Candy and pet-care giant Mars Inc. has agreed to buy animal hospital chain VCA Inc. for $7.7 billion in cash, the companies said Jan. 9. (Jan. 9, 2017)
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It’s not the only reason, though. In contrast to human medicine, in which everything from the nurse-patient ratio to the caloric count of injections is mandated and overseen by a web of government agencies, veterinary medicine is largely unregulated. And pet owners pay cash: Vets don’t deal with insurers haggling for better prices or questioning whether that vaccine or ultrasound or blood panel is really necessary. (A small percentage of pet owners carry insurance, but they pay vets upfront, like anyone else, and then take on their insurers for reimbursement.) What’s more, when veterinarians make fatal mistakes, they face no real financial consequences. The law hasn’t changed to reflect the attitudes of the average pet owner; courts still treat pets as property. Damages paid to owners whose pets have been killed or injured are so low that a typical medical malpractice insurance policy for a veterinarian costs less than $20 a month. Damages are so low, in fact, that few pet owners can find a lawyer willing to take even the most egregious case of veterinary malpractice.
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By 1985, when Robb finished veterinary school at the University of California at Davis, animal medicine was changing. More technology came into play as hospitals started selling their old MRI machines and CAT scanners to veterinary clinics. And, as human birthrates fell, pets took the place of children in some families. In 2014 there were 179 million cats and dogs in the U.S., up from 98 million in 1980. Today, according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), more than 80 percent of pet owners think of themselves as their pets’ moms and dads. Americans love their pets so much, they spent $35 billion on veterinary care in 2015.
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CLA is known as 'The Pet Channel Expert' with four strategically located offices and over 800 company associates working across the USA. CLA is the leading firm in the pet specialty market that provides national coverage across all major sales channels, including independent pet stores, farm stores, national pet retailers, and Internet retailers. CLA is known as “The Pet Channel Expert” with four strategically located offices and over 800 company associates working across the United States. CLA is the leading firm in the pet specialty market that provides national coverage across all major sales channels, including independent pet stores, farm stores, national pet retailers and internet retailers.