Heart + Paw broadens employee plans, announces doctor rewards program and incentives


“Pet care reimagined” veterinary care facility, enhances doctor value

Philadelphia, PA (October 20, 2021) – Heart + Paw, one of the fastest growing veterinary care, grooming, and dog daycare center groups in the country and an industry leader in the well-being of its staff, announced it is launching a Doctor Rewards Program as part of its initiative to continue to help address the critical industry-wide need for higher wages, bolster tenured longevity, and compassion fatigue.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the major association for veterinarians and their staffers, between January 2019 and May 2021, there were 18 positions open for every veterinarian seeking a job, six for every technician and assistant, and 12 for related positions. During the pandemic, newly acquired pets increased animal medical visits by more than 50%, the AVMA estimated. Burnout and compassion fatigue are at the forefront of the veterinary shortage.

“Our doctors have a unique role in bringing the Heart + Paw vision of treating pets and their parents like family to life,” said Dr. George Melillo, Heart + Paw’s co-founder and Chief Veterinary Officer. “The spirit and sense of family also extends to our team members. This program allows us to recognize the unique role our doctors play in building our practice and reinforces the fact that we are all stronger together when we support one another as family.”

Heart + Paw’s new Doctor Rewards Program (Program), which Melillo and CEO Dave Lasus spent months developing, is a long-term incentive plan with three tiers under which eligible veterinarians can earn additional compensation based upon years of service, achievement of performance goals and other qualifiers*:

  • Director of Operations/Medical Director – up to $25,000 per year of service
  • Partner Doctor (leader of a center/practice) – up $20,000 per year of service
  • Associate Doctor/Veterinarians – up to $10,000 per year of service

This industry-leading program comes on the heels of a separate incentive program launched in July 2021 that allows all hourly team members to earn bonuses based on achieving monthly goals at partner hospitals and Heart + Paw centers.

In addition to these financial stay incentives, Heart + Paw’s family of veterinarians are given the autonomy and decision making ability to plan what their work schedule looks like while balancing the needs of clients. An open line of communication for the vets within all the Heart + Paw practices and partner practices provides a unique support system. One example of this

support system that few other veterinary practices offer is that Heart + Paw’s Director of Operations roles are filled by licensed veterinarians who take into consideration more than the financial bottom line when it comes to staff well-being.

“Our Directors of Operations are licensed veterinarians who take into consideration our employees’ mental health first and the finances second.” added Melillo. ““Having leaders who know the rigors of clinical practice and can coach and mentor our veterinarians on managing medicine and business helps well-being.”

These programs are put in place to counteract high turnover rates in the veterinary industry. In AAHA’s 2020 Compensation & Benefits survey, average veterinary employee turnover was 23 percent compared to a national average of just 16 percent for all other industries. Turnover was 32.5 percent for receptionists, 23.4 percent for veterinary technicians, 10.3 percent for managers, 16 percent for associate veterinarians, and 32.9 percent for all other staff.

Philadelphia-based Heart + Paw is a rapidly growing veterinary company with 21 locations across nine states in the Northeast region. The explosive growth in 2021 is notable, growing from 10 practices to 21 in just nine months with growth coming from acquired practices, as well as from the Heart + Paw branded centers. Heart + Paw is on track to reach 25 practices by year end with ambitious plans for the future.

“While we are finding ways to grow and reward our team members at the same time, it’s important to us to continue to find ways to engage our team and reward them for their hard work and results, beyond the traditional means,” said Lasus. “The success of Heart + Paw, what we deliver to our communities and our employees, is centered on valuing and prioritizing people. When Heart + Paws wins, our people share in that win.”

Heart + Paw presents a low stress approach to pet care, literally from the ground up. Innovative centers utilize textured nonslip floors, a variety of seating options to help pets feel more at home, and steady and quiet lift tables. These state-of-the-art facilities and partner practices are coupled with a compassionate team of passionate and dedicated experts that deliver on our promise to treat the pets in our care as family.

Heart + Paw best-in-class centers offer low stress veterinary care, grooming, and dog daycare in one convenient location, along with next-gen tools, personalized wellness plans and the highest level of quality care. For more information, visit heartandpaw.com.

About Heart + Paw

Heart + Paw is a pet care company that combines a physical destination with the convenience of a digital presence to provide a seamless experience for pet parents. Heart + Paw offers a range of services from veterinary care to grooming to day care. Thoughtfully designed and digitally enabled, Heart + Paw is pet care reimagined. To learn more, visit Heart + Paw online at heartandpaw.com, or follow Heart + Paw on Instagram and LinkedIn.

* - “Qualifiers” include, among other things, the occurrence of a qualified change in control. For more details regarding the specific plan terms, please contact Heart + Paw.

© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.