Our Story

Founded in 1987, VCA is a family of hometown animal hospitals committed to making a positive impact for pets, people, and our communities. We care about the communities we serve and every pet within them, not just those we see in our hospitals. Every hospital carries a sense of pride for the legacy of excellence they’ve built and the stories of service that are deeply connected to their local communities. VCA joined the Mars family in 2017. Together, we are writing a powerful story about what’s next in veterinary care.

Meet the Founders


Our Network

As a national network of hometown hospitals, we provide world-class veterinary medicine by activating our shared expertise and pairing cutting-edge technology, procedures and best practices with deeply compassionate care.

Hospital Types

Primary Care

Our primary care teams are the first point of contact for all of your pet’s needs, from check-ups to tummy-aches. We understand that no question is too small, which is why we are here to answer them for you, year after year. Our leading care teams get to know both you and your pets, which helps us deliver world-class veterinary medicine with hometown care.

Specialty Care

Our specialists don’t just use best practices, they develop them. Our advanced care teams include oncologists, surgeons, and specialized veterinary professionals who are leaders in their field. No matter the situation, you can rest assured that your pet is getting the best care possible. When it matters most, you come to VCA.

Emergency Care

Our critical and emergency care teams are trained and equipped to handle all kinds of emergencies, including traumatic injury, respiratory emergency, shock, poisoning, serious illness and more. By incorporating advanced techniques from both veterinary and human medicine, our compassionate teams provide the highest standard of emergency and critical care.

Urgent Care

Our urgent care services offer extended hours and expert teams to help pets with immediate care needs that are not life-threatening.

Boarding Care

Many boarding facilities are associated with veterinary hospitals and are staffed with trained professionals to care for your pet.

VCA Pet CancerCare®
With 29 VCA Pet CancerCare Centers and more than 60 boarded oncologists – including 11 radiation oncologists – across North America, we support patients and clients through complex oncology cases with world-class veterinary medicine and compassionate, hometown care.


Our Leadership

We take our reputation as the leader in veterinary medicine seriously. Every day, our talented teams across the country are not only practicing world-class medicine, we are setting a new standard of care.

Our Leadership

We take our reputation as the leader in veterinary medicine seriously. Every day, our talented teams across the country are not only practicing world-class medicine, we are setting a new standard of care.

Get to Know the VCA Leadership Team
Todd Lavender
DVM President

As President of VCA Animal Hospitals and a second generation veterinarian, VCA’s support for A Better World For Pets™ – that is, taking care of the future of veterinary medicine – is deeply personal to Dr. Todd Lavender. His time with VCA started when he was a practice owner in Atlanta. During his 17+ years at VCA, Dr. Lavender’s leadership roles have spanned Operations, Recruiting and Medical Operations. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Eastern Hospital Operations, Regional Medical Director, Recruiting and Professional Relations Director, and Senior Group Vice President for VCA’s Eastern Division of hospitals.

With more than 30 years of experience in the field, today, Dr. Lavender leads VCA’s 35,000 talented Associates in the U.S., Canada and Brazil. He is a Board Director for VCA Charities, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping pets in loving homes. Dr. Lavender is leading VCA’s exploration of how to build a more resilient profession and bring veterinary care to new communities, together with organizations like VetSetGo and the Atlanta Humane Society.

Dr. Lavender received his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from the University of Georgia, home of the 2021 College Football National Champions. He and his wife live in Los Angeles with their dog, Dooley.

Garrett Lewis
Chief Operating Officer

Garrett was named Chief Operating Officer for VCA Animal Hospitals in 2021. In this role, he leads operations across VCA, ensuring integration between key hospital and Support Office teams, including U.S. and emerging markets hospitals, real estate and construction, marketing, and innovation. He joined VCA in 2016 as a group vice president overseeing Midwest hospitals and most recently served as Senior Vice President leading key support teams such as Talent Acquisition, Training and Leadership Development.

Before VCA, Garrett led several young companies through early stages of growth and helmed teams at Fortune 500 companies. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Garrett resides in South Bay, Los Angeles with his wife, young son and dog, Makers. Originally from East Tennessee, he still enjoys the outdoors with his family, taking advantage of the nearby mountains and beaches of Southern California.

Marie Kerl
DVM, MPH, DACVIM (SAIM), DACVECC Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Kerl oversees medical operations at VCA’s network of more than 1,000 small animal veterinary hospitals.

She joined the VCA family in 2017 as regional medical director and then later moved into a combined regional medical director/regional operations director role, prior to her promotion to chief medical officer.

Dr. Kerl received her bachelor’s and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Auburn University. Later, she earned her master’s in public health and MBA from the University of Missouri.

She has over 25 years of experience as diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, with a specialty in small animal internal medicine. In 2001, she became a diplomate of the American College of Emergency and Critical Care. She is also active in veterinary disaster response as a member of the National Veterinary Response Team, and the Missouri Volunteer Veterinary Corps.

A self-proclaimed nerd, Dr. Kerl enjoys choral singing, cooking, traveling and spending time with her partner of 25 years, Elizabeth, and their pets.

Trevor Adams
CPA, CGMA Chief Financial Officer

Trevor Adams joined VCA from BluePearl where he also served as Chief Financial Officer.

As BluePearl’s CFO, Trevor led the finance team, including financial reporting, planning and analysis, accounting, procurement, and risk & safety. Before joining BluePearl in 2019, Trevor’s served in several roles for Mars Petcare and Mars Veterinary Health, including as MVH Director of Finance and as vice president of Finance for Banfield. He has worked closely with senior leadership on strategic projects, such as planning for international expansion, and also played an integral role in several major acquisitions.

Trevor earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Brigham Young University. He enjoys cheering on his kids, running, and an occasional round of golf.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, their four children, and their Labradoodle, Stella.

Paola Perez-Loaiza
Vice President for People & Organization

As Vice President for People and Organization (P&O) and member of the senior leadership, Paola oversees all human resources functions and people-related activities for VCA. She and her team are responsible for making VCA a place Associates want to join, stay and thrive. She believes that to Make a Better World for Pets we need to Make a Better World for our Associates. Her team is committed to enhancing every element of the Associate Experience, from recruitment to farewell, caring for the health and wellbeing of our Associates and cultivating an inclusive, diverse and fun culture.

Paola has held several leadership roles within the Mars Petcare ecosystem, including AniCura P&O head, Vice President for Mars Vet Health International and Diagnostics, and various P&O leadership roles with Mars Global Pet Nutrition and U.S. Pet Nutrition. Prior to joining Mars, Paola was at Procter & Gamble for 17 years, where she held multiple roles in supply and procurement in Latin America, Europe and North America. She received her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela.

Paola is passionate about finding and nurturing the leaders of tomorrow. She believes that every person needs to find their own definition of happiness, and from there, work hard and persevere in the pursuit of their dreams.

She loves traveling, learning about different cultures and experiencing their gastronomy. Paola, her husband and two children have lived in different countries and cities across Latin America, the US and Europe. She loves spending time with family and friends and doing CrossFit.

Gina Lindell
JD General Counsel

As general counsel for VCA and a member of the Senior Leadership Team, Gina leads all operational and strategic legal issues, and oversees both the Legal and Risk and Safety departments.

Gina supported VCA as outside legal counsel from 2014-2019, then served as associate general counsel for two years prior to being promoted to her current role in 2021. Prior to joining the VCA Team, she was a partner with Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP’s employment law practice group where she focused on litigation and was recognized as a top rated employment & labor attorney in San Diego, CA.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California Los Angeles and completed her law degree at the Southwestern Law School.

Gina enjoys any activity that keeps her active and outdoors, spending time with her family and pets.

Jason Chaffin
MBA Vice President, Information Technology

Jason Chaffin leads VCA’s information technology team, responsible for supporting and enabling the world-class care delivered in our Hospitals. With more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare field, Jason brings deep expertise to VCA, identifying and aligning transformational solutions that aid in advancing the delivery of care. Jason is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and, before joining VCA, was the Chief Information Officer at Dental Care Alliance.

Jason earned a Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems from Gordon Ford College of Business at Western Kentucky University and an MBA from Tennessee State University.

He and his wife live in the Los Angeles area with their Maltipoo. They enjoy an active lifestyle that includes running, hiking, paddleboarding, and anything else that involves getting outdoors.

Kimberly West
Vice President, Corporate Affairs

As VP of corporate affairs, Kimberly leads internal and external integrated communications, corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Passionate about putting purpose into action, Kimberly also serves as the President of VCA Charities, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping pets in loving homes.

Before joining VCA in 2020, Kimberly served as director of external communications for Mars Global, and held senior leadership roles at the technology and management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and global communications agency FleishmanHillard.

She holds a master’s from Boston University and bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

Kimberly enjoys being outside and baking with her family.

Our Medicine

Known for our industry-leading medicine, at VCA we don’t just use cutting-edge tools and best practices, we develop them. Our network supports top veterinary professionals with ongoing education and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, and develops the tools and techniques needed to tackle complex medical issues. When it matters most, you bring your pet to VCA.

How We Work

We know the future of veterinary medicine is in good hands because we see it being powered by the care, capability and connection our Associates provide at their local hospitals every day.

Our love of learning pushes our industry, communities and hospitals forward.
Our varied team of experts unite under the spirit of doing the best job at the top of their training.
being real
Being Real
At VCA, careers thrive in a community of encouragement, without ego, attitude or agenda.
Great patient care is built on trust, at every level of our organization.
We support all our Associates so they can keep the joy at the heart of what they do.

Social Responsibility

Our family of 30,000+ VCA Associates has always reached for what's next, transforming how we support one another, patients and clients. It's part of our obligation to take care of the future of veterinary medicine. 

Through our VCA Shelter program, we've taken action like spaying and neutering pets for military personnel, providing disaster relief and enabling medical care and transport for 2,500 shelter pets out of crowded shelters and into loving homes. 

VCA has made significant investments to expand benefits and well-being resources, most recently with the new
Lyra Health program, to provide mental health support to all U.S. Associates.

We have been a leader in the industry and within Mars Veterinary Health to reduce the impact of our supply chain, partnering with distribution to consolidate shipments, reducing containers shipped in 2020 by nearly 18% and GHG emissions by 179 metric tons.