JacksonvilleVeterinary Medical Society
Business Meeting Minutes
May 5, 2011


I.                   Meeting called to order

II.                Accepting of minutes from March business meeting


1.      New Members

i.      Dr. Jeff Maxwell

ii.      Dr. David Beatie – Beatie Animal Clinic

iii.      Dr. Drew Doverspike

iv.      Dr. Mike Ricker


1.      Treasurer’s Report:  Dr. Heidi Chupp (not present at the meeting)

i.      Monthly balance sheet was passed out

ii.      For anyone who’s not yet paid, 2011 JVMS dues should be remitted to Dr. Heidi Chupp.  Her address can be found on the JVMS website.

2.      Secretary:  Dr. Laura Kelsey

i.      There was again discussion about continuing to hold the meetings at the University Club vs. having rotating locations, as has been done in the past.  Both Dr. Kelsey and Dr. Erne were in favor of having future meetings at the University Club for the many benefits it offers, including centralized location, private room with podium and microphone, upscale environment with stellar view and ease of organizing meetings.

a.       Dr. Snyder pointed out that according to JVMS bylaws, meeting location is left to the discretion of the president and secretary.

b.      Drs. Kelsey and Erne decided to have regular business meetings at the University Club for the remainder of their term.

c.       The annual meeting in September will continue to be held at Epping Forrest Yacht Club, as it always has been.

3.      FVMA Update:  Dr. Rick Sutliff

      i.       FVMA Annual Conference

a.      The 2011 conference was a success with around 1,000 participants including veterinarians, technicians and practice managers.

b.      Future conference locations include Tampa in 2012 and Orlando in 2013.

c.       This smaller conference offers great CE and all were encouraged to consider attending next year.

ii.      Legislation in the US Congress:  Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2011, House Bill 1406

a.       There is a proposed bill that would require veterinarians to write a prescription for anything prescribed in their practice, even if it is to be dispensed from their clinic.  Veterinarians would also be required to provide a written disclosure that the pet owner may fill the prescription through the prescriber or another pharmacy.

b.      The AVMA feels this bills is unnecessary and redundant since veterinarians may already write prescriptions in lieu of filling prescriptions and owners can fill the prescription at a pharmacy of their choice

c.       Everyone was encouraged to contact their congressmen in attempt to prevent this from becoming a law

iii.      State Legislation

a.       There was a bill that would require sales tax on all veterinary procedures.  This was an oversight and has since been corrected.

b.      There is a bill that makes it illegal to have sex with animals which looks like it will finally pass this year!

c.       There are several other bills that the FVMA is working on that are currently hung up in committees and will not go through this year.

1.      There is a bill requiring proper oversight of limited service clinics.  This bill may have been in response to a rumor that the FVMA is trying to shut down these clinics, which is false.

2.      There is a proposed bill which would label all dogs with a fighting history as “dangerous dogs.”  This bill was rewritten to allow temperament testing prior to labeling.

4.      CE Committee:  Dr. Mitch Crystal (not present at the meeting)

        i.      Report on March 20 CE Meeting--Dr. Blackburn, Parasitology

a.      The meeting was well attended.

b.      JVMS made $400 profit, due to sponsors and sub-sponsors.

         ii.      Upcoming CE Meetings

a.      Thursday, May 12th —Dr. Dan Green, Feline Retroviruses and Vaccines

1.      Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim

2.      Location:  Maggianos at Town Center

3.      The first 40 people to RSVP will receive a Friday round all access ticket to Sawgrass.

b.      Sunday, June 5th —Dr. Mike Macintyre, Client Compliance, Client Communication and Pet-Centered Practice

1.      Sponsored by Hill’s

2.      Location:  Crowne Plaza

3.      Time:  Breakfast meeting, 7:30 am – 1:30 pm

c.       FVMA and JVMS plan to hold a joint CE meeting in fall (Sept)—all details TBD

d.      Late fall CE (Nov)—all TBD

5.      Holiday Party Committee:  Dr. Nicole Hardie/Dr. Steve Hart

      i.      This year’s holiday party will be held on Sat Dec 10 (this date got the most votes).

      ii.      Location—Aetna Riverfront Building

      iii.      Event to be catered by Anthony’s

6.      Website Committee:  Dr. Cindy Miller

i.      The following updates have been made to the JVMS website

a.       rabies alert page

b.      guide on how to handle suspected rabies cases

c.       CE page

ii.      Check the website periodically for letters from the president.

7.      Universityof Florida

       i.      Small animal hospital Open House was held on April 16th – no one from JVMS attended

       ii.      Referring Veterinarian Appreciation Day – June 25th at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center

a.      Dr. Holland Burrows’ retirement dinner (head of small animal hospital) will be celebrated at the Referring Veterinarian Appreciation Day.

8.      Awards/Auditing/Bylaws/Peer Review/Trust Fund Committees

        i.      no updates

9.      Sanford-Brown Institute – Veterinary Technology Program—Dr. Daniel Jacoby

i.      The programreceived AVMA accreditation!  Dr. Jacoby thanked his team, who was not present to receive his appreciation, but who made the accreditation possible.

ii.      There have been two recent hires

a.       Kim Brody, who comes from Purdue (a school with a very highly respected veterinary technology program)

b.      Elizabeth Decatch

iii.      Current Happenings

a.       59 students, 10 to graduate September 1st

b.      externships begin June 20

1.      externships last 10 weeks and must include a minimum of 120 hours, a minimum of 4 weeks at any one site, and a total of 2-3 sites

2.      contact Dr. Jacoby if you are interested in hosting an extern

c.       Now that the program is accredited, the next two starts are completely booked and have a waiting list

1.      by end of year, the program is expected to have approximately 90 students

d.      There is currently an attrition rate of 19%, which is not what Sanford Brown wants, but Dr. Jacoby sees it as a positive because only students with an aptitude for the profession are remaining in the program

e.       The current tuition is $26,000 for the 17 month program and includes books, lab fees and uniforms.

1.      While high, the program cost is still below the national average

2.      Many students take out loans to pay for their education.

3.      Sanford Brown is a for-profit institution and is not subsidized by government funding.

iv.      Thanks to Dr. Jacks, from ACPS, who has helped to provide dogs to the school for a hands-on spay/neuter program

v.      Dr. Jacoby asks that we, as possible externship hosts and future employers, have patience with the students.  They are all highly motivated, but may need fine tuning to fit into a particular practice.

vi.      A question was asked about policies regarding tattoos, piercings and drug testing.  At this time, there is a policy that students have no facial piercings, but no tattoo policy is in place.  The school does not test its students for illicit drugs.  This is not required by the AVMA.  However, a background check is performed.

10.  ACPS/FCNMHP/Humane Society

   i.      Trail of Tails Fun Walk & Festival—May 21, 2011 at the Jacksonville Landing

ii.      Update from Scott Trebatoski

a.       The Mandarin Adoption Center will be closing on September 30th due to budget cuts.

b.      Nine of the 52 positions at ACPS may be eliminated based on extensive of budget cuts.  This is the worse case scenario and would extend across the board in all areas (not just lower end positions).

c.       ACPS has been encountering a number of expired health certificates.  Some of these certificates have been altered.  When an altered health certificate is found, ACPS will be asking the issuing veterinarian for help so that the breeder/seller can be identified and prosecuted for fraud.

1.      Dr. Alicia Esser recommended that everyone put lines through boxes for additional vaccines so that this type of fraud cannot take place.

2.      Dr. Snyder has seen pet stores adding to health certificates, not just independent breeders.

3.      Please report this to ACPS if you see it!

d.      A group of citizens and professionals is being assembled to review the fines associated with violations of the new pet ordinance.  Please email Scott if you are interested in participating in this group.

e.       ACPS is in the final stages of hiring a new veterinarian (Dr. Jacks is currently the only veterinarian employed by ACPS).  There were four applicants and they are in the process of making an offer to one of these four.

f.       2011 Report on SpayJax—See attachment.

g.      Recently the Florida Department of Health reversed a long-term practice (since 2000) of issuing exemption letters to government animal control agencies under section 499.03(e) of Florida Statutes for legend drugs (i.e. tranquilizing drugs) used in conjunction with preparation for euthanasia for fractious animals and for chemical immobilization of dogs that cannot be caught in any traditional manner. This will not have any immediate effect on ACPS but it is very likely to affect neighboring county agencies. Without a veterinarian providing the oversight and purchase of the drugs, shelters may no longer purchase them directly and may not possess them. FACA (Florida Animal Control Association) has been pleading the case and is preparing to approach the Attorney General for a legal opinion related to the new interpretation. If unsuccessful, FACA will be introducing new legislation in 2012 to clarify the statutes.

1.      Dr. Snyder commented again on the need for a legislative liaison.  We need to contact people to see if they will serve on this committee and we, as a group, need to have contacts so we know what’s going on with local politics.


1.      JVMS President

i.      Dr. Erne—Dr. Snyder proposed at the May business meeting that a change to the bylaws be considered that would require the JVMS president and other officers to be practice owners.

ii.      Dr. Snyder—reported that he proposed this change for discussion purposes only.  There has been the notion previously that hospital owners have a greater interest in what’s going on in the association and a different mindset regarding politics than associates.  For example, associates may not care that FCNMHP is doing all the surgeries for SpayJax, while practice owners may have a greater concern about this issue.

iii.      Dr. Tim Holloway—commented that the president can’t make decisions unless voted on by the membership.  However, it is important for practice owners to attend meetings.

iv.      Dr. Esser—we have 155 paid members, but far fewer than this attend meetings, so apathy is an obvious problem.  Restricting who can serve as an officer may not be in the association’s best interest.  In addition, associates may bring a fresh perspective and younger vets (who are often associates) do not have a history and carry the baggage that older practice owners may have.  This could be beneficial in helping forge new relationships.  Also, all practice owners cater to a different demographic and have a different practice mindset.  It is important to have diverse perspectives amongst the officers.

v.      Dr. Erne—Disagrees that associates do not care about management issues.  In addition, JVMS’ main goal is not to discuss management issues, if so it would be a managers association.  As an association, we need to recruit young associates and would be more likely to do so if they saw other associates on the board with whom they could identify.  He also likes the fact that the JVMS is an active, diverse association, unlike other local VMAs with which he’s been involved.

vi.      Dr. Holloway—commented that it may alienate associates and turn the JVMS into an owners’ association.

vii.      Dr. Bill Pope—there have been many associates who have been very active in the association and we need to take advantage of those who are willing to serve.

viii.      Dr. Snyder—the JVMS is looked up to state-wide.  Other groups are amazed that we have well over 20 vets at meetings.  Some have only 2-3 committed members. Daytona’s association dissolved due to lack of interest.  One of the great things about JVMS is that we can disagree but remain friends when meeting is over.

ix.      Dr. Silverness—the problem with ACPS may have been the reason that this issue was raised.  Again, it is important that a ACPS liaison be found.  If no one volunteers, we need to just appoint someone.

a.       Dr. Cindy Miller is willing to be on the committee, but doesn’t want to chair it because she is already the website committee chair.

2.      Decline in Veterinary Visits

i.      A recent study published by Bayer identified 6 major reasons for a decline in veterinary visits:

a.       Economic impact of the recession

b.      Fragmentation of veterinary services- mobile vaccine clinics, referral centers, animal shelters, pet store clinics

1.      According to the AVMA, the number of companion animal Veterinarians is growing faster than the number of pets

c.       Health care research on the Internet

1.      15% of pet owners don’t rely on veterinarians as much

2.      39% look online before consulting with a veterinarian

d.      Feline resistance

1.      1/3 of cats have not seen a veterinarian in the past year

2.      Reasons reported for not taking cats to the veterinarian:  hiding, aggression, vocalization, stressed & fearful behavior

e.       Perception that regular medical checkups are unnecessary (may be b/c of changing vaccine protocols)

1.      63% of dog owners & 68% of cat owners question the need for regular veterinary care

2.      Survey by NCVEI – 56% of veterinarians reported patient visits down in 1st 9 months of 2010.

f.       Cost of care

1.      53% say costs much higher than expected

2.      Directly proportionate to household income

ii.      There was a general consensus by those attending that there has been a recent decline in client visits.

iii.      Strategies to get people to come in for regular checkups

a.       Dr. Holloway—the public perception is that vet=vaccines.  Now that protocols are changing and there are vaccine clinics on every corner, people are coming to vets less.  We, as a profession, have done ourselves a disservice by discounting the importance of physical exams and wellness care.  He is putting less emphasis on vaccines at his clinic and more emphasis on wellness care and examinations.  He is focusing on internal marketing at this time.  He thinks it would be beneficial if we pooled our resources and did some advertising for wellness care as a profession.

b.      Dr. Silverness—pointed out that we need the help of the FVMA/AVMA to promote general practice agendas.

iv.      Another perspective—another recent article reported that spending on vet care grew by 8% in 2010, reaching a total of $8 billion.  In addition, the pet industry grew by 6%, with $48 billion spent in 2010.  This figure is expected to grow to over $50 billion in 2011.  Of this, veterinary care has the largest expected growth in 2011.  The sale of pets has declined by 1.5% ($2 billion in purchasing pets), but the number of households that own pets increased by 2%.  Also, the average number of vet visits per year increased to 2.4 visits in 2010 vs. 2.1 in 2009.

a.       This article suggests that the money is out there—people are spending it on their pets.  We, as a profession, just need to do a better job as a group to market wellness care and not just vaccines.

b.      Dr. Esser—she practices in the Northeast every summer and reports that vets in this area saw a 3-5% growth in 2010 (after being down in 2008 and 2009).  In Jacksonville, we seem to be flat or just a bit lower in 2010 compared to 2009.  The Midwest and Southeast may be harder hit by the recession.  Our business should pick up as it has in other parts of country if we hold out another year or two.

3.      Any other business/concerns/issues

i.      Dr. Hashey—She works part time at NAS clinic on base and has recently seen a rash of wildlife animals left on the doorstep with neurological issues, including a fox and a raccoon.  She called many people trying to get information on what to do with these animals.  She looked at the Florida Rabies Guidelines online, but this is a 120 page document and provides only guidelines for what ideally should happen.  She has found that some of the organizations have not been as helpful as she would have liked.  She’d like to provide a summary of what she’s found.

a.       If someone has been bitten/scratched by the animal, call the County Health Dept first.  In such cases, the health department takes over and the animal is sent to the state lab for rabies testing.  An officer from Fish and Wildlife may come to euthanize the animal.

b.      If no one has been scratched or bitten, but you still want the animal tested for rabies, there is no government program/agency to help you with these cases.  You need to call a private trapper.  It is unknown how these trappers euthanize the animals, but they will euthanize and dispose of it for you.  Likewise, if a client calls and sees wild animal exhibiting neurologic symptoms, advise them to call a private trapper.

c.       There is currently not a rabies survey program in FL due to budget cuts.

d.      It is highly recommended that you educate your clients and the general public about the dangers of feeding feral cats and raccoons.  Potential zoonotic diseases include leptovirus, roundworm, rabies and distemper.  We need an education program in Duval County, as these practices pose a serious public health risk.

Meeting Adjournment

This is the progress this year for the SpayJax program (low income sterilization program)

Oct 2010 – 602 surgeries

[292 dogs, 310 cats] - $20,477.50 cost

Nov 2010 – 401 surgeries [239 dogs, 162 cats] - $14,660 cost

Dec 2010 – 387 surgeries [208 dogs, 179 cats] - $13,670 cost

Jan 2011 – 450 surgeries [217 dogs, 233 cats] - $15,127.50 cost

Feb 2011 – 481 surgeries [255 dogs, 226 cats] - $16,752.50 cost

First 5 months of Fiscal Year – 2321 surgeries [1211 dogs, 1110 cats] - $80,687.50   (average cost $34.76 per surgery – includes rabies shot if they do not have one, but the owner must buy the city tag).  These are ALL owned animals. No money for feral freedom in this program

The annual estimate is that 4330 surgeries will be completed in the program by end of fiscal year.

It is interesting that the dog surgeries slightly outweigh the cat surgeries since the national trend is more cats being owned than dogs.

FCNMHP is doing all of the spays and neuters for SpayJax.  FCNMPH claims a $70 cost and they absorb half the cost.  Anyone can bid on the contract.  FCNMHP has private donors available to contribute to these programs, other vets cannot easily compete unless they find private donors themselves.

Without the 50% cost match from private sources from FCNMHP we would have had to end the program in February because our budget of $150,500 would have been exhausted.

Dr. Laura Kelsey