Dr. Cindy Barnes graduated from Colorado State University in 2012 with five kids in tow.

In 2015, she founded Northern Arizona’s first 24/7 Emergency Animal Hospital. As a practice owner, she realized that the practice management programs available on the market were antiquated, time consuming, and anything but user-friendly. She made it her mission to create a modern, user-friendly, cloud-based practice management software program that anyone could use on day one.

This was the genesis of Shepherd Veterinary Software, founded in 2016. Dr. Barnes self-funded Shepherd until 2019 when Synergy Pet Group partnered with her to help grow the platform to where it is today.

Although Dr. Barnes is no longer the CEO of Shepherd, she remains an integral part of the company’s future while continuing to create new ventures in veterinary medicine, helping spur the next generation of veterinary professionals on to the same success she’s enjoyed.

In this wide-ranging conversation with Dr. Barnes we cover:

  • Cindy’s journey in veterinary medicine – from vet school to buying clinic to starting a software company
  • Working her way through vet school with 5 kids!
  • Going into debt to get through school AND buy her first practice
  • How to get a bank loan to open your practice
  • How to put yourself first in a “nurturing way”
  • Being creatively selective in prioritizing vet school activities
  • Paying off over $400k USD in 5 years!
  • Focusing on opportunities, not on debt
  • “Your worth is negotiable”
  • The creation of Shepherd Vet: a veterinary practice management software founded by Dr. Barnes
  • What “vets deserve joy” means to Dr. Barnes
  • Cindy’s Impact Round!
  • Final words for the veterinary community

Interested in learning more about Shepherd Vet?


Want to connect with Dr. Barnes? Find her online:

IG: @cindybarnesdvm

LinkedIn: Cindy Barnes DVM

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– Jonathan Leicht, DVM and Michael Bugg, DVM