The Pet Vet: Doncaster firm becomes UK's largest indepdent practice

A well-respected Doncaster veterinary practice is celebrating a UK first after completing a major acquisition.

By Darren Burke
Friday, 1st July 2022, 12:48 pm
Updated Friday, 1st July 2022, 12:48 pm

The Pet Vet, which was founded in Doncaster in 2011, has acquired The Vet, registered as Quality Pet Care Ltd.

The purchase of all eight The Vet-branded surgeries makes The Pet Vet not only one of the largest independent family-owned practices by number of sites (12) in the UK, but critically the first to have a national presence.

The newly acquired surgeries are in Warrington, Portsmouth, Southampton, Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool and Morden and Waltham Forest in London.

The Pet Vet has spread across the UK after acquiring eight new branches.

The Pet Vet already operates three large, purpose-built surgeries in Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley, and in 2021 opened a 5,500 sq ft surgery on a prime retail park in Lincoln.

The firm is under the sole ownership of Dr Rob Jones, who graduated in veterinary science from Bristol University in 1987. He practised in companion animal care in London and Australia before opening the first The Pet Vet surgery.

With almost 100 employees, including 24 full time vets, the practice is known for its investment in all of its people, in technology and in in-house diagnostics. The business has an annual turnover of £6m+.

Earlier this year, The Pet Vet secured £3.1m from alternative lender ThinCats to fund an ambitious growth plan. A rapid extra cash injection then allowed the family-owned independent to snap up The Vet when it came up for sale in April 2022.

Dr Mel Fuller, MD, The Pet Vet, said: "The Pet Vet is absolutely delighted to welcome The Vet into our family.

"Our commitment to continual reinvestment of profits in the development of our teams, our services and in new technology, makes our surgeries fulfilling places to work, that offer the highest quality veterinary services to our customers.

“In South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire we have developed centres of excellence for orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery, imaging and dentistry, removing the need for external referral and enabling us to offer our services to other practices within our regions.

"The acquisition of The Vet gives us scope to further expand our expertise and services, offer even greater career progression for our vets, enhance our buying power and increase our influence on the overall quality of first opinion veterinary care in the UK.”

Rob Jones, chairman, The Pet Vet, said: "With nearly 70% of the veterinary practice market by revenue already in the ownership of major corporations, a fact of which most consumers are still completely unaware, this is a real opportunity for us as a South Yorkshire-based family business to make a positive difference for pet owners across the UK.

"Our acquisition of The Vet will allow us to further advance in-house provision, giving our vets more variety and stimulation in their working day and even greater opportunities for professional development."

The Pet Vet was launched in Doncaster in 2011 by two graduates from Bristol Veterinary School.

The Pet Vet’s first surgery was an immediate success and more than doubled in size over the next couple of years. This was followed by a second South Yorkshire surgery in Rotherham in 2013 and a third in neighbouring Barnsley in 2016. In 2021, The Pet Vet launched a 5,500 sq ft two storey surgery on a prime retail park in Lincoln.