2011 Animal Control Techniques Clinic

May. 26, 2011

Columbus, Ohio, May 25, 2011 - In his May 3 Address to the Faculty, The Ohio State University President Dr. E. Gordon Gee summed up a statement about faculty with this comment: “we must never forget that the most potent product this University has ever, and will ever, put forth is the imagination of our students.” ( http://president.osu.edu/speeches/faculty_05032011.php). An undergraduate student in the Department of Animal Sciences recently demonstrated this potency of imagination, encouraged and supported by faculty, staff, and fellow students, which culminated in the “ACT: Animal Control Techniques” clinic held today in the arena and classrooms of the Animal Science building. The clinic came from the vision of Stephanie Neal, a graduating senior from North Canton, Ohio, majoring in Animal Sciences. “I wanted to leave a mark on the university, something useful and enduring,” said Neal, “I hope this can become an annual event.” The purpose of the clinic was to provide information to law enforcement officers on handling a loose large animal. Officers from the OSU Department of Public Safety and Columbus and suburban police departments participated in the approximately four-hour session that included presentations by Animal Sciences and Vet Med faculty/staff and hands-on training with Animal Sciences’ dairy cattle, beef cattle, and horses. Neal said that she saw a need and responded. Law enforcement officers are trained for many different scenarios, but large animal handling is not often one of those scenarios. Nevertheless, loose cows or horses have been reported occasionally in or around Columbus, and the presence of large animals such as cattle and horses is common for teaching, research, and care purposes on the west side of campus, which is home to the Department of Animal Sciences (in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences) and the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Medical Center and Galbreath Equine Center. Neal organized members of the Buckeye Dairy, Saddle and Sirloin, and Food Animal Medicine Clubs to make her vision a reality. She contacted the Department of Public Safety to pitch her idea to Chief of Police Paul Denton, who was enthusiastic about the plan. She recruited dairy cattle, beef cattle, equine, and veterinary experts from the Department of Animal Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine. “I was surprised when Stephanie brought this idea up to me,” said Dr. Joe Hogan, Interim Chair of the Department of Animal Sciences, “she had it all worked out as far as the DPS, funding, and a basic plan. All I had to do was give her my approval, which I was more than happy to provide.” The clinic included instruction on animal flight zones and behavior indicators, catching an animal, and safely haltering and leading an animal as well as information on tranquilizers and approved euthanasia methods, if and when that should be the only option. Asked about her thoughts on the clinic after it ended, Officer Regina Shoopman said, “Stephanie came up with an excellent training for public safety.  She showed determination and great leadership in organizing everyone involved. I think the public safety officials that attended learned things that will help them in the future as well as built relationships with the students and faculty that were presenting.” Stephanie Neal will graduate in June and plans to attend graduate school at Virginia Tech to study dairy calf nutrition and management. She hopes club members can continue the clinic as long as funding is available and interest remains. The Department of Animal Sciences is proud of Neal and supports student-led efforts like hers that encourage student leadership at Ohio State. See the Columbus Dispatch article and video at: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2011/05/26/osu-students-teach-police-to-wrangle-fugitive-livestock.html?sid=101 Read the Lantern article at: http://www.thelantern.com/campus/police-milk-livestock-training-for-all-it-s-worth-1.2256489