With the goal of increasing diversity in the industry, Dr. Clarrissa Porter is now a co-owner of a veterinary hospital.
13-WMAZ in Macon, GA, reports Porter now owns 25% of a veterinary business located in a Warner Robins, GA, PetSmart.
“Chill bumps, butterflies. I’m pinching myself all the time,” she expressed to the outlet.
Through a partnership involving PetSmart and Dr. Vernard Hodges and Dr. Terrence Ferguson from National Geographic’s show “Critter Fixers,” Porter’s ownership has been made possible.
“Less than 2% of veterinarians are of color, black — and even less are business owners, so Pet Smart has this model that allows us to be able to help other veterinarians,” Dr. Ferguson explained.
The pair has adopted a framework that will make full ownership of a business much easier for Black veterinarians at a later time. According to the outlet, the process involves Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Hodges committing a significant share of their financial resources to the investment up front, and then with a small investment from the new veterinarian too, that person has the opportunity to gain a larger stake in the future.
“This allows more veterinarians to have representation out front in the veterinary community instead of working as an associate,” Porter said, per 13-WMAZ.
Dr. Ferguson explained, “It’s kind of a no-brainer, the model is fantastic. It’s a lot less expensive this way than doing a brick and mortar where you have to go in and you’re buying a building, you’re buying land.”
Looking ahead, the celebrity doctors hope to open 30 more stores across the country. At the time of this writing, they have opened two locations.
“The great thing is we’re giving ownership to doctors who never otherwise would have it,” Dr. Hodges detailed.
Ferguson added, “When we leave here, we want this world to be a little better than when we came.”