They’re expanding the imprint!
Drs. Vernard Hodges and Terrence Ferguson are best known as the reality TV stars from Critter Fixers: Country Vets, Black Enterprise reports. The show airs on the National Geographic Network and The Disney Channel, profiling Hodges and Ferguson at their hospital located in Bonaire, Georgia. The show has been on the air for five seasons, showing the doctors as they care for everything from household pets to farm animals and reptiles. In 2022, Critter Fixers received a Critics Choice Award for best animal/nature show.
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Now, the good doctors have partnered with PetSmart to open a new Black-owned veterinary hospital in Smyrna, Georgia, Pet Product News reports. A huge undertaking, both doctors say they are grateful to team up with the pet care giant to help further their work in the field.
“It’s very expensive to open a hospital. With the PetSmart model, you can come in at a really low cost, Dr. Hodges told reporters.
In addition to the work they’ll be doing with animals at PetSmart Veterinary Services (PVS), Hodges and Ferguson are also looking at the new venture as an opportunity to help other Black emerging vets in the industry. For the Smyrna location, they will serve as co-owners alongside Dr. Paul Norwood, a Tuskegee University alum and another well-known Black veterinarian.
“You know, we wouldn’t hook our wagon up with someone that we don’t know or didn’t feel comfortable with and know that they’re gonna treat people and treat pets just like Hodges and myself do,” said Dr. Ferguson.
The Critter Fixers team hosted a grand opening this past weekend at the new location, giving out $10 gift cards to the first 50 attendees and offering free dental exams for the first 25 pets. There are also plans to open another PetSmart location in Warner Robins, Georgia, this time with Dr. Clarissa Porter working as head veterinarian. Dr. Porter previously served as a technician at the Critter Fixers Hospital prior to becoming a veterinarian.
“Our partnership with Dr. Hodges and Dr. Ferguson provides more opportunities for veterinarians to excel in their career and focus on what they love – caring for animals. PVS puts the power back into the hands of veterinarians, allowing them to own their practice inside a PetSmart location. We are excited for our continued work with Dr. Hodges, Dr. Ferguson and their teams to expand PVS locations as well as encourage the industry to create an inclusive environment that is supportive of doctors and the pets they care for,” said PVS senior VP of pet services, John Bork.
The new PetSmart Veterinary Services hospital animal hospital is located inside PetSmart at 2540 Cumberland Blvd. SE in Smyrna, Georgia. The next location in Robins, Georgia is set to open this September.
Cover photo: “Critter Fixers” partner with PetSmart to open Black-owned veterinary hospital in Georgia/(l to r) Dr. Vernard Hodges & Dr. Terrence Ferguson/Photo Courtesy of Pet Product News