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Petco to Close Drs. Foster and Smith


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Petco will close its Drs. Foster and Smith (DFS) business based in Rhinelander, Wis., on Feb. 12. Taking into account the needs of modern pet owners, shifting consumer preferences and the ongoing evolution of the Petco brand, the company believes this will enable it to streamline operations and better focus on its core business and customer, said officials for the company, which has headquarters in San Diego. 

The closing will affects 289 employees, with their last days of employment varying over the next 60 to 120 days—all have been notified and will be provided severance and transition support. 

“This decision has not been an easy one, nor has it been made lightly, and we appreciate that it has a very real effect on both individuals and the broader community in Rhinelander,” wrote a company spokesperson in an email to PPN. “In an effort to help, we’re committed to working with local officials to provide ample outplacement programming for those impacted starting in February. We greatly appreciate all of our partners for their dedicated service and contributions to Drs. Foster and Smith and to Petco.”

Drs. Foster and Smith was founded in 1983 as a group of four veterinary clinics with the goal of helping pets live healthier, happier lives by providing the highest quality veterinary care available. Dr. Race Foster, Dr. Rory Foster and Dr. Marty Smith's Animal hospitals in Northern Wisconsin were the first in the nation to offer free rabies vaccinations and free spay/neutering services.

In 2003, Drs. Foster and Smith began offering a full-service pharmacy that enables customers to fill prescriptions online and by mail order. 

Petco acquired the veterinary-owned online pet supply company in 2014. 

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