Make us your home page
Instagram

Jobs blossom at Tampa vet specialists as pet owners open wallets to save loved ones

Amid the nasty recession, 100 private U.S. businesses still managed to create 73,032 jobs. That feat landed them on Inc. magazine's inaugural "Hire Power" list of big job creators.

One of those 100 is Tampa's BluePearl Veterinary Partners, a group of growing specialty animal hospitals that from 2008 to 2011 created 523 jobs while more than doubling revenues from $42 million to just under $100 million. That job growth, achieved by internal growth and acquisitions, placed BluePearl at No. 36 on the Hire Power list.

Inc.'s rankings are published in its December issue and appear online at www.inc.com starting today. Earlier this year, BluePearl's rapid revenue growth put it on the Inc. 5000 list of fast-growing companies for the first time at No. 1,695.

Most customers of BluePearl are owners of pets that need specialized medical attention, and they are mostly referred to its facilities by primary-care vets.

Chemotherapy to fight cancer? Congestive heart failure treatments? Ailments that are beyond the basic vet's care can end up in BluePearl's hands.

BluePearl's expertise in sophisticated (and often expensive) treatments reflects the growing bond between pet owners and their animals — and the growing discretionary income of pet owners. That trend began to be noticed by the industry in the early 1990s.

The Tampa company was started in the mid '90s by two brothers, MBA grad Darryl Shaw and veterinarian Neil Shaw. At first, the business was called Florida Veterinary Specialists. The BluePearl name was adopted in 2008 as the business merged with other veterinary services.

Company job growth continues, with more than 1,200 employees. BluePearl's website features long lists of job openings, from veterinary cardiologists and emergency clinicians to neurologists and surgeons in Texas, Virginia, Kansas and other states.

CEO Darryl Shaw expects that the economic outlook will keep BluePearl expanding.

"We have seen some good organic growth, and we believe the demand will continue to grow for specialty and emergency veterinary services," he said.

On Monday, BluePearl opened its 30th speciality veterinary hospital, in Kansas City, joining two other BluePearl medical facilities in that market. After rapid purchases of hospitals in 12 states across the country, the company is in the process of branding them under the BluePearl name.

Will BluePearl be taken public once it gets bigger? That's not the plan for now.

"We are just going to continue to try to take the right step in the right direction at the right time," said Shaw, who has a yellow Labrador and a Dalmatian.

Inc.'s Hire Power list of job creators includes some better-known names. The Web-hosting company GoDaddy.com added 1,403 jobs between 2008 and 2011. And Chobani, the Greek yogurt maker, added 1,043 jobs and separately was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year last month.

Florida tied with Colorado and Pennsylvania in fifth place among states with five companies apiece on the Hire Power list of 100. BluePearl, notified by Inc. over the weekend, is the only Tampa Bay area business to make this year's ranking.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at trigaux@tampabay.com.

Jobs blossom at Tampa vet specialists as pet owners open wallets to save loved ones 12/03/12 [Last modified: Monday, December 3, 2012 7:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]