If you've owned a pet in the last 10 years, you probably know veterinary bills can be expensive. Vets today can offer treatments and surgery options they couldn't 30 years ago, and that comes at a cost.

When big things go wrong it is not uncommon for families who feel their dog or cat are as important as their child to pay $10,000 or more. (How absolutely ironic that just now my writing this was interrupted by a phone call from my own dog’s vet about lab results for a skin problem that now requires consultations with a dermatologist and an internal medicine doctor. I’m seeing painful dollar signs.)

So I received a press release this week about a new business model for a new veterinary office opening in the Garden State. I cannot vouch for them since I have not used them, but see if this sounds intriguing.

It’s called Thrive Pet Healthcare and it's a first-of-its-kind network of more than 350 veterinary offices across the country. Their newest facility is opening in Sicklerville and if you're reading this before 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28, they're hosting a grand opening/open house until 8 p.m.

They say they offer a wide range of comprehensive veterinary healthcare under one roof and that they keep prices lower through a business model of customers paying a monthly membership fee. On their website, I found a price of $14.95 per month for something called a Thrive Plus plan.

“We’re incredibly excited to be opening our doors to the Sicklerville community, an area with many pet owners whose animals deserve top-quality care and attention,” said Lynn Shelton, Practice Manager at Thrive Pet Healthcare Sicklerville. “Our open house and grand opening events are a great opportunity for our neighbors to get to know us and learn how we can support their pets throughout their life.”

Again that's 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28 for that open house and they're holding a Halloween pet costume contest, cookie decorating for kids and they're giving away a free Thrive Plus membership and other gifts. Winners announced Nov. 4.

For more information visit www.ThrivePetCare.com or call 856.214.0602.

Now excuse me while I search my sofa cushions for a way to pay for Finn’s skin condition.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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