HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, founded by Dr. Lisa Aumiller, was one of five finalists in Ford's Five Pitches in Five Blocks competition, where entrepreneurs have five city streets to tell how their company would benefit from a 2019 Ford Transit Connect. In the contest, each founder had the opportunity to put their story-telling skills to the test to talk about their business.
HousePaws is a mobile veterinary service located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, serving South Jersey and the Philadelphia area. Dr. Aumiller founded it when she became disenchanted with working in a more corporate veterinary environment, and wanted more direct interaction with patients and their owners.
How did you get your business in motion?
I had a truck, a stethoscope, a microscope, a DVM degree, and the idea of treating pets in the environment in which they are most comfortable--their home. Determined to get things moving quickly, I attended a local networking group where I met people from a number of fields who helped me to get my business up and running within the week. The lawyer obtained my LLC, the insurance agent got my business insurance, and on and on.
What are your biggest roadblocks to success?
We believe we're helping pioneer a new, and in many respects, better way to practice veterinary medicine. The biggest roadblocks to continued success are finding the right people quickly enough, and having enough capital to continue to grow the company to keep up with our expanding territory and base of clients. Being in high demand is a blessing, of course, but it creates its own challenges. Teamwork and preparation are the keys to success, and having the right team of people in place will produce the service and capital to continue growing.
How important is mobility to your business?
Mobility is at the center of who we are as a company and what we do in the community. It is the tool we use to bring patient-centered treatment to clients unable to travel with their pets because of pet size, species, or health conditions--there are any number of reasons why they physically can't get to the hospital.
By going on house calls, we are given clues that help us diagnose issues that wouldn't be apparent in the clinic. We can see what they eat, the condition of a litter box, how the house smells, and what their yards look like, etc. We employ modern diagnostic and treatment technologies on the road, including ultrasound, portable X-rays, cold laser therapy, lab diagnostics, and more. It feels with each passing day, the difference in what we can do in one of our hospitals versus what can be done from one of our Ford Transits decreases.
In fact, many of our veterinarians look forward to the ever-changing landscape of cases they'll encounter daily on the road. This adventurous spirit and adaptability also makes them comfortable and willing to volunteer for community wellness clinics in our area and overseas spay/neuter clinics, where conditions are quite a bit different than those in the traditional veterinary hospital.
What does the "road to success" look like for you?
Success for me is measured in smiles, wags, and licks. It is healthier pets living longer lives, and owners who are educated and empowered to do the right things for their pets as best they can.
The road to success is one where happy clients tell their friends and families about us to allow us to grow and provide more opportunities to serve our clients and our community.
What drives you?
Passion. The desire to do the best I can to help people and the pets they love. It is my passion to set an example for my children and my clients that one person, one act, can make a difference. Sometimes the difference is big, sometimes it is small, but the point is to make a difference through your passion.
At HousePaws we have eighty people making a difference every day. It is a very powerful thing when you get a group of people together with similar instincts. At the core of each and every one of us is the belief that there is a human/animal connection that makes people feel happy and secure. In some ways that makes us more human and better humans.