‘Critter Fixers: County Vets’ Creating a Positive Narrative for African American Male Veterans

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It’s one thing to shift the culture, and it’s another to paint an in-depth picture redefining care with heart and humor; and thats exactly what Dr. Vernard L. Hodges and Dr. Terrence Ferguson are curating.

National Geographic WILD premiered it’s new series CRITTER FIXERS: COUNTRY VETS starting the two life long friends Drs. Hodges and Ferguson who own and operate Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital located in rural Georgia. Between emergency visits at their office, and farm calls, this special team is constantly bombarded with unique cases.

JaGurl TV had the pleasure of interviewing the two on their experience working together for over 20 years, and the positive impact that this show will have on younger audiences.

“It’s been an amazing experience working Dr. Ferguson.” says Dr. Vernard L. Hodges, “We met in college at Fort Valley State College at the time, now it’s Fort Valley State University. I was a Biology major, and he was a Veterinarian Science Major.” and the two have been friends ever since.

With over 30 years of friendship, the two now have two Veterinarian Hospital together, and the process was not easy. “He (Dr. Hodges) and I have always wanted our own Veteran Hospital. We went out on faith. We didn’t have any finances, no credit. We didn’t have a little to a lot of things. But, we had each other, we had family, and we had friends. We went from nothing to having two locations” stated Dr. Ferguson.

photo credit: National Geographic

Dr. Hodges made it very clear that although it was a long process, its all about seeing and believing. “We had a vision at the time. It’s just about having a vision, and believing in each other, and saying ‘Ok, one day everything is going to be peaches and cream.'” And that day has came for the both of them.

Their new show Critter Fixers: Country Vets is a prime example of if your good at what you do, they will find you. “We had a production company reach out to us, thats how we got started. They said ‘Look, we want to put you on TV’, and I ignored it at first cause I thought it was spam. I called my buddy and was like ‘Dude, you wanna be on TV?'”, Dr. Hodges recalls with laugher. Dr. Ferguson added, “It wasn’t something that we were actually looking for, we didn’t go out to pick it, they found him through social media”.

Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Hodges administer a de-wormer medication to a goat for parasites in its stool. (National Geographic)

The two took this opportunity to break many barriers while paving the way for black veterinarians in the south. “One thing that we don’t see a lot is diversity in veteran medicine. Probably about 2% of Veterinarians are black.” stated Dr. Hodges. Dr. Ferguson followed, “It gets to a point that it’s something that you wanna do, but you don’t see anyone that looks like you doing it. So you can become a little…you know, ‘Can I do it?’. Sometimes you need to see that. So lucky this platform provides visibly that you have two African American young men thats doing it, and if someone wants to do it, they can be encouraged by that”.

This season you will be entertained by experienced, authentic, and inspiring doctors with their unique narratives. “You can expect a lot of fun, a lot of humor, a lot of professionalism. We joke around, but the biggest thing we are ‘The Critter Fixers’ which means we have to fix these animals.”

Catch Critter Fixers: Country Vets airing on Saturdays from 10/9c on National Geographic WILD. Check out a clip from their show below.

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