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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for February 22, 2014  

What Are The Odds?
Amram Shapiro, The Book Of Odds

Amram ShapiroAmram Shapiro spent the better half of a decade compiling "odds" for his book, "The Book Of Odds." Research on the book took five years and over 50 person-years of effort. Amram has a fascinating peek at the probabilities that govern every aspect of human and animal life; such as the odds are 5 to 1 you'll be hit by lightning before you're ever stung by a bee, wasp or hornet!

Amram started this project in 2006, as no one had created a dictionary of the odds of everyday life. He felt it would help people to understand when they were told something, the odds of it actually happening. He also wanted to put it into terms they could relate to. He has created over 400,000 odds.

The only problem with the book of odds is that they can change with the changing times, with some odds being very stable. They wanted to enable everyone to make the odds a part of how they understand the world. By making them fun and clear and related to what people know in their guts, this will just happen over time. That's the idea, the mission, and the vision.

Social networking, such as Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest, has been very helpful in letting them know what odds people want to know. Amram learned that, for example, people wanted to know their odds of living to a 100. Amram learned that each year older you get the odds of making to a 100 get better! The predicted odds a 1-year-old will live to be at least 100 years old are 1 in 57.2. But if you are 90 years old, your odds of making to a 100 are 1 in 12.

Americans also have a love affair with their pets. So it was not strange that the odds an adult will unwind at the end of the day playing with a pet was 1 in 3.1. They will only hug their children 1 in 7.7, so they are twice as likely to hug Fido than their difficult adolescent.

Book Of OddsOther animal odds in the book are:

-Odds adult agrees creatures like BigFoot and Loch Ness Monster will be discovered: 1 in 5.6
-Odds of an adult afraid of snakes: 1 in 2
-Odds an adult has been bitten by a snake or witnessed someone else bit: 1 in 14.3
-Odds of an adult afraid of mice: 1 in 5
-Odds of a MALE afraid of spiders and insects: 1 in 6.7
-Odds of a FEMALE afraid of spiders and insects: 1 in 2.6
-Odds a MALE is afraid of dogs: 1 in 14.3
-Odds a FEMALE is afraid of dogs: 1 in 7.1
-Odds a collision in Michigan will involve a deer: 1 in 5.3
-Odds a horseback riding accident will land you in the hospital: 1 in 4,492


-Odds of being stung by a bee, wasp or hornet: 1 in 5,585,577
-Odds of being bitten or struck by an alligator: 1 in 149,700,000
-Odds of being stung by a scorpion: 1 in 299,400,000
-Odds of dying from a shark attack in a year: 1 in 251,800,000

The Book of Odds is a graphic reference source for stats on the everyday, the odd, and the outrageous—from sex and marriage, health and disease, beliefs and fears, to wealth, addiction, entertainment, and civic life. What emerges from this colorful and captivating volume is a rich portrait of who we are and how we live today.

Check them out on FaceBook and Twitter.

Lost Cat Pet Detective
Kim Freeman, Certified Cat Detective

Kim FreemanHow does someone become a certified cat detective? Kim Freeman became certified and now she helps cat owners find their lost furr-balls. She's even authored "How to Find Your Lost Cat." Kim shares her story and even gives us tips on finding our lost kitty.

We originally thought that perhaps Kim Freeman trained as a cat detective because she had a personal experience and lost her own cat. However, we were wrong. She actually didn't lose her cat until after she was trained. Luckily she was able to use her own training and found her cat.

How do you become a certified cat trainer? Kim tells us that back in 2006 she took a course with a woman who had been a bloodhound handler for missing persons, named Kat Albrecht of Missing Pet Partnership.

Things Kim learned in the class were about displaced bet behavior, what animals do when they are in a place they don't know. They also learned about tracking, reading the signs in the environment and profiling. If you know the personality of the animal, you can predict the probability of what they've done, what happened to them and where they are likely to go.

Lost cats act differently from lost dogs. Lost dogs general will roam, whereas cats will hide.

How To Find Lost CatWhen Kim is first contacted about a lost cat, she will ask about the personality and temperament of the cat and out how long they have been missing. She then finds out if they are an indoor cat that has escaped, or an outside cat that didn't come home. She gathers all of the facts and then does a probability assessment.

Kim's success rate is much higher with indoor cats, because there are less options of what's happened to them. They are usually close by. Outdoor cats are harder to find because sometimes they roam too far and will even jump into a car.

If the lost cat is in her area, she will actually visit the site. However, she has helped people all over the world through phone and email to find their lost cats.

Kim is now sharing these proven tactics so you can find your own missing cat fast. "How to Find a Lost Cat" is a lost cat tips booklet outlining steps for each missing cat scenario, plus how to avoid the usual mistakes, like leaving food or litter outside. The booklet is an instant downloadable PDF so you don't have to wait for it to be delivered; you can read it immediately on your computer or download to print out.

Litter Box Training
Swheat Scoop Minute With Doc Halligan
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The first step in successful housetraining is to make sure you have the right equipment. Try to find out what litter material was previously used and buy that if possible. There are lots of choices regarding litter. If you're unsure, start with unscented litter because some kittens/cats dislike the scented litter.

If you already have cats at home, provide an additional box for each new cat. The box should be placed in a relatively quiet area of the house with minimal traffic. Be sure the box is easily accessible and not too difficult for your kitten/cat to find. When your kitten stops playing and begins sniffing around, gently carry it to the litter box. Simply place your kitten in the litter first thing in the morning, after meals, after periods of energetic play, after long naps and last thing at night.

This basic training is usually adequate. Most adult cats only need to learn where the new litter box is located. Confining your cat to a small room initially is the best way to foster good litter box habits. Make sure the litter box contains enough litter for digging and burying. About two to three inches of litter is sufficient.

Keep in mind that the number-one reason a cat stops using its litter box is because the box is dirty. If your cat continues to make mistakes, the behavior can actually become a habit; so don't wait on litter box issues.

Swheat Scoop Multiple LitterTo keep your cat happy with its litter box and avoid mishaps:

-Clean the box daily
-Keep fresh litter in the box at all times
-Wash out the litter pan weekly
-Never frighten your kitten around the box
-Try to prevent anything unpleasant from happening near its box

If accidents occur, be sure that your kitten is checked for any underlying medical problem that may exist.

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Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Reduce Your Cat's Shedding
Joey was recently contacted by a woman who has a Maine Coon cat with a shedding problem, which is worse this time of year.

This winter has been so brutal and so cold that heaters are running a little more than usual. This heat is drying out your cat's coat.

In order to reduce the coat that is shedding because of the heaters, you need to be diligent about brushing and combing.

For a longhaired cat, such as a Maine Coon, you will use a slicker brush with bent pins. After brushing the cat with the slicker rush, you will then go over it again with a comb. If you have a shorthaired cat, you will use a rubber curry brush. You can find these brushes at your local pet store.

The main thing is to add hydration back to their coat. The easiest way to do this is with water. You can use a spray bottle with water. If your cat doesn't like to be sprayed, take a sponge and wet it with water. Squeeze out the excess water and rub the wet sponge over the cat. Next, comb it out, as this will work that moisture back down to the skin. An added bonus is that it will clean your cat at the same time.

You will notice almost instantly a great reduction in shedding. You will never stop the shedding, but you can make it more tolerable.

Animal Radio® News with Stacey Cohen

Dog Sled TaxiDog Sled Taxi Service
The Airport in Norway is finding a creative way to accommodate travels in the winter. The airport and a local hotel teamed up to launch their new dog sled taxi service. The dogs will ferry travelers from the airport to the Kirkenes Snow Hotel, which is 45-minutes away. The hotel's chief executive hopped on one of the inaugural sled trips and called it "fantastic." The service hasn't been easy to launch because the partners had to get permission from Norway's defense services, local authorities and animal rights groups. The sled service will be fully implemented in a few weeks and will run upwards of $300.

Pets Create Stronger Relationships and Bonds to Communities
A new study from a developmental psychologist at Tufts University has found that young people who take care of a pet tend to have stronger social relationships and bonds to their communities. "Our findings suggest that it may not be whether an animal is present in an individual's life that is most significant but rather the quality of that relationship," stated Megan Mueller, whose study was published in the journal Applied Developmental Science.

Amaya VanOrder8-Year-Old Has A Different Kind Of Birthday Party
It was a poignant animal cruelty video, featuring the song "Angel," that touched Amaya VanOrder's heart, and it gave her an idea. She would ask friends to bring pet food, rather than presents, to her eighth birthday party. Her guests responded in earnest, bringing about 80 pounds of cat and dog food to the January 25th event. "She just loves pets … period," said her father, Steven VanOrder, adding that his daughter's decision was a surprise to him and he was proud of her. They delivered the food to the Jacksonville Humane Society on Beach Boulevard. Amaya said it was an easy decision to forgo gifts because some animals don't have any food. Besides, she loves animals "bunches," and it made her happy.

Dog Show Opens Doggie Door To Mixed-Breed Competitors
While Labradoodles, Puggles and who-knows-what's weren't be able to vie for the prestigious Best in Show award at the Westminster Kennel Club, they were included in its new agility trial. It's a notable embrace for the nation's premier canine event, which also added three breeds at the show: the Chinook, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and the Rat Terrier. No mixed-breed dogs have appeared anywhere at Westminster since the 138-year-old event's early days. Westminster leaders say the show is a celebration of all dogs, and they're pleased to make a place for mixed-breeds in a fast-growing canine pursuit.

Many Ways To De-Stress Your Pets
Pets get stressed out just like humans do. Whether your dog or cat suffers from separation anxiety, from fear of going to the vet, or from general stress as a result of a hectic home environment, calming your companion is an important part of maintaining their health. And, thankfully, there are many natural ways that you can help your pet unwind before the stress takes its toll. Calming music has the same effect on animals as it does on people. Classical music, in particular, has been found to lower breath and heart rates in stressed animals. Sometimes all that a pet needs in order to feel at ease again is a bit of healing touch. Massages specifically designed for cats and dogs can dramatically reduce their stress levels. Applying gentle pressure to certain points throughout the body can also reduce tension and bring about peace in an otherwise frazzled pet. Some pet parents choose to use aromatherapy, or the diffusion of essential oils, in order to relieve stress and anxiety in their animals. But if you choose this route, please use caution. Only purchase 100% pure essential oils designed for pets and make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh air. Administering these oils incorrectly can lead to serious health problems

Katherine DukeTeacher Shoots Neighbor's Cat
A Rutherford County schoolteacher was charged with animal cruelty for shooting her neighbors' cat, according to a Police Department incident report. Katherine F. Duke, 41, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a class E felony, after she admitted to shooting her neighbor's cat with a pellet gun. The cat was euthanized because if its wounds. Duke admitted to shooting the cat because she was tired of it using her children's sandbox to use the bathroom. Cat owner, Donna Croney, said the family pet, an 8-year-old orange tabby named Carley, was her husband's favorite pet, "and he's devastated." Croney said she thought the neighbors had a good relationship and she even took fudge to the Dukes for Christmas. Duke was arrested and charged accordingly. She was booked into the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center and was released a short time later on a $2,250 bond. Rutherford County Schools spokesman James Evans said Duke has been on medical leave. She is scheduled to remain on medical leave through the end of the school year.

Squirrel Poachers
One by one, the bushy-tailed residents of Moscow's parks have been disappearing. The problem is that Russians have gone nuts for pet squirrels. Moscow authorities bolstered security last week for all of the city's green areas after city officials said they had received multiple reports of squirrel poaching. Poachers can be fined up to 20,000 rubles ($573). Noting that squirrels were of little use for their meat or their fur, most were resold as pets for 5,000 rubles ($144) each. Sadly there is a Russian website selling squirrels as pets.

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