UPenn veterinary students to star in new Animal Planet reality show

Last fall, veterinary students at Cornell University were the stars of a reality show on Nat Geo WILD called Vet School. Now Cornell's East Coast neighbor, the University of Pennsylvania, is gearing up for its own reality show spotlighting the rigors and adventures of learning to be a veterinarian.

On Feb. 3, Animal Planet announced it is producing a series called Penn Vet, which will shadow the school's fourth-year students as they complete their education, according to a press release from Penn and the network. The series will include scenes filmed at both the Ryan Hospital for companion animals at Penn's main campus in Philadelphia and the New Bolton Center for large animals in nearby Kennett Square, PA.

"Vet students driven by a mission to heal and protect animals take everything they've learned and put it to the test in this series," said Rich Ross, group president of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Science Channel, in the release.

Nat Geo's veterinary reality show ran for 8 episodes and featured three first-year newbies and four fourth-year students. They were shown rotating through a range of specialties, from cardiology to dentistry, and learning complex tasks such as tipping a sheep to draw blood. In November, Cornell Vet's interim dean, Lorin Warnick, announced that Nat Geo was not pursuing a second season of the show.

Animal Planet should find plenty of fodder at Penn. The vet school there treats 30,000 patients a year, ranging from dogs and cats, to farm animals, to exotic pets such as iguanas. The university is active in the field of comparative oncology, working with biotech companies and oncology researchers to develop new therapies for cancers that are similar in pets and people. Penn also launched the first animal bloodmobile and the first recovery pool for horses that have undergone orthopedic surgery.

Penn Vet will be produced for Animal Planet by High Noon Entertainment, according to the release.

- here's the press release