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Partnership aims to help diversify veterinary medicine and celebrate the work of clinicians and shelter teams


Collaboration between Hill’s Pet Nutrition and the Critter Fixers kicks-off with a Rose Parade float highlighting the special relationship with pets and the individuals who care for them

Image courtesy of Hill's Pet Nutrition

Image courtesy of Hill's Pet Nutrition

Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced a new collaboration with Vernard L. Hodges, DVM, and Terrence Ferguson, DVM, television stars of Nat Geo Wild's Critter Fixers: Country Vets to help educate pet owners about the important role nutrition plays in pet health and to underscore how important it is for a pet owner to build a strong relationship with their veterinarian to help ensure their pet's lifelong health. Additionally, the group's efforts will support outreach to aspiring veterinarians as they work together to help diversify the veterinary profession.1

“We began our relationship with Hill’s when we were vet students at Tuskegee and have continued to feed and recommend Hill’s throughout our careers and in our clinics,” said Hodges, in an organizational release.1 “We are excited to form an official collaboration, combining efforts around our joint missions to help pets, and diversify the face of veterinary medicine, to ensure a healthier and happier future for pets.”

The multi-faceted collaboration between the doctors and Hill’s will include custom programming at veterinary colleges across the country, support of the Critter Fixer’s ‘Vet for a Day’ program, and providing ongoing pet health and nutrition education to both pet owners and veterinarians.

“Hill’s was founded by a veterinarian and today, hundreds of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, PhD nutritionists, food scientists and animal care technicians work to design our products. Like those working in veterinary clinics across the US, veterinary teams at Hill’s are fueled by their passion to improve quality of life and give pet parents more years with their pets. We are grateful to be a part of this wonderful profession and for the opportunity to partner with the Critter Fixers to celebrate the work of veterinary professionals and to help address some of the biggest opportunities in our industry,” said Karen Shenoy, DVM, US chief veterinary officer at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, in an organizational release.1

Hill’s previous collaboration with the Critter Fixers includes its 2023 campaign to end pet obesity. During the campaign, Hodges and Ferguson advised pet owners to seek veterinarian guidance about their pet’s weight and work with veterinary professionals to support a weight loss journey for the animals.2

‘Feed The Love’ Rose Parade float

On New Year’s Day, the Critter Fixers will join Hill’s and Pasadena Humane on its entry in the 2024 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. The 55-ft “Feed The Love” float will celebrate the relationship between pets and the people who care for them, while also encouraging people to consider pet ownership and adopting from a shelter. Ferguson and Hodges will be joined on the float by students from Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama and Hill’s student representatives, along with representatives from Pasadena Humane and the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program.1

Veterinarians and animal care professionals play a vital role in supporting the relationships between people and their pets, so the Critter Fixers participation helps underscore the importance of the unsung heroes helping keep pets healthy and happy throughout their lifetime - from shelter healthcare teams to veterinary professionals.1

Terrence Ferguson, DVM (Left) and Vernard L. Hodges, DVM (Right), television stars of Nat Geo Wild's Critter Fixers: Country Vets. (Image courtesy of Hill's Pet Nutrition)

Terrence Ferguson, DVM (Left) and Vernard L. Hodges, DVM (Right), television stars of Nat Geo Wild's Critter Fixers: Country Vets. (Image courtesy of Hill's Pet Nutrition)

Hodges said he and Ferguson are honored to be a part of the “Feed The Love” float. “As veterinarians, we get to see and celebrate the special bond people have with their pets, and we are proud to work with Hill’s to help reinforce how important animal health care teams are to overall health. We are working together to help ensure we are inviting aspiring students into the animal health profession to ensure pets have access to care for decades to come,” Hodges said, in the release.1

Supporting future veterinarians

Hill’s will also continue to support the Critter Fixers ‘Vet for a Day’ program, which the doctors created to give future veterinarians an immersive look into the world of veterinary medicine. Aiming to inspire and mentor the next generation of veterinarians, the program plans to build upon the successful events it held in 2023 including hosting students at the Fetch dvm360 conference in Kansas City, Missouri; and the American Veterinary Medical Association Convention in Denver, Colorado.1,3,4

“As Black men working in a field in which roughly 90% of US veterinarians identify as white—and just 2% as Black—the importance of representation and mentorship has been an incredibly important part of our careers and how we want to give back to the future generations to ensure a more diverse and sustainable future for our profession and the pets we care for,” Ferguson said.1

The program brings experts from across the pet industry to offer unique access to aspiring veterinarians. To support the hands-on training portion, Hill’s will provide a nutrition station to introduce students to the important role nutrition plays in a pet’s overall health and wellbeing and introduce career paths including veterinary nutrition.1


  1. Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Critter Fixers’ Drs. Hodges and Ferguson partner to help diversify veterinary medicine and celebrate the important work of veterinary and shelter teams. News release. Hill’s Pet Nutrition. December 19, 2023. Accessed December 19, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hills-pet-nutrition-and-critter-fixers-drs-hodges-and-ferguson-partner-to-help-diversify-veterinary-medicine-and-celebrate-the-important-work-of-veterinary-and-shelter-teams-302019086.html
  2. Hill’s Pet Nutrition teams up with Critter Fixers to support fight against pet obesity. dvm360. January 19, 2023. Accessed December 19, 2023. https://www.dvm360.com/view/hill-s-pet-nutrition-teams-up-with-critter-fixers-to-support-fight-against-pet-obesity
  3. Coppock K. Critter Fixers bring Vet for a Day to Fetch Kansas City. dvm360. https://www.dvm360.com/view/critter-fixers-bring-vet-for-a-day-to-fetch-kansas-city
  4. Yankowicz S. A day in the life of a veterinarian showcased at the AVMA convention. July 17, 2023. Accessed December 19, 2023. https://www.dvm360.com/view/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-veterinarian-showcased-at-the-avma-convention
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