When AVG started in 1972, the world was a different place.
Back then, our original practice stood at the heart of Pulborough village in West Sussex. Towns and villages across the country had local vets just like AVG embedded within their communities. These were family-run practices built on traditional values and personal, long-standing relationships with pets and their owners.
Even though they existed to care for animals, these were more than vets –
they were places where people felt valued too.
These small businesses were known for having a strong culture of belonging, where everyone on the team mattered. People often spent their entire careers at the same practice. They weren’t pushed out or worked into the ground. Vets and nurses had a home for life where they were considered not just part of the team, but part of the business.
There was no mistaking one veterinary practice for another. There was no cookie-cutter culture or interchangeable interiors. Each independent practice had its own unique personality and identity. It was normal for owners to work alongside the team at ground roots level, giving them a personal connection with employees and an inherent understanding of everyone’s needs. Everyone’s voice was heard, everyone was included, and everyone’s ideas counted.
This might sound idealistic in today’s landscape, but it’s true. Over the years, large corporates have engulfed the vast majority of these practices leaving a dwindling number of independents. These take-overs have eroded and corrupted the values that were once sacred to our profession, leaving behind a disheartened, disillusioned veterinary team devoid of any loyalty and love they once had for their practice. Sadly, many amazing and passionate people, who were once the heartbeat of each practice, lose faith and leave their much-loved profession. Those who remain are forced to accept a very different environment than the one that made them feel empowered and inspired to work with animals.
We can’t return to the past, but we can learn from it.
By staying true to our roots, we’re creating a new blueprint for other independent practices today. One that’s sustainable and adaptable enough to thrive in this ever-changing landscape. We are playing by new rules, supported by traditional values. And the stakes couldn’t be higher.
We believe AVG has a moral responsibility to vets, nurses and pet owners to provide a viable alternative to the corporate movement. To succeed, we need every passionate person left in the industry on our side.