VCA Antech Reviews

Updated 19 April, 2015
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1.9
159 Reviews
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VCA Antech Chairman, President, and CEO Bob Antin
Bob Antin
81 Ratings

Pros
  • Good employee discount, a lot of encouragement for staff involvement (in 16 reviews)

  • Pet discounts, surrounded by people who love animals all day at the hospital level, so most are dedicated and really care (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • As a hospital manager or medical director, you have to bend the rules to keep good employees and clients (in 7 reviews)

  • Upper management is without morals or professional judgement , they have no soul (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Corporate Greed. Buying up neighborhood clinics, tearing them down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC

    I have been working at VCA Antech full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Get to do what you love with animals but at a price to your well being.

    Cons

    - low wages or no raises in over 3 years
    - poor management (lack of experience)
    - little training for management
    - terrible hours (either too low to qualify for benefits or overworked with no OT)

    Advice to Management

    The largest veterinary clinic on the north shore will be closing its doors for the final time this fall. It is the latest victim of small-minded, big business thinking.

    Capilano Pet Hospital has been a landmark, of sorts, on the north shore: sitting on the corner of Capilano Road and the west bound entrance to highway 1 for over fifty years. It is rare to meet a North Vancouverite who has not taken one of their beloved pets there at some point in their life. It was a thriving and busy clinic for many years. In 2007, Dr. Bob Skinner, the owner and operator of CPH, retired, selling the clinic to Associate Veterinary Clinics (A.V.C.). Already owners of multiple clinics in Alberta and Ontario, A.V.C. brought its profitable business model to the North Shore, transforming Capilano Pet Hospital. These changes did not go unnoticed by clients and staff, alike. In 2012, AVC was bought out by an even larger American corporation VCA Antech, further altering the busy practice.

     Despite losing many familiar faces, Capilano continued to be a very successful practice, with a revenue stream exceeding $3 million dollars a year. However, Capilano was failing in other ways: the staff was gradually suffocating under poor management and unfair working conditions. Seeking a resolution to these problems, the support staff formed a union. It was a year long process taking two attempts to certify, after the suits successfully squelched the first attempt. The results were modest. The collective agreement mainly managed to secure the employees’ hours and existing benefits so they could not be removed, as was their previous experience under this management. Although wages were increased, the grid wage is still far below industry standard. Only a few weeks after the collective agreement was ratified Associate Vet Clinics announced to staff that Capilano would be closing its’ doors for good; effectively laying off over twenty support staff and eight doctors.

    An aging building combined with a decrease in business was the reason cited for the closure. VCA could simply not afford the costs to relocate or rebuild based on Capilano’s revenue, so they opted to close for good. Perhaps, revenue of over $3 million is peanuts to a company whose enterprise value exceeds $2.8 billion or there is another explanation for this closure. Now that one of their 600+ clinics has successfully unionized, the fear is that more clinics will sign on, especially since they will not have to undergo the lengthy, arduous task of bargaining as did the brave, ground-breaking staff of Capilano. This is petrifying to corporations: united workers take power away from owners and can achieve access to more of the profits. Unfortunately, the flip side of the coin is completely overlooked: Happy, empowered workers are more loyal, more productive and take less sick time; thereby, potentially increasing profits. But rather than allow workers to ensure their rights to job security and a healthy and fair workplace, VCA Antech decided to not only put dozens of staff out of work, but to abandon thousands of loyal clients and their beloved pets.

  2. Helpful (3)

    Founded by venture capitalists, not veterinarians, the focus is on sales and profits rather than a vets oath.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at VCA Antech (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Room for advancement if you are willing to go the corporate route.
    Job security.
    Easy to relocate.
    Opportunity to train. Frequent paid seminars.

    Cons

    Poor pay, worse benefits.
    Emphasis is on profit and sales, rather than the veterinarians oath.
    Employees are expected to be equally good salesmen as vets, technicians, etc.

  3. Helpful (2)

    There is no respect given to employees.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at VCA Antech

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people working there, for the most part, really do care about your animal.

    Cons

    Low wages, zero respect, questionable morals. All this company wants to do is make mass amounts of money, they need to understand they cant step on everyone, including their customers. They buy low and sell very high and then claim supremacy.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring employees with no experience just so you don't have to pay higher wages. I think the company can afford it.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Revenue Accountant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Revenue Accountant in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Revenue Accountant in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I worked at VCA Antech

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There is no best reason to work for this company

    Cons

    Work is endless process and you work more than 10 hrs a day. They only want you to work and don't live your life

    Advice to Management

    Should start thinking about their employees rather than focusing on making more money for the shareholders.

  6. Helpful (2)

    Reception

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at VCA Antech full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    They have multi able areas

    Cons

    High school drama with the doctors. Insurance sucks especially after the doctors get it for free and the staff has to pay for it. Up sale every thing. Out for the money not for the pet.

  7. Helpful (2)

    Antech Diagnostics Not Recommended...

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lake Success, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lake Success, NY (US)

    I worked at VCA Antech full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Free coffee, a parking lot and close to bus stops. There are some nice co-workers. You can learn how the corporate culture works, which may be useful for avoiding it in your future.

    Cons

    Long hours for every job position, low pay, half hour lunch breaks, expensive healthcare options with huge deductibles, disrespect from supervisors, bathroom breaks are scrutinized for time and frequency. Overtime is expected but not appreciated. Good work is over looked, you will never hear the words "good job". Any mistake is exaggerated beyond rational expectations. Jobs here are mainly entry level, even when they sound like so much more on the interview. Plan to learn fast and move on from this "stepping-stone" company with an extremely high turn-over rate.

    Advice to Management

    Raise the base pay, stop the 8.5 hour workday, add a one hour, paid lunch break. Being treated like a valuable employee starts there, the returns to the company can be huge. There is a lot more work to be done. Every single person with any subordinates should be required to attend meetings designed to help them properly deal with employees.

  8. Helpful (4)

    Only in it for corporate profit.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - LVT in Newark, DE (US)
    Current Employee - LVT in Newark, DE (US)

    I have been working at VCA Antech

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The other employees, who genuinely care about the outcome for clients and patients.

    Cons

    We are all getting swindled. Tha Antins have built an empire on the blood sweat and tears of good hard working people they overwork and under pay

  9. Helpful (4)

    Too corporate for me

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - RVT
    Current Employee - RVT

    I have been working at VCA Antech

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    The location I work for is a busy practice, so I gained a lot of experience quickly there.

    Cons

    All they care about is money. You have to negotiate hard for any raises or CE reimbursement. They care more about selling their wellness plans and making sure everyone wears the proper uniform than actually practicing quality medicine and they'll try to get you to work 50 or 60 hour weeks unless you stand up for yourself and protect your free time.

    Advice to Management

    Start focusing on getting and keeping quality staff and I bet you the money will follow. A bunch of new, inexperienced staff and doctors all fumbling around is never going to win you client trust and drives away those of us who want to be proud of their work at the end of the day.

  10. Senior Financial Reporting Analyst

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at VCA Antech

    Pros

    Great Working Environment, Managers, and colleagues.

    Cons

    I can't think of anything bad.

  11. Helpful (4)

    Don't believe the recruitment ads.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Veterinarian, Medical Director in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Veterinarian, Medical Director in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I worked at VCA Antech full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Reasonable benefits, 401K and "some" decisions are made at a local level. And that is being nice.

    Cons

    The immediate money is what counts at this company; pet and pet owners are secondary. And staff is at the bottom of the scale!!! 3 paid holidays per year!! And raises/salaries are low, yearly only, no matter how hard you work. Drs are asked to do unpaid duties all the time; and they will add to your contract at their discretion! You can leave if you do not like it. There is no interest to change anything.
    Many successful hospitals are being run into the ground by management who refuse to understand that customer service (after hours availability, care not to raises fee so high, happy staff, maintained facilities, ....) was the reason for the success.

    Advice to Management

    Get out of California and truly visit your hospitals. Spend some time seeing what works and what does not (our regional people would stay an hour or two every so often, and totally ignored the majority of the staff). Have true feedback from the clients (we were instructed to report only positive feedback !!!). Stay more local, pet owners who want to do a lot for their pets are a different breed; try to understand their mentality better. And please, take better care of your workforce. Read veterinary magazines, specially the ones that are staff oriented!! And have the support office truly support the hospitals. We stopped calling to get help after a while, they were never aware or knowledgable. And sometimes the calls ended up putting some of our staff in trouble... If we mentioned any medical conditions, personal problems, etc, ; we would end up being hounded for months with unreasonable questions.

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