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OSU Vet Hospital Treats Animals Hurt In Tornadoes, At No Cost To Owners

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"I am going to adopt a very special little girl, that has already captured my heart," said Coil resident Joyce Axton. "I am going to adopt a very special little girl, that has already captured my heart," said Coil resident Joyce Axton.
"I think in some aspects, dogs aren't being claimed because the owners are trying to figure out what to do with their own lives," said Dr. Danielle Dugat. "I think in some aspects, dogs aren't being claimed because the owners are trying to figure out what to do with their own lives," said Dr. Danielle Dugat.
Sally, a pit bull mix, is another abandoned patient. The injury to one of her legs was so severe, it couldn't be saved, but she is doing well. Sally, a pit bull mix, is another abandoned patient. The injury to one of her legs was so severe, it couldn't be saved, but she is doing well.
His right ear didn't make it, although Dr. Dugat said PB can still hear. His right ear didn't make it, although Dr. Dugat said PB can still hear.
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Hundreds of animals were injured in the May tornadoes, and many are still being treated at Oklahoma State University's Veterinary Hospital.

But, thanks to many donations, the care they're getting is not costing owners a thing.

Immediately after the storms, a triage center was set up to help treat injured animals. Some were so badly hurt that they had to be taken to Stillwater for further care. Many are healed and back home, but it's been a month and the animals whose families never picked them up are going to new homes.

"I am going to adopt a very special little girl, that has already captured my heart," said Coil resident Joyce Axton.

Axton couldn't walk fast enough to meet her new dog, Minni.

Minni was pulled from rubble in Carney with a broken back leg. She was brought to the OSU Vet Hospital, but her owners never came to claim her.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

"I don't see how anybody could walk off and leave their animals, they're all special," Axton said.

"I think in some aspects, dogs aren't being claimed because the owners are trying to figure out what to do with their own lives," said Dr. Danielle Dugat.

About 50 dogs or cats were brought to the animal hospital for vets, like Dugat, to care for.

"I wish I could help all of them, but I can't, so I'm gonna help one," Axton said.

Sally, a pit bull mix, is another abandoned patient. The injury to one of her legs was so severe, it couldn't be saved, but she is doing well.

Then there's PB. He was rescued by his owners, after being buried in debris in Moore for six days.

"He wasn't doing too hot, so I would assume within the next 24 hours, he probably wouldn't have made it," Dugat said.

His right ear didn't make it, although Dr. Dugat said PB can still hear. Dugat and one of her resident vets had to amputate the ear at a triage site.

Horses and even a donkey showed up for help, as well. The horses have been claimed and a new family is waiting for the donkey's leg to heal before they can adopt him.

As you can imagine, treatment for these animals isn't cheap, so a few days after the storms, the hospital launched the OSU Animal Relief Fund. They've already raised $150,000 and donations are still coming in, lifting the financial burden to the families, while providing education to the vet students and staff that they might not otherwise see.

"Trauma situations bring about a lot of different wounds and management situations that you can't teach in a hospital environment like this," Dugat said.

There were even two cases that Dugat said will be used for research.

"[There were] really interesting chest trauma cases, where we had to remove part of a lung lobe from injury that we think was due to pressure changes from the tornado," Dugat said.

A chicken, guinea pig and a turtle were also brought in to be treated.

The good news, all of the animals that weren't claimed by their old family, have already found new homes to go to, once they are released from the hospital.

Find out how you can help the OSU Animal Relief Fund

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