2013 Oklahoma Institute for Diversity in Journalism

Homeless Pets Find Refuge After Storms

Lost and alone, household pets wait in shelters to be claimed or adopted

MOORE, Okla. – There had been thunder before — and dogs never like thunder — but this was different. This was worse. His owners ran out of the house, running for their lives, leaving him behind. As he tried to hide from the terrible noise of the storm, the house was swept away in a furious wind. The dog was scared and injured, but worst of all left alone.

In the aftermath of the May tornados in and around Moore, Okla., hundreds of pets were left homeless and abandoned. After already reuniting 84 animals with their owners, the Animal Resource Center in Oklahoma City still housed 98 unclaimed cats and dogs as of June 6 – two weeks after the storms. At the same time, the Cleveland County Fairgrounds held 78 unclaimed pets. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State University’s Veterinary Health Center was providing free care to animals affected by the storms. (more…)

Seniors key in Sooners’ title win: Pitcher, catcher lead softball team to victory with character, performance

CELEBRATION: The Sooners celebrate winning the national championship against Tennessee at the Women’s College World Series. A year ago they came within one run of a championship before falling to Alabama. (Photo by: Patience Knox)

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – When the OU Sooners won the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City June 4, vindicating last year’s loss in the same venue, the two seniors who helped get them there walked off the field as more than national champions with a slew of individual records.

Their collegiate careers now closed, pitcher Keilani Ricketts and catcher Jessica Schults also leave their team a legacy of leadership.

Ricketts threw her seventh no-hitter during the tournament, and home-run leader Schults was behind the plate for every game. Both hold multiple school records: Ricketts is OU’s winningest pitcher; Schults has the most career home runs. Together, their achievements provided a powerful base for the Sooners’ championship run.

However, those who know them best say these two led their teammates in more than awards and numbers. (more…)