Our Story

Founded in 1986, VCA is a family of hometown animal hospitals committed to making a positive impact for pets, people, and our communities. We care about the communities we serve and every pet within them, not just those we see in our hospitals. Every hospital carries a sense of pride for the legacy of excellence they’ve built and the stories of service that are deeply connected to their local communities. VCA joined the Mars family in 2017. Together, we are writing a powerful story about what’s next in veterinary care.

Meet the Founders


Our Network

As a national network of hometown hospitals, we provide world-class veterinary medicine by activating our shared expertise and pairing cutting-edge technology, procedures and best practices with deeply compassionate care.

Hospital Types

Primary Care

Our primary care teams are the first point of contact for all of your pet’s needs, from check-ups to tummy-aches. We understand that no question is too small, which is why we are here to answer them for you, year after year. Our leading care teams get to know both you and your pets, which helps us deliver world-class veterinary medicine with hometown care.

Specialty Care

Our specialists don’t just use best practices, they develop them. Our advanced care teams include oncologists, surgeons, and specialized veterinary professionals who are leaders in their field. No matter the situation, you can rest assured that your pet is getting the best care possible. When it matters most, you come to VCA.

Emergency Care

Our critical and emergency care teams are trained and equipped to handle all kinds of emergencies, including traumatic injury, respiratory emergency, shock, poisoning, serious illness and more. By incorporating advanced techniques from both veterinary and human medicine, our compassionate teams provide the highest standard of emergency and critical care.

Urgent Care

Our urgent care teams are made up of highly trained, deeply collaborative, caring veterinary professionals who help pets with immediate care needs that are not life-threatening. From thoughtfully designed and calming environments to smart technology and transparent communication, our new VCA Animal Hospitals Urgent Care locations provide convenient access to same- or next-day appointments 365 days a year. See the difference and how VCA Urgent Care is driving access to care.

Boarding Care

Many boarding facilities are associated with veterinary hospitals and are staffed with trained professionals to care for your pet.

VCA Pet CancerCare®
With 29 VCA Pet CancerCare Centers and more than 60 boarded oncologists – including 11 radiation oncologists – across North America, we support patients and clients through complex oncology cases with world-class veterinary medicine and compassionate, hometown care.

Our Leadership

We take our reputation as the leader in veterinary medicine seriously. Every day, our talented teams across the country are not only practicing world-class medicine, we are setting a new standard of care.

// remove mobile text per ticket 20649

Our Leadership

We take our reputation as the leader in veterinary medicine seriously. Every day, our talented teams across the country are not only practicing world-class medicine, we are setting a new standard of care.

Get to Know the VCA Leadership Team
Todd Lavender
DVM Transitioning President

As President of VCA Animal Hospitals and a second generation veterinarian, VCA’s support for A Better World For Pets™ – that is, taking care of the future of veterinary medicine – is deeply personal to Dr. Todd Lavender. His time with VCA started when he was a practice owner in Atlanta. During his 17+ years at VCA, Dr. Lavender’s leadership roles have spanned Operations, Recruiting and Medical Operations. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Eastern Hospital Operations, Regional Medical Director, Recruiting and Professional Relations Director, and Senior Group Vice Presi...

Read More
Patty Wu
Incoming President

With more than 20 years of experience, as president of VCA Animal Hospitals, Patty will lead VCA’s 35,000 Associates across U.S. and Canada. 

Patty comes with a track record of exceptional execution and consistent focus on the Associate and client experience across categories like health and wellness, baby and children, and personal care. She has held senior roles at companies including Bed, Bath & Beyond, where she served as EVP and Brand President for buybuy BABY, as well as The Honest Company, The Clorox Company, Walmart, Mattel and Beautycounter. 

Patty earned her BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She also has a certificate for Mandarin studies from Fudan University in Shanghai. 

Patty is an active mentor in the HBS community and volunteers for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Marie Kerl
DVM, MPH, DACVIM (SAIM), DACVECC Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Kerl oversees medical operations at VCA’s network of more than 1,000 small animal veterinary hospitals.

She joined the VCA family in 2017 as regional medical director and then later moved into a combined regional medical director/regional operations director role, prior to her promotion to chief medical officer.

Dr. Kerl received her bachelor’s and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Auburn University. Later, she earned her master’s in public health and MBA from the University of Missouri.

She has over 25 years of experience as diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Me...

Read More
Trevor Adams
CPA, CGMA Chief Financial Officer

Trevor Adams joined VCA from BluePearl where he also served as Chief Financial Officer.

As BluePearl’s CFO, Trevor led the finance team, including financial reporting, planning and analysis, accounting, procurement, and risk & safety. Before joining BluePearl in 2019, Trevor’s served in several roles for Mars Petcare and Mars Veterinary Health, including as MVH Director of Finance and as vice president of Finance for Banfield. He has worked closely with senior leadership on strategic projects, such as planning for international expansion, and also played an integral role in several major acquisiti...

Read More
Paola Perez-Loaiza
Vice President for People & Organization

As Vice President for People and Organization (P&O) and member of the senior leadership, Paola oversees all human resources functions and people-related activities for VCA. She and her team are responsible for making VCA a place Associates want to join, stay and thrive. She believes that to Make a Better World for Pets we need to Make a Better World for our Associates. Her team is committed to enhancing every element of the Associate Experience, from recruitment to farewell, caring for the health and wellbeing of our Associates and cultivating an inclusive, diverse and fun culture.

Paola has held several lead...

Read More
Gina Lindell
JD General Counsel

As general counsel for VCA and a member of the Senior Leadership Team, Gina leads all operational and strategic legal issues, and oversees both the Legal and Risk and Safety departments.

Gina supported VCA as outside legal counsel from 2014-2019, then served as associate general counsel for two years prior to being promoted to her current role in 2021. Prior to joining the VCA Team, she was a partner with Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP’s employment law practice group where she focused on litigation and was recognized as a top rated employment & labor attorney in San Diego, CA.

She holds a bachelor's d...

Read More
Kimberly West
Vice President, Corporate Affairs

As VP of corporate affairs, Kimberly leads internal and external integrated communications, corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Passionate about putting purpose into action, Kimberly also serves as the President of VCA Charities, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping pets in loving homes.

Before joining VCA in 2020, Kimberly served as director of external communications for Mars Global, and held senior leadership roles at the technology and management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and global communications agency FleishmanHillard.

She holds a master's from Boston University and bachelor's degree f...

Read More

Our Medicine

Known for our industry-leading medicine, at VCA we don’t just use cutting-edge tools and best practices, we develop them. Our network supports top veterinary professionals with ongoing education and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, and develops the tools and techniques needed to tackle complex medical issues. When it matters most, you bring your pet to VCA.

How We Work

Curiosity Icon
Our love of learning pushes our industry, communities, and hospitals forward.
Expertise Icon
Our varied team of experts unite under the spirit of doing the best job at the top of their training.
Being Real Icon
Being Real
At VCA, careers thrive in a community of encouragement, without ego, attitude or agenda.
Trust Icon
Great patient care is built on trust, at every level of our organization.
Joy Icon
We support all our Associates so they can keep the joy at the heart of what they do.

Social Responsibility

Recent years have tested our collective limits while also shining a light on the connections that bring us together. VCA Animal Hospitals has long committed to caring for pets, its Associates and the communities our hospital teams serve. Our family of 30,000+ VCA Associates has always reached for what's next, caring for the future of veterinary medicine by empowering thriving people, supporting a healthy planet and ensuring pet well-being. Read our latest Impact Report here, detailing how VCA has and continues to improve veterinary medicine—for today’s and tomorrow’s patients and veterinary professionals.

Every action we take is guided by the conviction that each pet’s life is precious. Everything we do is motivated by this dedication to pet well-being. As one of the world’s largest providers of veterinary care, we are uniquely equipped to have a far-reaching positive impact. Whether innovating new technology-enabled approaches to care or providing support to shelters and rescue organizations across the county, we are doing our part to build A Better World for Pets™. For over two decades, VCA has been committed to helping animal welfare organizations lessen return to shelters, end pet homelessness and encourage pet adoption nationwide. Learn more about our partnerships with 150+ Shelters here.

Caring for the future of veterinary medicine starts with caring for those who care for animals. We are dedicated to continually enhancing our culture of caring, where a “How are you?” is asked with genuine compassion and answered earnestly and openly. We recognize that building an organization of thriving people means prioritizing wellness and mental health—candidly, creatively and without judgment. VCA has made significant investments to expand benefits and well-being resources, including launching Lyra Health to provide company-paid mental health support to all U.S. Associates.

We believe we all have a responsibility to care for the world we share. This means being ever mindful of our effect on the Earth’s health and taking decisive steps to minimize our environmental impact. Prudent energy use is part of our hospital culture as we “Paws to Turn Off” energy-consuming technology. And reuse and recycling practices at our hospitals contribute to our goal of lessening our environmental impact.