Dr. Jan Pol, or ‘Dr. As she is commonly known, Pol Vet is one of the world’s most qualified and experienced veterinarians. She has been working with animals for over 40 years and has been featured on the Nat Geo Wild channel show ‘The Incredible Dr Pol’ for 19 seasons. The show follows her and her team as they treat various big farm animals and the occasional small animal.
While Dr Pol Vet is known for her incredible work with animals, she made headlines for a different reason in 2018. That year, it was revealed that she had killed her husband after years of abuse.
For many years, Dr Pol Vet’s husband, Gerrit Pol, was physically and emotionally abusive towards her. He would often hit her, call her names, and make her feel she was worth nothing. Despite this, she stayed with him because she loved him and thought things would eventually improve.
However, after years of enduring the abuse, Dr Pol Vet finally snapped. One night, after yet another argument, she grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed her husband to death. She then called the police and confessed to what she had done.
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Dr Pol Vet was arrested and charged with murder. However, she was ultimately cleared of all charges after it was revealed that she had been acting in self-defence. The judge ruled that she had ‘been pushed to the brink’ by her husband’s years of abuse and had only worked in self-defence.
Dr Pol Vet lives a much happier, free from the abuse she endured for many years. She continues working as a veterinarian, and her show ‘The Incredible Dr Pol’ is still strong.
“The Incredible Dr Pol” is now airing in its 20th season on Nat Geo WILD, with all previous seasons available on Disney+. Viewers of the hit reality show travel across rural Michigan with veterinarian Pol as he and his team of vets care for large and small creatures. 2021 marked a milestone for Dr Pol — his 50th anniversary in veterinary medicine.
“In this business, what you’ll get is unpredictable, day-to-day. Animals don’t wait to get sick, and they don’t take appointments. So, some days you’re going to go in, and there’s going to be nothing happening. And other days, you’re going to go in, and you can’t run fast enough,” said Dr. Pol.
Dr Pol is an expert in large farm animals and a true farmer’s friend. He works passionately to ensure that the diminishing population of family farmers remains in business. He also plays an integral role in keeping farmers’ livestock healthy and their businesses profitable.
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Born and raised in the Netherlands, Dr Pol has treated pets and livestock in rural Michigan since the 1970s. Dr Pol and his wife Diane started their animal clinic, Pol Veterinary Services, in Weidman, Michigan 1981. The business continued to grow, and they, along with their staff, have treated hundreds of thousands of animal patients since opening their doors. Dr Pol’s patients have ranged from 2600-pound horses to white mice and everything in between.
In addition to the popular TV series, Dr Pol is the author of the bestselling memoir, “Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet,” which is said to be reminiscent of the famous “All Creatures Great and Small” series of books by James Herriot.
Early in the new season of Nat Geo Wild’s veterinary show “The Incredible Dr Pol,” a call comes in from a client worried that his dog had just snatched four strips of raw bacon and might become ill. These calls are standard, and a usually high amount is from TV viewers nationwide looking for a consult.
Based in the rural farming town of Weidman, Mich., and serving five surrounding counties, the clinic — run by Dr Jan Pol and his wife, Diane — may be small, but it does bustling business. He’s the high-energy problem-solver; she’s the quiet ballast.
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When I asked why he is called “Dr Pol” on the show while his fellow vets are called “Dr. (first name),” he paused and then laughed: “Because my first name is Jan, and nobody can pronounce it!” For the record, the Dutch name is pronounced roughly as “Yahn.” Diane works in the office, and though she’s the less talkative half of the couple, she noted firmly during a recent trip to Chicago: “We started our practice together. And I’ve always been a part of it.” It is a fully collaborative effort defined by good humour and easygoing personalities.
The show is Nat Geo Wild’s No. 1 series and is especially popular in Chicago, where it garners some of its highest ratings (of the 25 measured markets where it airs, Chicago comes in No. 4).
The couple’s son Charles (a frequent presence on camera, accompanying his father on farm calls) had been working in Los Angeles when he approached his parents with the idea for a docuseries. One that would feature the day-to-day of treating animals, large and small. Helping cows give birth, castrating horses, pulling porcupine quills from dog snouts, setting broken limbs, pulling rotten teeth, stitching wounds and cleaning out abscesses.