The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

February 24, 2009

OSU veterinary students: Cruelty allegations by Pickens are erroneous

A Waukomis graduate at-tending Oklahoma State Uni-versity’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is defending her school from allegations its research methods are cruel to animals.

Madeleine Pick-ens, wife of billionaire T. Boone Pick-ens, had said she was planning to give $5 million to the center but has changed her mind. She said she received information from a student OSU’s veterinary school practices “barbaric” methods, according to an article in the student newspaper, The Daily O’Collegian.

“Right now, when they buy these dogs, they bring them in and they do a surgery, put them to sleep, do the surgery, wake them up, next day, put them to sleep again, maybe take out a kidney, wake them up again, put them to sleep again, maybe break a leg, fix it, wake them up again and then they kill them,” Pickens said.

Shana Watkins, an OSU veterinary student and Waukomis High School graduate, said that’s not true.

“We get into this profession because of our love for animals,” she said.

Watkins said if claims of barbarism were true, vet students would be the first to protest.

“The biggest deal to us is the quote Ms. Pickens said about breaking legs and removing kidneys,” said Matt Wooding-ton, a fourth-year vet student. “None of that is true.”

Woodington, who came to Oklahoma from Idaho to go to OSU, said he did so because of the university’s highly regarded veterinary program.

Now, Woodington said he is in disbelief that such misinformation would be given to destroy the program’s reputation.

“When I read that article I was shocked at the amount of information that was incorrect,” said Woodington. “It’s just unfortunate.”

Watkins and Woodington said animals purchased by the university are animals that were going to be euthanized whether or not they were acquired by the university.

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