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Kindly Vet

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While humans have to deal with Dr. Jerk and suffer under the Depraved Dentist, animals are often much luckier. When the beloved Team Pet gets ill or kicked, his owners will waste no time getting him to a veterinarian who will go the extra mile to make sure that your little dog comes out A-okay. When not a Friend to All Living Things or a Kindhearted Cat Lover, even a vet cast as frightening (usually from the animal's point of view) turns out to be just doing his job. In other times, animals in fiction have this uncanny ability to understand that this human is trying to help them, not that they appreciate getting shots in any case.

Often, the vet treats typical family pets, but stories set in the countryside may depict agricultural veterinarians who treat horses and cows and stories set in zoos may depict vets who treat more exotic animals.

In rare cases, the trope is averted by depicting a villainous vet.

Not to be confused with kindly war veterans.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The vet in Azumanga Daioh where Sakaki and Chiyo take the injured cat.
    • Sakaki herself is on her way to being one, having been accepted to a veterinary college.
  • In Case Closed, Ran suspects her mother of infidelity and tails her as she meets with a handsome-looking man; Conan deduces that he's a vet and shouts this out moments before Ran opens a can of whoopass on him.
  • Chi's Sweet Home. Poor Chi had a dreadful time at her first vet appointment. Didn't help that she had no idea where she was and what to expect (which was having her eyes and ears checked and then having her temperature taken... non-orally), which lead to a short grudge against Mr. Yamada afterwards.
  • Inori Yamabuki/Cure Pine from Fresh Pretty Cure! is a daughter of one and becoming one is one of her goals in life. To compound to this, she later gains the ability to speak with animals.
  • Mai Kawasumi of Kanon dreams to become one in the future.
  • The first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha had kindly vet Ai Makihara who was willing to treat even strange ferret boys that get sent her way.
  • All the Nurse Joys in the Pokémon anime.
  • The vet from Shiwase Apartments' Okojo-san may be an ermine-obsessed kook, but he's still good at his job and cares for all the animals he sees. It's just that he cares the most for Kojopi/Okojo-san.
    • This is also one of the few shows that actually has a veterinary nurse/technician frequently assisting the vet, as is the case in real life. The nurse is also shown to be quite caring and good at her job, on top of being much more sane than her boss.
  • Subverted with Seishirou Sakurazuka in CLAMP's Tokyo Babylon, who is a ruthless assassin under the kindly vet façade. It's also horrifically shown he doesn't care about his patients anymore than the human lives he takes, as he has them receive the repercussions of the evil magic he uses, which requires an outlet. This also sets him apart from the manga's protagonist Subaru Sumeragi, who loves animals so much he realized he couldn't go to vet school because he'd have to dissect them to learn anatomy.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield dreads his visits to Liz the vet, usually for no good reason as Liz does her job fine even as Jon hits on her. Recently, Liz finally started dating Jon. Liz may be good at her job and treat Garfield kindly, but he still hates being told to lose weight or get shots.
  • The vet in Footrot Flats is usually depicted as kind and good at as his job, if a little rough around the edges (as country vets are wont to be).

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles:
    • In “The Coffee Shop,” Penny takes over her recently retired family veterinarian's practice, jokingly referring to herself as “Dr. Penny, Frontier Animal Medicine Woman.”
    • Inverted by the uncle of one of Jack's construction job colleagues in "The Survivor," who is willing to perform any kind of animal surgery for the right price, including declaw Mittens.
  • Prehistoric Earth: The titular park's head veterinarian Linda Eberhart and her assistant Yolanda Hall are two of the consistently nicest characters in the story to both other park staff and the animals under the park's care. Coincidentally, they're both blonde.
  • Prehistoric Park Reimagined: As a Continuity Reboot to the above mentioned Prehistoric Earth, Linda Eberhart and Yolanda Hall are featured amongst the cast, and prove exactly as kindly and caring as they were in the former fanfic. Their fellow park veterinarians Harry Carver and Bethany Williams also prove quite caring, although the latter can prove quite tough and firm when the situation calls for as much.
  • Showdown: No Holding Back: Rachel is a vet back in District 10 and while she’s terse with people, she’s caring and respectful towards animals, and doesn’t want to kill anyone or anything in the Games.
  • This is grown up Damian Wayne's day job in We Are the Night to a tee. It's such a 180 from how scary and ruthless he is as Batman, that every time he tells someone is an Ignored Confession.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dr. Dolittle becomes this with the added bonus of being able to talk to the animals. It doesn't always help.
  • There's a kindly vet in Georgia Rule, too. So kindly, he's the only one who can resist sleeping with Lindsay Lohan. It makes sense in context. Sorta.
  • The eponymous hero of Corky Romano probably qualifies in personality, although in some cases the pets might have been less fortunate in regard to practice.
  • Averted in the first Beethoven, with an evil vet as the villain.
  • In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Lisa was introduced as a kind vet.
  • The Garfield film adaptation and its sequel also has Liz, who checks everyone's favorite orange cat's health and begs Jon to take care of a certain puppy called Odie. Jennifer Love Hewitt portrays her in the sweetest way as possible.
  • The Three Lives of Thomasina plays with this trope. The father character averts this trope by being a professional vet and an insufferable jerk with a broken heart. He later meets up with the local witch who cares for the animals in her care and plays this trope straight.

  • The Threeainvestigators: Mary, the live-in vet at the ranch where The Blazing Cliffs takes place, is very thorough in taking care of sick horses, "babies" them even when they aren't sick and is the only person who can approach the meanest horse on the ranch. Unusually for the trope, she isn't a certified veterinarian but is studying to be one, with her plans being put on hold when she is arrested as an accomplice to the book's Con Man villain.
  • James Herriot from All Creatures Great And Small. Also in Real Life, as his stories are based in nonfiction. Colleagues Siegfried and Tristan are also as kind as possible to patients. Though all three of them, especially Tristan, have a limit to how much crap they'll put up with from a particularly uncooperative animal...
  • Taken to the logical extreme in Discworld. Before Dr. Mossy Lawn appeared, your best bet to get cured by a human in Ankh-Morpork was Doughnut Jimmy, a horse doctor. After all, doctors get paid whether or not their patients died. Horse doctors, however, are paid to get results since their patients are thousands of dollars worth of investments whose owners may want to have a word with you in the backalleys if they keeled over under your care.
  • Many Dick Francis books have one. Comeback follows a whole firm of this but also zigzags the trope (one partner is an ambitious and judgmental Jerkass and the boss, who seems to be the kindliest of them all, has actually been murdering horses -and any humans who discover what he's up to- as part of an Insurance Fraud).
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Have Space Suit – Will Travel, Kip finds himself treated by an alien doctor, rather, alien Kindly Vet, as humans are considered animals by the aliens.
    • In his novel Job: A Comedy of Justice, Alexander Hergensheimer's fate is to be decided by a being who is above God and Satan. Alex is rather scared to be brought before this being, so the being uses Alex's memories of bringing his dog to a Kindly Vet, with Alex as the dog.
  • Dr. Aybolit from the Russian poem Aybolit and its multiple adaptations is the epitome of this trope.
  • Doctor Dolittle, in the original book series.
  • Jim Keene from Dean Koontz's Watchers saves the intelligent dog Einstein from distemper and is happy to help disguise Einstein's origins and not inform the authorities of his whereabouts after learning the truth about why they are hunting him.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Greg gets his finger bitten by a piglet the family won in a contest during a road trip. The family's only option for quick treatment is a veterinarian. The vet is friendly and professional and quickly figures out that Greg will be fine since the pig didn't break the skin. She simply applies some antibiotics before giving him a clean bill of health. Greg was so satisfied with the experience that he seriously considers switching over to vets for all of his medical needs in the future.
  • In Always Coming Home, a man named Striffen is described as one, healing horses and cattle and in some kind of empathic connection with them.
  • A very unconventional example occurs in The Abortion. We never see Dr. Garcia interact with animals, unlike every other instance of this trope, but we do see how he treats the humans who come to him for illegal abortions. He takes great care in keeping his place and tools clean, averting the Back-Alley Doctor trope in that he actually cares about his patients' safety. He helps the protagonist and Vida, as well as a young, pregnant teenage girl who is brought to him by her parents. Given how gentle he is with them, it's reasonable to assume he's nice to his animal patients too.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kakeru Shishi/Gao Red from Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger started out as a veterinarian, and continued to be that way once his day as a Ranger is over. His Power Rangers counterpart, Cole Evans, wasn't one at first, but it is implied that once the series ends, he took up a job as a veterinarian.
  • Subverted in The League of Gentlemen, with a transparent Expy of James Herriot who couldn't be more kindly but turns every attempt at treating an animal into a gruesome and usually fatal Epic Fail. Eventually revealed to be the result of an ancient curse on his ancestor. Which is easily fulfilled through his failure to think things through and pay attention to his surroundings.
  • The exceptionally handsome Ted on Schitt's Creek is a comically kind and empathetic veterinarian, who is seen giving rescue dogs a pep talk before an adoption event and volunteering at the Senior Center. Initially portrayed as "too nice" for Alexis, she later realizes her error and sets about winning Ted back after breaking his heart twice.
  • In Badger, Tom's Love Interest Steph is the vet at the local wildlife refuge. She is extremely passionate about animal welfare, and pours her heart and soul into trying to save wounded animals.
  • In The X-Files episode "Arcadia", the only genuinely sane and nice resident of the subdivision Mulder and Scully are investigating is Big Mike, a veterinarian.
  • All Creatures Great & Small (2020), natch, as an adaptation of the James Herriot stories.
    • Herriot himself is the archetypal ur-example here, giving his all to heal his patients and always willing to go out of his way to help an animal in need.
    • Siegfried Farnon, James' bombastic, eccentric mentor, also qualifies handily; he is not good with people, but with animals he is amazing. It's truly remarkable to watch him go from snapping at some unfortunate client (or employee, or Tristan) who has made him cross to gently soothing and treating an animal in pain, often within mere seconds.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Dr. Big Bill Miller, a big heel star in the 1940s and 50s underwent a Heel–Face Turn in the 1960s and became a wrestling veterinarian. He legitimately ran his own veterinary clinic when not wrestling so he couldn't be anything but a face to the locals anymore.

    Video Games 
  • The Pokémon games have the Pokémon Center nurses, but Pokémon Black and White takes it a step further by having doctors and nurses actually standing on some routes and dungeons. What does a doctor do in the middle of a desert with a never-stopping sandstorm? Why, he takes care of people's Mons, of course!
  • Katjaa from The Walking Dead was a vet. Keyword: "was".

    Web Comics 
  • Dr. Winston Thurmad of Freefall, who saves Florence's life during the "Canine in the Water" story arc.
    Florence: (listening to Winston and thinking) Using a soothing tone of voice doesn't help much if the patient understands what you're saying.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Braceface, Sharon did work experience at an animal hospital and broke down in tears when a rabbit she tried to help save didn't make it.
  • In The Brave Little Toaster sequels, Rob becomes one.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The vet in "Secrets of My Excess" can't do anything to help Spike, but she is nice to him.
    • Fluttershy also gives medical care to animals. On top of which she represents the element of Kindness, so this trope is inevitable for her.
  • The Owl House: Luz's mother Camila works as a veterinarian. In "Yesterday’s Lie", we see her kindness and empathy in action as she releases animals from traps; when she learns that a basilisk has been impersonating her daughter for months, she winds up adopting her as her own.
  • In the original 1985 Pound Puppies special, the veterinarian whom the pound puppies called The Doc was the only kind worker in the pound. Cooler even says "She's one of us".
  • The Simpsons: When Santa's Little Helper gets ill, the Simpsons take him to a vet whom they find trying to resuscitate a hamster. He fails, and laments that It Never Gets Any Easier... before flicking it into a basketball-netted trashcan. He manages to help SLH, though. Which doesn't stop them being a little dubious when he turns up in a later episode as Homer's doctor...

    Real Life 
  • Obviously, James Herriot and any of his competent colleagues.
  • In a variant, Anthony Guglielmo is a masseur who developed a sideline giving massage therapy to various animals like penguins, walruses, horses, dolphins etc. Typically, once the animals understand what he is doing to their bodies, they are the first to rush over to this human on sight who makes them feels so good for more.
  • A regular fixture on Australian TV these days, Dr. Harry Cooper is perhaps the best-known, having appeared in numerous lifestyle shows over the years and his own series, Harry's Practice. Fellow TV vets Katrina Warren (now a presenter on Animal Planet) and Chris Brown (Bondi Vet) got their start in television with Dr. Harry.
  • The Incredible Dr. Pol on Nat Geo Wild channel in the US. He runs a mixed animal practice up in the state of Michigan. (Do not bring him up with anyone who works in the veterinary industry. He is controversial, to say the least.)
  • Long before Dr. Pol made it to TV, the Animal Planet series Emergency Vets (1998–2002), about a Denver veterinary hospital, featured a bunch of these, and is likely responsible for a lot of young people choosing to enter the veterinary field.
  • Discovery Network has several shows about veterinarians, such as "Dr Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet" about Dr. Jeff Young, who runs a charity veterinary practice in Denver, Colorado and travels widely to treat animals of all kinds.
  • Dr. Louis J. Camuti lived in New York City for all his professional life and devoted his practice entirely to cats, making house calls rather than have his patients come to a fixed office. His autobiography All My Patients Are Under the Bed rivals the James Herriot books in wit, charm, and truly amazing stories about his patients.