Penn vet school ready for its closeup in Animal Planet's 'Life at Vet U'

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Lindsay Gallagher (right), of Medford, N.J., helps prepare a dog for surgery in Animal Planet's new series "Life at Vet U," filmed earlier this year at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine.

Students and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine will get their first look Friday at a new Animal Planet docu-series  in which they -- along with their (mostly) four-legged patients -- are the stars.

Penn's rolling out a red carpet, purchased for the occasion,  for the schoolwide screening of Life at Vet U, where guests will include some of the featured patients and their owners.

The preview party, which won't be open to the public, comes on the eve of the show's premiere at  10 p.m. Saturday.

"It's just a big deal for us, so we're making the most of it," said vet school spokeswoman Ashley Berke. 

Life at Vet U  was filmed in Philadelphia earlier this year and follows a half-dozen fourth-year veterinary students  on their rounds at Penn's Ryan Hospital  in West Philadelphia and its New Bolton Center hospital in Kennett Square, Chester County, where their teachers include Dr. Dean Richardson, the chief of large-animal surgery, who's known for his months-long fight to save the life of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro after the horse shattered its leg in the 2006 Preakness Stakes.

Among the featured students, all of whom have graduated, is Lindsay Gallagher, of Medford, N.J.

Fans of ABC News' NY Med and other 24/7 series should find the format familiar. These patients may have less to say, but they're universally endearing.

Even the ones who pee in the hospital hallways. Or on the red carpet.

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