VCA Reviews | Glassdoor

VCA Reviews

Updated July 23, 2017
258 reviews

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2.5
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VCA Chairman, President, and CEO Bob Antin
Bob Antin
113 Ratings

258 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great employee discount, good medicine (in 20 reviews)

  • Generous employee pet discount, quality medical ethics (in theory), state of the art facility, great dental insurance (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • Low pay compared to doing the same job other places (in 12 reviews)

  • Upper Management is disconnected from the ground operations (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (7)

    "Bad Management, Use Caution."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Groomer in Tulsa, OK
    Former Employee - Groomer in Tulsa, OK
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The best reason to work at VCA is the employee discount. Free vaccines for up to four of your animals per year, 20% off Hills food, up to 75% discount off of bloodwork and surgeries for your same four pets. Most of the doctors are nice within VCA, they do seem like they care are are compassionate about your pet. When you do something good, the management will usually tell you that they liked what you did. If you help with something major, then they really tell you they appreciate what you have helped them with. Also, the management will usually decide to have a pizza party or something for the employees each month, which helps alleviate some of the stress of the job.

    Cons

    The worst of the downsides to VCA has to be the way the management treats the employees when they are short staffed. Some of the managers will help out with kennels if there is no attendant, others will not. They, however, will ask the employees that have been there all day if they can stay until closing to help out because (insert excuse here). Good luck at getting a day off, make sure you tell 10 different people that you want the days off, because management might forget and put you on the schedule or make decisions when they THEMSELVES are out of town regarding your work schedule. Another thing that is completely wrong is that they don't give you a lunch break, even though it is a law. You do well if you get two, ten minute breaks over the course of a day. Also, when people don't show up for their shift, and the manager isn't able to come back in to work that person's shift you sometimes have to work with a receptionist, vet tech, and one doctor doing everything in the hospital because you're short a kennel person. Imagine: Running to let out a dog to potty while answering the phone, starting a load of laundry, holding a dog for a pedicure or bloodwork, and getting one appointment into a room while you have two standing in line to check out, and one person to pick up a prescription refill. It happens a lot and is very stressful. When you feel that because of the good things you have done for the company (or the fact that you've been there over a year and it's time for your review) and ask your manager if you can get a payraise or promotion they always say they will get that for you and six months later you're still waiting. No sense talking to the regional manager about the problem either, she won't call you back, and will just ask the hospital manager what is going on and then disregard what you've told her about the problems there. Not to mention that every February the company as a whole raises their prices 6% across the board. The prices for veterinary care are astronomical and to keep raising prices is ridiculous when half the clintele are elderly and can barely afford the basic annual exam and vaccines that are over $100.00 for their pet. Also, if you work on commission, you have to make sure that you actually get paid for each week on your check. I was not paid on three seperate occassions until the NEXT check. Who can afford to pay bills with nothing?

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees, they see what you sometimes don't. Not the management employees, but the ones UNDER them, they are the ones that have to deal with the bad attitudes and lackluster management abilities of the people you have in there as managers. Perhaps you should send someone in to inspect each facility to ensure it's up to code as well and there aren't multiple problems relating to pet and human safety in each building. (I.E.- FIRE HAZARDS-bad wiring etc.)


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Rock bottom that anyone should be find the motivation to climb out of."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tech in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Tech in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You need a job and nothing else is working out? ...go for it. But learn and get what you can for as short a time as you can...and GET OUT! Don't get sucked in the Antech/VCA culture.

    Cons

    Expensive health care. More work; lesser pay. Too much to hope for employee appreciation. Hard workers either gets burned out or becomes scape goats. Not much of any training. You have to practically teach yourself. Accountability for all...none for management. Errors and problems (which is rampant) are fixed by simply firing employees instead of proper training. No employee retention program.

    Advice to Management

    Take a moment to appreciate your employees and provide them the tools they need to succeed. Don't just leave them high and dry to fend for themselves; your setting them up for failure. All while management, corporate especially pads their wallets with profits. Go check insider trading at WOOF.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "VCA Antech: I'm not proud to work there"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Veterinarian in North Metro, GA
    Current Employee - Associate Veterinarian in North Metro, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits and compensation are probably the only reasons to consider VCA as a potential employer. If current trends continue, then VCA will own so many veterinary hospitals that their prevalence alone will force many to consider employment there.

    Cons

    They are focused so much on instituting "proven" VCA management methods (directives on purchasing, staffing, promotions, unified software system, etc.) that the psychological and financial health of new aquisitions plummets.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline your aquisition process and be honest about the changes that will occur. Most of all, choose managers cautiously: there is a difference between just getting the job done and getting it done while still maintaining quality, efficiency, and that intangible something that keeps clients coming back. Leave cookie cutter veterinary medicine to Banfield.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "The Worst Place I Have Ever Worked"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Veterinary Technician in Burbank, CA
    Former Employee - Veterinary Technician in Burbank, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They have good starting salaries for technicians and a pretty good discount on products and services.

    Cons

    Wow, where to start...if you are looking to care for animals for the sake of caring for animals this is not the place. The objective of this hospital is to squeeze every penny out of the client. The medications and services are ridiculously over priced. The management is inept and cut corners. Changes are made at will and without telling anyone, and if you are not a mind reader, they will make you feel stupid. They also treat their qualified and experienced technicians like small children. It is poorly organized and structured, and the hospitals are very cold and unwelcoming. There isn't any room for growth in the company (and they will tell you that too) and the management is not open to suggestions. You will be constantly afraid that you are doing your job incorrectly, and if you do a good job, you will never be praised for it. Good luck getting a promotion or raise too. Also,as far as benefits go, it is cheaper to get health insurance on your own than to get it through the company. The doctors do not have the freedom to treat patients as they please. They are extremely scrutinized and they are always afraid of not charging for something. There is a higher client turnover rate, than recidivism rate.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your staff with the respect and dignity they deserve. An increase in salary would be beneficial to the technician for the amount of work that they do. If the company continues to focus on money rather than treating patients correctly, they will fail.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "BEWARE!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Employee discounts, health insurance (although expensive), flexible schedules

    Cons

    Open long hours and can't turn away walk ins right at closing time. Management and Medical Directors only care about revenue, and not about employee concerns or suggestions. Healthcare benefits suck and are too expensive. Employees are not praised or rewarded when they work long hours and stay past closing. Did I mention corporations SUCK??!!??

    Advice to Management

    More praise needs to be given to your employees. Stop keeping "rewards" from your employees. Be there more!!!!


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Do not sign their contract - make your own"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Company supports medical excellence
    Good referral support/specialist advice at any time for vets

    Cons

    Base salary plus production is nearly impossible if in a slow hospital
    Contracts are standard and have terrible non-compete clauses
    If not meeting production your negative balance ACCRUES! You will NEVER dig yourself out.
    Poor managers in many hospitals - not spending money on inventory that sells, but will purchase useless things. Managers often lack management skills and business sense.
    Most vets overworked and have poor work/life balance
    Poor pay to excellent employees/staff.
    Poor staffing
    Does not understand how to utilize staff instead of just hiring more veterinarians to fight over production
    Production pay creates workplace tension/competition/stress
    VCA has become a money-hungry giant corporation that has forgotten about the veterinarians and technicians they employ.

    Advice to Management

    Stop individual production based pay; reward entired hospitals for great production
    Reward excellent support staff - pay them appropriately to reduce turnover
    Reduce the number of middle management people. They are wasting money and time.
    Pay your veterinarians better - after all, they are the ones out there earning your salary


  7. Helpful (1)

    "decreased morale"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Nurse in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Nurse in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    time off but without pay

    Cons

    no employee recognition, raises, appreciation

    Advice to Management

    n/a

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Unbelievably Exploitative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Veterinary Technician in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Veterinary Technician in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Employee discount for services and retail is good. Some of the people I work with are wonderful - one of them has become a very close friend.

    Quality of medical care is excellent at my hospital.

    Cons

    Terrible terrible management on all levels. From the Hospital Manager, to the Medical Director, to the Regional Manager, and so on --- barely any training of new hires, then frustrated, angry doctors when things don't run smoothly. Perhaps eventually you will become their "go-to" person, but forget about being heard or respected. Despite your incredibly hard work (of completing your own daily duties, and then fixing the mistakes made by under-trained employees), you will rarely hear a "thank you" or "well done." You will work 45-50 hour weeks because your hospital is horribly understaffed, and then get reprimanded by your HM and Regional Director for accruing overtime.

    While my HM is pretty good at resolving client disputes, when it comes to her own staff, it will take months (if ever) to resolve anything. Raises are miniscule. Perhaps you will get a title promotion, but no monetary acknowledgement of your hard work. Ask multiple times to be reviewed (with the hope of getting a raise), finally your HM will sit you down, and only then you will learn that 3 days earlier a nation-wide salary freeze had come into effect.
    If you move into a management position (i.e. salaried) from a lower title (i.e. hourly), you will continue to receive your hourly wage with a pat on the back and a "this is technically in your job description, you know."

    In 3 words: MANIPULATIVE, DISHONEST, EXPLOITATIVE.

    Advice to Management

    see above.

    You will lose good, hard-working employees due to your poor management, your disrespect, and your exploitative practices.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "unpleasant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Veterinary Technician in Oldsmar, FL
    Current Employee - Veterinary Technician in Oldsmar, FL
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Love for animals and medicine

    Cons

    Doctors talk down to techs and treat them like they are lesser human beings


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Inept management and complete lack of respect for employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Registered Veterinary Technician in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Registered Veterinary Technician in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice employee discounts.
    Great opportunity to work with a variety of animal breeds and species.
    Timely pay through direct deposits.

    Cons

    Hospital manager has no idea how to manage. Shows partiality toward anyone who patronizes her. Is gullible and easily manipulated by those she likes. Openly gossips about any employee who is not present. Shares restricted information about employees with other, non-management employees. Is clueless about employment law, employee rights, AVMA guidelines, Department of Agriculture regulations, OSHA regulations, etc. Apparently thinks RVTs, veterinary assistants, and kennel techs are all the same thing and can work these jobs interchangeably regardless of what is written in their job descriptions. Will actually write up employees for doing their jobs because she does not have a clear understanding of what their job actually is. Will write up employees for obeying the laws, for trying to protect the welfare of the patients, for trying to learn by asking questions or for just about anything else including forgetting to refill paper towels!

    Employees are not only allowed to but are encouraged to gossip constantly, causing a perpetual state of conflict in the workplace.

    Will cut your hours without notice and without concern that you have bills to pay.

    Veterinarian is on a power trip and won't let you do what you were trained to do. Is very condescending to employees and clients. Will take offense to anything you happen to know if she doesn't know it as well. Is clearly annoyed by being asked questions!

    Obviously they want unthinking, mindless drones to just blindly obey orders and not expect anything in return, not educated medical personnel who want to increase their knowledge and provide true quality animal care. If you consider yourself a professional, go elsewhere!

    Advice to Management

    Educate your management on laws that pertain to animal care facilities. Stop hiring managers who have no experience just to save a buck. Put some effort into retaining your educated employees. Require managers and employees to know the difference between a veterinary assistant and an RVT - they are NOT the same. Require them to know what an RVT does so they are not written up for doing their jobs.

    And for goodness sake, put some money back into the practices! Your competitor makes sure all their hospitals are full with the newest and best diagnostic equipment while you allow your hospitals to scrape by with manual radiographs, no ultrasound, old and faulty fluid pumps, rusty instruments, etc. The excuse that the business doesn't make enough money is preposterous. We are typically always busy, client prices are very high, employee pay is very low, and the hospital is barely staffed. We make plenty.


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