Little did you know that America's "favorite vet" lives right here in Spring Hill.
Dr. Carlos Campos works at San Francis Veterinary Hospital. It has been a long journey for Campos, from growing up in the countryside of his native Guatemala to having his own veterinary practice.
The man who has been dubbed "Dr. Doolittle" by friends and colleagues said he has dreamed of being a vet since he was a little boy, bringing home all kinds of critters and living for the days he could visit a friend's grandfather's farm.
"We used to go the farm and help them do the chickens and milk the cows ... and drink milk right out of the cows," he said.
He set his sights on veterinary school at an early age, and his third application was the charm, landing at the University of Florida, where he got to treat all kinds of animals.
Fast forward a decade and he has his own growing practice and a brand new title.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation just named Campos "America's Favorite Vet," flying his family to Chicago for the award. His photo was even flashed in New York's Times Square.
"I was in shock! Absolutely! Because I'm a little veterinarian from Spring Hill, Florida," he said.
He may have been surprised, but one of his clients wasn't. Joan Spitrey saw the contest on Facebook and nominated Campos.
"He's so humble. He would never nominate himself," she said.
Spitrey says it was how Campos cared for her little dog, "Fritz," that touched her heart. Like so many pet owners, "Fritz" was more than a dog to the Spitreys.
"He was like our baby. He understands that that's your family member. It's not just your dog," she said.
When Fritz got sick, and it was clear he wouldn't recover, she said Campos was more than understanding.
"He and his staff took their time, answered all my questions and were supportive in our decision to take him home to pass in peace," she said.
These days she takes her new dog, "Lola," and the family hamster, "Lily," to see Campos.
She said he always takes his time and answers all their questions. As a nurse, those are qualities she admires and wrote about in her letter of nomination.
Spitrey read part of the letter to us.
"To sum up my admiration of Dr. Campos, and I tell him each time, are you sure you don't want to start seeing humans?"
No chance of that, Dr. Campos said.
He's thrilled to be living his dream, and he's right where he wants to be. He just added equine to his practice in Spring Hill, and they're outgrowing their space. Soon, they'll be moving into a building twice as big.
"I'm doing what I love, so I'm not going anywhere," he said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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