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Animal care and family life focus of Love and Vets

Will Draper and Francoise Tyler met while in college. Dr. Will and his wife run three veterinary offices in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

Will Draper and Francoise Tyler met while in college. Dr. Will and his wife run three veterinary offices in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

Will Draper and Franҫoise Tyler are not your typical veterinarians. They care for a changing mix of four-legged and two-legged creatures at three locations in metro Atlanta, but they’re also a married couple, parents to four children, caretakers of four dogs and two cats and owners of a sports bar and barbecue eatery. And their busy professional and personal lives are also on view for millions to see in the reality television show Love and Vets on the Nat Geo Wild channel.

The program began airing earlier this spring and has added to the busyness of their lives as well as increased visibility of their Village Vets offices in Decatur, Stone Mountain and Buckhead.

Dr. Will and Dr. Fran, as they’re known to their clients and viewers, examine and treat animals including dogs, cats, horses, iguanas and even a pot-bellied pig. The show highlights the couple consulting as colleagues but also interacting playfully as husband and wife. Work life and home life are woven into the show—the morning routine of getting three teens out the door with bag lunches made by mom even made the cut.

In one episode, Dr. Fran walks away from the camera visibly upset after telling a military veteran that his dog may have cancer. On another visit, she beams giving him the news that a lump that was removed from his dog is non-cancerous. In another episode, Dr. Will removers a baby pacifier from a dog’s stomach and the two assist a rescue group in capturing stray cats so they can be spayed and neutered.

The program also shows how some of The Village Vets staff perform procedures in the three offices. In one show, a vet tech Kierra Brookins decides to adopt a stray kitten that was nursed back to health after it was severely injured. Sometimes parts of episodes are particularly graphic, often bloody, such as when surgery was performed on a cat’s paw or a protrusion was removed from a dog’s rear. In one show, Kim Perdue, office manager of Village Vets in Decatur, brings her Jack Russell terrier in and veterinarian Stacy Stacy removes pieces of a bug from the dog’s ear.

Tyler said she wasn’t keen on the idea of participating in a reality show but changed her mind after coaxing from her husband. She said growing up her parents were strict, and chores and homework were priority one.

“I am really not a big TV person,” she said.

“I figured it would be good for the practice, good for our family and great for the country,” said Draper. “We are pretty awesome.”

Tyler describes herself as preferring to be behind the scenes and her husband as having a “very large personality.”

For Love and Vets, a film crew documented the family’s life from August to September 2016 and five episodes were produced. Their children (ages 19, 17, 15 and 13) were not thrilled about the show initially but since its airing and getting feedback from friends and on social media, they’ve warmed to being a part of it, according to their parents. Draper and Tyler are waiting to hear if the show will be picked up for the next season.

The two met while studying at Tuskegee University and initially were just friends but in time that turned to romance.

This wasn’t the first time the couple was approached about being part of a reality show. A year ago a British film company made inquiries about featuring them in a reality program as well, however, nothing came of it.

Both said they seek to show in realistic fashion how animals are examined and treated and aren’t interested in hyping or misrepresenting veterinary care.

“I don’t want it to be malarkey,” said Draper about his desire for authenticity. “What you see, and what we are proud of, is what you get.”

Asked what they hope the show will convey, Tyler said educating the public about the importance of properly caring for animals and “demonstrate good family life.” She said she hopes to inspire women to reach for their goals. “You can work and have a good family and raise kids.”

 

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  1. Altagracia Hernandez says:

    Love your show but can no longer find it on Hulu and that is where I started watching it. I hope it was not canceled.

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