June 24th 2006 (in order of appearance)


Tails from the Road
Tracie Hotchner, THE DOG BIBLE
Tracie comes to us live from the Hamptons Hound "Yappy Hour" which is held every Saturday from 4-6pm in Bridgehamtpon, NY

Kevin Fitzgerald - "Emergency Vets"
When Puppy Gets into Things He Shouldn't
Everyone's heard about plants such as poinsettias being bad for your dog, but did you know that Macadamia nuts are toxic and can produce devastating neurological results? And what do you do when your puppy gets into your medicine on your nightstand? Also, do you think your dog will be fine if he swallows a few pennies? Beware, the zinc in pennies can destroy a dog's red blood cells. Dr. Fitzgerald has great information regarding these subjects and many more. If you have a dog ­ you don't want to miss this!

The First 2006 Case of Hantavirus is Reported
Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinary News Network
This first case of Hantavirus in 2006 was seen in Colorado when a resident became ill in April and remains hospitalized. Hantavirus is a serious respiratory disease that can sometimes be fatal. It is carried by deer mice. The virus can affect humans when they inhale dust or dirt contaminated with deer mice urine or feces. Eleven cases of Hantavirus were reported last year, one was fatal. Because no effective treatment exists for the disease, prevention remains the key to avoiding Hantavirus. People should be especially careful when working around buildings or wood and junk piles in which there are mouse droppings or other evidence of mouse infestations. Enclosed dusty areas are of special concern. You should know that the small grey house mice that are often encountered in urban environments do not carry Hantivirus. Deer mice are brown on the top with white underneath, and they have large ears relative to their head size. They are the main carrier of Hantivirus in the American Southwest.

Living Chained to a Doghouse - Reality TV Style
Tammy Grimes, Dogs Deserve Better
Tammy Grimes, the founder of Dogs Deserve Better, has formed the first-ever game where humans will live as chained dogs. They will compete to survive the boredom of living chained . . . They will be allowed no books, TV, radio, smoking, or even visitors, except for members of the press. For only 1/2 hour each day they may see family members or call home, reach out for some semblance of normality. They will be allowed the bare minimum in hygiene, no showers or baths, but only cleanliness routines undertaken within the confines of four tiny port-a-john walls. They will be stripped of all the comforts we take so much for granted on a daily basis. In their place, they receive only a chain, a collar, water, food, doghouse, sleeping bag, and shade.

They will record their feelings once a day in a journal, helping to light a path for the dogs to travel toward freedom. They may cry, knowing the pain and suffering chained dogs endure, day in, day out-often for life. One of them will walk away with a new car...but more importantly, none of them will walk away unchanged. The knowledge they now bear may make it virtually impossible to look at a chained dog without a burning desire to make a difference in that dog's life."

12 people will live chained to doghouses for a period of up to two weeks in order to win the prize of a NEW Chevy Aveo. The contest will begin at 12:00 noon July 1, and go as long as 12:00 noon, July 15. It is being held at Leidy Park in Mundys Corner, Pennsylvania approximately 1 hour east of Pittsburgh.

Dogs Deserve Better has also recently release a song presentation to internet viewers. The song "I Am Unseen" highlights the plight of the chained dog through music, lyrics and images to evoke a greater understanding of the lives of chained and penned dogs. This video can be viewed at http://www.DogsDeserveBetter.org/iamunseen.html

Cat Falls Asleep in China, Wakes Up in Britain
Britt Savage
A cat stowed away in a crate of crockery on a container ship and traveled 6,000 miles from China to Britain, living on cardboard and condensation. Nicknamed Chairman Miaow, the white tabby cat crawled into the crate before it was loaded onto the container ship bound for Britain.

It survived for 26 days on a diet of cardboard and condensation to arrive as an "illegal immigrant" in the county of Nottinghamshire, central England.

Staff at crockery suppliers Tabletop, in the town of Kirby-on-Ashfield, discovered the cat, which was then vaccinated and sent to a quarantine centre in the nearby town of Cottam.


Join Pet-Rox this Saturday, June 24th for the rescheduled ASPCA Dog Walk. Showtime is from 10 AM to 2 PM in Central Park's East Meadow (Fifth Avenue at E. 99th St.) http://www.aspca.org



A Fabled Wildlife Center
Rae Ann Kumelos, Voice of the Animal
What do a lion, a thorn, and the Roman Coliseum have to do with a wildlife center in New Mexico? Discover how the lessons from a fable twenty-centuries old are still practiced today in the care and rehabilitation of injured raptors, reptiles, mammals and songbirds at the Wildlife Center in Espanola, New Mexico. http://www.TheWildlifeCenter.org


Downtown Doghouse Hosts Yorkie Play Date
Downtown Doghouse will be hosting a pet party for Yorkshire Terriers on July 13, 2006. This party will be the fourth breed meet-up and fifth get-together in a series of weekly dog-themed events this summer in "The Dog Days of Summer at Downtown Doghouse" program. Other events include or will have included an adoption day with Animal Haven, a workshop at a nearby theater, an evening of paranormal events for pets and an art fair.
The event is free to all, but reservations are strongly suggested as space is limited. Neither extreme heat nor pouring rain will affect this party as it is indoors in the air conditioning. Dogswell will be providing delicious and nutritious snacks for the pets and everyone will be sent home with goody bags.

Downtown Doghouse is located at 259 West 18th Street, New York, NY, 10011. (1/9 to 18th, ACE to 14th) 212.924.5300. Downtown Doghouse, Pet Salon & Boutique offers spa grooming for dogs and cats, unique pet accessories, and high-quality foods and treats. Visit our website for a complete schedule of events with details.

Rambo - the Kitty
Warren Wetzelberg
One day I saw a small black and white kitten get hit by a car while I was riding my bike. The kitten then rolled onto the shoulder. Since he couldn't use his hind legs after the accident, he dragged himself down an embankment and into the woods. I tried to get him, but he had gotten himself on the other side of a chained link fence.

When I arrived home I called the Sheriff (no ASPCA or USHS) and found that a Sheriff Deputy had picked up an injured kitty near the site of the accident and taken it to the
local vet. I called the vet the next day and went out to see the kitty, who was scared out of his mind, but at least was now walking. I got the bad news that he had lost control of his bowel and bladder and would probably need his drooping tail bobbed.

I kept track of Rambo for several days and then received a call from the vet that he thought it was time to euthanize the cat--he didn't expect Rambo would ever recover his excretory functions. I chose to pay the bill and take Rambo home so he had more time for recovery. The vet showed me how to express Rambo's bladder twice a day (without sensory control the urine stays in, the turds come out--they're like oversize rabbit turds, not like smooshy dog feces, thank goodness). I kept him in the downstairs bathroom for a month (I like to introduce new cats to the household slowly--I had three other cats then). Of course, I wasn't really interested in having cat turds all over the house.

When I did start taking Rambo (still unnamed) upstairs to meet the other cats he would hide on the sofa and pounce on Bandit (all grey long hair male) as he walked by--hence the name. After Rambo's 30 day imprisonment I released him to the rest of the house: Bandit, Pollyanna (medium length hair calico female), and White Shadow (short hair all white female).

Rambo's injuries included the hind legs (now working); nerve damage affecting the bowel, bladder, and tail; and lower left eyelid torn off. I successfully performed physical therapy on his weak hind leg for a few of weeks and he gets around fine--I haven't seen him hop on his hind legs for years.

Rambo is now 6. It's been interesting to see how he's progressed in trusting me. In the first couple of years I had to chase and catch him to express his bladder to empty it. His droopy tail now extends horizontally about three inches before drooping, which means he no longer urinates on his tail while I'm expressing his bladder. He's grown from avoiding me to jumping onto whatever chair I'm sitting in and maybe even climbing into my lap. He's progressed from running away when I try to pet him, to jumping onto a chair or other object before letting me pet him, and now he actually lets me pet him while he's on the floor.

My Summer as a Substitute Bat Mother
Mike Fry, Animal Ark Animal Shelter and Host of Animal Wise Radio
Many experiences early in my life taught me to question the beliefs that people have about animals. So, when I had the opportunity to work with bats for the first time, I was more than willing to question existing scientific assumptions.

I was working at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic at the University of Minnesota. Someone brought a bat to us they thought had been injured because it couldn't fly. The bat in question turned out to be a little, female red bat, with a face as cute as a little hamster and with these delicate membrane structures that could unfurl into wings. She was really spectacular! And more than a bit feisty!

The veterinarian at the clinic and I donned thin leather gloves to examine her. And what a fuss she made while we did so! She used her wing membranes to try to make herself look larger and more ferocious than she actually was.

As we tried to handle her, she would stretch out one wing while using the other to cover her underside. Like a show girl performing a fan dance, she kept one wing covering her belly at all times. It was a spectacular display. It took us a while to figure out what was actually going on . . .

Clinging to her chest were three infant Red Bat pups, each slightly larger than your thumbnail. Collectively, their weight was large enough to prevent her from flying, though. They were weighing her down. Unable to fly with the pups, she was also unable to eat or drink.

Red Bats usually only give birth to one or two pups at the most. Three were just too many for her to carry.

At the time, we assumed all three were hers. However, in retrospect, it is hard to say. I later observed mother bats tending to the offspring of other bats with the same tenderness and care shown to their own children.

In any case, this female was doing everything should could to protect these three pups. With one wing, she tried to scare us away, while using the other wing to protect the babies. To finish examining her, we needed to remove the bat pups.

Once we tucked the children inside a folded hand towel, she stopped fighting us. Only then could we see how very sick she was. She was emaciated and dehydrated - so much so the vet didn't think she would survive. She was skin and bones.

Surprisingly, though, the pups were in pretty good shape. The mother bat had given all of her body's reserves to help them survive. We administered subcutaneous fluids to the mother and offered her some emergency formula.

Then there was the problem of what to do with the babies.

Back then, infant bats had a very poor survival rate when people tried to raise them. Being lactose intolerant, most of the milk formulas people try to feed them caused serious problems.

I decided to try something different. Using a lactose-free animal milk replacer as the base, I added other things to increase the fat and protein levels.

Using a special syringe tip to deliver a single droplet of formula at a time, I began to feed the pups. They gobbled up the formula.

Later that evening the mother bat died, leaving us with an even greater problem. The common belief at the time was that infant bats could not be raised in captivity and then successfully released to the wild.

The thinking was that infant bats needed their mothers to teach them all sorts of things, like how to hunt and catch insects while flying, where to find shelter, and what migration routes to follow in the fall.

It is sort of hard to explain. But when I removed the babies from the mother, in my mind and to her, I promised to take good care of them. I couldn't just give up on them, after she gave her life for them. The least I could do was ask some simple questions.

Most specifically, I wanted to know why bats couldn't be raised in captivity and released to the wild, when so many other species of animals could. That turned out to be a question no one could really answer. Not even some of the foremost authorities on bats.

Little did I know it, but by asking that simple question, I was well on my way to becoming a full-time substitute bat mother.

Over the next several weeks, my goals were simple:

1) Keep the pups alive
2) Teach them to hunt wild food
3) Do so without letting them get tame and accustomed to people. Young bats that liked people would probably have little chance of surviving in the wild.

The first phase of the effort was simply to keep them alive -- feeding the infants every two hours for the first weeks of their care. They thrived and quickly grew into fluffy, rust-colored miniatures of their mother. I took care to never speak to them, and to never handle them but with a special pair of "bat gloves" that help hide my scent.

In no time at all it seemed and they were ready to start flying.

With a little creative problem solving, and a ream of netting, an empty, second-floor, abandoned room at the University of Minnesota was converted into a large bat flight cage.

Window screens were removed and the windows covered with netting to allow the room to fill with wild insects every night. A lantern suspended in the middle of the room attracted swarms of bugs.

On evenings when bugs were scarce, I used a sweep net that friends and I drove through cornfields to catch flying insects that I then released into the room. I sat back and watched nature work.

The bat's first flights were awkward and clumsy. But in no time, they were performing spectacular aerial acrobatics.

We used a bat detector, an electronic device which captures bat echolocation sounds and translates them into the range of human hearing, to listen to their ultrasonic navigation.

Like any good bat mother, I gradually weaned them off of formula. As I cut back on their formula, I began picking up "feeding buzzes," on the bat detector. A feeding buzz is a specific kind of echolocation bats use when zeroing in on a moth or other prey.

As many things do, the time with this trio went far too quickly for me. It was late summer. The bats were self-feeding. They were wary of humans. It was time to let them go. They were taken, along with their bat house, to a secluded cabin along a natural migration route for Red Bats.

I don't know for sure if I ever saw them again. But weeks later I did see a trio of Red Bats at the release site.

This experience inspired me to conduct a more complete research project on infant bats the following summer, which concluded that captive-raised insectivorous bats can be successfully rehabilitated and released to the wild, if not habituated to people, and if provided with the proper care and environment. Several follow-up studies by other researchers confirmed my findings.

Questioning assumptions, especially those that don't seem to make sense, can greatly expand our understanding of the world around us while enriching our lives.

To this day, sitting out on my patio on a summer evening, round about dusk, when I see the moth-like flutter of a bat silhouetted against the sky I still think back to that trio, and their mother who gave her life for her children. I know it is silly, but I can never help but wonder if this bat could be one of their offspring.


First Annual Disabled Dogathalon
Cathy Cauley, Physical Therapist
Cathy Cauley works as both a human and dog physical therapist. While her local animal shelter holds an annual walkathon which includes dogs, they did not have anything for the disabled dog. Cathy helped organize the first Annual Disable Dogathalon which included everything from a 3-legged race for 3 legged dogs to dogs racing in their wheelchairs.

Cathy also works with certified therapy dogs and is working with Hunter, a golden retriever that lost his leg to cancer and is the mascot for the amputee support group which visits and inspires patients in the hospital after an amputation.


Talk With Your Animals
Joy Turner
A caller has a Hungarian Puli, names Rasta, whom she is training to become a therapy dog. However, the dog is inconsistent in her training and it appears as she has no idea of what she is to do. Rasta explains that she is confused and doesn't understand what this training has to do with. Her guardian is advised to talk to Rasta very slowly and explain not only what commands she wants her to perform, but why they are important.

Peddling of Live Animals Banned
Chris De Rose, Last Chance for Animals
Working to make a difference close to home, LCA President Chris DeRose, along with LCA employees, volunteers, supporters and concerned citizens, attended the West Hollywood Cit Council Meeting in West Hollywood, California, to raise awareness of the need for a unanimous "yes" vote on a new ordinance prohibiting the illegal street peddling of live animals.

LCA stood vigil at the meeting for eight hours, holding a banner decrying the abhorrent and illegal practices of street peddling of animals. Members of the council not only agreed to pass the ordinance making peddling of live animals a misdemeanor crime; they expedited its passage within two weeks. One more victory in the fight to create laws that will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of innocent animals.

NASCAR Stars and Their Pets
Krissie Newman, Pit Road Pets
Pit Road Pets
invites you into the world of your favorite NASCAR stars for a special look at their private lives with their families and pets. From Tony Stewart and his tiny Chihuahua, Kayle, to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his Boxer, Killer, the stars of NASCAR are beautifully photographed with their creatures, great and small. In their own words, drivers, crew chiefs and racing personalities share the stories of how their animals enrich their lives.

This is a great coffee table book and contains fascinating information. For example, did you know that Jeff Burton has 49 pets? Or that Ryan Newman has a 3-legged Dog? You will also be surprised at how many NASCAR racers have cats!

100% of the Ryan Newman Foundation's portions of the net proceeds from this book will be donated to the Humane Society of Catawba County's capital campaign to build a no-kill animal shelter, education center, dog park and regional public low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Hickory, North Carolina. The facility will serve the region from the mountains to the piedmont of North Carolina, which encompasses the heart of NASCAR country.

Listen to the 1/2 Hour ABRIDGED VERSION Podcast of this show (#343).


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