After a powerful tornado tore through a city in Oklahoma last month, two Virbac employees quickly jumped in to assist the town’s local animal shelter, which was badly damaged during the April 19 storm.
By Malcolm Mayhew
Amber Llewellyn and Smokey Johnson, both Executive Territory Sales Managers based in Oklahoma, provided food and cleanup assistance to the staff at the Northside Veterinary Hospital in Shawnee, OK.
The EF2 tornado that struck Shawnee was one of eight that touched down in the state April 19, and although Shawnee was among the cities hardest hit, none of the animals at the shelter were killed.
“Everyone was smiling and happy that no two-legged or four-legged creatures were killed,” Amber wrote on her Facebook page. “The staff showed up ready to work and salvage anything they could find to get back to work ASAP.”
Against a backdrop of overturned vehicles and destroyed homes and businesses, barbecue aficionado Smokey Johnson cooked meals for the shelter’s staff and volunteers.
“He hauled his smoker just so we could feed the clinic staff and their volunteers a hot lunch,” Amber wrote on Facebook. “The entire town was out of electricity and water.”
Located 45 minutes east of Oklahoma City, Shawnee is a city of about 30,000.
Amber said she was impressed and inspired by the clinic’s staff and volunteers, who worked through the chaos with smiles on their faces.
“It was a sad day, but a good day,” Amber wrote on Facebook. “None of the clinic’s staff was crying, no one was admitting they were tired and no one - absolutely no one - complained. One employee told us they are firm believers that broken things and broken hearts can always be made beautiful again, and I 1000% agree. Great job, Northside Veterinary Hospital!”
On behalf of the entire Virbac team, a heartfelt thanks to Amber and Smokey for exemplifying the Virbac Purpose: “Advancing the health of animals with those who care for them every day so we can all live better together.”