An Expanding Pawprint

An Expanding Pawprint

Americans sure do love their furry friends. Owners regard their creature companions as family and are getting to spend more years with them than ever before thanks to innovations in science and health. Out of that notion, a clear trend has emerged. Namely, that it’s a very good time for the veterinary services industry.

In Indiana and throughout the rest of the country, veterinary services have been expanding in several interesting ways. Big things are happening on both the consumer and professional sides of the industry.

 

A Look at the Growth

Los Angeles-based IBIS World reported just a few weeks ago the veterinary services industry throughout the country has grown by 5.4% over the last five years to reach a revenue of $49 billion in 2019. In the same timeframe, the number of businesses has grown by 1.6% and the number of employees has grown by 2.3%.

Additionally, for both Indiana and the U.S. overall, the job outlook for both veterinarians and vet technicians is projected to grow “much faster than average,” at rates of 19% and 20%, respectively.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reported in 2016 the total veterinary industry output in Indiana is worth $1,076,603,121.

 

Vet Up!

One of the bigger Indiana veterinary developments that was recently announced was Purdue’s plans to expand access to vet training nationally and onboard new talent to the field. With help from a new federal grant, the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine is launching Vet Up! The National Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Academy for Veterinary Medicine. Its goal will be to address a national shortage of veterinarians in public health and rural/food animal practice in the state and beyond. Also, it will address a significant lack of underrepresented individuals entering the veterinary profession.

$3.18 million in grant funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, helped kick start the program. Purdue was the only college of veterinary medicine to receive support.

Vet Up! will leverage PVM’s proven history of effective diversity programming and partnerships with high schools, historically black colleges and universities, and state entities to design and deliver curricula that provide otherwise-inaccessible opportunities to students. A longstanding partnership with Purdue University’s Evaluation and Learning Research Center will assess the impact of the programming on participants and the veterinary profession.

“This new opportunity enables us to expand the influence of our creative approaches to improving the diversity of the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Sandy San Miguel, the college’s associate dean for engagement and program director. “We have assembled an amazing team of collaborators and look forward to working with them to launch this new National HCOP Academy for Veterinary Medicine.”

 

Company Expansions

Numerous veterinary-related business expansions have been announced over the last few months. Here’s a snapshot of some of the plans:

  • Pinpoint Pharma, a West Lafayette-based startup specializing in custom compounded medication for pets, announced plans invest nearly $240,000 to lease, renovate and equip more than 2,100 square feet of lab space in West Lafayette. The company’s innovations are generating national interest because they enable veterinarians and pet owners to submit animal prescriptions online and communicate any unique needs to its on-staff pharmacists.
  • Cardinal Campus Veterinary Orthopedic Center, a $41 million campus, recently celebrated its grand opening in Highland. The 9-acre complex is expected to boast six two-story office buildings and a boutique hotel. The new vet building will be all electric and will not use any natural gas. Solar panels will also be installed, leading to the expectation the facility will be “energy net zero.”
  • Monroe County Humane Association announced plans to move to a new $1.7 million location and double its size next year. Six acres of land has been purchased on the west side of Bloomington for the project. The association is a nonprofit that provides services for pet owners who need affordable care.
  • Pet Wellness Clinics opened its seventh location recently, investing $450,000 into a new clinic in Zionsville. Additionally, the company has plans to establish three more clinics this year and move its Binford practice to a new state-of-the-art location.

 

National Funding Broadens

Several federal agencies are also doing a lot to increase veterinary opportunities. Earlier this spring, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed a bipartisan spending agreement that provided increased funding levels for veterinary priorities. The bill maintains and increases funding for important animal health and welfare programs housed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration, and National Institutes of Health.

​The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reported that one of the most important parts of the bill is that it provides funding to fill anticipated workforce needs for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a planned biocontainment laboratory for the study of diseases that threaten both animal agriculture and public health. Congress also included an increase of $10.6 million for veterinary diagnostics within the USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service to support NBAF efforts.

Additionally, the bill increases funding for animal health research, including an increase of $15 million for the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. The agreement also increases funding for the Veterinary Services Grant Program, which helps address rural shortages of food animal and public health veterinarians through educational efforts or practice enhancement – from $2.5 million to $3 million.

 

Greater Access, Happier Outcomes

Our attachment to our beloved pets is perpetuating the growth of the veterinary industry and, in turn, the industry is giving us longer, happier lives with our little friends. If things continue along these lines, as experts and economists expect they will, increased sources of funding and access to new talented minds is sure to produce great results for pet owners and animals alike.