‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’ Season 19: Meet the Cast and Clinic Staff
The first season of veterinary reality show The Incredible Dr. Pol premiered on Nat Geo Wild in 2011. Following veterinarian Dr. Jan Pol as he fulfills his duties to the farmers and pet owners of his rural Michigan community, the series quickly became a hit for the cable channel. And as Dr. Pol will readily agree, his clinic’s success is due to the great team effort of his staff veterinarians and office crew. Here’s the show’s incredible cast and staff.
Dr. Jan Pol
In a conversation with AARP, Dr. Pol revealed that what you see is what you get from his family, no matter what producers might want viewers to see. “What you see on the [Nat Geo Wild] show is real family life. In the beginning, a producer wanted me and my son, Charles, to get into a fight for the cameras. I said, ‘I’m not going to do it; our family loves each other.’
“My glass is always half full. I think that’s what people are looking for and why the show is so popular. My wife, Diane, and I go to church every Sunday, and we believe in treating others how we would want to be treated.”
Dr. Pol in his 2015 memoir Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow recalled meeting the love of his life, Diane, who also eventually helped him build his veterinary practice and still runs the office.
He described the family with whom he stayed in America as a high school student, particularly their daughter, who was around his age and caught his eye. “I stayed with the Dalrymple family in the small town of Mayville, Michigan,” he wrote. “I was eighteen years old and in the same grade as their daughter, Diane.”
The teenage Dr. Pol and Diane “quickly became friends. We were very much the same in many ways, but especially in our love of animals. How could anybody not find a woman who played tag with her pet duck attractive? But we liked each other as friends so much, it didn’t even occur to us that maybe we were also falling in love,” he said.
The two married in 1967, and thirty years after opening Dr. Pol’s veterinary clinic in 1981 out of their garage, premiered The Incredible Dr. Pol on Nat Geo Wild.
If not for Charles, there likely would not be any Incredible Dr. Pol, as his father explained.
“What makes all of the wonderful things that have happened to us even more enjoyable is the fact that our success is all Charles’ doing,” Dr. Pol added. “It was his vision. He was the one who believed his father was strange enough that other people would find him entertaining. . . I don’t kid myself . . . The reason our show has been so successful isn’t because of my good looks, my clever jokes, or my sophisticated demeanor. It’s because the whole audience and I share one very important bond: We love and care about animals and want them to be as healthy and pain-free as possible.”
Dr. Nicole Arcy
In 2018, Dr. Nicole went to work at Pol Veterinary Services. Before that, she was a huge fan of The Incredible Dr. Pol program.
She told Charles in 2020 on his YouTube show Recheck, “[Dr. Pol] has been a great mentor these past couple of years and he has taught me how to handle different animals, how to treat them, and if I have any questions, he’s right there.”
Dr. Brenda Grettenberger
A fan favorite on the reality show, Dr. Brenda’s career with Dr. Pol took off, she explained, when she saw an ad in a professional journal.
She told Monsters and Critics that she began working with the Netherlands-born veterinarian in the 1990s: “I answered a help wanted ad in the AVMA journal (magazine) to find my way to Pol Veterinary Services.”
Her bio on the Dr. Pol website revealed more about her education and background: “Dr. Brenda Grettenberger was born in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, in 1967. She grew up on a dairy farm and always had an interest in large animals. After graduating from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992, Dr. Brenda began working at Pol Veterinary Services. When Dr. Brenda is not working, she enjoys dancing, reading, and training her oxen to pull wagons.”
Dr. Ray Harp
For Dr. Ray, who became part of the clinic’s staff in 2019, watching the Nat Geo Wild program led him to Dr. Pol’s door.
“Well, when I was deciding whether or not I should go to vet school, we were actually watching Dr. Pol,” Harp told Charles on Recheck. “And my wife said, ‘I think you should just go ahead and apply. That looks like a lot of fun.’ So, that’s how I ended up going to vet school and I graduated. She had been checking the want ads for me and it turned out that Dr. Pol was hiring.”
Dr. Lisa Jones
As for Dr. Ray’s fellow 2019 hire Dr. Lisa Jones, she explained to Charles on Recheck that “Yeah, all the way up until I went to college, I was home-schooled,” she said. The Cornell University graduate added, “I think [home-schooling] was a very unique experience; we had a lot more flexibility in our schedule. If we had a nice day outside, we could all go out and stare at flowers and identify roots for science class. We were able to go on some pretty cool field trips and see a lot of the country.”
And of course, there’s Tater the office cat
Although it’s not clear who Tater belonged to before becoming Dr. Pol’s forever cat, the story goes that he was brought in after getting caught in an animal trap. His leg was damaged beyond repair, forcing the veterinarian to amputate it.
Tater has his own Instagram account and generally can be seen sleeping on a desk, a waiting room chair, or splayed out on the waiting room floor. He faithfully welcomes patients and clients streaming in and out of the busy clinic.
“Tater is very much at home in the clinic,” Dr. Pol said on his show about his feline rescue. “He is his own boss. He gets spoiled so much, it’s unbelievable. Right now, he’s getting sneaky, running off to sneak outside. He is not afraid of anything or anybody and is very friendly to everybody.”