October 11, 2023

Seattle Vet Practice Debuts Veterinary Worker Cooperative

Urban Animal, veterinary practice with multiple locations in the Seattle area, recently become the first worker cooperative veterinary practice in the country. According to DVM360, “This will enable its 110 employees to share in the governance and profits of the company with more than 50,000 clients.”

In a Facebook post to its followers, Urban Animal in late September shared:

“The veterinary industry has seen unprecedented corporatization as locally owned; ‘Mom and Pop’ practices sell to larger corporations and private equity groups. This often impacts employee culture and the standard of care for our pets. Urban’s Founder Dr. Cherri Trusheim is committed to a worker co-op model as a solution to give power back to the employees. It ensures the practices remain locally owned and community minded, while providing compassionate and accessible, option-based care.”

“The veterinary industry is in the eye of a perfect storm due to factors such as employee burnout and private equity buyouts, which is diminishing the number of qualified veterinary professionals,” said Trusheim. “Urban Animal is presenting this groundbreaking solution to set the bar for the industry and beyond.”

DVM 360 reported the shift has been in the works for the past two years. “The worker cooperative will have a functioning group of ‘early adopters’ who will learn the fundamentals from Urban Animal’s cooperative development partner, The Cooperative Way. This group will become ambassadors to promote the idea to other employees. Trusheim will continue to serve as CEO and will work with the worker cooperative to support continual training and mentorship. Urban Animal is currently hiring across all practice roles.”

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