May 12, 2007

Swoosie Kurtz
Swoosie Kurtz's name is derived from the airplane "Swoose" half swan, half goose which her father piloted in World War II. Swoosie moved 17 times during school and lived in 8 different states due to her father's job. It was hard for her to have pets as a child because of this lifestyle. She currently lives in Los Angeles and has many cats who have "adopted" her. Swoosie is currently appearing on Huff, an HBO series.

Swoosie is one of the special hosts of the Farm Sanctuary's Anniversary Gala, which brings together celebrity supporters, key legislators and animal advocates to honor farm animals and those who have fought so tirelessly in their defense.

Designing for Dogs
Lisa LaPorta, HGTV Designed to Sell
Lisa LaPorta co-stars on Designed To Sell (which is currently the # 1 program on HGTV) with Clive Pearse.

Although Designed to Sell mainly deals with people fixing up their homes in preparation of selling, Lisa has been asked to help design pet friendly houses. She knows what types of fabric and flooring work best with Fido & Fluffy, and helped design a kitchen for her brother's two Rottweilers ­ the secret is Travertine floors!

Lisa mentions that while Clive seems pretty tame on the show, behind the scenes it's a different story - he is such a goofball! Designed to Sell is gearing up to film their 100th episode in just a few weeks. You can catch them Monday through Friday at 8 pm EST/PT.

For tips on updating your property, for your own enjoyment if selling isn't in your immediate plans, check out the book, Designed to Sell: Make any home the hottest property on the block with expert advice from the popular HGTV series, available everywhere books are sold.

Lisa currently resides in Los Angeles where she shares custody of her two Yorkies with her mother.


More on the Pet Food Recall
Dr. Marty Becker
More than 5,500 pet-food products, house brands and name brands alike, are now on the FDA's recall list. The first recall was the largest, of more than 60 million containers of "cuts and gravy" canned or pouched food that turned out to have wheat gluten tainted with melamine, which is used in the manufacture of plastic countertops, cleaning agents, glue and fertilizer. Those products were all made by Menu Foods, under almost 100 different brand names.

Subsequent recalls have included dry foods, and foods containing rice protein concentrate. More recalls are expected as these companies voluntarily pull products. (Note on the human food chain: "Salvage" pet food was fed to hogs and chickens in several states, and the same targeted ingredients as have gone into pet food is also used in the manufacture of food for human consumption. It has yet to be determined by the FDA and USDA if any such product or food animals contaminated with such products has been eaten by anyone.)

The official recall list is the FDA's, but our experience has shown us that Pet Food Tracker and The Pet Food List as well the AVMA's list update more quickly than the FDA.

Important: Check your pet foods against these lists, and then check again. Changes and adjustments are seen on the lists on a frequent basis.

If you have a pet who has eaten any of the recalled foods -- even if there are no symptoms -- call your veterinarian. As we've said before, you'll be buying yourself peace of mind, and maybe saving your pet's life. If your pet is sick -- vomiting, increased thirst, increase or lack of urination, lethargy, bad breath, diarrhea or lack of appetite -- you have an emergency situation, and your pet needs a veterinarian now.

If you want to be sure that your pet is eating the right food, check with your veterinarian. He or she will know the current status of your pet's health and their history, and will be better able to point you in the right direction of the proper foods for your pet.

If you feel your pet may have suffered kidney damage, ask your veterinarian about a test called E.R.D. (Early Renal Disease)


Autographed Dog Collars
Kyle Orent, Kyle's Collars
Kyle Orent, an 8-year-old from Northport, New York has raised more than $20,000 for Canine Companions for Independence through sales at his lemonade stand. His next endeavor is to raise an additional $10,000 for the non-profit organization, which trains dogs to help people with disabilities, through celebrity autographed collars that are auctioned off.

With the generation donation of 100 collars from Bamboo, Kyle has his collars and is in the process of contacting celebrities for their autograph. The collars will then be auctioned off to benefit the Canine Companions for Independence. When asked why he chose this charity, Kyle says he is a big animal lover and likes how these animals have been trained to assist their humans and wants to help.

We will be checking in with Kyle on a regular basis to see how the celebrities are responding.


Thin Pets Live Longer
Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinary News Network
America's weight control crisis is now affecting our pets. About 50% of all pets are overweight. If you keep your pets thin, studies show that they will live 15% longer. That's about 2 extra years on average.

Why are they overweight? Well, they eat the wrong food. There is only one type of food your pet should eat, and your veterinarian can help you figure that out, based on your pet's breed, age, lifestyle and health risks. Another reason is they eat too much food. Pet owner's underestimate how much their pets are eating especially as it relates to how many calories they are burning everyday. And finally, they eat too many treats. Nobody wants to stop giving their pets treats, but you should limit their treats to no more than 10% of the pet's caloric intake.

So how do you downsize your dog? Well, to get rid of the extra weight, feed the food your doctor recommends, which may be a special weight reducing diet. Don't feed "free choice:" which means there's food available all of the time and your pet eats whenever it wants. Instead, take the amount of food your doctor recommends and divide it up into two or three meals per day. Limit the snacks and access to other foods, just as you would in a human diet. Start a walking program. If your overweight pet is really out of shape, don't push it too hard. Start with one block, or about 300 yards, every 10 pounds of body weight and do it twice a day. Early morning and late evening are best so you can avoid the scorching hot sidewalks, heat and humidity.

Sex Improves with Spider Bite
Britt Savage
A recent study has shown that spider venom may be the equivalent to Viagra. Men bitten by the Brazilian wandering spider are claiming that their sex lives were greatly improved.

But be careful, the venom of the Brazilian wandering spider can sometimes be deadly and many men experienced priapism - long and painful erections. More studies are being conducted.

No Pets Left Behind
Michael Markarian, HSUS
A new federal bill called the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act) may soon do just that, by ensuring that pets-present in 63% of American households-are taken into account in future disaster planning. The PETS Act requires local and state emergency preparedness authorities to include in their evacuation plans how they will accommodate household pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster. In order to qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), local and state authorities must submit these plans.

"The PETS Act will prevent people from being forced to make the horrifying and unnecessary choice of either abandoning their animals to save their own lives, or staying with their pets and remaining in a hazardous-and potentially life threatening-circumstance during a disaster," explained Lauren Silverman, federal legislative specialist for The HSUS.

Animal lovers can help ensure that this critical legislation becomes law by telling their members of Congress that the PETS Act is important to them. "People should contact their U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators and urge them to cosponsor the PETS Act and do everything they can to help ensure its swift passage," said Silverman.

Love Train
Dr. Mark Goldstein, San Diego Humane Society
The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA has taken in 55 puppies and six dogs from the Humane Society of Southern Mississippi (HSSM), to help find them loving homes. Since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the Humane Society of Southern Mississippi has been trying diligently to help all animals in need. Unfortunately, almost 30,000 homes were destroyed in Harrison County, the area that HSSM serves. Thus there remains a very limited adopter base and the shelter is overcrowded and continues to receive animals on a daily basis. Fortunately, through the goodwill of other animal welfare organizations and the philanthropy of individuals, many animals have been transported to new homes across the country on the organization's new program, the "Love Train."

Toxic Houseplants
Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinary News Network
With the return of springtime, many people will celebrate by adorning their homes with flowers and plants. However, cat owners need to be aware that some of the most common plants are highly toxic to their cats. One plant to be aware of are Lilies. All forms of Lilies are highly toxic to cats, leading to kidney damage. All parts of the plant are considered toxic, and intoxication can occur with the ingestion of less than one leaf.

Snakes and Driving Don't Mix
Britt Savage
An East Naples man learned the hard way that driving a car and playing with a pet at the same time isn't a good idea. Especially when that pet is an agitated snake. Courtland Page Johnson, 30, was driving his PT Cruiser on Golden Gate Parkway when the pet snake he had wrapped around his neck attacked his face, Naples police officials said.
An onlooker, Charles Page, told police Johnson was driving erratically and had crashed into several roadwork barricades. Page said Johnson had a snake in his hand at the time of the crash. Johnson was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a crash, and he was taken to the Naples Jail Center. Police estimate the damage caused by Johnson to be about $1,000.

According to police reports, Johnson initially told police he had crashed into another car that had stopped short in front of him. After a series of questions, Johnson admitted to panicking behind the wheel once his pet snake bit him. Police do not know why Johnson was driving with his pet snake around his neck or the extent of his injuries.


Listen to the 1st Hour ABRIDGED VERSION Podcast of this show (#389).
Purchase a CD Copy of this Show


View Animal Radio Network® Broadcast Schedule in a new window.
Listen to Animal Radio® - Go to the launch page
Return to Animal Radio Network® Home Page
Read May Newsletter


Copyright 2007 All Rights Reserved Animal Radio Network LLC