‘Critter Fixers’ return on heels of winning Critics Choice Award

Georgia veterinarians begin fourth season of celebrated Nat Geo Wild show

Drs. Vernard Hodges and Terrence Ferguson started their fourth season of “Critter Fixers: Country Vets” with a few things they’d never seen before: a hermaphradite goat, a goose that swallowed a bone and a Critics Choice Real TV Award for best animal/nature show.

“It was so unbelievable that we would ever win, because when you look at the categories of these shows … . I mean, Steve Irwin and his family … . And when they called our name, we just looked at each other like, ‘Whoa, OK,’” Hodges said. “It was unbelievable.”

“Of course, if we get awards that means that someone is watching and paying attention,” Ferguson added. “But, you know, we never even talked about winning. It’s almost like there’s this room, and we enter through the back door like — first of all, why are we even in this room? How did we get in this room? And then when we actually won, it was like ‘Wow.”

As surreal as that night was for the Georgia veterinarians, those aren’t the moments that keep them going. The friends have expanded their Vet for a Day program to include stops in Houston, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and St. Louis.

Hodges and Ferguson believe that if kids who are interested in being a veterinarian can get support and information, they are more likely to pursue their calling. Next year, Hodges said, they plan to visit 20 cities throughout the nation — including a couple of stops in Atlanta.

“So, obviously, you can’t be a veterinarian unless you go to veterinarian school,” he continued. “We’re working with Texas A&M veterinary school. We’ve been to Mississippi State. We’re having a dialogue with these deans, and they recognize the need for diversity. Now we have a pipeline.”

Community outreach is also important to the Fort Valley State alumni. Earlier this month, they partnered with the Street Dog Coalition to provide free care for pets whose owners are experiencing homelessness or financial instability.

“The human-animal bond is not dependent on your socioeconomic status,” Ferguson said. “So anywhere that we can do our part and lend a hand and just help that bond become stronger, and make sure these animals are healthy, then that’s what we’re going to do.

“What Dr. Hodges and I do in the community are things we’ve done for 20 plus years,” Ferguson added, “and the great thing is now this platform allows us to be able to do it on a larger scale, and people are noticing what we’re doing.”

You can catch the Bonair vets and their staff each Saturday at 9 p.m. on Nat Geo Wild, with episodes airing at a later date on Disney+.

About the Author