Trip to the vet

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The foundation for BluePearl Veterinary Partners (which operates as Florida Veterinary Specialists) was laid when Neil and Darryl Shaw were young boys working in their father’s veterinary clinic. Neil Shaw was always inspired by medicine and treating animals, while Darryl wanted to know more about the financial aspect of running a business.

After college, with $40,000 of personal savings, the two opened Florida Veterinary Specialists in 1996 as an internal medicine center for small animals. The goals for FVS were modest and based on the following fundamental values: focused strategy, relationship marketing, a friendly internal culture, a positive work environment and the retention of employees.

The hospital grew quickly by offering internal medicine services, 24-hour emergency care and specialty services. The business is now the largest private veterinary practice in the southeastern U.S. The staff of more than 120 shares the Shaws’ passion for veterinary medicine and treat each animal patient, as well as their human owners, with the utmost care and respect.

The unique characteristics of the model employed by Neil and Darryl Shaw include the specialty referral model, the wide range of services provided and access to a network of doctors with various specializations, including neurology, oncology and ophthalmology. The business operates exclusively through referrals from local veterinarians.

Neil, the chief medical officer, and Darryl, the CEO, are acutely aware of the importance of relationships in their line of work, as they realize that their competition lies mainly in establishing trust in the minds of referring vets. The relationship with each referring vet is focused entirely on establishing a nonthreatening business partnership, one in which the referring vet can refer a patient knowing that BluePearl won’t take the patient afterward.

How to reach: BluePearl Veterinary Partners, (813) 933-8944 or