One of the fields that lack diversity in America is the veterinary industry. Available data shows that less than three percent of blacks are veterinarians and fewer are business owners. However, things should change thanks to celebrity veterinarians: Dr. Terrance Ferguson and Dr. Vernard Hodges from Critter Fixers.
Through the help of the two pet doctors, Dr. Clarrissa Porter, a Black woman, is now a co-owner of a veterinary hospital.
She owns 25% of a veterinary business located in PetSmart in Warner Robins, according to 13-WMAZ. “Chill bumps, butterflies. I’m pinching myself all the time,” she said during the opening of the new animal hospital in Houston County.
She partnered with PetSmart and the two celebrity veterinarians. “Less than 2% of veterinarians are of color, black — and even less are business owners, so Pet Smart has this model that allows us to be able to help other veterinarians,” Dr. Ferguson explained.
“The great thing is we’re giving ownership to doctors that never otherwise would have it,” Hodges said.
Dr. Ferguson and Hodges have adopted a framework to make business ownership easier for black veterinarians at a later time. The process includes the pair committing a huge share of their financial might to the investment up front and then with a small investment from the new veterinarian too, that person has the opportunity to gain a larger stake in the future.
This, then, allows more veterinarians to have representation out front in the veterinary community instead of working as an associate.
“It’s kind of a no-brainer, the model is fantastic. It’s a lot less expensive this way than doing a brick and mortar where you have to go in and you’re buying a building, you’re buying land,” Dr. Ferguson explained.
Dr. Ferguson and Hodges hope to open 30 more stores across the USA. They currently have two stores. “The great thing is we’re giving ownership to doctors who never otherwise would have it,” according to Dr. Hodges.
Ferguson added, “When we leave here, we want this world to be a little better than when we came.”