‘Critter Fixers’ nominated for TV show award

A reality show that follows the day-to-day work of Drs. Vernard Hodges and Terrence Ferguson—two Black, small animal veterinarians in rural Georgia—is up for a prestigious award.

Critter Fixers: Country Vets” has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of “Outstanding Reality Program, Reality Competition or Game Show (Series).”

The NAACP made the announcement on January 25. The public can vote to determine the winners of the 55th NAACP Image Awards in select categories. Voting closes at 9 p.m. Eastern on February 24.

Drs. Hodges and Ferguson work with a student during “Vet for a Day”
Drs. Vernard Hodges (middle) and Terrence Ferguson (right) of “Critter Fixers: Country Vets,” along with volunteer veterinarians at AVMA Convention 2022 in Philadelphia, hosted high school students from the Walter B. Saul High School, an agricultural public school in Philadelphia with an operating farm, as well as students from Newark, New Jersey, as part of their “Vet for a Day” mentorship program for young adults from backgrounds underrepresented in veterinary medicine. (Photo by Sara Beugen)

The winners will be revealed during the two-hour live TV special, airing at 8 p.m. Eastern on March 16 on BET and CBS.

“Critter Fixers” is now in its fifth season and airs on the National Geographic channel, NatGeo Wild on Disney+, and Hulu. It previously won a Critics Choice Real TV Award for best animal or nature show in 2022.

Drs. Hodges and Ferguson present a panel discussion
Drs. Hodges (left) and Ferguson graduated from Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine and started their practice, Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital, soon after. (Photo by Malinda Larkin)

Drs. Hodges and Ferguson received their veterinary degrees in 1997 and 1998, respectively, from the historically Black land-grant university Tuskegee University. Since 1999, the business partners have owned Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital in Bonaire, Georgia. It has grown from a 1,000-square-foot leasehold to a 7,000-plus square foot facility, serving as one of the only veterinary clinics in the area, which is located more than 100 miles southeast of Atlanta.

The two have also created the “Vet for a Day” program to give children and young adults an immersive look into the world of veterinary medicine. What started as an annual event at the Critter Fixers’ clinic has now become a national program with events in many U.S, cities.

Vet for a Day is designed to be fun and informative, while introducing children to veterinary careers. Students ages 12 to 16 participate in a hands-on, educational experience as they learn what it takes to be a veterinarian. Then they hear from Drs. Hodges and Ferguson and other veterinary professionals about some of their experiences on the job and insights about their daily work.