For over a decade, Matt Bowler and Kristen Duhr have dedicated their lives to the care and wellbeing of pets. While each of them took different paths, they both converged at a single point in 2009 when the two met while Duhr was caring for Bowler’s pets. In fact, in 2011, the two started their business together, All Critter Care LLC, an in-home pet walking service.
For Duhr, it all started with a pet-sitting and dog-walking business in 2001, followed by a full-service pet care company in their home state of Missouri, offering boarding, daycare, grooming, training, and other services. However, Duhr would occasionally encounter a pet owner who had to surrender their pet because of the inability to pay the high costs of basic veterinary care.
In 2014, Duhr founded a nonprofit, licensed rescue called, Home 2 Home Canine Orphanage. As a rescue director, she helped rehabilitate and rehome thousands of dogs across the country and thousands more from rural Missouri, which she actively still does today.
While the pet care company and rescue are still going strong, Duhr and Bowler saw another opportunity to bring value to their community.
Together, they founded a wellness clinic offering affordably priced vaccines and health care for pets. The company’s primary mission is to break the cycle of pet owners surrendering their pets due to the cost of regular veterinary care and that people, in general, are not being overcharged for their pet’s basic needs.
A Simple Message
Duhr and Bowler knew there had to be a way to alleviate the financial burden of high veterinary costs on pet owners. Throughout their years of working with rescues and owning their own pets, they had spent tens of thousands of dollars on veterinary care. It was that nagging feeling of knowing there was an answer, and it came in the form of a text message: “We should start a low-cost vaccination clinic.”
At the start, there were many unknowns such as, how could they offer an affordable and consistent way to provide vaccinations to patients and their owners? And why stop there?
The goal was clear: create a solution for reasonable, honest, and efficient wellness-based care so owners would pay a fair fee in order to provide their dogs and cats with basic veterinary healthcare.
In the end, Duhr and Bowler decided a vaccination clinic combined with preventative medicine and testing would be the best option. They knew 99-percent of vet visits are made up of these kinds of routine visits, and it’s those routine visits that often rack up unreasonable costs for pet owners.
“The decision was made to put together clinics that only provided those essential vaccines, so we could cut down on costs, which would help more pet owners have access to the care their pets require,” said Duhr.
Passion and Experience Combined
Duhr and Bowler have extensive experience in the pet care industry and have become quite familiar with the myriad of veterinary services that are provided. With veterinarians already swamped in meeting the demands of their clients, they are changing the landscape in helping clients receive care for their pets in a more consistent and efficient atmosphere. In turn, customers are experiencing less wait times, pets stay healthy and don’t come into contact with other sick pets in waiting rooms and owners can focus more on spending time with their pets.
With pet owners possibly feeling anxiety because of the high cost of routine veterinary visits and spending money on procedures which are overly expensive, this may lead to the owner not having enough money should a more serious accident happen to their pets.
“During the pandemic, families found it a perfect opportunity to bring their first or even a second pet into their homes,” said Bowler. “Unfortunately, veterinary offices are at max capacity and clients can oftentimes take weeks to make an appointment for something basic. If a pet owner can get on their vet’s schedule, they may often wait weeks, sometimes even months, for the most routine services such as vaccines.”
Coupled with the economic beating the country has taken from business shutdowns and layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there couldn’t be a better opportunity for the kind of services in which their wellness clinic provides.
“That’s why we’re doing it,” said Duhr. “We want pet owners to save their money, save their time, keep their pets healthy by going to a wellness-only clinic, experience less stress from the minimal wait times, inconsistent service and deal with friendly faces that are not overburdened, so that your experience at the vet is a positive one.”
The first wellness care clinic opens this January in St Louis MO. The company plans to expand across the US in 2022.
About Matt Bowler and Kristen Duhr
Kristen Duhr is a pet rescue director who started her own pet sitting business after searching for a pet sitter for her own dog. Since then, Kristen has gone on to create All Critter Care, LLC., Kingdom Canine, Home 2 Home Canine Orphanage, and most recently, Cheap Pricks.
Matt Bowler began his career in IT in 2002 as a Linux system administrator and later as a consultant working for global clients in both the private and public sector. In 2011, he and Kristen Duhr co-founded Kingdom Canine. In 2014, he retired from consulting to focus full-time on the pet business he and Kristen still operate today.
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