do the things I always wanted to do. I feel less responsibility at work but still try to give advice to my manager when I am there.

So far they’ve kept their word that they would not change the practice to any great extent. It’s not the ‘corporate boss’ that everyone fears.”

Dr. Rodney Nast
Campbell River Veterinary Hospital
Campbell River, British Columbia

Founded: 1978
Joined VetStrategy: 2017