“In this business, it is totally unpredictable what you’re going to get, day to day.  Animals don’t wait to get sick, and they don’t take appointments.  They get sick, and they need to be seen.  So some days, you’re gonna go in, and there’s gonna be nothing going on. And other days, you’re gonna go in, and you can’t run fast enough.”

Dr. Jan Pol

The doctor will see you now!  That is, if you walk on four legs and have fur.

With more than 40 years of veterinary experience, Dr. Pol is a pioneer in treating animals. He is also star of Nat Geo WILD’s No. 1 series The Incredible Dr. Pol, which follows the doctor on his routine 14-hour workdays treating both pets and livestock. A graduate of the prestigious Utrecht University Veterinary program, Dr. Pol immigrated to the United States in 1971. After ten years of practice, he moved to Weidman, Michigan in 1981 and founded Pol Veterinary Services out of his garage with his wife Diane. With a down-to-earth, practical approach to veterinary medicine, Dr. Pol grew his practice from a humble start to one with over 20,000 clients.

Specializing in large farm animals, Dr. Pol treats horses, pigs, cows, sheep, alpacas, goats, chickens and even an occasional reindeer.  A true friend of the farmer, he works tirelessly to ensure that the diminishing population of family farmers remains in business.  And he plays an integral role in keeping farmers’ livestock healthy and their businesses profitable.  Dr. Pol works with many 4-H groups and feels every child should grow up with a furry friend.  For that reason, he tries to keep pet ownership affordable.

With his thick Dutch accent, signature mustache and vintage 1981 “Back to the Future” DeLorean car, Dr. Pol is nothing short of a local legend.

Photos by Danny Bigard, Ian Frazier and Michael Stankevich

Affordable Care

Having treated more than 500,000 animals in my career, I rarely see a problem I haven’t seen many times before; and so, my philosophy on veterinary ethics applies a common sense approach to treatment and care.  Veterinary medicine has changed dramatically over the years as the emphasis moved from the farm to small animals.  Small practices are being replaced with larger companies. There is an increased emphasis on profitability, and costs have sky-rocketed at a higher percentage than even human healthcare with advances in medicine and treatments.

The question I ask myself when I see a patient is: “What do I have to do to reach the best possible outcome, in the fairest and most economical way possible?” No owner wants an animal to suffer because medical care is unaffordable, and there are far too many animals abandoned or euthanized as a result. Affordable care means that I let my clients make the choice that is right for their family. And for me, the animal always comes first. Always.