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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for May 10, 2014  

Fish Tank Kings Are Back, This Time With a Desert Koi Pond
Mat Roy, Fish Tank Kings

Mat RoyThe star, Mat Roy, of the highly popular Nat Geo WILD series, Fish Tank Kings, is returning to Animal Radio® airwaves to talk about his latest project; a Koi Pond for dog trainer Cesar Millan.

Mat Roy is the president and is responsible for overseeing all projects and running operations at Living Color. His favorite part of the process is seeing the look on clients' faces as they view their aquarium for the first time.

Nat Geo WILD's very own Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, recruits the Fish Tank Kings to build an aquatic oasis at his Dog Psychology Center in the California desert. This is no ordinary aquarium project. Cesar wants a massive koi fishpond where there is no viable water source for miles!

Cesar approached Mat and told him that he wanted an aquatic oasis in the middle of the desert and could he build it? May knew he could do it, but his biggest concern was water. The koi pond holds about 10,000 gallons of water with a 30-foot tall waterfall. It is outside, 24/7, and is therefore subject to an extreme amount of evaporation. Cesar also has very little running water on his property. This means that Mat had to fund an active well that needed to be drilled. He says it was a huge challenge.

Koi Pond in DesertNot only do you have to worry about evaporation in the desert, you also have to worry about the water temperature itself and the depth. With the sun beating down on it, the deeper the pond, the cooler the water. Mat also made sure that there was a good amount of over-hanging rocks around the perimeter of the pond, so the fish could hang out in the top under the shadows.

The koi pond is just for guests and Cesar does not allow any of his dogs into the pond.

Mat also tells us that while they have designed many strange and unusual tanks, his goal is to someday design a fish tank for a plane.

Nat Geo WILD "hooks up" once again with the Fish Tank Kings for an all-new season of custom-built tanks that seem to defy imagination. The new season of Fish Tank Kings airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD.

Animal Radio "Hero People"
Joey Herrick & Doc Halligan, Lucy Pet Foundation

Doc Karen Halligan and Joey HerrickFormer bandleader for The John Davidson Show and top dog at Natural Balance, Joey Herrick is our "Hero Person" this week. Using his own money and time, he sends veterinarians out in a $300,000 mobile surgical vehicle to spay, neuter and vaccinate animals of poverty-level guardians, along with Doc Karen Halligan.

In the U.S. alone, over four million dogs and cats are put down each year in shelters. That's over 80,000 a week. The Lucy Pet Foundation was started to stop pet overpopulation by having a national spay and neuter program and the benefits don't stop there. Pets that are spayed or neutered live around 40-percent longer than pets that are unaltered.

The goal of the Lucy Pet Foundation is to have spay/neuter and adoption mobile clinics in every major city in the country. If you do the analysis in just one major city, the numbers are staggering. With one mobile clinic they can spay and neuter over 120 dogs and cats per week. Doing this 48 weeks of the year, means 6,000 animals will be spayed and neutered. This will prevent those animals from adding a minimum of 15,000 new potentially homeless animals to pet overpopulation. By year three, it is estimated that they can prevent over 500,000 animals from suffering in that same community with just one mobile clinic.

Lucy Foundation Spay & Neuter MobileJoey started the Lucy Pet Foundation in honor of his dog Lucy who was found wondering near his home. Lucy was a female Chihuahua mix who appeared to have been on her own for a long time. She was covered with dirt and even had tire marks on her back. When no one claimed her, Joey's family decided to keep her. They got a surprise when they took her to the vet's to be spayed; they found out she was pregnant. She gave birth to five puppies, who have all found their forever homes. Unfortunately for millions of other dogs and cats, there is no happy ending.

The Lucy Pet Foundation also offers low cost spay and neuter surgeries through donations. Their donation program is called, "A quarter a day for neuter and spay." This comes out to a $7.50 per month donation, which is less than 2 lattes per month! Just think if 100,000 people were involved in this program, this would fund 18 buses to go out there spaying and neutering.

Joey personally does not take a salary from the Lucy Pet Foundation. While Joey is our hero, he states that his wife is his hero! She was okay when he told her that he was going to take $700,00 to start the foundation and start traveling. They have visited cities like Lancaster and Indio, California, where pet population was out of control. Joey states that this probably isn't the traveling his wife had in mind, but she is okay with it.

Each spaying and neutering bus costs around $300,000 fully equipped. Then there's the gas on top of that.

There are not enough animal rescue people to go around, there are not enough homes to go around for these animals, so you have stop the animals coming into the shelters.

When the mobile clinics are not performing surgeries, they will work with local animal shelters to save dogs and cats whose time is up. They will feature the animals in their mobile adoption portion of the truck at pet retail stores and events. Their goal is to find forever homes for as many homeless pets as possible.

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Flea & Tick Season
Gordon Magee, Drs. Foster & Smith

Drs. Foster & Smith LogoNow, more than ever, there is an enormous choice for over-the counter prevention and treatment. How do we choose what's best for our pets? Gordon McGee of Drs. Foster & Smith has the lowdown.

While fleas and ticks can be pests, there are also actual dangers to these pesky creatures. Fleas can cause problems from allergies to tapeworms, from hair loss to skin irritation, and even anemia from blood loss. Some pets have been known to die if the anemia is severe. Ticks can also transmit serious diseases, including Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

If you don't actually see fleas jumping around or ticks on your pet, how can you tell if they have them?

Amazingly, a flea is only about 16th of 1/8 of an inch tall, but they can jump 7 inches in the air and 13 inches horizontally. That is like a human that is 6 feet tall jumping over 300 feet in the air, or 600 feet for a broad jump.

The simplest way to tell if your pet has fleas is by finding the adult fleas or the flea feces (often called "flea dirt") on the animal. Brush your pet over a white sheet or paper towel and look for small dark specks. Flea feces contain ingested blood and they will turn a reddish brown color when moistened with a small amount of water.

Strangely, most of the time they are not on our pets. They generally are only on the pet to feed and in some cases lay eggs. You might find them in the carpet, the yard, etc.

Flea and TickWhen it comes to fleas, prevention is the key. Ask anyone who has had a flea problem - they are now strong advocates of prevention. Controlling and eliminating an already existing flea problem takes a lot of time and effort. And it can become quite expensive if any of the steps are overlooked. We recommend monthly topicals as an easy and low cost way to protect your pets from the discomfort and disease fleas can spread, and to protect your house from possible infestation.

A word of warning – NEVER use dog flea and tick products on cats. Cats are very special when it comes to flea products. A well intending guardian will sometimes use their dog flea and tick medication on their cat, which is highly toxic to them and can cause death.

Can you stop worrying about fleas and ticks once it gets cold out? No. Remember that cold weather does not kill ticks. In fact, spring and fall are when the deer tick numbers are at their peak. As a general rule, we recommend using flea and tick products until after extreme winter conditions persist. In warmer climates, flea and tick protection should be provided year round.

While you can purchase many of these products over the counter, it is best to check with your veterinarian for their recommendations for the area of the country in which you live.

You can find many brands of flea and tick products at Drs. Foster &, as well as a flea and tick comparison chart along with other pet articles, information and pet tips from their experts.

Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Dogs Groomed At Home Are Better Pets
Joey tells us about a recent study that was done, which showed that dogs that are groomed at home regularly turn out to be better pets, mainly because of the human and pet bond. The study showed that these dogs were less likely to bite members of the family, as well as strangers, because they were used to being touched.

They are also better candidates to be professionally groomed, because they are touched more often.

The study also showed that these pets in general had a longer life expectancy mainly because they are being engaged not only in a physical way, but also mentally as well. It showed that these pets can live up to one to two years longer on average.

Joey tells us a story about German Shepherd Police Dogs who were in training. They were not to receive any kind of human touch or affection, as they didn't want the dogs to form a bond with humans. Unfortunately, as they got older and retired, they were very aggressive dogs. You were unable to touch or even go near these dogs.

Brushing dogJoey already knew that routine brushing and combing is very healthy for skin and coat, but it also a way to find things that you normally wouldn't even know were there like lumps, bumps, moles or anything that might be cancerous.

So, go out and get yourself a brush, comb, curry brush if you have a shorthaired animal and start grooming your pets. You should do this on an average of anywhere from two to three times a week at a minimum, more if you can.

A lot can be said about the human touch. And if you don't want to groom your dog, but have children, let them do it. This will allow you child to develop a bond with the family pet and will make them less likely to attack children.

Animal Radio® News with Tammy Trujillo

Kids with Pitbull in questionBreed Prejudice?
A Riverside County, California Sheriff's Deputy had gone onto a property to serve an eviction notice. A dog, a pitbull, was in the yard and started barking. The deputy drew his gun, presumably to shoot the dog and shot himself in the leg instead. He'll be fine. When animal control arrived, the dog was calmly in his crate and since there was no evidence that the owner had done anything wrong, they did not take the dog into custody. The deputy said that the dog had come at him aggressively and that he felt that his life was in danger.

Worldwide Accreditation Program For Pet Crematory Facilities
We had a story a few weeks back about problems with pet crematoriums and keeping the remains of animals separate from each other so people get their own pet's ashes back. Now the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories has announced a worldwide Accreditation Program for Pet Crematory facilities. It's the first and only Accreditation Program ever to be established for the pet aftercare industry. The program outlines how every step of the process should be handled and the group says that means pet parents can feel reassured about the care of their deceased animal. It's based on five years of study and research. A Beloved Friends Pet Crematory in Reno is the first pet crematory in the U.S. to successfully complete the Accreditation and inspection process. They were awarded their Accreditation status in early April.

Charles Sasser and AbeytaMan Who Lost Speech Talks To His Pets
A man in New Mexico who has lost most of his speech to Alzheimer's is now starting to talk, albeit it in small snippets, to the family pets. Charles Sasser's daughter Lisa Abeyta has written on her blog for several years about the family's struggles with the disease, but she recently was able to video her dad talking to the family dog, Roscoe. She got about an hour-long exchange between her father and Roscoe. She put it up on YouTube, mainly so her mom could show it to family friends. Within a day, the clip was viewed over 160,000 times and Abeyta has gotten thousands of emails and messages from people who talk about similar situations between pets and seniors with Alzheimer's.

A New Gadget Is Bad News For Lazy Dogs
A new gadget called Whistle lets pet owners track how much exercise or sleep their dogs are getting. It's like the activity trackers designed for people. It wraps around the dog's collar and syncs with a smartphone app to collect data on how much activity the pet engages in. It syncs data to its app through Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth. That lets you check up on your dog without being near them, so you can track how busy your dog is when he is left with a dog walker, at a doggy day care or with family or friends.

Bearded Dragon LizardLizards Cause Salmonella Outbreak
A salmonella outbreak that has made at over 130 people sick in 31 states over the past two years has finally been traced to the culprit behind it. The CDC says bearded dragon lizards are behind it. More than half the people infected were children under the age of 5 and 42-percent of patients had to be hospitalized. Before this outbreak, less than 25 salmonella cases were reported each year. Bearded dragons are popular pet lizards. They're native to Australia and are found in a variety of colors, including gray, red and yellow. The pet industry is working with public health officials to determine the source of the bearded dragons linked to this outbreak.

The Latest Survey On Pet Health Is Out…And It's Not Good
A Pet Health Report is compiled by Banfield Pet Hospital from its records of animals seen. This year, that includes about 2.3-million dogs and 470,000 cats. The report found that one in every 300 cats is infected with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV, with the majority being male cats. Infections of Lyme Disease is also up by 21-percent. It's transmitted through ticks. The largest number of cases was seen in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The data is used to decide what diseases are on the increase and where they're centered. It also can help track new or emerging diseases like Canine Influenza.

christinatuckertip.753Surprise $1,000 Bar Tip Helps Cover's Dog's Surgery
In Clinton, New Jersey, Christina Summit was tending bar at a Holiday Inn there and talking to a couple at her bar. During the course of the conversation, Christina confided that her Great Dane/Lab mix Tucker had undergone emergency surgery that day after swallowing a hard plastic ball. The man said something about the surgery being expensive and Christina said the bill was going to be about $2,700 but that she would do whatever she had to do for Tucker. When the couple closed out their bill, they added a $1,000 tip. Christina started crying, tried to refuse the tip and the couple refused. It turns out the couple has done this type of thing before and want to remain anonymous. Tucker is doing fine and recovering at home.

Pet First Aid App
There's an app for just about everything these days. Now's there's a Pet First Aid app available from the American Red Cross. It's designed for dogs and cats and includes advice on all sorts of everyday emergencies that could happen. These include things like what to do if your pet eats something toxic or is bleeding from an injury. It has videos and step-by-step instructions to follow. It also allows you to create profiles for your individual pets and store your vet's contact information. It can even use GPS to help you find the nearest vet's office or pet-friendly hotel during an emergency. The app is available for 99-cents on Apple and Android devices.

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