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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for June 21, 2014  

Pets In The Classroom
Brent Weinmann, Pet Care Trust

Pets In The Classroom LogoNew research says kids learn better when their classroom has a pet. Even truancy is down. We all remember the class pet. And if you were lucky, the teacher let you take the guinea pigs home for the summer. Brent Weinmann of the Pet Care Trust is making sure all kids get an opportunity to have pets in their classroom.

Pet Care Trust is an organization that was started about 20 years ago through contributions from companies within the pet industry. Their original mission was to figure out how to introduce more people to pets and the joys of pet ownership. They also wanted to make sure it was done in a responsible way. Their main focus has been on kids and to bring pets into the classrooms.

Before a classroom can have a pet, it is the responsibility of the teacher to clear the way with their administration. The Pet Care Trust will then make grants available either directly through the trust or with the cooperation of large national retailers, to help facilitate getting these pets into the classrooms. They try to minimize costs as much as they can, because they know that these types of things usually come directly out of the teachers' pockets.

Pets In The ClassroomPet Care Trust will fund the costs of the cage setup, initial food purchase, toys, treats, bedding, decorations, etc., based upon the type of pet that's chosen. They will also fund part of the animal. The schools will not get a free animal; the school will have to pay part of the purchase. Pet Care Trust feels this will ensure commitment and care from the school for the wellbeing of the animal. But at the same time, they will work with the retailer and the teacher to keep the cost of the pet down.

Pet Care Trust, along with pet retailers, have made a list of pets that their vets have deemed appropriate for most classrooms. The teacher can then pick from that list the pet they would like to have in their classroom.

Brent states that some classrooms have done field trips or online research to figure out what type of pet would be best. They then do a vote and the kids decide what they would like to have in the classroom.

But what happens to these pets on weekends or in the summer? Sometimes the teacher takes them home or the students will split the duties.

While everyone knows there are benefits to having pets in the classroom, such as encouraging pet ownership at home, there is a current study going on to see just what the true benefits are. Could they reduce truancy, reduce bullying, encourage kids to read?

Brent also tells us stories from teachers about children who are uncomfortable or on the autism spectrum. When the teachers know these children are having an especially rough time, they allow them to interact with the animals, which calm them down and get them back in a better place.

It's a win-win situation for everyone!

"HERO PERSON OF THE WEEK" - Kelly Martin, Selah Ranch All Animal Rescue

Hero the CalfKitty Martin love's her calf so much that she's put more than $40,000 into rescuing the steer after it's back legs were amputated because of frostbite. She's the Hero Person this week with a great story to tell about the human-bovine connection.

Kitty was running a small private rescue when someone called her about a calf that had froze to the ground and lost two back hoofs and part of his tail to frostbite. She said when she saw the calf, it was more horrible then she expected. Kitty felt that he had such a rough start in life, she decided to swing for him and named him Hero.

His mother originally rejected Hero and the farmer then sold him to someone who felt they could raise him on a bottle. This wasn't done properly and the calf got weak and couldn't get up off the ground. The weather at the time was freezing, so the little calf just froze to the ground.

Kitty didn't know what to do with Hero, but did some research and found out that this procedure had been done before on another cow named meadow. The procedure included removing 2-inches of bone and bringing the tendons around to make a pad stump, which was then fitted with prosthetics. Hero is currently on his third set of prosthetics, which are black and white and look like a Holstein cow. Hero will need at least 3 or 4 more sets of prosthetics as he grows, but the current ones are actually adjustable in width and height.

Kitty was told he would never be able to run and kick, but Hero has proven everyone wrong and is amazing!

Some people thought it would have been more humane to euthanize Hero. Kitty says it has attracted some of the world's best and some of the world's worst towards her.

It is Kitty goal for Hero to be a therapy animal for wounded veterans and special needs children. She feels he has such a sunny disposition and is very socialized and this would be perfect for him and an inspiration to others.

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Using High-Tech To Find Homes
Adi Pinhas, PetMatch

PetMatchAdi Pinhas is using facial recognition technology in his new iPhone app. You'll upload a picture of the pet you want and it'll tell you all the adoptable animals that look like the original picture. The Verge Magazine uploaded a picture of Lady Gaga and got back an adoptable hamster!

Adi Pinhas, the CEO of Superfish, the makers of PetMatch, originally worked on this technology for other purposes, allowing you to find images with similar content or similar objects and can work on anything. In their grand visions, they are going to release different applications that can do other things, but thought it would be useful to start with pets.

PetMatch lets you upload a picture of a dog or cat, or use one from its gallery. It then searched databases and tries to find you a pet available for adoption that is the closest possible match to the one you posted, out of the millions that are available.

If you combine several photos to make the perfect pet, will PetMatch be able to find the animal? The answer is yes! People are even using images of stuffed animals.

Of course, it's not perfect. If the picture you upload shows an animal at an odd angle, is blurry or otherwise differs from typical shots by animal-rescue groups, there's no telling what it will return for you.

The PetMatch app, released this month, is currently available only on Apple's iOS operating system and is free. They are improving the application all of the time and are currently working on a version for Android.

Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Clipping Your Bird's Wings
Just like our cats and dogs, birds need grooming too, and part of that grooming includes clipping their wings. If your bird takes flight in your house, you should clip their wings before they go out the door, out the window, or fly into something and get hurt.

There is a right way and wrong way to clip your bird's wings. Unless you have an extremely tame bird, it is a two-person job. Joey is lucky; his bird will actually hold its wing out and let him trim it. But normally, you have to wrap a bird in a towel, making sure that you have secured their head and neck. You want to do it in a manner where you are not choking them, but just restraining them.

Next, you want to hold one wing out and identify the blood feathers. Blood feathers are feathers that aren't fully yet developed and have blood in their shaft. It is real easy to tell. The shaft of the feather will normally be white or clear. But if it is a blood feather, it will be pinkish in color, and will bleed. If you do cut it, it will feel like a pinch to your bird, which they will not like. It can also make a mess of blood. If you do cut one of them, just hold pressure on it and it will stop bleeding.

Clipped WingYou need to take off the first 10 primary feathers. But how can you identify a primary feather? They are the longer of the two. You have the covered feathers, which will be at the top of the wing and the primary feathers, which go from about the middle of the wing on out. They are the longer of the two feathers.

You want to start at the tip of the wing, the farthest apart away from the bird, and cut the first 10 on each side.

The important thing is that your cuts have to be equal. Because if the feathers are longer on one side, when the bird does try to fly, they will spin in a circle and won't come down gradually. They will hit the floor where they can break a leg, wing or even their beak.

Remember, you don't need to cut more than 10, because the bird needs to be able to get around, with a little bit of flight. This way, if they do fall from something, they will be able to gradually fly down and won't get injured. If you take off too many, they won't have any protection at all.

Over time, you bird should get used to the whole procedure and it can even build a bond with your bird as they learn to trust you.

Animal Radio® News with Tammy Trujillo

SchipperkeInsurance Coverage Denied For Certain Breed Ownership
You love your dog, but depending on the breed, your insurance company might not. In fact, your dog's breed might keep a company from providing you with homeowner's insurance. It's all about the money. Insurance companies pay out millions each year on dog bite claims. In fact in 2013, bite claims accounted for one-third of all the homeowner liability claims that were paid out. So now insurers have come up with a list of dog breeds that they consider dangerous and could result in you being denied coverage. The list names specific breeds, but many companies extend the list to also include any mixes of the banned breeds. Here's the list: Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Terries, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Presa Canarios, Chows, Dobermans, Akitas, Wolf-hybrids, Mastifffs, Cane Corsos, Great Danes, Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies. Each company draws up it's own list and its not based on any scientific data. In fact, one report in the media can be enough for a company to decide that a dog breed is dangerous. One company in Atlanta had Schipperkes on their list. Schipperkes are little black dogs that look like foxes and are about 12 inches tall and weigh about 15 pounds.

Find The Perfect Pet App
If you're looking for the perfect dog, yes, you guessed it, there's now an app for that. BarkBuddy is a free iPhone app that showcases dogs for adoption. It's connected to a network of 2,500 rescues and shelters throughout Canada and the U.S. You just swipe your way through pictures of available dogs and stop when you see one that you are interested in. The app then gives you the details on the dog and the organization that has him. Right now BarkBuddy is only available for iPhones, but an Android version should be out soon.

HedgehogsPet Hedgehogs Growing In Popularity
They're cute, they're prickly and in some places they're illegal. Hedgehogs are growing in popularity as pets. Some people say it all started with the video game Sonic, a little blue hedgehog that runs at supersonic speeds and protects himself by rolling into a ball. Some breeders now say they have waiting lists 500 people long. They're easier to take care of than cats or dogs and are hypoallergenic. But hedgehogs are illegal in six states and Washington, D.C. because of worries that they could escape and upset the ecological balance. Hedgehogs also can carry salmonella, but breeders say you can limit the risk by washing your hands after handling them.

Just in Time for Summer
Flea and tick season is here and the FDA has approved the first oral flea and tick medication for dogs. Bravecto Chewable Tablets controls and prevents fleas and three types of ticks for 12 weeks. Those ticks are the brown dog tick, the American dog tick and the deer tick. The treatment controls the lone star tick for 8 weeks. Bravecto requires a prescription from your veterinarian.

Jerky TreatsFund For Animals Who Suffered From Treats Made In China
Just a few weeks ago, both Petco and Petsmart said they would stop selling pet treats made in China. For the past 7 years, dogs and cats have been getting sick and many have died after eating imported chicken and jerky treats. Now, Purina Petcare and Waggin' Train have set up at $6.5-million-dollar fund to compensate pet guardians whose animals suffered. The settlement doesn't admit fault, but it does open the door to damage claims for vet bills or for the loss of a pet. It also requires Nestle Purina to adopt what is being termed enhanced quality assurance measures and to change the wording on their packages. The deal still needs to be approved by the courts, but if it is it would help settle claims related to Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch Dog Treats.

Cure For Parvo?
To anyone with a puppy the word Parvo is just heartbreaking. It's most often a death sentence. But now, researchers may have literally stumbled on a way to treat it. It happened when a company called Avianax in North Dakota was looking for a way to save flocks of geese that were mysteriously dying. They discovered an antibody that's harvested from the yokes of geese eggs that can stop the Parvovirus in as little as two days. Avianax is still running tests but hopes to start selling the parvoOne antibody-based treatment for $75 a dose by next Spring.

Sharing bed with dogSharing Your Bed With Your Pet Leads to Bad Sleep Quality
If you have a cat or dog, chances are he or she sleeps with you in bed. But new research says that sharing your bed with your pet can lead to bad sleep quality. Recently at the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies data was presented that showed at least 30-percent of pet owners say their pets wake them up at least once per night. Doctors who treat sleep problems are now being urged to ask patients right from the start if they have pets and if they sleep together and are calling animals a hidden factor behind insomnia.

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