Animal Radio® Show #544 May 8, 2010
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Many people remember Loretta Swit as the character “Hot Lips Houlihan” from the hit TV show M*A*S*H, but don’t know that she is an earnest animal rights activist. Loretta testified before Congress in 1999, pleading for the prohibition of so-called “crush video” – fetish films wherein insects, snails, worms, or occasionally small animals like guinea pigs or frogs are crushed on camera, usually by women wearing spiked heals.
In light of the recent Supreme Court decision against outlawing videos depicting animal cruelty, Loretta Swit shares her strong feelings about "Crush Videos."
A fervent vegetarian, Loretta Swit explains "Crush Videos" as movies of a woman's foot in a high-spiked heel crushing a small live animal. "These videos are usually sexual in nature and some pervert will buy them to get his gillie out of," says Swit, "It's horrendous the imagination that would conjure up such an evil thing."
Loretta Swit also shares stories of all the rescued animals that live with her. "My animals live a long time," says Swit, "They get doddering. They're on their little wheelchairs… because love is the greatest healer."
Swit is very active in the animal welfare movement. She says, "It's all about education. If someone comes up to me for an autograph and they're wearing a fur-coat, before I sign, I will educate. Because sometimes, they simply don't know 80 animals died for that coat."
Just two weeks ago the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that would have made it a federal crime to market videos showing animal cruelty as being too broad and infringing on first amendment rights. In less than two days that bill’s author, Rep. Elton Gallegly - Republican from Simi Valley had drafted new legislation. The measure targets “doggie snuff films” and is intended to pass constitutional muster. The previous bill, which was intended to stop selling dog-fighting videos, could have arguably been used against hunting videos according to the courts opinion.
You can help by writing your U.S. Represenative supporting H.R. 5092.
David J. Waters, PhD, DVM.
Most scientists dedicated to discovering the biology behind why we age study worms, flies and mice in cages. Now a research veterinarian thinks it's time to add man's best friend to the list of aging workhorses that could be harnessed by researchers - and he's set out to prove it.
David J. Waters, PhD, DVM, just completed a 23-day trek where he criss-crossed the nation to visit the oldest living pet Rottweilers in the United States. Christened "The Old Grey Muzzle Tour," the trek began in Harrisburg, Pa., and finished in Seattle.
Dr. Waters visited 15 of the longest-lived dogs in the United States. His team has been studying aging and cancer in Rottweilers for more than a decade, and over the last three years they have established a longevity database that enabled them to track the oldest living Rottweilers in the United States. There were 150 of these dogs, which are the equivalent to a 100-year-old person. Only 15 of these dogs are still alive.
A misconception of this tour that Dr. Waters clears up is that Rottweilers don’t really live longer than any other large breed of dogs, but that these particular dogs have reached exceptional longevity. That means that they have lived at least 30% longer than average for their breed.
At each stop, Dr. Waters completed a detailed physical exam, including neurological and orthopedic exams and collected blood samples for DNA. He also talked to the owners about their pets and what they thought made them so exceptional.
The oldest living Rottweiler that he found was 15 years and 2 months of age. He also believes that female Rottweilers lived longer than males; just as human woman usually live longer than human men. One thing he did find in females, however, was that the removal of the ovaries during the first four years of life, completely erases the female survival advantage.
Dr. Waters is a cancer scientist and has turned his attention towards aging because to better understand aging, the better to understand the old tissue where most cancers develop. He feels the freshest ideas about cancer prevention are going to come from the relationship between aging and cancer.
The goal is to better understand the physiology behind successful aging so they can promote overall healthy longevity in both pets and people, and Rottweilers are one of the breeds that are unfortunately cancer-prone.
The Old Grey Muzzle Tour is the work of the Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies, Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation. David J. Waters, PhD, DVM is the Director of that Center, which is home to the Exceptional Longevity Database that tracks the oldest-living dogs in the U.S. He is also Professor and Associate Director of the Center on Aging and the Life Course at Purdue University. The Murphy Cancer Foundation is located in the Purdue Research Park, West Lafayette, IN.
Pet Friendly Resort & Spa
Fido Friendly Travel Talk With Susan Sims
Susan Sims speaks with Jeri Riggs of the Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland, Oregon.
The Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland, Oregon really rolls out the red carpet fort traveling canines. Fortunately their systems allows them to know in advance when a canine will be visiting, so they use that to better prepare for their arrival. This allows them to arrange a pet set-up in the guest room, consisting of a place mat with the appropriate sized doggie bowls, bottled water, a whole sack of treats, organic food and wipes for their paws. These amenities change from time to time and also depend upon the season.
Most of their Kimpton Hotels have a four-legged “Director of Pet Relations.” The Hotel Vintage plaza is no exception, where you will find Georgie.
You will never find a pet fee or size restriction at any of the Kimpton Pet Friendly Hotels.
Fido Friendly Magazine:
The Travel Magazine For You & Your Dog, a complete guide to Fido-friendly accommodations across the United States and Canada. "Fido Friendly is the only magazine dedicated to the travel lifestyle of man's best friend, and the one magazine your dog will thank you for." And don't forget to join the Fido Friendly Travel Club.
Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill
Free Eye Exams for Service Dogs
The economy continues to be a challenge for most and especially for owners of service animals. The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists is offering owners of service dogs free eye exams all month long. Board certified veterinary ophthalmologists are donating their time for the free exams to service dogs across the U.S. and Canada. Eligible dogs include handicapped assistance dogs, guide dogs, detection dogs, military & police dogs as well as search and rescue dogs. All must be certified and active working dogs. You can find out more by logging onto www.acvoeyeexam.org.
Feral Cats – Benefit or Nuisance?
Feral cats can be a benefit or nuisance depending upon the situation. Back in 1955 when Walt Disney turned an orange grove into the Happiest Place On Earth a colony of feral cats had set up home in a certain castle. The company found the furry critters kept the varmint population in check and have allowed them to remain. The George W. Bush Presidential library on the other hand has decided to evict the two dozen or so feral cats living on the proposed building site. Since 2005 Southern Methodist University, site of the Bush Presidential center, has been working to relocate the cats. One volunteer said, “It’s hard to move cats,” and added that the remaining cats could be moved to a bushy area nearby.
Best Side for a Mug Shot
Let’s be honest, mug shots are rarely flattering, so it’s no surprise that a Southern California shelter is using the talents of a Hollywood photographer to capture the animals best side. Seth Casteel, a professional pet photog, donates his time and talent to the West Los Angeles Animal Care Center. Since Casteel’s images have been appearing, people have come into the shelter carrying the mug shot for the dog they want to adopt. Capt. Louis Dedeaux says there’s no telling just now how many adoptions can be directly attributed to Casteel’s pictures, but adoption numbers are very high.
It’s Not Illegal to Market “Crush” Videos
Just two weeks ago the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that would have made it a federal crime to market videos showing animal cruelty as being too broad and infringing on first amendment rights. In less than two days, that bill’s author, Rep. Elton Gallegly - Republican from Simi Valley had drafted new legislation. The measure targets “doggie snuff films” and is intended to pass constitutional muster. The previous bill, which was intended to stop selling dog-fighting videos, could have arguably been used against hunting videos according to the courts opinion.
Airline Donates Flight to Get Cat Home
All the news lately regarding the airlines has been anything but good. But now comes a story out of Chicago about Charles the tabby cat who somehow got from Albuquerque to the Windy City and how American Airlines is helping him get home. Eight months ago Charles went missing while his owner Robin Alex was in New Orleans volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Alex was heartbroken and doubted she’d ever see her cat again. Two weeks ago, Alex was contacted by Chicago Animal Care and Control who traced her through the microchip in Charles. But Alex couldn’t afford the get her pet home...in stepped American Airlines with a donated flight and an Albuquerque business that donated a carrier.
First Country to Publish Official Guide to Pet Care
Wales is the first country in the U.K. to publish an official guide to pet care. The BBC reports the Welsh Assembly Government passed a code of practices to help owners of cats, dogs, horses and donkeys properly care for their animals. For example, the guide tells cat owners to feed their pets meat-do not turn them into vegetarians. They should also be provided with safe access to shelves and the tops of cupboards in order to have an opportunity to jump and climb. Horse owners are warned to keep mares and stallions separate to avoid “aggressive behavior” and to avoid smoking near stables. The Codes of Practice for Dogs, Cats and Equines has the support of all parties and similar versions are being drafted in England and Scotland.
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Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#544)