Comedy meets conservation in Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald's debut DVD
Kevin Fitzgerald saw an ad in the Denver Post that said, "Free to good home: Pit bull, will eat anything, loves children."
"Shouldn’t they have included a hyphen or something?" says Fitzgerald, PhD, DVM, DABVP, of Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver. In his debut DVD, A Wild Life, the former Animal Planet Emergency Vets star combines his love for laughter with his love for animals.
“Nobody laughs enough—particularly in our business,” Fitzgerald told DVM Newsmagazine. “And you can’t write funnier stuff than what really happens to us every day in practice.”
He says one time a client came into the clinic with her puppy and was worried her pet had been poisoned. She said, “Quick, quick, somebody give me an anecdote!” So Fitzergerald responded, “Two guys walk into a bar … ”
The DVD features 42 minutes of standup comedy, 42 minutes of animal expeditions and 42 minutes of games for children. He says it’s entertaining for all ages but also comes with a serious message: We didn’t inherit this planet from our parents; we borrowed it from our children.
“The problem with conservation is that our victories are temporary but our failures are permanent,” Fitzgerald says. “Anytime a species becomes extinct it makes our planet less interesting.”
Fitzgerald says the animal extinction rate is 100 times what it was at the end of the dinosaurs’ time and some say it will be 1,000 times greater by the end of the century. He says veterinarians have tremendous skills that are untapped when it comes to conserving endangered species.
“Who better than us to be the stewards of animals?” Fitzergald says. “Not just domestic dogs and cats but wildlife too.”
Fitzgerald (right) is on the board of directors for the Denver Zoo and has gone on dozens of animal expeditions because of it. The DVD features his encounters with polar bears, penguins, seals, rattlesnakes, humpback whales and more. Fizgerald’s deep, soothing voice narrates while viewers catch a rare glimpse into the lives of different majestic species.
Fitzgerald says he started conservation efforts in his own community and says other veterinarians can do the same thing. “Veterinarians can become involved in the World Wildlife Federation and find out what’s going on locally in their state or county,” Fitzgerald says. “And they can work with children and teach them to respect anything with a heartbeat.”
This is why the DVD includes games where children—and adults—can answer different animal trivia (Do you know which animal can hold its breath the longest?), identify animal tracks and help make a diagnosis after seeing pictures and hearing stories about different pets. Fitzgerald says this section of the DVD would be perfect for veterinary clinic waiting rooms.
“Education doesn’t have to be painful,” Fitzgerald says. “It doesn’t have to be dusty text books and smelly labs—the whole world is our laboratory.”
Click here to snag a copy of A Wild Life for $20 (plus shipping). Fitzgerald will send a percentage of the profits to the conservation program at the Denver Zoo.