In the Matter of Mars, Inc. and VCA Inc., File No. 171-0057 #00002

Submission Number:
Melinda March
Initiative Name:
In the Matter of Mars, Inc. and VCA Inc., File No. 171-0057
Dear Sirs, I am a practicing veterinarian in Illinois. I have been in practice for 34 years. The increase of corporate practices has adversely affected the general practice of veterinary medicine. They undercut prices on all of their products & services making it difficult for the independent veterinary hospitals to compete based on price alone. The more corporate practices the worse veterinary care that is available to the public. They are offering cheap prices but provide inferior care. One of my clients(for example) went to a Banfield practice and Banfield took a radiograph. The veterinarians could not read the radiograph and sent the client to a specialist to read the radiograph. The client came to my practice and the radiograph clearly showed fluid in the lungs and the dog was having serious breathing problems. If the client has waited even 24 hours, the patient would have not survived. There are only 75,000 veterinarians in the US. It has been very hard to hire a veterinary associate, because I can not compete on the salary I can pay. I believe there are less than 10,000 small animal veterinary practices in the US. You are proposing that one company will own 20% of all practices. This would give a huge monopoly and advantage to this large corporation. Thank you for your consideration, Dr Melinda March March Animal Hospital Arlington Heights, IL