Vet Care Coalition

A critical labor shortage in the veterinary field has been identified nationally and here in Colorado. Existing veterinarians and staff are experiencing extreme burnout and high turnover. Animals are suffering due to low availability of appointments, long wait times, high costs, and in some areas, a complete lack of veterinary services. Veterinarians, veterinary staff, pets, pet owners, and businesses that rely on animals, such as dairy farms and ranches, need relief.

4 out of 5 Colorado pet owners support this approach to increasing access to veterinary care

The Vet Care Coalition is proposing changes to increase access to veterinary care which are crucial to achieve long-overdue access to veterinary care in Colorado.

Veterinary Professional Associates

Create a pathway for veterinary professional associates (VPA) Similar to a PA in human medicine, a veterinary PA will be a master’s degree-level professional who works under the direct supervision of a veterinarian to provide care such as examining pets, diagnosing minor conditions, performing routine surgeries, and leading healthcare teams. A VPA will generate practice revenue and take pressure off the system by increasing workforce capacity. In USDA-identified veterinary shortage situations, a VPA will be allowed to work under indirect veterinary supervision to help increase access to care for food and fiber animals

Veterinary Telehealth

Codify the veterinary telehealth options that were proven to improve animal care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth addresses geographic and logistical problems faced by many pet owners, including pet-owning seniors, individuals with disabilities, those lacking transportation, and those who live in underserved urban or remote areas. It is also useful for addressing challenges when transporting large or difficult-to-handle animals

The Vet Care Coalition for Increasing Access to Veterinary Care  is an expanding alliance that includes animal welfare organizations, veterinarians and technicians, pet owners, ranchers, and other experts with a common goal to find innovative solutions to the state’s veterinary workforce shortage.