Just Say 'No' To Big Cats
Tippi Hedren, Shambala Preserve
Actress Tippi Hedren (The Birds) is back to talk about the big cats at her sanctuary and legislation to stop the breeding of lions and tigers. She comes clean about her daughter's (actress Melanie Griffith) relationship with "Neil" the lion.
Neil was a working lion and his trainer would bring him to Tippi's house now and then so they could get an idea of what they're like. The trainer didn't pull any punches and let them know that they are dangerous animals.
You can find pictures of when Melanie was a teenager in the 70's hanging out with Neil the lion. There are pictures of Neil in her kitchen, playing with Griffith by the pool and peering into the fridge, as well as sleeping with Melanie in her bed.
At the time, Tippi was just learning about these animals, but says the press made it sound like Neil was living with them. Tippi stated that it was all photo opportunities and the Neil never spent a night at their house.
This process of learning about the animals was for the movie Tippi was filming called "Roar." Because of the length of time it took to do the movie, she became terribly aware of the fact that these animals were being bred and sold in the United States for financial gain.
The film Roar took five years to make and there were seven different accidents, with a couple of them happening during the filming. Tippi herself was hurt; her daughter Melanie had her face scratched; and their director of photography was almost killed by one of the lions. She said it was frightening at times. She then became more and more aware of situation, and after the film was over, she started working on bills to stop this insanity.
Tippi's first legislation to stop the interstate traffic of these animals was in 2003, which passed unanimously in the House and Senate. The bill she is currently working on to stop the breeding is called H.R. 4122, and S. 3547 "Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act."
The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act would prohibit private possession of big cats except at highly-qualified facilities, like accredited zoos, where they can be properly cared for and restrained. The bill would require any persons who currently possess big cats to register those animals with USDA in order to keep the cats they currently own. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the bill would also outlaw the breeding of any big cat except at accredited zoos or educational institutions. Violators of the law will have their animals confiscated along with any vehicles or equipment used to aid in their illegal activity, and could face stiff penalties including fines as much as $20,000, and up to five years in jail.
There are so many people, along with breeders, who don't want this bill to pass because it cuts out their livelihood. Breeding big cats is a huge business and the government doesn't like to stop a business that is huge. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife, it is on par with illegal drugs.
To anyone who wanted one of these animals as a pet, Tippi would personally tell them, "Absolutely no!" She would tell them about their personalities and even deeper, the instinctual dictates of these animals to take out any animal that is sick, old or lame. They will also do the same to people.
When asked if Tippi could go back and do things differently with these animals, which she change a thing. She states that hindsight is really amazing, but she feels that it was her destiny to start the Shambala Preserve. She was supposed to do this in order to raise the awareness of these animals in captivity.
The Shambala Preserve is located just outside of Acton, California. Tippi states she currently has 32 big cats. They consist of lions, tigers and mountain lions, as well as some of the lesser cats. All of these cats were born in the United States to be sold as a pet, which Tippi states is an unconscionable act to breed these animals to be sold to people who don't know what they are like. She says they are literally, "Serial Killers."
"HERO PEOPLE OF THE WEEK" - Scott Blais - Transforming The Lives of Captive Elephants
This week's Zeuterin Hero Person is rescuing elephants from circuses and zoos. Often mistreated, the gentle giants are exploited for our entertainment and most people simply don't know what elephants endure. Scott Blais Skypes with us from Brazil, where he is currently rescuing 50 elephants.
Scott Blais previously co-founded The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and is now working with a new organization that he co-founded last year to help build sanctuaries for elephants internationally. At present, he is in Brazil working to launch South America's first expansive natural habitat sanctuary for captive elephants, the Elephant Sanctuary Brazil.
In the United States, there are presently a handful of municipalities that have banned performing exotic animals. Los Angeles, California has passed a ban on the use of Bullhooks and recently Oakland, California has done the same. But, the U.S. is far behind the curve with respect to protecting performing animals. Presently there are more than 20 countries that have completely banned performing exotic animals or elephants and the U.S. has yet to have one major city to adopt similar legislation. It is really quite tragic.
In South America, there are five countries that have banned performing elephants and there are two more, one of those being Brazil, about to pass a national ban as well. That will add up to seven countries in South America that have banned performing elephants and there is nowhere for them to go.
Elephants are not native to South America and have all been captured from either Africa or Asia, most in their infancy, and taken from their families. These babies were then put into the entertainment industry.
You would think since these animals make money for their owners, that they would be treated well. However, Scott advises that the truth is grim and quite tragic.
Scot's first involvement with elephants was in a safari park. He was told that this was the ‘best of the best' type of facility for elephants. Scott quickly learned that much was lacking. These elephants have a really tragic life and it wasn't until he started the sanctuary in Tennessee in 1995, and a few years later when the elephants started recovering from these ailments, when he started realizing just how deep the abuse and neglect really runs. Scott states that, "Just every facet of their life is pretty much destroyed by captivity and no matter how hard you try in a zoo or circus, you just can't do right by them. There is no way possible to get them what they need in those environments."
The elephants react very differently when released into the sanctuary. While some may become integrated into the existing herd in less than 12 hours, others may struggle for a while.
Zoo elephants seem to struggle more than circus elephants, because of the sterile lives that they've lived. Most of them have only lived in that box of a world for 25 or 35 years. One elephant had lived alone for 40 of her 47 years, and she integrated into the herd literally overnight. While there are others that had been bounced around from one zoo to another and they struggled for weeks to try to find comfort in the new environment. Once that starts and they realize that they have autonomy, giving them their choice and watching them learn how to control their own lives, it's miraculous what ends up transpiring.
Scott has been working with elephants for more than 25 years. When asked what the most amazing thing about elephants was, Scott replied, "There is no way to put it into a nutshell. It is literally everything about them. It is their sensitivity, their acute awareness, their just sense of knowing. They just seem to have an understanding of life that we always strive for. They are just remarkable all the way around."
Thinking Globally. Acting Locally. Do you know someone that should be nominated for our Hero Person of the Week? Send us an email to: YourVoice@AnimalRadio.com.
Animal Radio's HERO PEOPLE is brought to you by Zeuterin a safe, permanent and virtually painless alternative to surgical castration.
The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani
Washing Your Dog Without Water
Joey's tip is his waterless shampooing tip. Because this was Joey's favorite tip, he is recycling it for us this week.
If you don't have time to bathe your dog or have them professionally cleaned and you just need a quick cleanup, there are a few household items you can use, which you probably already have at home.
Do you have any witch-hazel on hand? You can put it in a spray bottle. If you don't like the smell, you can add a few drops of lavender. Next, get a box of cornstarch. Spray your pet down lightly with the witch-hazel and brush it through. This will loosen up any dirt and oils. You now need something to pull this away from your dog. You can towel it off, but you will never get it all off. So, just sprinkle on the cornstarch. The cornstarch will absorb any dirt and oil left behind by the witch-hazel. Just brush the cornstarch through your dog.
This can make a mess on your floor; so if you can't do it outside, just place a towel under your dog before you begin.
This process will not replace soap and water, but is a great spruce up between baths. By doing this, you will still be left with a cleaner, better smelling pet.
Know a Kid That Wants To Be a Vet? Check out Boiler Vet Camp - Dr. Debbie
Do you know a young budding veterinarian? If so then I've got a summer camp that will beat hanging out by the pool, will top playing summer baseball and will even trump a vacation at the lake. Boiler Vet Camp is an educational, fun-filled camp for kids that have interests in becoming a veterinarian or veterinary technician. Kids are exposed to laboratories, demonstrations, tours, and hands-on experience as they learn the varied roles and opportunities in veterinary medicine.
What is Vet Camp About?
Each summer Purdue's veterinary school holds two separate week long vet camps that give kids an inside peek into veterinary medicine. Junior vet camp is for kids due to enter 8th and 9th grades and Senior Vet Camp is for students entering 10th through 12th grades. Camp attendees spend a week living in a college dorm, get hands-on experience with animals, and learn about modern veterinary medicine.
Junior camp attendees learn about various animal species, while Senior Vet Camp attendees focus their efforts on small animal medicine and surgery. Just a few of the activities in Junior Vet Camp included observing a horse treadmill session used to evaluate its breathing, dissecting organs, visiting a dairy farm, learning about dog blood banks, watching a post-mortem exam, handling piglets at a pig farm, learning about a zoo vet's day at the Indianapolis Zoo and much more. At the end of the week the students give a presentation on a veterinary case that they solved. Also on the last day of Vet Camp, the attendee were recognized for their week of learning and received a certificate of completion along with an official Vet Camp doctor's lab coat.
The list of activities had me wishing they had this camp when I was a kid. Who wouldn't like giving a cow a pill, peering at blood samples on a microscope or dissecting a fish's innards! If you know a kid that likes science and is attracted to veterinary medicine, then I can highly recommend the Purdue Vet Camp experiences.
How to Sign Up?
You should know that competition is tough to gain acceptance into Vet Camp. Prospective attendees must submit an application which includes an essay. The fee for the Junior Camp is currently $950 and Senior Camp $1500. Financial aid is available as well.
For science minded kids that have their sights on a career in veterinary medicine…the Purdue Vet Camp experience is an absolute "must do".
For more information on Purdue Vet Camps visit the Purdue website at Boiler Vet Camp.
Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend."
It's a Wacky Wednesday Here at the Animal Radio® Studios
WackyWed Contest IS ON - LIKE your FAVORITE pic and the pic with the most LIKES & shares is the week's winner and will receive a total pet care package from Fresh Dog.
TO ENTER Send us your FUNNY pet pic to WackyWed@AnimalRadio.com - (Please put WACKYWED in the subject line & give us your pet's name, your name & where you hail from) If YOUR pic is chosen then spread the word to your friends & family on Wednesday - the pics w/the most LIKES and SHARES will be the winner!
This week's Wacky Wednesday prize is a total pet care package from Fresh Dog. For superior pet care, enjoy this selection of Fresh Dog's bestselling core products, which includes the original all natural dry shampoo powder, waterless bath foam, the bestselling natural colloidal oatmeal shampoo and conditioner. Fresh Dog is perfect for pooches large and small.
Join Animal Radio® on Facebook for Wacky Wednesday! Win great prizes every week for your wacky pet pictures. Last month we gave out goodies from Company of Animals, EZ Dog, ESPREE and more. Visit us on Facebook now.
Animal Radio® News with Tammy Trujillo
Body Art Is Not For Animals
Body art is not for animals, at least not in New York. It will soon be a crime throughout the state to pierce or tattoo a companion animal. There is an exception for markings one under a veterinarian's supervision for a medical reason or identification, and then those tattoos can only be numbers and letters specifically for a tattoo identification registry. The law also doesn't apply to ear tags on rabbits and guinea pigs. Penalties for violations range up to 15 days in jail and fines up to $250. When he signed the bill into law, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called tattoos just for the heck of it as animal abuse, pure and simple. Several other states now have similar laws. Interestingly, the laws were prompted by people showing off what they did to their animals on the Internet including a woman who was piercing kittens and selling them as 'gothic' and a tattoo artists who shoed off his dog's tattoo saying he did it after the dog had surgery and was still under anesthesia.
Fines For Leaving Dog Out In The Cold
Most of us would not think of leaving our pet out in the freezing cold of winter. The city of Pittsburgh has now made it illegal to tether dogs and leave them outside or unattended for more than a half-hour if the temperature falls below 32-degrees or goes above 90-degrees. There's a $500 fine and the dog could be taken from the person. The law goes further regulating the type of tether and making sure that dogs have easy access to shelter, food and water when they're outside.
Telethon Adoption Huge Success
The first all-star dog adoption telethon was a huge success. The figures have just come out and the producers of "Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular" that aired Thanksgiving night resulted in more than 4,4000 people filing adoption papers for homeless dogs during show. Seventy dogs from rescues across the country were featured on the two-hour telecast. The producers hope the show becomes a fixture in the future. More than 4-million people tuned in to watch the program on the Fox network. It was hosted Hilary Swank and Jane Lynch.
Pets Can Give You A Tax Break
It's still a few months off, but we'll all soon start thinking about filing our income tax returns. And in some cases, your pets can help you out! If you have a cat, they're always ready to help you sort receipts, but I mean help with the bottom line. If you foster an animal, you can deduct some of the associated costs. Things like vet bills, food, grooming; they qualify as charitable donations, which are deductible up to 50-percent of your adjusted gross income. But once, you officially adopt the animal, that animal is no longer considered a foster, so you will lose the deductions. You can also deduct the expenses associated with a guard dog that is used to protect your business and inventory. And if you need a pet for medical reasons, there are deductions available there too. To meet the IRS standards, the animal has to be trained and certified as a service animal.
Pet Owners Get Emotional Distress Award in Shooting of Pet
This appeals court action is being heralded as a possible turning point for pet guardians. The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled that a jury can award damages to pet owners for the emotional distress they suffer following the injury or death of a beloved animal due to gross negligence. The Court let stand a $200,000 award to Roger and Sandra Jenkins of Taneytown. A Frederick County sheriff's deputy shot their Labrador retriever when he went to their home to serve an arrest warrant on their son, with the dog surviving. Their attorney praised the court for moving past the outdated concept that pets are valuable family members instead of property to be owned and replaced.
How Much Would You Spend On Your Best Friend?
For a man in Pittsburgh there apparently was no cost to high when it came to saving his little 8-year-old Japanese Chin, that is the name of the breed, a Japanese Chin dog. Esme needed open heart surgery to correct a problem with his mitral valve. M. Dylan Raskin spent $32,000 on a special surgery and even flew in an expert veterinarian from Japan to do the procedure. And apparently Mr. Raskin is not alone; he says pet owners from all over the world have been contacting him wanting to be put in touch with the Japanese Vet to see if he can help their pets as well.
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Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#787)