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Burnt horse finds refuge, care at Ohio State

Courtesy of Jess Lybrook

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A seriously injured Pennsylvania horse named Northstar might recover from his injuries with a little help from Ohio State.
After being intentionally doused with flammable liquid and set on fire Aug. 27, Northstar was found in Crawford County, Pa., suffering from his injuries. He was moved from a hospital in Pennsylvania to OSU after a veterinarian realized how severe the burns were.
Northstar has first-, second- and third-degree burns all over his body, primarily in the saddle area, said Jane Carroll, public relations manager at OSU’s Office of University Relations, in an email.
“Northstar will need skin grafts,” Carroll said in the email. “He is a very strong horse and shows an incredible will to live but has a good deal of healing left to do before surgery can be scheduled. It’s expected that it will be several weeks more until graft surgery can take place. Future care is going to be determined based on how well he continues to do.”
The website, helpnorthstar.com, was created to help raise money for Northstar’s medical bills after he was transferred to OSU’s Veterinary Medical Clinic. So far it has raised more than $30,000.
On the website, visitors can donate $10, $20, $50 or $100, and buy T-shirts with the slogan “prayers for Northstar.”
The website was created by Jayne May, a horse lover from Pennsylvania who heard about the incident on the news and wanted to help.
“My reaction was dismal,” May said. “I didn’t think of all the responsibility that would come (with) this, I just did it.”
On top of the money raised by the website, one person donated money to cover his first OSU medical bill.
“The help from everyone has been phenomenal,” May said. “I can’t believe it. I am floored.”
Because of the support for Northstar, Carroll said OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine has set up a special fund, the Northstar Equine Emergency Critical Care Fund, where donations will be used to support critical care patients in the future that are in need of veterinary care and financial support at the Galbreath Equine Center.
May said she does not take the work and support given by OSU for granted.
“We are so indebted to OSU,” May said. “When OSU came up in discussion on where to bring Northstar, they were just like, ‘Bring him, we will work out the money stuff later.'”
By creating the website and spreading his story, May hopes Northstar will stay in the forefront of peoples’ minds.
Students think there are other ways to get the word out besides the website and Facebook groups.
Barry Reames, a second-year in electrical engineering, said he thinks supporters of Northstar should take the incident and efforts to the student body.
“They could have a fundraiser for the horse, or even hang things up on the bulletin boards all throughout the classrooms,” Reames said.
For now, Carroll said the website is doing all it can to help Northstar and other victims of animal cruelty.
“This site is empathetic of the love and support people, many (of) who are complete strangers, have for Northstar and is an amazing reminder that acts of kindness will prevail over acts of evil,” she said.

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