RedTire Saves Rural Veterinary Practice


University of Kansas RedTire Program

As retirement loomed, Casey Thomas knew he would eventually have to sell his animal hospital of more than 30 years. He spent seven years preparing to sell his business without an inkling of who would actually buy the Junction City, Kan., veterinary practice.

“My wife and I knew we were entering the latter days of my practice,” Thomas said, “and we knew we wanted to keep the business strong until we sold it.” They updated equipment and technology, modernized procedures and capabilities, all in preparation for a mystery successor.

But Thomas didn’t make his desire to retire known until he received a postcard from the University of Kansas RedTire Program. “It was exactly what we were looking for — exactly what we needed at the right time,” he said.

After months of due diligence and negotiations, RedTire brokered its first official match, February 2014, closing the sale of Flint Hills Veterinary Hospital, to Julie Ebert, Kansas State University alumna and fellow doctor of veterinary medicine.

“Vets are well trained in medicine and surgery and, to a certain extent, business management,” Thomas said, “but most of us rarely sell a practice until we’re ready to retire.” RedTire provided not only an introduction to a willing buyer, but also gave Thomas a structure to begin negotiations, he said.

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