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 This Week on Animal Radio

Animal Radio for July 22, 2023  

"HERO PEOPLE OF THE WEEK" - 10-Year-Old Samantha Frenck - Enriching The Lives of Shelter Animals

Samantha Frenck and RascalThis week's Hero Person will charm you! She's just a little girl, but she has a huge heart for the animals. Samantha Frenck created a 501c3 non-profit that brings toys and blankets, among other things, to shelter animals.

When she was 10-years-old and in the fourth grade, Samantha Frenck's family adopted a rescued 4-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Rascal, and Samantha went along to the shelter. While there, she noticed they had their basic needs being met with shelter, medication, food and water, but they really didn't have toys and the extra items to make their lives happier.

Samantha wanted to change that and created Operation Critter. Operation Critter was non-profit organization set up to help animals in shelters live happier lives.
Operation Critter Logo
When Samantha received a donation of pennies, or $1, to $5, she bought those extra things and donated them to the shelters herself, allowing shelter animals to have the same playtime as adopted animals.

The items she was able to purchase included toys, bones, cat fishing pole toys and blankets. Samantha stated that they bought, "Any toys that we think are good for them and will make them happy."

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Who Doesn't Like Dogs? - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteI love dogs, and always have. But what happens when you discover a close friend doesn't merely not like dogs, but actually hates them?

I've been operating under the assumption that those who don't like dogs must have some evil lurking in their spirit and were destined to a life of incarceration. Just look at the statistics of criminals that abuse animals early on and who later progress to physical abuse of people, murder, or other sociopathic behaviors.

I'll admit not liking dogs is a far cry from turning one's hand to injure an animal or person, but some uncomfortable association is still there. As a full-fledged dog lover, or enthusiast of any animal for that matter, I cannot understand the psyche of an individual that is satisfied going about their life without animal companionship.

Any pet lover can spout off a list of benefits their furry one brings to their life…the steady comfort of companionship, a non-judging ear to hear out the day's tribulations, a workout or hiking buddy and a source of unconditional love at the end of a long day.

So, imagine my shock when I realized that a couple I know doesn't like dogs. Not just that they don't have dogs or misunderstand them - they actually dislike dogs.

Hint of this fact should have been apparent long ago when they were over for dinner and they politely stood stiff as a Calvary front line, when greeted by my yapping terrier mix. Or that they failed to stroke my Labrador's chin after receiving the gentle nudge of the typical canine greeting upon entering the home. The polite perfunctory smiles went un-noticed by me. "Sure, they don't have dogs," I reasoned as to why they weren't charmed by my little dog's amusing tail wagging display or by the steadfast devotion of my Labrador's greeting.

All of these sign posts I missed. I clearly misjudged all along. The couple, who I just assumed were just not yet fortunate to understand the benefits of pet companionship, were actually formidable dog dislikers.

Realization struck me during a recent conversation with this couple. I was laughingly describing the vast differences in dog breed behavior comparing my former Labradors, to that of my current Bouvier. My comments must have been mistaken as some underhanded means to convince them the right breed was out there for them. At that moment, my guest raised hands and said, "I know what I like and don't like, and I don't want dogs." Clearly they didn't like dogs - and they misunderstood my comment as some means to turn them over to the canine side against their will. Astounded, I marveled how this response was not unlike a person who is recommended a mushroom containing side dish or gourmet meal from a fine restaurant, and who declares "I can't stand mushrooms and don't want anything to do with mushrooms!"

Woman Hugging DogSo why didn't I catch on to these dog haters sooner? For those of us that have pets, of any type, we recognize the many joys our pets bring to our lives. There are folks that don't want to bring that companionship into their life. The cogs of their lives have clicked along just fine without a pet in their life. Somehow lots of well-educated, social and seemingly normal people can raise a family and be successful and still dislike dogs.

Maybe we should feel sorry for them. Or maybe they feel sorry for us, for all the money, heart and time we put into a pet companion who's lifespan doesn't come near to that of a humans. They probably laugh at our reckless expenditures on a being who lives just a fraction of human life. I chose not to spend time wondering how they have made it without animals in their life…rather that I have succeeded because I have been fortunate to have animals in my life.

I ask that these non-pet people save their pity for me and my pets, because I know that any one of my dogs could say they lived life fuller than most people - full with adventure, splendor at new experiences and embracing the moment. And so have I at their side. So should the question come up at the time of my next life, I'll take both a side of mushrooms…and pets on the side.

Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend." Dr. Debbie's books.

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Joey Villani

The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Sunscreen for Pets
The thermometer is climbing, which means the sun is getting stronger. You may not think about it, but our pets sometimes need sunscreen as well.

Our pets are at a higher risk than we are for sun-related Melanomas. You need to protect them from the sun, even if they're indoor animals. Dogfather Joey Villani and Dr. Debbie share what you need to know for your pet's safety and well being.

If you do want to use sunscreen on your pet, you might have a hard time finding it. You don't want to just use any sunscreen you find on the shelves, because a lot of the stuff we use on ourselves isn't strong enough for your pet and can even be toxic to them.

If you like to enjoy the outdoors with your pet during the summer and they have short hair, or places on their body where there isn't much hair, you should apply sunscreen on them. This is especially true for light-pigmented dogs like the Maltese and Samoyed. Some dogs may also be clipped down for the summer to keep them cool. Unfortunately, this has the opposite affect and will also expose them to the sun. So anytime their bodies are exposed, you will want to use sunscreen on them.

Some of the most highly recommended sunscreen for pets are Epi-Pet Sun Protector spray, (this is the only sunscreen for pets that was actually tested by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Doggles Pet Sunscreen and Nutri-Vet Sun Defense.
Epi Pet Spray-On Sunscreen
Joey states that he personally uses Epi-Pet Sun Protector for his owns pets. He likes the way it smells and sates that it is easy to apply. It is also non-greasy and works well. You probably won't find this product on the shelves at your local pet store, but if you ask your vet, they may be able to order it if they don't carry it.

While Joey hasn't personally tried this, he says you can also make you own sunscreen at home, which people swear by. The recipe is as follows:

1/2 cup pure organic aloe gel
20 drops pure grape seed oil gel
5 tablespoons coconut oil in thick form (NOT melted)
3 capsules of vitamin E (broken open)
5 drops lavender oil

You just mix the ingredients together and apply it to your pet. But beware, this mixture is going to be greasy and your dog will become a knotted "canine dust magnet."

Whatever you use, just make sure you use something, as our dogs can also get sunburned and contract cancer from sun exposure.

Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks
Lori and Flo Bear
Shelters for Victims of Domestic Violence Take Pets
Nationwide just 3-percent of shelters for victims of domestic violence are equipped to accept pets, but legislation has changed that since the Pets and Women Safety Act was introduced in the House. Those who work in shelters say allowing pets is important in the effort to persuade women to leave abusive partners. Studies have shown that nearly half of women in abusive relationships stay in the home, in part, because they don't want to leave their pets. But of course, the stress of going to a women's shelter can be lessened when women and their children are allowed to bring four legged children along.

Forget Hiring The Neighbor Kid To Take Your Dog On A Walk
There are mixed-use developments where you can rely on specially trained professionals to do everything from walking your dogs to brushing their teeth. These specialists, nicknamed "dog concierges," spend their days catering to the every need of the their building's animal residents. The pet care services does everything from setting up doggie play dates and trimming nails to conditioning fur and walking cats on leashes. They specialize in the needs of big city dogs, which can be quite different than dogs that live in rural areas.

Most Pet Friendly Rental Markets for Pet Owners
A dog may be man's best friend, but they're not necessarily your landlord's. Nor are cats. If you're a renter with a pet, you know that one of the biggest challenges is finding a place to live. Forbes went in search of America's most pet-friendly places to live among the largest rental markets and San Francisco tops the list in the all around for having the pet friendliest landlords, lowest pet fees and most pet specialty stores and services. Seattle, Denver, Oakland and Portland, OR, round out the list of the top five cities for pets. Chicago came in at Number 6, with New York in 8th place and Los Angeles in the 16th spot. Another interesting finding was the decision over dogs or cats. The majority of landlords would rather hear a meow than a woof. If you've got a Mastiff or a Great Dane, you're barking up the wrong tree. Nationwide, just 4-percent of rental listings say your really big dog is welcome. And, Washington, DC, comes in first in extracting money from pet owners with a litany of extra fees and the most expensive fees for all things concerning your pet for renters.

Brazil Pet Store Switch DogsPet Store Tricks Customers By Switching Pricey Purebreds for Shelter Animals
A pet store in Brazil made a life changing decision for animals when it partnered with local pet shelters to secretly switch those pricey purebreds for rescues. Then the store went a step further and simply gave the shelter pets away to worthy families. You see often times in Brazil, families will bypass the shelters and head straight for the nearest pet store when they want a new pet, which is bad news for shelter animals. The result of the pet store switch? Families were stunned when they were told they could have the animal of their choice for free and customers quickly began to realize that there was no difference between the traditional pet store animals and the rescue animals.

You May Be Thinking Scientifically If You Call Your Pet A Fur Baby
You may be thinking sort of scientifically if you call your pet a fur baby, at least on a chemical level. Research from the Azabu University in Japan shows that dogs that make so-called puppy eyes at their owners get a spike in the 'love hormone' oxytocin - and their owners do too! The same positive feedback in oxytocin release also happens when a mom gazes at her new born. The researchers wondered exactly what dogs get out of their affectionate gazing at humans and found that dogs do benefit, as the more oxytocin rose in humans, the more it did in dogs as well. The findings suggest that the oxytocin feedback loop can cross species boundaries, at least between man and his best friend.

Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1233)

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