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When National Geographic called last year and asked Dr. Vernard Hodges if he’d be interested in doing a television show, Hodges said he thought it was a prank.
But four phone calls and four months later, he and his business partner at Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Terrence Ferguson, were shooting a pilot for Nat Geo Wild.
Both men say they developed a love of animals growing up in rural Georgia — Hodges in Fort Valley and Ferguson in Talbotton.
“We met in college,” Hodges said. “It’s been a heck of a ride.”
They attended Fort Valley State University and Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine together, then opened Critter Fixer.
Their show, which will be called “Critter Fixers,” will take viewers along as Hodges and Ferguson treat critters not only at their hospital but also in the field.
“We’ll go behind the scenes, and we’ll explain everything we do,” Hodges said.
What sets Hodges and Ferguson apart from other vet shows is that they’re African American.
“Only 1.6% of veterinarians are African American,” Hodges said.
Representation was “very important, and the production company, Nat Geo, has been great,” he said.
“I definitely hope we can encourage young men or young women if they are African American that this is something they can accomplish if that is their dream,” Ferguson told the Macon Telegraph.
“We’re just two country boys trying to make our way,” Hodges said. “But it’s not about where you start; it’s where you end up.”
He knows a thing or two about that. Hodges grew up poor and even failed the ninth grade. But now he’s worth millions.
In 2017, he wrote “Bet on Yourself: From zero to millions.” According to the Telegraph, it “is an autobiography, self-help, rags-to-riches adventure story with a how-to on the stock market, real estate investing, business and personal finance. Much of it has the tone of a father passing on life advice to his child.”
The doctors have taped six episodes for the show, which will air sometime this fall.
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