A family of hospitals dedicated to
changing the veterinary landscape.

discover the power of us

National support. Local care.

Compassion-First Pet Hospitals provide support to each of our unique, hometown locations to help them offer the best care for pets, with the confidence that we’re behind them every step of the way. We carefully select hospitals who share our passion for excellence, then build on their capabilities. Our nationwide network provides expanded resources, enhanced technology and leadership with some of the top veterinary specialists in the country. They say that, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Our dream has always been to create better medical options for pets, their families, and the doctors and staff who care for them—and it’s been coming true since our company was founded in 2014.

Our Approach

Compassionate choices for pets, pet owners, and all the teams who care for them drive every decision we make.

The Power of Us Highlights

We're proud of the outstanding people who make each hospital in the Compassion-First family an exceptional place for practicing and advancing medicine. Every day across the country, our teams go beyond the status quo, leading the way into the future of animal health. These stories and articles bring to life what it means to be Compassion-First.

Our history: hometown care with heart

After 40 years spent caring for pets, John Payne discovered an opportunity to revolutionize specialty pet care. Rather than the traditional model of working in isolation, outstanding pet hospitals could be linked together to share knowledge and resources with each other, elevating specialty care to new levels.

He brought this vision to life in 2014, and since then the family of Compassion-First Pet Hospitals has expanded across the country.

His approach has proven to be a win-win situation—our hospitals retain the identities and relationships that they’ve established in their own communities, while benefiting as members of our dynamic network. We’re dedicated to individual growth and advancement for our employees in everything we do. And we’re proud that this unique approach consistently delivers the best possible outcomes for the pets we serve.

  1. August 2014

    John Payne founded Compassion-First Pet Hospitals with the mission to provide the very best medicine and services to pets and their owners, while empowering individual growth and advancement. Compassion-First hospitals retain their unique identities and autonomies regarding medical decisions, while benefiting from the opportunity to share knowledge and maximize their resources as part of a dynamic network.

  2. September 2016

    Ten new hospitals representing Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas were added to the Compassion-First Family. These hospitals represent the company’s first expansion outside of the Northeast and an increased presence in Pennsylvania.

  3. December 2016

    Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists (GCVS) in Houston, Texas, premiers on Nat Geo WILD's new series Animal ER. 

    Nat Geo WILD’s new series goes behind the scenes at the hospital to follow cases on the cutting edge of veterinary care. GCVS is one of the most respected — and busiest — animal hospitals in the world, with more than 200 staff treating over 50,000 patients a year, 

  4. January 2017

    Introduction of the Fear Free training and certification initiative designed to reduce the fear, anxiety, and stress that pets so often experience when receiving veterinary care.



  5. January 2017

    Compassion-First Pet Hospitals adds new roles to help boost hospital collaboration and improve medical outcomes, thus charting a course where veterinary medicine is defined by collaboration, cooperation, and compassionate care.

  6. January 2018

    Compassion-First propels career growth for non-credentialed veterinary professionals through partnership with two AVMA Accredited Veterinary Technician programs: Penn Foster College & Cedar Valley College. In addition to the veterinary technicians program, a ground-breaking, employer-supported development program for veterinary nursing teams was implemented, allowing them to choose their educational program and career path. 

  7. January 2019

    First in veterinary industry to recognize front-line employees with special recognition in January during Client Service Representative Appreciation Week. The event will happen every year in January.

  8. January 2019

    To ensure the health and wellness of America’s service animals, Compassion-First hospitals began offering free emergency veterinary medical care to those service animals impacted by the ongoing government shutdown.

  9. June 2019

    Care Center in Dayton opened a new state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, adding surgery, interventional radiology and acupuncture to their specialties. The new location was also upgraded with cutting-edge technology such as an MRI, CT and fluoroscopy. 

  10. June 2019

    Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists Receive the 2019 Pinnacle Award by the Better Business Bureau. This marks the sixth consecutive year of being honored for excellence and quality in the workplace.

  11. July 2019

    Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas (AEHNT) in Grapevine, TX and Florida Veterinary Referral Center & 24-Hour Emergency Hospital (FVRC) in FL joined the Compassion-First Pet Hospitals family. Both hospitals are well-known for providing exceptional specialty and emergency care to pets and their owners.

  12. September 2019

    First ever veterinary nursing conference held at Compassion-First home office. Created and launched by our own Veterinary Nursing Development team, ‘IGNITE!’, which stands for inspire, grow, nurture, invest, train and empower, brought together over 30 veterinary nursing leaders from across the organization. This first-ever, three-day mini-conference connected our VNTs and provided just what they needed. 

  13. October 2019

    Kerri Marshall, DVM, joined the Compassion-First team as the Vice President of Innovation. Dr. Marshall will be responsible for implementing technology that will streamline collaboration across all the veterinary hospitals in the Compassion-First family

  14. November 2019

    Three renowned Florida hospitals join the Compassion-First family. 

    Specialists in Companion Animal Neurology (SCAN) of Clearwater and Naples are the only veterinary practices on the Florida Gulf Coast that exclusively treat medical and surgical disorders of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. 

    First Coast Veterinary Specialists and Emergency is a referral specialty and emergency center with board-certified veterinary surgeons providing advanced care to pet owners throughout Northeast Florida and South Georgia communities. 


Find out how Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals in Tinton Falls, NJ teamed up with Compassion-First to provide the best possible medical outcomes.

From the specialists to the clinicians and support staff, everyone at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital shares the same daily goal: to provide outstanding patient care. The leadership team at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital fosters support and growth, enabling staff to thrive as professionals—and as people who love animals.

Partnering with Compassion-First allows GCVS to maintain the family atmosphere joined with state of the art equipment to deliver supreme patient care. This partnership also allows collaboration with the network of Compassion-First specialists all over the country. The well-resourced and organized structure permits me to solely center my focus on delivering the best medicine.

Lisa DiBernardi, DVM, DACVIM, DACVR

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists

Lisa DiBernardi, DVM, DACVIM, DACVR

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists

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Compassion-First Pet Hospital has given me the opportunity to practice the absolute best quality of medicine and surgery with state-of-the-art equipment with managers that understand the "ins and outs" of veterinary medicine as well as the pressures of a busy neurology and neurosurgery practice. This has enabled me to build a team of like-minded doctors and staff that want the very best for the patient and their owners. In the end, I not only get to help the patient but have advanced veterinary neurology and neurosurgery with cutting edge clinical research and publications. I could not imagine a more fulfilling work atmosphere.

Eric N. Glass, MS, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM

Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals

Eric N. Glass, MS, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM

Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals

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Since the beginning of our relationship Compassion-First has supported my specialty and provided me support to pursue advanced training. The Anesthesiology and Pain Management service at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital practices cutting edge medicine and is collaborative with other hospitals throughout the country. I am proud to be a part of Compassion First Pet Hospitals and to be on the forefront of veterinary medicine!

Melina Zimmerman, DVM, DAVCAA

Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals

Melina Zimmerman, DVM, DAVCAA

Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals

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The Compassion-First response to the huge crisis in Houston has been incredible. I was really impressed by how everyone came together to minimize the impact on the people and animals affected by this disaster. It shows that this group truly cares about the well-being of their employees, and that it will go the extra mile to support them. Compassion-First’s pursuit of collaboration between practices to build a true network and community of highly advanced specialty practices is commendable. It inspires the hope of building an exceptional group of hospitals unlike any other in this country.

Ingar Krebs, DVM, DACVS

Upstate Vet

Ingar Krebs, DVM, DACVS

Upstate Vet

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Moments of Compassion

From the specialists to the clinicians and support staff, everyone at Compassion-First Pet Hospitals is working together toward the same goal each day: to provide outstanding patient care. With this collaborative approach to veterinary medicine, the specialists are able to incorporate their various viewpoints while determining treatment plans, which ultimately allows patients to receive the best care and medical outcomes possible. Compassion-First Pet Hospitals foster support and growth, enabling staff to thrive not only as professionals, but also as people who love animals.

Don't just take our word for it!

Community Involvement

Compassion is more than just part of our name – it guides everything we do.

Across our team, Compassion-First hospitals value their local communities and take part in initiatives to support them. We participate in a variety of programs that make life better for pets—and their families.


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