Alison Eastwood - ANIMAL INTERVENTION
Owning a wild animal is no small task. Full-grown tigers, lions and monkeys are powerful, unpredictable and extremely dangerous. They need a lot of food, a lot of space and a lot of attention in order to live comfortably and safely in captivity. It takes more than a love of animals to make a good owner. And when owners are unwilling or incapable of acting in the best interest of their animals, it takes an Animal Intervention.
Enter animal advocate Alison Eastwood and animal expert Donald Schultz, who confront overwhelmed and out-of-touch wildlife owners who house exotic animals in confined and potentially hazardous environments. Some of the owners breed their animals, further crowding their facilities and increasing the overall population of exotics living in captivity. Alison and Donald approach owners at private ranches, roadside zoos and even magic shows to assess the conditions in which they keep their animals. Emotions run high when Alison and Donald recommend changes, sometimes as drastic as relocating full-grown wild animals to safe and clean animal sanctuaries.
Alison says that there is unfortunately a lot of abuse that goes on behind the scenes for your entertainment of these animals. She talks about one case there they visited a magician in Branson, Missouri who had tigers and lions for his show. She was shocked that these animals are being kept in the theater 24/7 with unnatural lighting. They never go outside and have never walked on grass or had sunlight on their face. She said the place also smelled bad – just a shocking situation!
In this case Alison feels that the magician’s ego gets in they way and that there is a disconnect with the magician and his animals. He believes that his animals are all okay with living this way and that they are his family. While he feels they are his family, a normal person would never treat their family that way. They would never keep their kids in a bathroom all day long and never let them go outside.
Their goal is to go and hear people’s stories and try to help them out of a bad situation. Some helpful things are to rescue and relocate some of these animals. In the magician’s case, one of the cats was very agitated and upset. The tiger was pacing and banging his head against the enclosure. Alison wanted to relocate this one cat. Not only would it help this cat, but it would also free up some space so that the remaining cages could be enlarged for the other tigers. Unfortunately the magician did not want any help.
Alison also fills us in about growing up as the child of Clint Eastwood. She said that they always had animals in their house. She is a huge animal lover and states that that is how the show came about. She wanted to find a way to take her passion for helping animals and nurturing animals and make it into something that is educational and entertaining.
Alison also mentions that while she always had animals, she was not allowed to have dogs or cats growing up, as her father, Clint Eastwood, and her brother, were very allergic. She had rats, rabbits, fish, birds and even hermit crabs.
What most people don’t know, is that her father is also very allergic to horses! Imagine, Clint Eastwood a notorious cowboy in the films, not being able to tolerate horses! Alison believes hot got through the filming with shots and inhalers. Clint would literally just jump on the horse and jump off as soon as “cut” was yelled, all while trying not to touch the horse!
Alison’s new series, Animal Intervention, airs Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD.
Sugar Gliders As Pets
Laurie Hess, DVM
Dr. Laurie Hess is a small exotic pet veterinarian, who states we are woefully uneducated about the husbandry of birds and other small pets. The good doctor tells us about some great alternatives to dogs and cats, like the marsupial Sugar Glider.
The Sugar Glider is getting a lot of attention now and people are starting to keep them as pets more and more. They are marsupials, so they are in the same family as kangaroos and wallabies. They even have a pouch. People say they are like flying squirrels. While they do look like flying squirrels, they are not in the squirrel family.
Sugar Gliders are affectionate and very social creatures. It is wise if you want a sugar glider to get two and keep them in pairs. Males and females do great together, as long as the male is neutered. They are small and will fit in the palm of your hand. However, they don’t make good pets for young children. They get startled very easily and can even nip.
Sugar Gliders are used to being in a pouch, so owners usually get a zippered pouch where the gliders can hang out and sleep, and they wear the around their neck. When they are at home, sugar gliders should be kept in a cage that is escape proof, because they are very good at escaping!
They are very active little creatures, which feed on fruits, vegetables, protein and insects. The main problem with sugar gliders is that people will just feed them fruit thinking that a sugar glider only needs sugar. However, they need more than fruit and can become very sick if their nutritional needs are not met with a balanced diet.
Years ago Laurie actually worked with primates. However, she discontinued that practice, as she states they are very hard to work with. She feels that monkeys should not be kept as a house pet. They are wild animals and can be dangerous. It is also not fair to the monkey to be cooped up in a house.
Laurie Hess is a board-certified bird specialist and exotic animal veterinarian in Bedford Hills, NY.
The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani
What’s Better – Grinding or Cutting Your Pet’s Nails?
Most people don’t realize how important it is to keep your pet’s nails trimmed. Nails left untrimmed can actually make it very difficult for your pet to walk and can harm their bones and joints.
It doesn’t matter how you trim your pet’s nails, either by cutting or grinding, but what they are actually going to tolerate.
There is a big misconception about grinding your pet’s nails. If you go too deep and hit the “quick’ it will still hurt your dog. It will cause discomfort and pain. It may or may not cause bleeding, because the grinding action will sometimes almost seal the wound.
If you can get your dog to sit still while you grind their nails, good for you. Grinding a pet’s nails is much more difficult to do than to get a regular nail clipper and clip the nails.
If you are squeamish around blood and have never clipped your pet’s nails before, don’t do it! Save it for you groomer or veterinarian. Most first time nail clippers almost always hit the quick. If you do hit the quick, your dog won’t bleed to death. However be sure to have styptic powder on hand to coagulate the blood and stop the bleeding.
When clipping or grinding, just take a little off at a time. If your dog has clear nails, it is easy to look inside and see the pink quick. You want to get close to the quick, but be sure not to get too close to where it is exposed and bleeds. If your pet has dark colored nails, it is a little more difficult, because you can’t see if you are close to the quick. If you take off just a little at a time, you can look at your cut. If the remaining nail still shows white in the middle, you can take a little more off. You want to be able to see the dark center where the quick is starting, which is where you want to stop cutting.
If you clip your dog’s nails and they are still sharp, get an emery board nail file and file them down until you take the sharp edge off.
You should check your pet’s nails every month and always keep them clipped.
Living Piggy Bank
A Florida couple doesn't seem to have any need for a piggy bank, since their ten-year-old beagle Arnie appears to be more than willing to fill the role of money-holder. Corey and Hope O'Kelley tell the "Tampa Bay Times" their canine companion has twice swallowed hundreds of dollars in cash. The first incident occurred seven years ago, when Arnie devoured $150 that had been left out on a coffee table. The O'Kelleys were able to recover $100 after it passed through the dog's system, but they weren't as lucky when Arnie came back for a second expensive meal last month. They say he took $300 out of Hope's purse, and apparently ripped it to shreds before he ate it. But even as the couple tries to piece the bills back together, they say they can't stay mad at Arnie. Corey explains that they're used to the dog "being a little weird and doing kind of quirky stuff."
Parrot Has Last Word
The British owner of a 55-year-old parrot says her feathered friend left this world on a rather appropriate note. Nina Morgan tells "The Sun" that the final word uttered by Tarbu, her African Grey parrot, was "Cheerio." Morgan says it was part of his standard goodnight message, but she had a feeling something wasn't quite right this time around. She explains that Tarbu sounded weaker than usual, and she definitely knew something was wrong when he failed to greet her the next morning with his typical "Hello, my darling." She says the bird offered a few little squeaks, but died a few moments later. Morgan says Tarbu, who was reportedly the world's oldest living parrot, gave her years of laughter. He's now buried in her garden underneath a Royal Air Force flag in honor of her late husband, who was an RAF pilot.
Dog Holds Vigil At Grave For Six Years
A faithful dog is refusing to leave his master, even though he's been at his side for six years in a graveyard. An Argentinean newspaper reports the dog ran away from home after his owner died in 2006. One week later, the man's family found the German Shepherd wailing by his owner's grave. They say they had never taken the dog to the cemetery, so they're amazed that he even found it. The cemetery's director says six years ago, the dog wandered around until he identified the correct grave. Since then, he sometimes walks around during the day, but always returns to lie on top of it at night.
Dogs Banned From Downtown
A western Pennsylvania city working hard to revitalize a key 10-block stretch of its downtown business district is considering banning dogs from the area as part of the plan. Officials in Beaver Falls, population 10,000, believe part of the problem is that larger dogs, including Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, are sometimes left tied to parking meters by their owners, The Beaver County Times reported, "Many dog owners are being irresponsible and ruining things for everybody." Said Steve Johnson, city administrator. Some of the dogs are "As big as ponies," city officials say, and another concern is that some owners don't clean up after their dogs. Critics expressed doubt that getting rid of dogs would help. Gary Davis told the Times the scheme was a “waste of time.” “What they need to do is patrol the street,” said Davis, a retiree. The city is still researching a possible ban and council doesn't expect to act on it until later in the year.
360 Dogs Died From Jerky Treats Mad In China
In the past year and a half, at least 360 dogs and one cat have died in the U.S. after eating chicken jerky pet treats made in China, according to a new online summary posted by the FDA. Meanwhile, more than 2,200 reports have come in to the agency from pet owners claiming their animals were sickened or died after eating these products. Cases have come from all 50 states and six Canadian provinces. The FDA says the majority of complaints involve chicken jerky (treats, tenders, and strips), but others include duck, sweet potato, and treats where chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruits, sweet potatoes, or yams. The FDA’s summary states nearly 86 million pounds of pet food came from China in 2011. The fastest growing segment of the pet food market is currently pet treats. The agency cannot issue a recall based solely on consumer complaints, but it is reminding pet owners that they can avoid the products completely, saying “jerky pet treats are not necessary for pets to have a fully balanced diet, so eliminating them will not harm pets.” The FDA said it is now looking into whether or how irradiation may have affected the treats or contributed to any illness in pets.
Pet Chicken Or Livestock?
A South Carolina woman who was willing to go to court over her chicken is celebrating a victory. According to "The Island Packet," Stephanie Stewart had been asked to get rid of her family's pet chicken, Smartie, because farm animals are banned by city ordinance in Bluffton. But Stewart argued that Smartie is a pet rather than livestock, and took the case to court. Municipal Judge Kayin Darby dismissed the case after the arresting officer failed to show up. However, since the judged didn't make a ruling on whether the hen was really a pet, Stewart says there still could be trouble down the road. She says she's already received two more letters from the homeowners association insisting that the bird has to go.
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