Oklahoma State University veterinary students defended treatment of animals in their care following criticism of the school’s practices by the wife of prominent donor T. Boone Pickens. Michael Lorenz, OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences dean, addressed about 100 veterinary students and faculty members Monday. No one outside the school was allowed at the meeting. Madeleine Pickens said she planned to move a $5 million donation from the veterinary school after she learned of practices with which she did not agree. She cited claims by an anonymous veterinary student that animals were subject to organ removal, broken bones and other practices at the school.
Dean sends e-mailIn an e-mail sent to veterinary students, Lorenz said: "Rest assured that Mrs. Pickens has never made a gift or donation to the veterinary college. She did make an undesignated gift to the university.” Kyle German, a third-year veterinary student, said most of the veterinary school, including faculty members, attended the meeting. German said Lorenz, instructors and people from the veterinary clinic spoke. "It makes us (veterinary students) angry,” German said. "That’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to help these animals, not hurt them.” Brandy Kastl, a third-year veterinary student who attended the meeting, said: "We’re responsible for pain management for these animals. We treat them very humanely.” Kastl said students who do not want to operate on live animals have a choice to operate on cadavers. Alicia Davis, a second-year veterinary student, said she feels like using live animals to learn surgical procedures is an integral part of the education. "When we come out of vet school, we’re expected to be doctors,” Davis said. "OSU is doing its best to provide a quality education to veterinary students so they can better care for animals when they graduate.”