On the veterinary side, there's a perception that too many shelters are developing competing animal hospitals in their communities, and using their non-profit status to get an edge over private practice veterinarians.
On the shelter side, there are two factors driving the phenomonen. One, that there is a segment of the pet-owning population that can't afford full-price veterinary care for their pets, and two, that there's revenue to be made in providing services even to pet owners who are currently able to afford veterinary care elsewhere.
These conflicting perspectives have created a somewhat hostile public discourse, with veterinarians sometimes objecting to spay-neuter clinics even when such clinics provide no other services, and despite the fact spay-neuter is typically not a profitable service for private practices.
Shelters, on their part, frequently lack an understanding of the harsh economic climate for veterinary medicine right now, and don't fully grasp why veterinarians are so sensitive to competition from non-profits.
The Journal of the American Veterinary Medicial Association recently published an article examining how this conflict has played out in South Carolina, where the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians has, at least for now, dropped efforts to regulate non-profit practice of veterinary medicine, and in Utah, where a more collaborative approach has resulted in a better working relationship between the two camps.
Additionally, the article reports, the CATalyst Council is working on pilot projects in Portland, Oregon and Columbus, Ohio, to establish collaborations that work for both sides.
You can read the entire article here.
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