Hill's Pet Nutrition and Critter Fixers' Dr. Hodges and Dr. Ferguson Partner to Help Diversify Veterinary Medicine and Celebrate the Important Work of Veterninary and Shelter Teams

Collaboration Kicks-off with Rose Parade® Float Appearance to Highlight the Special Relationship with Pets and the People Who Care for Them

Overland Park, Kan., Dec. 19, 2023Hill's Pet Nutrition, a division of Colgate-Palmolive and global leader in science-led nutrition, today announced a new collaboration with Drs. Vernard Hodges and Terrence Ferguson, stars of Nat Geo Wild's, "Critter Fixers: Country Vets."  This collaboration will help educate pet parents around the important role nutrition plays in pet health, underscoring how important it is for a pet owner to build a strong relationship with their veterinarian in order 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.

"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 Dr. Hodges. "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 dynamic collaboration between the doctors and Hill's will consist of multi-facets, ranging from custom programming at veterinary colleges across the country to support of the Critter Fixer's 'Vet for a Day' program to 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 Dr. Karen Shenoy, US Chief Veterinary Officer at Hill's Pet Nutrition.

'Feed The Love' Rose Parade® Float with the Critter Fixers and Tuskegee University Vet Students
On New Year's Day, the Critter Fixers will join Hill's and Pasadena Humane on its entry in the 2024 Rose Parade® presented by Honda. The 55-ft float called "Feed The Love" 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.

Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Hodges will be joined on the float by Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine students and Hill's student representatives, Chloe Adams-White and Mychaela Smith, along with representatives from Pasadena Humane and the Hill's Food, Shelter & Love program.
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.

"Dr. Ferguson and I are honored to be included in the Hill's Pet Nutrition and Pasadena Humane's Rose Parade float," said Dr. Hodges. "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 healthcare 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."

a group of animals on boxes

Supporting Future Veterinarians through 'Vet for a Day'
Building on several successful student events in 2023, Hill's will 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. The program aims to inspire and mentor the next generation of veterinarians.

"As Black men working in a field in which roughly 90 percent of U.S. veterinarians identify as white—and just 2 percent 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," said Dr. Ferguson.

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.

For more information, visit hillspet.com or cfvetforday.com. To learn more about the Rose Parade float, visit pasadenahumane.org/2024-rose-parade.

a couple of men wearing scrubs

About Hill's Pet Nutrition

Founded 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to science-led pet nutrition, Hill's Pet Nutrition is on a mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill's is dedicated to pioneering research for dogs and cats using a scientific understanding of their specific needs. As a leading veterinarian recommended pet food brand, knowledge is our first ingredient with 220+ veterinarians, PhD nutritionists and food scientists working to develop breakthrough innovations in pet health. Hill's Prescription Diet therapeutic nutrition plus our everyday wellness product line, Hill's Science Diet, are sold at vet clinics and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about our products and nutritional philosophy, visit HillsPet.com.

Media contact: Emma Honn, Emma.honn@vmlyr.com

SOURCE Hill's Pet Nutrition