Lorenz said Hargis provided $300,000 from the university budget to finance the new program. Gary Shutt, director of communications, said Pickens’ donation is with the OSU Foundation.
Pickens said she could not be happier with the outcome, but that the situation is not isolated to the OSU veterinary school.
"This is going to send a message to so many of these schools across the United States so that they also can move up,” she said.
Deseree Brown, a third-year veterinary student, said she felt a strong bond with her surgery dog. She and the other students trained the dog, who they named Pete, to do tricks and rewarded him with treats.
"We had constant contact with him and treated him as if he were one of our pets,” Brown said.
Brown said when it came time for Pete to be euthanized, she told herself that millions of dogs were euthanized a year and unlike them, Pete had been given a purpose.
"That’s how I was able to get through the (procedure),” she said. "This dog was able to live a life for something specific.”