(September 24, 2009 Stillwater, OK) – When the Payne County Sheriff’s office called the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences on Thursday, Sept. 17, and asked if they could help with approximately 80 dogs and cats rescued from a rural home, faculty, staff and students stepped up to help.
“The Sheriff’s Department alerted us that the animals were coming,” stated Dr. Michael Lorenz, professor and dean of the veterinary center. “We called in veterinary technicians, students and eight veterinarians who were not on call. The animals arrived in the late evening.”
“I was on the phone with one of the ICU technicians and when I heard what was going on, I came in to help,” said Dianne Hudson, RVT, VTS (Anesthesia).
Because the animals are the subject of legal action and serve as evidence, the intake process included identifying and photographing each animal. Detailed records were maintained for medical and legal purposes.
“We had eight teams each comprised of students/veterinary technicians and one faculty veterinarian,” added Hudson.
“The animals were abused, neglected and poorly nourished,” said Dr. Mark Neer, director of the veterinary center’s Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. “While they can’t be adopted until legally released, the plan was to put them in foster care.”
All animals were treated for internal and external parasites including sarcoptic mange, which is a type of mange caused by mites burrowing in the skin especially of the head and face. All adult dogs received Rabies vaccinations and puppies were vaccinated for distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus and parainfluenza.
“It was absolutely amazing to see everyone swing into action,” stated Dr. Jill Brunker, Small Animal Internal Medicine. “People were assigned to a station and we rotated the animals through receiving, triage and treatment. Interns, residents, technicians and fourth year veterinary students worked with one common goal—help these mistreated animals.”
“We were able to do something on a large scale to help the animals and the community,” said Dr. Todd Yeagley, Small Animal Internal Medicine and Surgery Intern. “It was sad to see so many dogs that had suffered such horrible abuse.”
According to Hudson within two hours 80 animals had been examined.
“We were careful to do everything right so that the Sheriff’s Department would have what they needed. Even after all the dogs had been processed, the students recognized that the dogs needed to be bathed to help make them more comfortable and then we still needed to clean up to get ready for the next day, so they stayed,” continued Hudson.
“The students and staff worked until the wee hours of the morning,” added Lorenz. “Oklahomans can be extremely proud of the veterinary team. Despite the horrific scene, the group performed at a high professional level. I am very proud of their dedication and competence.”
“Dr. Neer and everyone at the veterinary hospital could not have been any kinder to the animals or been more hospitable to the people who came to foster them,” stated Garry McKinnis, Payne County Undersheriff. “I have 18 of them at my house. My wife and I took four female Dachshunds and their puppies. We wanted to be sure they received the right care until they are able to be adopted.”
Some of the dogs had to be soaked to loosen the debris matted in their hair and eventually were clipped. According to Brunker, a single dose of medicine usually cures the sarcoptic mange. The parasites should be gone in a few weeks followed by treatments at regular intervals.
“I have seen dogs like that before but one at a time,” said Brandy Kastl, fourth year veterinary student from Sapulpa, Okla. “Never so many at once—it was overwhelming.”
“It was pretty sad, especially the high number of dogs involved,” continued Matt Stone of Springfield, Ill., also a fourth year veterinary student. “We were happy to help the animals.”
“That’s what we do,” added Kastl.
Authorities at the veterinary center report that all dogs and cats involved in the rescue have been placed in foster care as of Tuesday evening, Sept. 22, 2009.
The care of rescued dogs and cats is partially funded by the veterinary hospital’s “Brittany Fund.” This fund was established to help seriously ill or traumatized pets receive appropriate veterinary care when otherwise they would not. Donations are always welcome and are acutely needed since funds are low at this time. Donations payable to OSU Foundation with Brittany Fund noted in the memo section and mailed to Oklahoma State University, 308 McElroy Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078 are truly appreciated. If you would like more information on the Brittany Fund, call (405) 744-5630.
The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center’s Boren Veterinary Medial Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.
A special thanks to the veterinary clinicians, technicians and fourth year students who helped with the Payne County animal rescue:
Dr. Jill Brunker, Assistant Professor, Small Animal Internal Medicine
Dr. Simona Buoncompagni, Resident, Small Animal Internal Medicine
Dr. Jennifer Chang, Resident, Small Animal Internal Medicine
Dr. Brandy Dugas, Resident, Small Animal Internal Medicine
Dr. Chris Levine, Intern, Small Animal Internal Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Kristen Levine, Intern, Small Animal Internal Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Michael Lorenz, Dean, OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences
Dr. Denver Marlow, Associate Professor, Laboratory Animal Resources
Dr. Elizabeth Mayne, Intern, Small Animal Internal Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Mark Neer, Director, OSU Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
Dr. Todd Yeagley, Intern, Small Animal Internal Medicine and Surgery
Torie Garnatz, RVT
Dianne Hudson, RVT, VTS “Anesthesia”
Delicia Timmons, RVT
Leslie Andrews of Tulsa, Okla.
Chris Bellinger of Perryville, Ark.
Erin Bradley of Felton, Del.
Meredith Dooley of Jenks, Okla.
Kelly Herron of Wellington, Fla.
Troy Herthel of Los Olivos, Calif.
Kathryn Kramer of Fountain Valley, Calif.
Justin Little Jim of Little Axe, Okla.
Jon Nordberg of Canton, N.Y.
Jenny Spooner of Salem, Ore.
Matt Stone of Springfield, Ill.
Peter Strauss of Mountain View, Calif.
Laura Townley of Tulsa, Okla.
Brad Youngblood of Watson, Ark.
Jessica Zink of Wichita, Kan.