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Oklahoma State University

The official magazine of Oklahoma State University

Relief Fund Supports Animal Care

OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences treats tornado injuries

Tonyetta rests in a stall at OSU after surviving a harrowing tornado on the Culberston ranch. (PHOTO / GARY LAWSON)

     You never know when disaster will strike. In Oklahoma, the threat of destruction rises when tornadoes rip across the state. On May 9, 2016, such was the case for C. David and Andi Culbertson when a category EF-4 tornado hit the Oklahoma ranch where they raise quarter horses with partners, Pete and Cheri Wolfe.

     Although all eight people on the 80-acre ranch were safe in a tornado shelter, the houses, trucks, horse trailers and most of the fencing were destroyed. Several horses were injured. Thanks to the OSU Animal Relief Fund, those injured horses received care at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at no cost to the owners.

     “In times of need like this, we are thankful for the generous donors who support the OSU Animal Relief Fund,” says Dr. Mark Neer, director of the center’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. “This fund covers the cost of hospitalization, diagnostic evaluation, and medical and surgical treatment for injured animals. When you lose your home or livelihood, the last thing you need to worry about is how you are going to cover the medical care of your pets, horses or livestock.”

     OSU treated five horses and two foals from the Culbertsons’ ranch. The flagship stallion, Call Him The Flash, was treated for lacerations and multiple facial bone fractures. One mare with a foal was treated for a deep gash on her right front leg, which took weeks to heal. Other mares were treated for lacerations caused by flying debris during the storm.

     “We are truly grateful for the fine veterinarians and others who lovingly cared for our horses,” says Andi Culbertson. “Dr. Amanda Plunkett was tireless in giving me reports and encouragement during this difficult time. I do not know how we could have made it through this without OSU and their fine veterinary staff. I also want to thank Dr. Troy Herthel of the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Clinic in Los Olivos, California. Troy is a graduate of the OSU veterinary program and offered invaluable assistance and technical coordination with the veterinarians of OSU. Between Troy and Amanda, I was able to keep my mind in one piece!”

     The fund used to treat the Culbertsons’ horses was established in 2013 following the May tornadoes that struck several Oklahoma communities, including Moore. Thanks to donations that poured in from across the country, OSU treated more than 60 animals injured during those storms.

     The Culbertsons generously donated $10,000 to the OSU Animal Relief Fund to help ensure funds are available in the future for others.

     If you would like to give to the OSU Animal Relief Fund, contact Christine Sitz, senior director of development with the OSU Foundation, at or 405-385-5170. 


More stories like this are available for members of the OSU Alumni Association. STATE magazine is a benefit of membership in the OSU Alumni Association. To join or update your membership go to or call 405-744-5368

Published by STATE Magazine Editor Elizabeth Keys in Spring 2017 Issue

Uploaded on May 9, 2017