Two Fort Valley State University and Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine graduates, who famously founded the Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital have won a prestigious award! Learn more in the story from Nancy Clanton at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“We’re bringing the trophy home.”

As he wiped away tears, Dr. Vernard Hodges went on Instagram to thank fans of “Critter Fixers: Country Vets” for believing in him and Dr. Terrence Ferguson, his partner in business and cohost of their National Geographic show.

“Blessed is an understatement!” Ferguson wrote in a Instagram post. “Sometimes it is so surreal that we have made it this far on this journey but one thing is for sure … it would be impossible without our amazing staff, clients, family and fans!”

The trophy the Georgia veterinarians brought home Sunday was a Critics Choice Real TV Award, for best animal/nature show.

“Critter Fixers: Country Vets,” which airs on the National Geographic channel and NatGeo Wild on Disney+, had some stiff competition:

  • “Crikey! It’s the Irwins” (Discovery)
  • “Eden: Untamed Planet” (BBC America)
  • “Growing Up Animal” (Disney+)
  • “Penguin Town” (Netflix)
  • “The Wizard of Paws” (BYUtv)

The fourth annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards were Sunday night at the Fairmont Century Plaza “to honor the finest work in nonfiction, unscripted and reality television,” executive producer Joey Berlin said in a press release. “These shows and performers have brought such joy and comfort to viewing audiences during these challenging times. We are proud to recognize so much excellence in this underappreciated entertainment genre.”

Critter Fixers,” now in its third season, follows Ferguson, Hodges and their staff in Bonaire as they fix broken bones, deliver puppies via C-section, wrap burns in tilapia skin, and care for animals ranging from turtles to emus.

Hodges and Ferguson attended Fort Valley State University and Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine together, then opened Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital in 1999.

Although becoming vets was their calling, having platforms like Disney and National Geographic has been invaluable in helping them with their passion, which is helping the next generation of animal doctors.

“There is not a day goes by that we don’t get calls from parents that want to know how their kid can become a veterinarians. (They say) ‘We’re so proud of you,’” Ferguson said last year. “Representation matters. So all these things are just the power of television and the power of the show and the power of being on television, and that’s something that we try to use as best we can in the most positive way that it can be used.”