Veterinary Consolidators: North American Market Analysis

Updated January the 27th, 2022

During the last three decades, rapidly expanding consolidation has changed the veterinary business landscape for good in the U.S. and the rest of the world. From the first successful acquisition of an animal clinic by VCA back in 1987, other big players followed the example, and the number of veterinary consolidators started to grow exponentially.

In 2017, VCA, which now owns more than 1,000 vet clinics in North America, was acquired by Mars Inc., the legacy of America’s third-richest family that stands behind confectionery brands including M&M’s, Twix, and Orbit, as well as pet food brands including Pedigree. Today, this conglomerate is considered the biggest buyer in the veterinary segment nationally and overseas. Except for VCA, this huge veterinary group also took ownership of Banfield (2007), Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners (2015), followed by smaller vet groups in Britain, Continental Europe, Brazil, and even China.

What makes the veterinary industry so enticing for big corporations?

  • Buying a cash business like a companion animal practice is considered a safe and lucrative investment for private entities looking to gain profit and diversify their portfolio.
  • Mergers and acquisitions are easier to run, taking into account high market fragmentation (there are numerous small hospitals) and a growing number of practice owners thinking about sale and retirement.

Due to the accelerating pace of veterinary consolidation today (more than 60 veterinary consolidators known so far), it is hard to estimate the real number of company-owned vet practices. Back in 2017, it was over 10 percent (around 3,500 of 32,000), according to the Brakke Consulting estimation and the real numbers change nearly every month.

This article is a snapshot of the consolidation market. We are going to give you the list of veterinary consolidators, which we believe are the most prominent in the market and see how they approach buying vet practices. If you are here because you are thinking about selling your practice, make sure you do your homework. VetValue has many resources for DVM Owners looking to learn more about the practice sale process.

Here is a list of changes since the last revision:

  • SAGE Veterinary Centers was added
  • Pathway Vets was renamed Thrive Pet Healthcare
  • MAVANA was removed
  • O’Brien Veterinary Group was removed
  • The numbers of locations were updated.

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What is Veterinary Practice Consolidation?

Simply stated, a veterinary consolidation is a form of investment when bigger veterinary groups buy smaller ones (or just vet practices directly) to boost profits and often re-sell a revitalized business in 5-7 years.

There are different types of veterinary consolidators:

  1. Veterinarian-led groups (Ethos, AZ Pet Vet, MedVet, etc.). They are veterinarian-owned hospitals that have merged or partnered with fellow practices. Patient-focused, they grow at a slower pace, but in the end, develop more solid networks.
  2. Private equity (PE) backed consolidators (VetCor, Pathway Veterinary Alliance, etc.). They are aimed at fast growth, maximizing returns and additional mergers and acquisitions.
  3. Wealthy family enterprises (such as Mars in the U.S. or the Desmarais family in Canada) buy vet clinics or smaller vet groups to diversify their sources of income.
  4. Vet groups buying pet-store-based clinics (VIP Pet Care in Walmart, Thrive (Pathway Veterinary Alliance’s brand in Petco, etc.). This business model enables making pet care more affordable and benefits from combining retail and veterinary care at multiple locations.

Below is the list of veterinary consolidators that own the largest share of the market. This information will be especially useful for practice owners currently looking to sell their practice. We tried to find out these specific details about every veterinary group:

  1. Source of financing
  2. The number of hospitals they own
  3. States they operate in
  4. Practice eligibility criteria (features they are looking for in a practice to buy)
  5. Ownership agreement with practice owners (100 percent or majority/minority sale, investment opportunities for practice sellers etc.)
  6. Business support offered (back-office, management, pharmaceuticals, etc.) in newly-purchased practices.

The List of Major Veterinary Consolidators

Name Founded Number of Hospitals / Partner Locations (Change since the last revision)
AZ Pet Vet 1984 21
VCA 1986 1000+
MedVet 1988 33 (+9)
People, Pets & Vets 1992 100 (+25)
Community Vet Clinics/VIP Pet Care 1995 3400
BluePearl Veterinary Partners 1996 100+ (+20)
National Veterinary Associates (NVA) 1996 1100+
VetCor 1997 491 (+64)
CityVet 1999 18
Pet Paradise 2002 50
Pathway Veterinary Alliance/Thrive Pet Healthcare 2003 461 (+186)
VetStrategy 2006 320 (+130)
Community Veterinary Partners 2009 99 (+19)
BlueRiver Pet Care 2009 156 (+58)
Veterinary Practice Partners 2011 90 (+23)
VetnCare 2012 10 (+2)
PetVet Care Centers 2012 400 (+180)
VetEvolve 2014 10
Southern Veterinary Partners 2014 300 (+100)
Lakefield Veterinary Group 2014 66 (+11)
Veterinary Emergency Group 2014 29 (+9)
Innovetive PetCare 2015 63 (+22)
American Veterinary Group 2015 80 (+32)
Ethos Vet 2015 23 (-3)
Curo Pet Care 2015 undisclosed
VetPartners 2016 240 (+115)
Heartland Veterinary Partners 2016 undisclosed
Amerivet Veterinary Partners 2016 134 (+38)
Cara Veterinary 2017 8 (+3)
WellHaven PetHealth 2017 42 (-4)
Mission Veterinary Partners 2017 250 (+125)
Destination Pet 2017 94 (+19)
Encore Vet Group 2018 63 (+43)
Heart + Paw 2018 23 (+5)
Vet’s Best Friend 2019 36
United Veterinary Care 2019 103 (+43)
Western Veterinary Partners 2019 undisclosed
SAGE Vet Alliance 1992 16
Galaxy Vets 2021 undisclosed

The main criteria for inclusion in this list are companies that are actively buying and managing veterinary practices. The companies are listed in chronological order by the year they were established.

Veterinary consolidators’ reviews have been collected from open sources, such as their websites and niche news resources. We also sent out an offer to companies’ employees to clarify, confirm or refute the review we published and have updated the information if we collected any response. 

The VIS team will be updating the article when we receive new information regarding vet consolidators.

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AZ Pet Vet

AZ Pet Vet

Founded: in 1984
Ownership status: veterinarian-owned and operated
Number of hospitals: 21 (primary and preventive pet care locations) in the Greater Phoenix, Arizona, area
Buys in: Arizona
Practice eligibility criteria: shared core values
Ownership agreement: partnership (investment opportunities for practice owners?)
Business support offered:

  • Independent management and medicine
  • Career growth and exchange of best practices and experience within a supportive team of over 800 vets and veterinary experts.



Founded: in 1986 by Bob Antin, Art Antin, and Neil Tauber
Ownership status: acquired by Mars, Inc. in 2017
Number of hospitals: 1,000+ hospitals in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Japan (primary care — 90 percent, specialty — 10 percent). One of the oldest mergers and acquisitions companies, VCA also owns 35 Pet CancerCare Centers and companion animal practices it acquired from CAPNA.
Buys in: everywhere throughout the U.S. and Canada
Practice eligibility criteria: solid growth, top-notch medicine, and revenue over $1.3 million
Ownership agreement: 100% sale (cash)
Business support offered:

  • Extensive support in finance and accounting, HR, IT, and marketing
  • Practice management software with an extensive set of features (online scheduling, patient portals, voice notes, text messaging, etc.) and MyVCA app
  • Mentorship, internship/externship programs, and continuing education (both online and onsite)
  • Career growth for associates and corporate positions for vets, vet technicians, and vet managers



Founded: in 1988 “by veterinarians, for veterinarians”
Ownership status: “employee-owned and veterinarian-led”.  Stonehenge Partners (PE) and Skyknight Capital Fund (PE) are minority partners
Number of hospitals: 33 (+9) (emergency and specialty hospitals) in 15 states (California, Idaho, Utah, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, and Virginia)
Buys in: nationwide
Practice eligibility criteria: MedVet is currently looking for like-minded teams to join their expanding network. MedVet considers every partnership opportunity individually.
Ownership agreement: partnership (continued legacy)?
Business support offered:

  • Continuing education for vets and technicians
  • Professional library
  • “Lunch and learn” (onsite lectures by vet specialists tailored to meet individual hospital’s needs).

People, Pets & Vets

People Pets And Vets

Founded: in 1992 by Mike Murphy, DVM
Ownership status: veterinarian-led, but Cressey & Company (PE) is mentioned as a “professional sponsor”
Number of hospitals: 100 (+25)
Buys in: Washington, Idaho, California, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alaska, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida
Practice eligibility criteria: the qualities this consolidator expects are quite subjective and people-focused (which is understandable from the vet group’s name), great people, robust culture, and desire for a true partnership
Ownership agreement: 100 percent sale. The “cash-plus-stock-in-People-Pets & Vets” option is also available.
Business support offered:

  • Day to day HR support, HR recruitment, IT Services, Finance/Accounting, Marketing Support, Operations Support and Strategic Planning
  • Benefits of across-the-network data exchange and analysis for improved decisions
  • Sharing of best practices and collaboration between doctors

Community Vet Clinics/VIP Pet Care

Vip Pet Care

Founded: in 1995
Ownership status: acquired by PetIQ, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETQ)
Number of hospitals: 3,400 partner locations in 41 states. (The company partners with local pet and retail stores to provide affordable preventative and wellness pet care hosted within their facilities. This explains the staggering number of locations the group owns.)
Buys in: nationwide
Practice eligibility criteria: located within local pet and retail stores
Ownership agreement:
Business support offered:

  • VIP Pet Care handles the medical side, providing a variety of vet services such as diagnostic testing, vaccinations, microchipping, and prescription medications.
  • Supervision of a licensed veterinarian
  • Abundant educational content

BluePearl Veterinary Partners

Blue Pearl Vet

Founded:in 1996 by brothers Neil and Darryl Shaw, DVM, DACVIM.
Ownership status:acquired by Mars, Inc. in 2015
Number of hospitals: 100 (+20) (specialty and emergency) in 24 states
Buys in: currently purchasing, but not disclosing the locations
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • Robust hospital management
  • Quality-focused, clinician-driven culture
  • Growth opportunities
  • Ability to hire

Ownership agreement: The group prefers not to disclose.
Business support offered:

  • Assistance in finance and accounting, reporting, HR, recruitment, purchasing, marketing, business analytics, media relations, IT, and — if required — onsite management
  • Clinician-driven model maintained, compliance support with “Medical Quality Standards”
  • The requirement to use BluePearl’s Patient Safety Event Reporting platform one year after acquisition
  • Participation in clinical studies, with internships and post-DVM training opportunities

National Veterinary Associates (NVA)


Founded: in 1996
Ownership status: acquired by JAB Investors from Ares Management (PE) and OMERS (PE) in 2019 (JAB also owns Compassion-First Pet Hospitals)
Number of hospitals: 1100+ (specialty, ER hospitals, and pet resorts) in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand)
Buys in: above-mentioned countries and Singapore
Practice eligibility criteria: shared core values (teamwork, top-notch vet service standards, integrity, and innovation)
Ownership agreement: partnership?
Business support offered:

  • Expert back-office assistance (accounting, legal, operations, and marketing)
  • Advanced technology (IT Help Desk, Client Service Center, etc.)
  • Freedom for vet practice owners in running a business as they see fit
  • Practice’s staff, culture, and name are kept intact
  • Training resources for staff



Founded: in 1997 by a private investment group.
Ownership status: Owned by a private investment group. Senior management: Oak Hill Capital Partners (PE), Cressey and Company (PE), and Harvest Partners (PE).
Number of hospitals: 491 (+64) (most general practice) mostly located in the Northeastern and Southeastern U.S.
Buys in: in 30 states
Practice eligibility criteria: financial health, robust community connections, and a positive culture
Ownership agreement: 100 percent sale to VetCor, with flexible employment opportunities for practice owners
Business support offered:

  • VetCor controls the administrative part of the business (including accounting, payroll,, etc.) and provides a hospital with support in HR, marketing, facilities, and general management.
  • Hands-off approach to medicine (not interfering in medical decisions and local management).Well-being programs, benefits, and decent compensation



Founded: in 1999 by Dr. Chip Cannon, DVM
Ownership status: owned and led by veterinarians, a minority interest acquired by RiverGlade (PE) in 2019
Number of hospitals: 18 CityVet locations (including boarding/grooming locations under the Ruffit brand and the CityPet Supply store) in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico
Buys in: states above  
Practice eligibility criteria:?
Ownership agreement: part-ownership model for veterinarians
Business support offered:

  • Clinical freedom while maintaining significant vet ownership at their local clinic
  • Robust IT, marketing, accounting, HR, recruiting, and other administrative functions. Proprietary Business Intelligence platform.
  • CityVet Leadership Academy to turn vets into leaders and leaders into owners

SAGE Vet Alliance

SAGE Vet Alliance

Founded: in 1992
Ownership status: private equity
Number of hospitals: 16 in the California, Washington, Arizona, and Alaska
Buys in: West Coast
Practice eligibility criteria: shared core values
Ownership agreement: partnership (investment opportunities for practice owners?)
Business support offered:

  • Independent management and medicine
  • Shared services including training, operations assistance, accounting, HR, recruiting, IT and marketing.

Pet Paradise

Pet Paradise

Founded: in 2002 by Fred Goldsmith
Ownership status: a majority interest acquired by Crane Group in 2016
Number of hospitals: 50 resort-style locations (veterinary care plus boarding, grooming, and day camps) in nine states (Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia)
Buys in: nationwide
Practice eligibility criteria:?
Ownership agreement:?
Business support offered:

  • Centralized back-office assistance (marketing/communications, finance, HR, construction, and development)
  • High-level standards in veterinary and boarding/daycare
  • A team of operations specialists and regional managers

Pathway Veterinary Alliance


Founded: in 2003 by Jasen Trautwein, DVM
Ownership status: acquired by TSG Consumer Partners (PE) in 2020
Number of hospitals: 461 (+186) (50 percent general practice and 50 percent specialty/emergency) in 34 states. PVA also owns 86 locations of affordable pet care under the THRIVE brand, which makes it one of the biggest mergers and acquisition companies in the U.S.
Buys in: multiple states
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • Growth opportunities
  • Modern and well-located facility
  • More than one licensed veterinarian

Ownership agreement: 100 percent sale, with stocks in Pathway for practice owners
Business support offered:

  • Extensive assistance in finance, IT, legal services, and marketing
  • Lowering the cost of supplies through PVA’s national vendor agreements
  • Coaching, business planning, and procurement savings services for member hospitals through Veterinary Growth Partners, PVA’s management services organization
  • Empowering hospitals to develop within their unique values, culture, and vision



Founded: in 2006 by co-founders Litman and Jon Shell
Ownership status: PE-backed (Berkshire Partners is the biggest investor)
Number of hospitals: 320 (+130) hospitals in all Canadian provinces
Buys in: Canada
Practice eligibility criteria:?
Ownership agreement: buyout
Business support offered:

  • Facilitating a smooth transition
  • Comprehensive administration services (including accounting, payroll, banking, taxes, etc.)
  • Assistance in all stages of an employee’s journey, from recruitment to career development and continuing education
  • Premises maintenance (leasing, building, repairs, and equipment upgrades)
  • Full support in digital marketing, training, and implementation of innovative technologies

Community Veterinary Partners


Founded: in 2009
Ownership status: acquired by OMERS (PE) in 2019
Number of hospitals: 99 (+19) in 12 states (Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia).
Buys in: states in the Eastern half of the United States, from the Texas and the Midwest to the East Coast
Practice eligibility criteria: general and specialty veterinary practices that want to continue their legacies within their local communities
Ownership agreement: flexible deal structures designed to meet the unique needs of each practice owner
Business support offered:

  • Empowerment of veterinarians to make care decisions for each pet personally at the local hospital level
  • Opportunities for high-performing associates and practices managers to invest in the community they are helping to grow, allowing them to reap a reward for their commitment
  • Professional development support for CE and 24-hour, free access to online continuing education for veterinary team members and access to a community network of veterinary professionals
  • Fully staffed business support center designed to take the operational pressure off the practice so they can focus on delivering excellent care

BlueRiver Pet Care


Founded: in 2009 by Dan Blumenthal, Roy Jain, and Ferdie Schmitz
Ownership status: Founder-run (founders are holding a major stake). Partners Group is mentioned as a minor investor.
Number of hospitals: 156 (+58) nationwide
Buys in: nationwide
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • Reputable practices with a loyal following
  • Facilities run by vets and staff with a passion for pet care
  • Revenue of at least $1.2 million
  • Staffed by at least two veterinarians

Ownership agreement: 100 percent sale with an opportunity to continue practising.
Business support offered:

  • High-level of clinical autonomy
  • Support in compliance with the highest standards of medicine
  • Handling business administration services and letting the local teams focus on premium pet care
  • Retention and strengthening of a hospital’s unique culture, brand, and managerial style
  • Equipment upgrades
  • Fostering professional growth and development of local teams.

Veterinary Practice Partners


Founded: in 2011 by CEO Rich Lester
Ownership status: majority-owned by Pamlico Capital (PE)
Number of hospitals: 90 (+23) (almost all general practice) in 24 states in the East Coast, and Midwest plus Colorado
Buys in: states where the group already owns hospitals
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • Financial health
  • Practice owners considering the co-ownership model and willing to stay and help grow the practice.

Ownership agreement: Co-ownership (a majority sale to VPP, upfront cash). The “joint decision-making model” is also available.
Business support offered:

  • Assistance with business functions (finance, marketing, recruiting, HR, vendor contracting, operations, etc)
  • Retention of a practice’s unique culture and management
  • A co-owner stays with their practice as a leader, with full independence in patient care



Founded: in 2012 by Andrew Moffatt, BVSc, MBA, and his wife Joanna Moffatt
Ownership status: owned by the Moffatt family
Number of hospitals: 10 (+2) (all general practice) in California
Buys in: within Petco stores in Northern California
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • A community-respected practice
  • High clinical standards (AAHA-accredited)
  • Prominent financial health
  • At least one and a half full-time vets (DVMs)
  • Strong team culture

Ownership agreement: individually structured to meet every practice’s unique needs
Business support offered:

  • Intensive HR support to help staff adapt during the transition
  • Assistance in marketing
  • Compliance with AAHA standards
  • Workplace and facility improvements

PetVet Care Centers


Founded: in 2012 by Gino Volpacchio and L. Catterton
Ownership status: acquired by KKR (PE) in 2017
Number of hospitals: 400 (+180) locally branded practices (ranging from preventative/primary pet care to emergency clinics and surgeries) in more than 28 states
Buys in: nationwide
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • At least two licensed veterinarians
  • Owners and staff committed to stay and work at the hospital upon acquisition
  • A clean facility with a good location
  • A reputable practice with high ethical standards and satisfied clients
  • Prominent financial performance

Ownership agreement: 100 percent cash sale
Business support offered:

  • Handling administrative work (finance, accounting, marketing, IT, payroll, HR, recruitment, purchasing, and legal services)
  • Independence in clinical decision-making and local management
  • Full retention of staff and leadership.



Founded: in 2014 by two veterans Paul Habenicht and Nick Lodestro
Ownership status: ???
Number of hospitals: 10 locations in the Mid-Atlantic region (U.S.)
Buys in: Eastern United States
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • Well-established practice with a strong reputation
  • At least two tenured veterinarians
  • Highly-skilled staff
  • Revenue exceeding $1.5 million

Ownership agreement: flexible acquisition structuring with an employment opportunity for selling veterinarians who want to stay on
Business support offered:

  • Running the business side (from manufacturer/vendor relationships to marketing, accounting, and finance) letting a hospital focus entirely on the medical side
  • Leveraging industry’s best liquidity, sustainability plans, and exit strategies
  • Staff development including talent recruitment, retention, and continuing education
  • Improving care plans through the implementation of veterinary expertise
  • Amplifying impact in the community through leadership and stewardship
  • Networking with other successful vets and vet professionals across the VetEvolve veterinary group

Southern Veterinary Partners


Founded: in 2014 by Jay Price, DVM; Chase Whitworth; DVM, Jeff Falone; DVM, Elizabeth Robinson, DVM, and Barron Lakeman, JD.
Ownership status: veterinarian-owned (formed by Shore Capital Partners (PE) through a recapitalization of three animal hospitals)
Number of hospitals: 300 (+100) (95 percent general practice and 5 percent emergency) in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana, Maryland, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee
Buys in: the above-mentioned states, as well as Arkansas, Indiana, Delaware, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Washington DC
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • Pet care quality and customer service excellence
  • Spacious facility with a growth capacity
  • Associates available for recruitment

Ownership agreement: From 51 percent to 100 percent sale (majority to SVP). Cash-plus-stock-in-SVP deals are also available.
Business support offered:

  • Dedicated back-office (accounting, finance, operations, recruitment, HR, IT, purchasing, data reporting and analysis, marketing, and sales)
  • Brand autonomy at the practice level

Lakefield Veterinary Group

Lakefield Veterinary Group

Founded: in 2014, by Mollie Hoff, President and Chief Operating Officer
Ownership status: Alexandre Desmarais
Number of hospitals: 66 (+11)
Buys in: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, Indiana, Arizona, Texas
Practice eligibility criteria: Excellent community reputation and shared long term core values
Ownership agreement: Individually evaluated on case by case basis
Business support offered:

  • Supporting team of business operators
  • Finance and accounting
  • Purchasing
  • HR professionals
  • Marketing
  • IT/ phone
  • Construction
  • Medical advisory committee

Veterinary Emergency Group


Founded: in 2014 by David Bessler. VMD
Ownership status:?
Number of hospitals: 29 (+9) emergency 24/7 locations in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Texas
Buys in: under certain circumstances
Practice eligibility criteria: looking for specific types of practices
Ownership agreement:?
Business support offered:

  • Fully changeover the hospital to VEG systems, IT hardware infrastructure, PIMS, branding, and interior layout
  • Making acquired hospitals look as similar to their de novos as possible

Innovetive PetCare


Founded: in 2015 by Prospect Partners (PE), Mark Ziller, and Paul Covill
Ownership status: owned by the management team and Metalmark Capital PE (acquired interest from Prospect Partners in 2019)
Number of hospitals: 63 (+22) (general practice, specialty, and emergency) in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas
Buys in: above-mentioned states plus Louisiana, Maryland, and Virginia
Practice eligibility criteria: team quality and shared values
Ownership agreement: 100 percent or majority sale to Innovetive PetCare
Business support offered:

  • Centralized finance, payroll, marketing, HR, recruiting, purchasing, vendor negotiation, and inventory management
  • Training and development opportunities for staff (including Innovetive Leadership Summits and Innovetive University)

American Veterinary Group


Founded: in 2015 by veterinarians
Ownership status: acquired by Latticework Capital (PE) in 2015
Number of hospitals: 80 (+32) (including UrgentVet Pet Clinics) in Florida, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Oklahoma)
Buys in: in the Southern U.S
Practice eligibility criteria: relationship-focused practices
Ownership agreement: 
Business support offered:

  • Back-office services including finance, accounting, legal, HR, payroll, and marketing
  • Economies of scale in purchasing and systems
  • Hand-off approach to medicine; retention of brand, team, and culture
  • Learning and mentorship opportunities through American Veterinary Academy
  • Sharing of resources and best practices across the network of member hospitals
  • Opportunity to stay with the practice, post-sale

Ethos Vet


Founded: in 2015 in a merger of four specialty veterinary groups that had collaborated before: IVG Hospitals, Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, Premier Veterinary Group, and Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego.
Ownership status: Owned by nearly 40 individual shareholders (mostly veterinarians). Brown Brothers Harriman (PE) owns a minority stake.
Number of hospitals: 23 (-3) (primarily specialty and emergency) in 10 states
Buys in: nationwide
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • Emergency and/or specialty hospitals
  • Mindful management and leadership
  • Desire to grow

Ownership agreement: usually 100 percent sale, with stocks in Ethos Vet for practice owners available
Business support offered:

  • Centralized back-office (finance, HR, IT, and marketing)
  • Retention of practice’s unique approaches in medicine and management (mindful integration “with” a hospital, not “to” it)
  • Assistance in talent acquisition, facility design, and professional development.
  • Opportunity for clinical teams to participate in Ethos Discovery, Ethos’ own scientific studies

Curo Pet Care


Founded: in 2015
Ownership status: family-owned (with no outside capital involved)
Number of hospitals: undisclosed, but all in California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Rocky Mountains
Buys in: areas above?
Practice eligibility criteria: individually decided
Ownership agreement: sale/co-ownership
Business support offered:

  • Retention of a practice’s unique culture, legacy in a community, and clinical approaches
  • Assistance in operations and administrative tasks including management, purchasing, IT, finance/accounting, renovations, equipment upgrades, etc.
  • Annual off-site events for sharing best practices, collaboration, and continuing education



Founded: in 2016 by NVA (now JAB’s portfolio company)
Ownership status: owned by NVA
Number of hospitals: 240 (+115) practices in Australia and New Zealand
Buys in: Australia and New Zealand
Practice eligibility criteria: VetPartners is interested in buying leading community vet practices where its experience and size “can be helpful.”
Ownership agreement: customized approach incentivizing owners to stay with the practice for the long haul.
Business support offered:

  • Assistance in finance, payroll, RH, IT, recruitment, and marketing
  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Premium infrastructure
  • “Join us, stay you” philosophy: the group preserves the hospital’s brand, legacy, entitlements, conditions, and wages.

Heartland Veterinary Partners


Founded: in 2016 by George Robinson, DVM
Ownership status: acquired by Gryphon Investors (majority stake) in 2020; managed by veterinarians
Number of hospitals: prefer not to disclose (all general practice)
Buys in: in the “Heartland” (20 states)
Practice eligibility criteria: profitability, the potential for growth, and cultural fit
Ownership agreement: custom-tailored to fit a practice’s unique needs
Business support offered:

  • Non-clinical, administrative services such as finance, operations, accounts payable, procurement, marketing, HR, and IT
  • Not interfering in medicine or formulary but instead, bringing benefits of scale and relief from operational burdens, letting practices keep serving their communities in their unique way

Amerivet Veterinary Partners


Founded: in 2016 by Imperial Capital as a sister company of VetStrategy, the Canadian veterinary group
Ownership status: owned by Imperial Capital (PE). OPTrust mentioned as a minority investor
Number of hospitals: 134 (+38) (general, specialty, and emergency practices) in 28 states
Buys in: nationwide
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • Well-run clinics with exceptional teams and a passion for animals
  • Hospitals with 2+ DVMs who are looking to adapt and grow their business
  • Partner Owners who want to stay invested in their practices, both emotionally and financially

Ownership agreement: typically a majority sale to AmeriVet, but 100 percent sales and other types of deals are also possible. Approach is not one-size-fits-all, so deals are tailored to individual practices
Business support they offer:

  • Administrative support in areas including payroll, vendor relations, marketing, operations, HR, and IT
  • Profit-sharing plans for owners who stay with the practice
  • 401(k) employer-sponsored retirement plan
  • Significant cost savings on supplies due to economies of scale
  • Retention of a clinic’s brand name, logo, schedule, management, vendors, etc.
  • Full freedom in clinical practices and standards
  • Continuing education and professional development opportunities
  • Ability to maximize retirement proceeds when the partner chooses to step down

Cara Veterinary


Founded: in 2017 by Peter Brown and Edward Haughey
Ownership status: family-owned and led
Number of hospitals: 8 (+3)
Buys in: Washington, Oregon, Idaho
Practice eligibility criteria: individually decided
Ownership agreement: 100 percent sale only (no joint venture models) as long-term family ownership is Cara Veterinary’s primary objective
Business support offered:

  • Connecting the hospital to Cara’s extensive resources in technology and systems, inventory management, pricing optimization, marketing, as well as talent acquisition, training, and retention
  • Utmost regard for the practice’s unique culture and relationships
  • Enhanced learning and development opportunities for veterinarians and associates through Cara’s medicine network and its relationships with the world’s most respected health care organizations
  • Improved sustainability through the long-term family-ownership model
  • Fostering a strong family culture, which makes the best foundation for preserving the practice’s legacy   

WellHaven PetHealth


Founded: in 2017 by John Bork, Bob Lester, DVM, and Tom Reuss
Ownership status: owned and led by a small group of vets and vet professionals; Capricorn Healthcare (PE) is a minor investor
Number of hospitals: 46 (all general practices) in Colorado, Montana, Minnesota, Washington, and Oregon
Buys in: above-mentioned states and California
Practice eligibility criteria: AAHA-accredited and Fear Free-certified vet practices with a top-notch team, culture, and medical standards
Ownership agreement: deals ranging from 100 percent sale to co-owning.
Business support offered:

  • Handling back-office functions such as finance, marketing, payroll, benefits, HR, etc.
  • Cloud-based practice management software
  • Equipment upgrade and facilitated inventory management with Cubex units
  • Assistance with AAHA accreditation and Fear Free certification
  • Team training and leadership programs

Mission Veterinary Partners


Founded: in 2017 by Jeff Rothstein, DVM, and Vic Dhillon, DVM
Ownership status: majority interest acquired by Shore Capital Partners in 2017; minority belongs to the team of veterinarians
Number of hospitals: 250 (+125) (mostly general practice) in 19 states
Buys in: the U.S. and Canada
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • Revenue of at least $1.5M
  • No less than three full-time equivalent veterinarians (DVM)
  • Modern facility
  • Shared values such as “people before profits,” accountability, honesty, and continuous improvement
  • A strong cultural fit

Ownership agreement: 100 percent sale with investment opportunities for practice owners (joint venture)
Business support offered:

  • Centralized finance and accounting (payables, payroll, etc.), HR, talent acquisition, and marketing
  • Buying new equipment and handling facility, technology, and software upgrades
  • Consistent support from MVP’s regional medical director and operations manager
  • Profit-sharing for full-time employees
  • Benefits (401(k) plans, CE, PTO, and healthcare)
  • Full medical autonomy

Destination Pet


Founded: in 2017
Ownership status: backed by LetterOne (international investment business)
Number of hospitals: 94 (+19) (vet hospitals and pet care facilities)
Buys in: nationwide (both urban and suburban)
Practice eligibility criteria: buying vet practices and pet resorts
Ownership agreement: 100 percent sale (cash)
Business support offered:

  • Keeping the local brand and culture intact
  • Development opportunities for staff
  • Back-end support in operations and administrative tasks
  • Career opportunities and staff benefits for full-time employees
  • Cash transactions
  • Lease or Real Estate purchase
  • Continued focus on the business Local Brand and Culture
  • Commitment to retaining staff
  • Employee benefits package (Healthcare, 401k, PTO, CE)
  • Unrivaled expert support to ensure success

Encore Vet Group


Founded: in 2018 by Ted Sprinkle, DVM, Lance Sprinkle, and Bo Iler
Ownership status: majority interest was acquired by North Castle Partners (PE) in 2018; minority interest is held by several shareholders
Number of hospitals: 63 (+43) in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, and Washington DC
Buys in: East of the Mississippi River in the U.S.
Practice eligibility criteria:

  • Practices with a great culture and prominent leadership potential
  • High clinical standards
  • Forward-thinking

Ownership agreement: 100 percent or majority sale to Encore, with stakes in Encore for practice sellers and associates available.
Business support offered:

  • Retention of brand identity and practice’s unique approaches to medicine
  • Relieving administrative burdens (accounting, payroll, HR, marketing, operations, etc.)
  • Professional education and courses for local leaders at Encore Performance Academy
  • Increased profitability through corporate business support, shared resources, and economies of scale
  • Efficient talent acquisition
  • Relocation bonuses and tuition reimbursements

Heart + Paw


Founded: in 2018 by George Melillo, VMD and Teresa Fox
Ownership status: backed by Waud Capital Partners (PE) since 2018
Number of hospitals: 23 (+5) locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and New York
Buys in: U.S. East Coast and as far west as Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee
Practice eligibility criteria: Forward-thinking independent practices generating more than $1M in gross revenues. Also partners with pet resorts and daycare locations looking to add veterinary to their services.
Ownership agreement: earn-out
Business support offered:

  • Clinical freedom
  • Comprehensive back-office support (streamlined operations, marketing, HR, accounting, payroll, recruiting, and technology)
  • Training opportunities

Vet’s Best Friend

vet's best friend

Founded: in 2019 by Jeff Wilson
Ownership status: owned and operated by Jeff Wilson
Number of hospitals: 36
Buys in:?
Practice eligibility criteria:?
Ownership agreement:?
Business support offered:

United Veterinary Care


Founded: in 2019
Ownership status: acquired by Atlantic Street Capital (PE) in 2019.
Number of hospitals: 103 (+43) clinics (general and emergency) in 10 states (Southeast U.S.)
Buys in: Southeast U.S.
Practice eligibility criteria: Ownership agreement: sale with a stake in UVC available for practice sellers
Business support offered:

  • Centralized backup in operations (plans, operating budgets, buying new equipment and inventory, etc.)
  • Support in marketing and IT (better access to advanced technologies and marketing tools, facilitated client acquisition, etc.)
  • Handling back-office finance and accounting such as accounts payable, payroll, tax, financial reports, etc.
  • Empowering local teams through leadership/mentorship opportunities and personal development plans
  • Continuing education and a wide range of training programs equipping teams with cutting-edge resources on communication, conflict management, and other industry topics
  • Protection of a hospital’s unique identity, culture, community relationships, and medical practices
  • Employment and equity opportunities for practice sellers

Western Veterinary Partners


Founded: in 2019
Ownership status: owned by Tyree & D’Angelo Partners (PE)
Number of hospitals: prefers not to disclose
Buys in: Western U.S. (11 states)
Practice eligibility criteria: partnering with practices of all sizes; the decision on every practice is made individually
Ownership agreement: cash-based sale with flexible structuring of every acquisition
Business support offered:

  • Efficient backup in non-clinical, administrative functions such as accounting and finance, HR, inventory management, marketing, talent acquisition, etc.
  • A team of professional pet care executives to assist partner hospitals in business tasks in the post-transition period.
  • Maintaining the local brand identity and full clinical autonomy.
  • Economies of scale (financial benefits from partnering with a larger network).

Galaxy Vets


Founded: in 2021
Ownership status: private company
Number of hospitals: prefers not to disclose
Buys in: across the US
Practice eligibility criteria: general hospitals in the area where the speciality hub is being constructed with the owner continuing to run the practice for 5+ years
Business support offered:

  • Equity in the whole organization for the entire team.
  • Burnout prevention program with the industry’s biggest professionals.
  • The opportunity to refer blood work and speciality cases to the system your team co-owns.
  • The opportunity to invest in veterinary healthcare system.


Veterinary practice consolidation is progressing, and in the upcoming years, we are likely to see more private equity firms buying practices which will be eventually swallowed up by even bigger corporations. This can play into the hands of practice owners planning retirement. Selling to a big veterinarian group gives them substantial profit and (sometimes) freedom to keep doing what they love most — pet care.

At the same time, selling a practice requires planning ahead and devising the right exit strategy. What type of buyout am I to choose?

Private-equity or a consolidator led by veterinarians? Can I stay with my practice or this is the end? What will happen with my team post-acquisition?

All of these questions can be quite overwhelming to answer, but not doing so poses two huge risks to you and your practice:

  1. If you decide to sell your practice on the spur of the moment, without a sound exit strategy, you risk selling your legacy short and to the wrong people.
  2. Not being transparent with your staff about future acquisition can cause a great deal of stress. In this period of uncertainty, many teams suffer from dysfunctions such as the absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment and accountability, and inattention to results.

Once selling your practice is inevitable, the best thing you can do is keep the lines of communication open with your team to keep their spirits up during the time of uncertainty. Being honest with your team and yourself and planning in advance helps ensure your pets and vets will be in the right hands and happy.

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