Veterinary Company Becomes UK First To Receive CIC Status
A group of not for profit veterinary surgeries has become the first in the UK to become a community interest company (CIC), cementing their commitment and servicing pets in local communities.
Not for profit vet, Animal Trust, provides a public benefit by improving access to good care including giving free face to face consultations to patients across all their surgeries, no matter who they are or where they come from. Knowing that charges for services like this can create a barrier between vets and pet owners, they provide appointments for free to help pets access a vet as soon as they need one.
“The CIC status is an important milestone for us, as it locks our commitment in law where our priority always is the health and care of the animals we see in each of our communities,” said Owen Monie, founder of Animal Trust.
A CIC is a regulated, transparent structure with the primary aim to deliver value to society, rather than make a profit. Once established, the public benefit is protected in law and the social benefit can never be lost.
“I originally set up Animal Trust to provide a not for profit service to focus on improving the welfare of animals, and to help their owners as many struggle to afford private practices.
“Since we first opened, the demand for our services has only continued to grow, proving how important it is for pets to be able to access good veterinary care, and that pet ownership should not just be accessible for the wealthy.” added Owen.
Since Animal Trust first opened in Bolton in 2012, they have since established a total of nine surgeries based across the West Midlands, North Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Yorkshire.
Across their surgeries, they provide a range of veterinary facilities including general practice care, dentistry, complex surgery, orthopaedics, CT scanning, imaging, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, 24/7 in-patient and emergency care, and on-site laboratories.
“We find our clients travel from all over the UK to obtain the care their pets need, with patients travelling up from more southerly locations including central London, Sussex, Portsmouth, and Bristol, particularly for our orthopaedic treatments as they find that, even with their travel included, it’s still more accessible than veterinary practices in their hometown.
“The good news for pet owners is that becoming a CIC doesn't impact who can join us, we're still open to everyone - there is no eligibility criteria to meet to benefit from our services.
“The status is a huge reflection of our amazing team and their dedication towards caring for pets, and we hope that by setting this in law, we're creating a trend for the future and how veterinary care should be delivered - in the hope that other veterinarians will follow our lead." said Owen.
For more information about Animal Trust visit https://www.animaltrust.org.uk/ where you can find your nearest surgery, and register your pet online.