Worker cooperatives come to veterinary medicine

A self-described “political lefty,” Dally pondered the notion of converting the two-practice business to a worker cooperative — selling it to the employees, who would own and run it following democratic principles. He knew of no other veterinary practice that had done it.

With assistance from the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives and other consultants, and after a year of frequent all-staff meetings (including, for a time, weekly 7 a.m. confabs), on Jan. 1, the majority of employees and the three former owners took equal and joint ownership of what is now called Cooperative Veterinary Care.

The move comes as some in the profession seek new models of independent ownership as a bulwark against consolidation.

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