ANIMAL RADIO® Network Newsletter
February 2008
Programming with a Purpose
In this issue:

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    SPAY DAY USA 2008

    What: The Humane Society of the United States' annual campaign to inspire people to save animal lives by spaying or neutering pets and feral cats.

    When: The last Tuesday of February, but events and activities take place throughout the month of February. The 14th annual Spay Day USA is Feb. 26, 2008.

    Where: Across the United States and U.S. territories.

    Why: It's not just rabbits who multiply like rabbits! Thousands of kittens and puppies are born every hour in the United States. While these baby animals are adorable, the fate of most of them is tragic. Spaying or neutering our pets and feral cats is the most effective way to reduce the vast numbers of animals who are born only to die prematurely and without a family who loves them.
























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    A CURE FOR SEPARATION ANXIETY? - Will this new drug help your pet
    PRESIDENTIAL RACE OR DOGFIGHT? - What kind of dog is your candidate
    STRESS RELIEF COMBAT DOGS - K9 therapists of war
    WHY I MARRIED MY CAT- Is a "Catmitment Ceremony" right for you
    WHERE THE CANDIDATES STAND ON ANIMALS - Who tied their dog to the top of the car
    PET PRODUCT INVENTIONS - A doorbell for your pet
    VETERINARY CSI UNIT - Gathering forensics to convict Vick
    PET SMILES GO HI-TECH - Are Boxers with braces around the corner

    Also in this issue:

    Glenn Close is remembered for her chilling roles as a torturer of animals. Of course, she's loves animals in "real life." She compares her dogs to the Dali-lama and Barney Fife.

    National Canine Weight Check. Are our pets really that fat? Statistics show that there are 54 million overweight pets in the United States alone.
    Listen to a LIVE STREAM of
    Animal Radio® Network's full-time animal channel while you read this newsletter. This link will launch player. More listening options here.

    Animal Radio® with Hal & Judy
    Check Schedule for Airtimes

    Presidential Race or Dogfight?
    Vladae, The Russian Dog Wizard
    If your candidate were a dog, what type of dog would they be? Vladae, who knows dogs better than anyone, gives us that answer.


    Mitt Romney ­ Mitt would be a Great Dane, which is tall, calm, stable, full of dignity and handsome. However the Great Dane also can be very aggressive with other males and chases small animals (in other words lower ranking human people). He would be an authoritarian leader, so to balance him; he would need another (Democrat) dog like a Labrador Retriever or a Golden Retriever.


    Mike Huckabee ­ Mike would be a Foxhound because a Foxhound likes everyone, they think everyone is a good guy and they want to be buddies with everyone. But, as with all hounds, they only focus on one task at a time. To become a good president, he would need some muscle, like that of a German Shepherd to act as vice president.


    John McCain ­ John would be a German Shepherd which is loyal and smart. On the down side, the German Shepherd also can be nasty if not properly socialized and very aggressive. He needs to also have some type of a more diplomatic dog like a Poodle to go along with him.



    Rudy Giuliani ­ Before the race, Rudy was a Neapolitan Mastiff but now he is an Italian Greyhound, which is manipulative but faithful, but also lacks loyalty. They also have an attitude of a big dog. If they see something attractive, they will break away and chase it with the speed of a Russian Satellite Guided Missile.



    John Edwards ­ John would be a Standard Poodle, which is smart and playful. On the down side, the Standard Poodle is too noisy and too hyper and needs some muscle from a dog like a Boxer, a Pit Bull or a Great Dane for balance.



    Dennis Kucinich ­ Dennis would be a Chihuahua, which is loyal and has an attitude of a big dog. But, since he has no strength, he would need to get it from another dog, like an Irish Wolfhound.




    Barack Obama ­ Barack would be an Afghan Hound Puppy, because like a puppy, he is full of hope and believes that every puppy should have a meaty bone and not just scraps. The Afghan Hound is also a rare breed, so he needs another dog, which is more familiar and acceptable, to win.


    Hillary Clinton ­ Hillary would be a mutt, perhaps a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Pit Bull, sort of like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Cocker Spaniels are cocky and snappy. Pit Bulls are attack dogs. She doesn't care what her gender is nor if she is in the minority. She is not submissive and is very dominant, and will show every other dog where their fence line is, because she knows if she doesn't, they will show it to her.

    And, just for fun:

    Bill Clinton ­ Bill would be a Poodle, smart but also manipulative like a Pit Bull, but together with Hillary, they are a great combination. Hillary was always a Pit Bull and Bill was always a poodle.



    Vladae believes that when it comes down to the end, it will be the Great Dane (Mitt Romney) and the Pit Bull (Hillary Clinton). He also believes the final "dog fight" winner will be the Pit Bull (Hillary) because no one can win in a fight against a Pit Bull!

    Hear Vladae on Animal Radio®

    This weekend on
    Animal Radio®

    Actress Glenn Close
    Glenn Close has had a lengthy career as a versatile actress and performer. Glenn is remembered for her chilling roles as the scheming aristocrat Madame de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons; terrorizing puppies as Cruella di Vil in 101 Dalmatians; and as the psychotic book editor Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction. In her new series, Damages, Glenn brings force and power as Patty Hewes, a fierce litigator who has a dog killed. But, Glenn is nothing like the characters she plays, and in fact is a big animal lover! Glenn doesn't believe there was a time in her life growing up when she didn't have animals

    Glenn currently has two dogs, Bill and Jake, whom she takes to work with her everyday. In fact, they have become the mascots of the Steiner Studios.

    Look for Glenn's "Lively Licks" blog, which is a profile of dogs and their people, with the launch of the website, where she will ask questions such as: When did you become a dog lover? Why Dogs? And, if your dog were a famous person, who would they be? Some of the first subjects are Ted Danson, his wife Mary Steenburg. Glenn states that if her dogs were famous people, Jake would be the Dali-lama and Bill would be Barney Fife!
    Hear Glenn Close on Animal Radio®

    National Canine Weight Check
    Dr. Bernadine Cruz, Laguna Hills Animal Hospital
    In February 2008, veterinarians across the United States will be participating in the first-ever National Canine Weight Check. This is a health initiative to educate dog owners on how to identify a healthy weight for their dogs so that owners can begin to take important steps to avoid the serious health risks associated with canine obesity. While many dog owners realize canine obesity is a serious condition, some owners may not be aware that their dogs are overweight or obese, or they may not understand that obesity can have serious health implications including heart disease, arthritis, skin conditions and breathing problems. Obesity can also worsen the signs associated with pre-existing diseases.

    Dog owners are invited to bring their pets to a participating veterinary practice in their area during the month of February for a free weight assessment, including breed-specific information. Owners will also receive information on the serious health implications of canine obesity, along with a mail-in postcard for a free gift.

    For information on participating veterinarians in your area, please visit
    Hear Dr. Bernadine Cruz on Animal Radio®

    Pet Census
    Are dogs really man's best friend?

    Not so according to a recent pet census. Cats top the list - put together by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

    60 percent of American households have a pet. That's 282 million non-human family members nationwide.

    82 million of them are cats - up a hefty 10 million in the last 5 years.

    There are 72 million are dogs, 11 million birds, 2 million turtles and 1 million hamsters.

    Surprisingly, 1 in 5 homes have 5 or more pets. The state with the most cats is...drum roll please, Maine. Wyoming has the most dogs.
    Hear Pet Census on Animal Radio®

    Hear breaking news as it happens - Animal Radio® is streaming online 24/7  Listen LIVE Now!

    Ed Begley, Jr.
    Going "Green" with Your Pets
    Ed Begley first became aware of conservation growing up in smoggy Los Angeles. By the 1970 (and the First Earth Day) Ed decided that enough was enough and he decided to do something about it.

    He is one of those people who doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. Literally.
    One of the first actions Ed took himself was to become a vegetarian. "It just seemed like a good thing to do in 1970. But it was so hard back then that I was only a vegetarian for about a year. Then I started eating some fish because I couldn't find vegetarian food when I traveled. I'd do a movie in some distant city or even on location and they wouldn't have anything to eat," Ed explains. "I became a vegan again in 1992." And can you believe he actually has (and uses!) a Los Angeles bus pass! He also drives an electric car, lives in a solar powered home and recycles everything he can.

    Ed currently has a 17-year-old dog and a 12-year-old cat. This, of course, doesn't include the feral cats that he regularly feeds. Ed traps and alters the feral cats that he can. But, trapping a feral cat can be a tough thing to do. Find out how Ed was able to trap one feline who eluded him for years!

    Ed offers some great suggestions on how pet guardians can become environmentally friendly:

    Buy organic pet food
    Clean your pet's food bowls frequently ­ (this reduces pests and therefore the need for pesticides)
    Groom your pet regularly using organic shampoos that are non-toxic for your pet and the environment
    Change your air and heat filters regularly (pet hair can clog your filters and make these units work harder)

    Besides his environmental lifestyle, Ed has also created some environmental friendly cleaning products, "Begley's Best," for you to use in your own home. He has created everything from an all-purpose cleaner to a carpet spot remover. To find out where you can find these products, visit You can also catch Ed on HGTV "Living with Ed," for more points on being "green."
    Hear Ed Begley, Jr. on Animal Radio®

    Where Do Our Presidential Candidates Stand on Animal Issues?
    Michael Markarian, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund
    Michael Markarian is the president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that lobbies for animal welfare legislation and works to elect humane-minded candidates to public office. In almost 15 years in the animal protection movement, Markarian has worked for the passage of countless state laws and federal statutes to protect animals, in addition to helping defeat some of the strongest anti-animal welfare politicians in the United States.

    Michael returns once again to Animal Radio® to discuss where our front-running candidates stand on animal welfare issues.

    Evaluating the Elephants:
    I want to provide an overview of the Republican presidential candidates. Mike Huckabee has a terrible approach to animal cruelty issues and panders to the sport-hunting lobby and Ron Paul's has a philosophical opposition to even the most modest animal welfare policies in Congress. Here's what we know about the other presidential hopefuls in the party of the elephants:

    Rudy Giuliani: As mayor, Giuliani did not have as many opportunities to take a position on animal issues as those who served as governor or a member of Congress, but he did take some proactive measures in America's largest city. In 2000, he proposed and signed a bill to promote the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats and open an animal shelter in each borough in order to help curb New York's pet overpopulation. He is the first Republican candidate to release a public statement on animal issues, which is reproduced here in its entirety: "Animals play an important part in the lives of many Americans. We should all work to reduce animal suffering by advocating for sensible public policies, investigating animal cruelty and strongly enforcing the laws that are already on the books. I will continue to support efforts to educate the public about animal issues, and work with corporations to develop animal-friendly policies."

    John McCain: In the U.S. Senate, McCain has been a strong supporter of numerous animal welfare issues, earning scores of up to 75 percent on the Humane Scorecard. He has voted for and co-sponsored legislation to stop horse slaughter, and voted to eliminate a $2 million subsidy for the mink industry. He has co-sponsored bills to stop the interstate shipment of birds for cockfighting and to stop the poaching of bears by ending the trade in their gall bladders and other viscera. He took an anti-animal position by supporting an amendment to the California Desert Protection Act, which would have allowed sport hunting in the Mojave National Park. Senator McCain has been a leader in the effort to stop global warming, and he opposes drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to many wildlife species.

    Mitt Romney: Romney attracted the ire of animal advocates when they learned that during a 1983 vacation, he put the family's Irish setter, Seamus, in a carrier and strapped him to the roof rack of the station wagon. When the terrified dog urinated and defecated during the twelve-hour drive, Romney pulled over, hosed down the dog, and continued the voyage from Boston to Ontario. As chief executive of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Romney also came under fire from animal protection groups for allowing a rodeo exhibition that included calf roping. His term as governor didn't exactly inspire confidence in his judgment on animal issues, either. He appointed a raft of animal-unfriendly people to the state Fisheries and Wildlife Board. He did, however, leave the governor's mansion on a high note by signing a bill passed in 2006 to strengthen the Massachusetts animal fighting law and prevent a convicted animal abuser from getting the animal back.

    Mike Huckabee: Huckabee has been in the news recently for his son's alleged history of animal cruelty. Huckabee was the state's chief executive for more than a decade, and was largely viewed by animal advocates as an impediment to moderate reforms, or at the very least, someone who never lifted a finger to advance animal welfare. The governor's record on animal issues was further tarnished in 1998 when the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Huckabee's 17-year-old son, David, was fired from his job as a Boy Scout camp counselor because he and another teen allegedly killed a stray dog. Animal protection groups reported that the boys hanged the dog, slit his throat, and stoned him to death-but the teens were never charged with any crime. Huckabee reportedly stood in the way of the investigation.

    Discussing the Donkeys:
    I've been introducing you to the candidates from both sides of the political spectrum. I provided a round-up of where the Republican presidential candidates stand on animal issues, and now it's time to summarize the Democrats. It's a tougher task, because there are not as many clear distinctions. All of the Democratic contenders have been friends of animal welfare, and have received high marks year after year on the Humane Scorecard. I've attempted to highlight some of the things that stand out.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton: In the current session of Congress, Sen. Clinton is a co-sponsor of legislation dealing with horse slaughter and animal fighting, and she previously co-sponsored legislation to stop the processing of "downer" livestock and to crack down on abusive puppy mills where dogs are treated like production machines. She led efforts in the 108th and 109th Congresses to stop the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals, which allow them to be crammed in overcrowded, stressful, unsanitary conditions on factory farms. She had a perfect 100 percent score on the Humane Scorecard in the 108th and 109th Congresses.

    John Edwards: A leader on the issue of factory farming, Sen. Edwards has called for a moratorium on the construction or expansion of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). His campaign has released a positive statement on animal welfare, and you can read more about his record in my longer entry, "John Edwards on Animals and Rural America."

    Dennis Kucinich: An ethical vegetarian, Rep. Kucinich has been one of the true leaders on animal protection issues in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is currently a co-sponsor of 14 animal protection measures in the 110th Congress, one of the highest numbers among all 435 members. He led the effort in 2001 and 2002 to secure more funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act at puppy mills, research laboratories, zoos, circuses, and other facilities. When animal issues are considered on the House floor, Rep. Kucinich can often be found speaking in favor of the animal protection position. In November, he hosted an online forum to discuss animal issues.

    Barack Obama: In the current session of Congress, Sen. Obama is a co-sponsor of measures to stop horse slaughter, upgrade the penalties for animal fighting, and crack down on dogfighting. He has had a strong record for animals in both the Illinois State Senate and the U.S. Senate. Read more about his responses to the Humane Society Legislative Fund's questionnaire in my longer entry, "Barack Obama and the Dog-acity of Hope."

    To sum it up, the Democrats have received higher marks on the Humane Scorecard with regard to animal protection, with Mike Huckabee having the lowest score and Hillary Clinton scoring 100%.

    Animal protection advocates should take advantage of this opportunity and query the candidates on their stands on animal issues. You should call their campaign offices in the states and ask where they stand if they have not already staked out positions. Let them know that the humane treatment of animals is an important policy issue. You can inject animal protection into the presidential debate, and let the candidates and the media know it's important to voters of all political stripes.

    This increasing level of support makes it clearer than ever that animal protection is being taken seriously as a public policy issue. We built our record and grew our ranks in a major way in 2007. Now, it's time to push these reforms for animals over the finish line in 2008. Contact your federal lawmakers and thank them for supporting animal protection bills-and urge them to forge ahead for animals in the New Year.

    To read more on how the candidates scored on the Humane Presidential Questionnaire, visit
    Hear Michael Markarian on Animal Radio®


    New Drug for Separation Anxiety
    Dr. Marty Becker, Good Morning America
    Dr. Becker states that in more than 10 million homes in America, pet owners leave home in the morning only to return to a pet that has chewed shoes, torn pillows, soiled the carpeting or worse. Often times, pet owners assume the dog is "just being a dog" or the owner feels guilt for leaving the pet home alone. Other times, the pet is sent to an animal shelter when the behaviors become intolerable.

    The bad behavior may actually be the result of a medical condition known as separation anxiety and it affects an estimated 17 percent of dogs. In 2007, Eli Lilly and Co. introduced Reconcile, the first selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) approved by the FDA for treatment of canine separation anxiety in conjunction with a behavior modification plan.

    Reconcile is a once-daily, chewable, flavored tablet that reduces inappropriate behaviors, minimizes the pet's distress and increases receptivity to the BOND at-home behavior modification training program. The BOND behavior modification program is an easy-to-implement, at-home training plan developed by Lilly and a team of veterinary behaviorists as well as veterinarians.

    The simple plan allows pet owners to take an active role in the treatment of their dog's separation anxiety. Dog owners whose dogs have been prescribed Reconcile receive educational materials to enable them to follow an easy four-step training plan to reinforce positive pet behavior, which helps to reduce or eliminate inappropriate responses to anxiety.

    With the BOND™ training program, there are four simple things to remember:

    • Be positive
    • Only reward calm behavior
    • No more drama when coming and going
    • Develop the dog's independence

    This process may take a week or more, depending on the individual dog. Remember to stick with it, be positive and reward your dog for good behavior. Consistent training, along with the daily dose of Reconcile™, will help you manage separation anxiety and restore the positive emotional bond you have with your pet.

    Hear Dr. Marty Becker on Animal Radio®


    Genius Dog
    Barbara Smuts, Prof. of Psychology, Univ. MI
    Barbara Smuts, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan who studies canine social behavior, thought this dog owner must be a crackpot. The woman from Maryland kept insisting her dog was going into the backyard and arranging his many plush toys into geometric shapes of circles, parallel lines and triangles. Come on, you must be helping him, responded Smuts. And if you're not, the neighbors must be playing a trick on you, she said. The woman steadfastly ruled out Smuts's reservations, and the professor eventually flew to Maryland to visit the woman and her dog, Donnie.

    Smuts now believes Donnie is, in fact, creating the displays. Donnie, a male Doberman, was at first reluctant to perform for Smuts, probably because he was more excited about having a new person in the house. So she suggested the woman install a few security cameras, which recorded Donnie in the act, moving his more than 80 plush toys into geometric shapes and creating social vignettes with them. "She actually got some significant footage of him,'' Smuts said. "Not as much as I would like, but enough to show that he's doing it, and it's not something he has been trained to do, and it's completely spontaneous.''

    "Donnie can't be the only dog in the world who does this,'' Smuts said. "I'm hoping that people will see this show and say, 'Hey, that's like my dog, or I know a dog that does that,' and e-mail me. We need a larger sample to find out what's going on.'' Smuts has a Web site at You can e-mail her at
    Hear Professor Smuts on Animal Radio®


    Veterinary (CSI) Unit
    Melinda Merck, DVM
    Dr. Merck, who is a forensic veterinarian with the ASPCA, has written a new textbook designed to better help veterinarians and animal welfare professionals in the understanding and practice of veterinary forensics. The book, "Veterinary Forensics: Animal Cruelty Investigations" is a reference manual designed to give veterinarians, pathologists and investigators the knowledge they need to understand the process of animal cruelty investigations and to correctly perform the necessary forensic examinations of animals.

    The ASPCA has also recently unveiled a "forensics first"-the nation's first-ever "Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit." The mobile forensic vehicle will operate under the leadership of Dr. Merck, who is the nation's only "animal CSI," and who most recently assisted Federal authorities in the Michael Vick investigation. The mobile unit, which will be available to assist at crime scenes nationally, will allow Dr. Merck to examine and care for animals found at suspected crime scenes and includes a surgical suite for animals in need of urgent care.

    Dr. Merck joined the ASPCA in January 2007 as a forensic veterinarian and frequently provides training for veterinary and law enforcement professionals nationwide on the use of veterinary medical knowledge in the investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases. She often testifies as a forensic veterinary expert for animal cruelty cases around the country, including cases involving animal hoarding, dog fighting and animal torture, such as 2006's high profile "puppy torture" case in Atlanta. Besides using her expertise in the Michael Vick dog fighting case, Dr. Merck has also provided expertise to the television show CSI.
    Hear Dr. Merck on Animal Radio®


    Why I Married My Cat
    Carol Turner, Tom Cat Towers
    I never believed in love at first sight until April 16, 2001, when I was bowled over by the saddest orange eyes in the world gazing deeply into mine. They belonged to a tabby Persian cat crying on his doorstep. He then ran across the road and jumped through a window into my car as we were visiting someone on his street. He was starving, just a bag of bones, under a massive lump of ungroomed fur riddled with fleas. I instantly fell in love with him so I begged and bought him from his owner, who couldn't cope with him, for a bottle of cheap champagne.

    I named him Tushtots, and wanted to show him just how much he is loved and adored by me. I also wanted to give him a very special day, as he just loves being the center of attention, so I married him!

    Tushtots and I had a "Catmitment Ceremony" rather like a wedding service, and it really was a fabulous thing to do! I put on a posh frock and tiara to get into the spirit of things. My other cats, Willi Whizkas and Little Dumpty Roo, were "best-mog" and "bride-mog" respectively. Little Dumpty Roo was even complete with a catnip bouquet, which she later ate! My husband also participated by giving me away, while the bridal march "Love Cats" by The Cure played on.

    During the ceremony, I promised to love him unreservedly and to ensure his tubby tummy was filled with the very finest foods a feline could wish for. I also promised to cuddle and kiss him on demand and to tickle his tummy whenever he rolled over with his fat furry legs in the air.

    Tushtots vowed not to snore, hog the bed, fidget or scratch when he cuddles up to me at night. He also swore not to burp tuna breath over me and not to put muddy pawprints on my white duvet cover.

    Some people, understandably, think I am barking mad! (Well, we Brits are made about our pets - to the point of eccentricity!) But those with cats think that every cat and its guardian should have a "Catmitment Ceremony"! It was just a bit of fun and an excuse for some cake and champagne and to let Tushtots know just how much he is loved and adored.

    We have just learned that Tushtots has chronic kidney failure. As the love affair of the century, we don't know how long we have together and my heart is shattered at this. Also, he has not been keeping his vows! He has started hogging the bed again, snoring like a Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig with bad breath all night, so very soon we could be having another ceremony to renew our "Catmitment" vows!

    Please check out the book, Willi Whizkas, about the cats at Tom Cat Towers.
    Hear Carol Turner on Animal Radio®

    Foreclosure PetsInnocent Victims
    Many people out there are experiencing financial troubles as the mortgage foreclosure crisis continues to expand across the nation. Unfortunately, as their owners find themselves facing eviction, many pets become the forgotten, and truly innocent, victims as well. It can be a heartbreaking and frustrating situation for many people.

    Foreclosure-websites have stated that more than 8 million adjustable rate mortgages were given between 2004 and 2006. It is expected that almost 1.1 million of these will be foreclosed before the problem goes away. Given the current rate of pet ownership to be about 60% of the population, it is very easy to calculate the thousands of dogs, cats and other pets that could potentially face abandonment.

    In Franklin County, Ohio, foreclosures this year are up more than 4 times last year's rate. Their local animal shelter states that about 20% of owners surrendering pets are doing so due to eviction proceedings. A humane society near San Diego California reports receiving 20-30 calls per day from owners looking to relinquish the family pet.

    But others leave their pets behind on false hopes that someone will come along to care for them. In Cincinnati, Ohio, more than 50 cats were found in a house after the owner's eviction. Cases of starving, dehydrated and occasional dead pets have become common sights for real estate agents and law enforcement officers. The unfortunate truth is that many of these pets are left and months can pass before someone comes to check on the property. What's worse? In most cities, pets are considered to be personal property and can't be removed until after a foreclosure sale.

    Many people might wonder how anyone could leave a pet behind during these trying times. But for thousands of people, their pets, regardless of their status, become just another weight, hastening their spiral downward. It is all too easy to just walk out the door, leave everything and hope for a new beginning somewhere else.

    As difficult as times may seem, preparation can help to insure that your pets don't suffer similar fates. If you are facing foreclosure and cannot care for your pets, contact your local shelter or humane society. In some instances, rescue organizations may be available although their foster home space is very limited. If you must surrender your pet, do so before the eviction time comes. Gather any pertinent medical information from your veterinarian and let the shelter staff know about any behavior issues unique to your pet. These steps could spell the difference between a new home for your pet or potential euthanasia.
    Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinary News Network, for Animal Radio®
    Hear about Pets and Foreclosure on Animal Radio®

    Coming Up on Animal Radio®:

    Stress Relief Combat Dogs
    By Spc. Rick L. Rzepka
    1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) PAO

    COB SPEICHER, Iraq - Ever had a Sergeant 1st Class lick your face? For many Soldiers at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, these are not freakish events, but regular occurrences.

    Sgt. 1st Class Boe is the newest member of the 85th Medical Detachment Combat Stress Control unit at COB Speicher, and is one of two K-9 therapists being used by the Army to help prevent and control the stresses of living in a combat zone.

    Along with Staff Sgt. Mike Calaway, an occupational therapy assistant with the Combat Stress Control unit, Boe is part of a new Army program, which encourages Soldiers to interact with dogs in order to help relieve the psychological stresses of war.

    The dogs, two Black Labrador Retrievers, were donated and trained by America's VetDogs and are the first dogs to be used in a combat zone for therapeutic purposes. The organization is part of the larger non-profit group, Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, which has been helping provide guide dogs for the blind since the 1940s. Recognizing a growing need for specialized service dogs for America's fighting forces; VetDogs recently initiated the therapy dog concept.

    The dogs are intended to provide comfort and relaxation through physical interaction, whether it's a game of fetch or just a peaceful few minutes of petting.

    "I felt more relaxed after being able spend some time with her," said Sgt. 1st Class Brenda Rich, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Medical Operations. "For a few minutes it was just me and the dog and nothing in this environment seemed to matter."

    Calaway spent two weeks training with Boe in New York City to develop a bond, before the pair was sent to Iraq to take on the challenge of helping Soldiers cope with a deployment to Iraq.

    "She's a very well trained and very intelligent animal," said Calaway who recently introduced Boe to Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at COB Speicher. "So far we've had an outstanding response from Soldiers," he said, "whether they need help or not."

    Deployments can create several different kinds of stressors, said Calaway, and Boe helps to break the ice, allowing Soldiers to open up about ongoing issues in Soldiers lives.

    The major types of stress deployed Soldiers must deal with include operational stress, homefront stress and sleeping issues, said Calaway.

    "The Soldiers absolutely love her," said Maj. Charles Kuhlman, 1st BCT Chaplain.

    Often Soldiers on outlying bases will befriend stray dogs for companionship and to get a feel for home, said Kuhlman. "Dogs make a huge difference in morale."

    6 Degrees Could Change the World
    We will speak with Explorer Mark Lynas regarding the upcoming National Geographic Channel (NGC) show Six Degrees Could Change the World premiering on Sunday, February 10 at 8 PM ET/9PM PT. The show is a 2-hour special that illustrates the devastating ecological impact that each single degree increase in temperature could have on our planet over the next century.

    The show is loosely based on Lynas', National Geographic book (of the same name) and travels to five continents to join the world's top climate researchers as they decipher the warning signs of global warming that are visible today.

    Six Degrees Could Change the World also presents solutions ranging from simple to extreme that could help curb impending disasters and shows how ordinary citizens around the world have already experienced dramatic changes in their everyday lives due to climate shifts over recent years, and how it is affecting the animals.


    (rated 5 out of 5 paws)

    Feeding Frenzy Toy
    There are several reasons to get the Feeding Frenzy Cat Toy. While I used it on my cat that needed a job (I know - it is usually the dogs who need jobs!), it is also a great way to fight boredom and obesity.

    Even though my cat is not overweight, he had fun for many hours pushing the toy around and even attracted the attention of the other cats in the household.

    It's so easy to use. All you have to do is fill it with treats or dry cat food if your pet is overweight. It will make them work for their food, just as they were meant to do in nature. As it is important that an overweight cat lose weight slowly, this will allow you to control their intake.

    There are very few good cat toys on the market and this is one that will both entertain and is good for their health.

    (rated 4 and 1/2 out of 5 paws)

    Perfect Litter
    The first thing I noticed about this cat litter was that it is so lightweight. In fact, it weighs 70% less than other litters.

    The next thing I noticed was that it has an "Alert Indicator" which can help warn you if your cat may be suffering from Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). The color in the litter can actually change to a dark pink color if your cat has an infection. There are different degrees of pink which can indicate if your cat has a mild infection (light pink) up to a serious infection (dark pink). But, it may also show false readings if your cat eats too fast or drinks "hard" water.

    It is Eco-Friendly, natural and bio-degradable. It is a clumping litter and can be flushed down the toilet or disposed of in the trash. While some cats may have to get used to this litter, my cats immediately took to it (they never have a problem with trying new litters).

    Unfortunately, due to the fact that it is very lightweight, my cats were able to scatter it well outside the litter box. But, I do like the fact that I can monitor my cats' urinary issues.

    See other reviews at Send products for review on-air and in this newsletter to: Animal Radio Network™ Product Reviews, 233 East 330 North, Kanab, Utah 84741. Product may not be returned. Allow 5 weeks for review.

    Animal Minute on Animal Radio®
    with Britt Savage

    Dogs Detect Cancer in Patients' Breath
    Recent studies by Pine Street Foundation, a cancer research organization in San Anselmo, California shows that a dog can smell a human's breath and detect cancer.

    In fact, with only a few weeks of training, most household dogs can learn to tell the difference between breath samples of healthy people or those with lung and breast cancer.

    The earlier cancer is detected, the better chance someone has of surviving cancer. And now, researchers are hoping that man's best friend, dog, can help with early screening and detection.

    "Salamander Man" Finally Captured
    Police in Amsterdam say they have finally caught the "Salamander Man," a thief they have been hunting for months. The "Salamander Man" got his name because of his unique strategy for gaining entrance into people's homes by talking his way into the homes saying he was looking for his lost salamander, hamster or iguana.

    Once inside a house, the man stole wallets and loose cash. Police arrested him after a tip off and found nine empty wallets in his car, which had been stolen the day before.

    Apparently, around 60 people or so let Salamander Man into their homes.

    Britt Savage is a regular Animal Radio® correspondent as well as an incredibly talented musician! She can be heard daily on Animal Radio Network.LISTEN TO ANIMAL RADIO NETWORK NOW

    Veterinary Minute on Animal Radio®
    with Dr. Jim Humphries

    Pet Smiles Go High Tech!
    Although many of us dread the visit, we go to our dentist routinely to insure our mouth stays healthy and our smile bright. Our pets can also benefit from a visit to their dentist. But beyond routine dental cleanings, many pet owners are now opting for advanced dental work. Will we soon be seeing Boxers with braces?

    For us, going to the dentist will often include services ranging from dental x-rays and whitening to repairing fractured teeth. As the human-animal bond continues to deepen, more pet owners want the same sort of service for their pets. And fixing their pet's smile is a job for the Veterinary Dentist!

    More than 85% of our pets will have dental disease by the time they are three years old. But many of our pets will also suffer from broken, diseased, or crooked teeth. For many years, extraction of the offending teeth was the typical solution to provide relief. Now, with the advent of digital dental x-ray machines, veterinarians and even special veterinary dentists can more accurately determine the health of the pet's mouth and tailor a solution to save the pet's teeth.

    Dental x-rays are a common service for us when we visit the dentist. But our pets have not always been so lucky. The importance of dental x-rays cannot be overstated. Even if your pet's mouth looks healthy, chances are that some sort of problem lies deeper.

    According to Dr. Brett Beckman, President of the American Veterinary Dental Society, 42% of cats and 28% of dogs have hidden dental problems. Dr. Jan Bellows, a Diplomate in the American Veterinary Dental College agrees. "Sixty percent of the tooth lies under the gum line. Since companion animals don't talk (to tell us where the pain is), x-rays help the veterinarian see what's below."

    Normally, our canine friends should have 42 teeth. But, for many toy breed dogs and short-faced breeds, like Pugs, this number can cause crowding and mal-alignment. It is not uncommon to see a Shih Tzu or Yorkie with teeth that have rotated. Additionally, dogs with under-bites and over-bites also occur. All of these conditions can make it difficult, or even painful, for the pet to properly chew food. Dr. Bellows says "teeth that are mal-aligned are very common and can lead to a painful mouth if not treated by selective extractions, orthodontic tooth movement or crown reduction and restoration." Yes, you read that right - braces for your pet!

    Cats have their own special dental problem. Due to reasons that have not fully been determined, cats will often develop a painful erosion of tooth enamel called a cervical line lesion or neck lesion. As the normal enamel is lost, the pulp cavity of the tooth is exposed to the environment, causing painful stimulation of nerves. Extraction of the tooth is often the only solution.

    Trauma to pet's teeth is an everyday problem at the veterinary office and happens from a variety of means. Some pets will chew rocks or sticks and fracture their teeth, exposing the sensitive pulp cavity. Police dogs are at high risk for breaking the large canine teeth up front during their rigorous duties. Dr. Beckman reports that he has been able to save several of these broken teeth using restorative techniques and chrome/nickel crowns, allowing the canine officer to return to his duties and, of course, brag to his buddies. Most dental experts agree that if the fractured tooth is healthy, pet owners should allow their veterinary dentist to perform a root canal and restore the tooth rather than simply extract it.

    Even teeth suffering from advanced periodontal disease may be saved with the combination of right owner, cooperative pet and the veterinary dental team. Veterinary oral surgery is now on the rise as pet owners do whatever they can for their four-legged friends. After oral surgery, the at-home care of the patient is vital to the recovery and the success of the procedure. Without a compliant pet and a committed owner, the chances for saving the teeth are greatly diminished and extraction of those teeth may be the better option. Dr. Bellows' website,, describes many of these oral surgeries.

    The use of a newly developed barrier sealant is another high-tech, but low cost method to help keep your pet's mouth healthy. Oravet® is a specially designed gel that actually adheres to the tooth surface and repels plaque forming bacteria. In just one minute per week, you can now minimize the accumulation of plaque and tartar build-up.

    It takes a whole team to help keep your pet's smile healthy. Talk with your family veterinarian and ask if dental radiographs are available in your area. Find out what at-home dental products are recommended by your veterinarian and be sure to use them routinely. Visit to watch a video about how advanced veterinary dentistry is helping pets worldwide.

    Dr. Humphries is a veterinarian in Colorado Springs and the National News Director for Veterinary News Network. Hear the Veterinary Minute exclusively on Animal Radio®-LISTEN TO ANIMAL RADIO NETWORK NOW

    New Pet Inventions:

    Email your inventions to:

    A Pet Doorbell Products Inc. is proud to introduce to all pet lovers a Useful, Unique and Entertaining New Pet Product, the Pet-2-Ring TM Doorbell.

    So what is the Pet-2-Ring TM Doorbell? What does it do? Why do we need such a product?

    Have you ever owned a cat that is outside and does not know how to let you know that it wants to come inside? Have you ever owned a dog that wants to go out to relieve itself and just sits near the door?

    How many screen doors has your cat destroyed? How many times did your dog urinate on the floor or damage your door only because another family member did not walk the dog?

    Have you thought about a doggy door? But the problem is that first you have to cut a hole in your door, and then it allows unwanted guests in the house such as raccoons and skunks, and if you have a large doggy door, it will also allow burglars into your home.

    Now with the Pet-2-Ring TM Doorbell "Your Pet's Own Doorbell" your cat or dog can ring their doorbell just like you or I ring a doorbell. This is clearly demonstrated in the training video included with your purchase.

    We always knew that dogs could be trained. Now you can see that the cat is also trainable and very intelligent. To view the video, please visit
    Hear Pet Inventions on Animal Radio®


    Ask the Cat Coach with Marilyn Krieger

    Dear Cat Coach,
    I really want to convert my outdoors cats into a kitty that lives in doors all day long. I miss having the company of my Petey while I'm reading my books, taking my naps or watching television. I made the mistake of letting him outside for short rambles a couple of years ago. The rambles become longer, now he doesn't want to spend much time with me. How do I make him a happy inside cat again?
    - Lonely

    Dear Lonely,
    Now is the purrfect time to transition your kitty back into an indoor loving cat. Most cats do not like the rain and snow and would prefer spending their time curled up sleeping where it's warm and dry.

    Make the inside more interesting then the outside. Provide tall cat trees for Petey, as well as plenty of interactive toys such as puzzle boxes. Petey will also appreciate boxes and places to hide in. Treats can be hidden in the puzzle boxes as well as in the cat trees.

    Start by feeding Petey only inside the house. Make sure that there is no food available for him outside. After he's eaten and had his nap, engage him in play. Gradually extend the time he's inside after he's eaten until he's a full time indoor cat.

    Interact with Petey before feeding him, by engaging him in his favorite activities. If it's more fun inside then outside, then he won't want to go outside. If Petey likes to be combed, then have daily grooming sessions. If Petey is a lap cat, make sure that you have a lap available for him to curl up and go to sleep on. Have Petey's favorite toys available for him and also provide him with interactive toys.

    By making the house more interesting then the outdoors and with the help of increment weather, Petey should eventually find the house more appealing then the cold outdoors.

    Marilyn Krieger, CCBC is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant certified through, and a member of the Board of Directors of, The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She can be reached for phone and on-site consultations to help solve cat behavior problems either by e-mail or by phone: 650 780 9485. Marilyn is the Cat Behaviorist for the Cat Channel, Cat Fancy Magazine's web presence. Additionally, Marilyn teaches cat behavior classes and is available for speaking engagements. You can find out more about The Cat Coach at Copyright 2008 Marilyn Krieger, CCBC All Rights Reserved.


    For Pet's Sake with Karen Lee Stevens

    Good-Bye Gemina
    Our collective hearts broke last month as we said good-bye to one of Santa Barbara's most beloved public figures. Gemina, the crooked-necked giraffe who resided at the Santa Barbara Zoo for nearly two decades, was humanely euthanized on January 9. She was 21 years old, geriatric by giraffe standards.

    "Her health had been declining over recent weeks, and she finally stopped eating," read a statement on the Zoo's Web site. "Although we don't know what caused her poor health, all signs indicate old age and not the condition of her neck. Gemina lived beyond the average life expectancy for a female giraffe."

    As a kid growing up in sleepy Santa Barbara (at least, that's the way it was in the early '70s), I spent many happy hours volunteering at the Santa Barbara Zoo, which at that time was called the Child's Estate, named after Lillian Child, a one-time owner of the property. With my bright yellow t-shirt with the words "Junior Volunteer" emblazoned across the front, I eagerly shared my enthusiasm and knowledge of the many animal species who called 500 Niños Drive home. These were simpler times, when you could still enter the barnyard exhibit to pet the sheep and goats, and 25 cents bought you a paper tray full of fish to toss to the barking sea otters. I remember the giraffe exhibit, of course, but it would still be many years before Gemina's arrival at the zoo.

    I'll stick my neck out and admit that I don't visit zoos much these days. There's something a bit sad about staring into the eyes of a captive animal and seeing an intelligent, sentient being staring back at you. Because of my ever-shrinking zoo visits, I only met Gemina once or twice in all the years she lived in Santa Barbara. So when I sat down to write this farewell piece to her, I realized I was a little short on stories about this long-legged leaf-eater. To help me in my quest, I sent out an e-mail message, asking my friends and colleagues to share their fondest memories about Gemina.

    Nicole Boyd, a volunteer at the zoo, who worked closely with the giraffe, told me in a brief telephone conversation that both she and Gemina turned 21 last year. "It was sad to say good-bye, but it was for the best," Nicole said. "She will always have a soft spot in my heart."

    Surprisingly, three of Patty Fry's grandchildren also celebrated their 21st birthdays in 2007. "I remember the first time I saw Gemina," the Ojai, California resident writes. "I was with my six grandchildren, who were all under the age of six. Gemina was still small herself and she looked as if life, for her, would be awkward. At first, we all felt sorry for her. When we realized that she functioned just fine-that her crooked neck was not a handicap, just an unusual quirk of nature, we rejoiced in her beauty and grace. It's not easy to be graceful in Gemina's position, but she was, without a doubt, the most graceful of all Santa Barbara Zoo giraffes. Thinking back, I doubt that the children and I looked at any of the other giraffes during our many subsequent visits to the zoo. We spent all of our time admiring Gemina. It was fun watching her grow as my grandchildren grew."

    Gemina was popular with the adults as well. "I am a docent at the S.B. Zoo and Gemina was one of my favorite animals to visit every week," writes Sharon Vaughn. "I enjoyed watching Gemina as she gently positioned herself at the giraffe public feeding platform while the male giraffe, Taru, attempted to dominate the whole area wanting all the biscuit treats for himself. Being so tall, Taru was able to raise his head above the highest railing while the other female giraffes could not. Gemina would wait patiently until someone took notice of her and they went to the side to give her one of the biscuits, despite the fact that Taru was trying to swing his big neck far enough to intervene and persuade the person with his 17" tongue to give the biscuit to him."

    "We always called her Achoo," writes Sharon O'Reilly. "A few years back, my granddaughter, McKenzie, who goes to the zoo all the time, was visiting Gemina and the giraffe sneezed on her. So, from then on, if you asked McKenzie what a lion said, she would roar; when asked what an elephant said, she would trumpet; and when asked what a giraffe said, she would say 'Achoo!' Sorry to see her pass over.she was one-of-a-kind and we were lucky to have her at OUR zoo."

    Gemina was truly heads above the rest, according to Karen Perkins and Julia DiSieno. "I appreciate that she seemed to be so happy, never seeming to notice the crook in her neck that made her so different from all of the others," writes Karen. "We humans have a lot to learn." And Julia reminds us, "Gemina was truly a special animal and living proof that even compromised animals can and do live good, quality lives in captivity. Rest in peace, pretty girl."

    Gemina touched us all in a way that only animals can. With grace and charm, the gentle giraffe with the crooked neck may be gone forever from our view, but she will remain forever in our hearts.

    What are your favorite zoo animal stories? Share them with Karen (Founder and President of All For Animals, Inc.) by sending her an e-mail message at


    Talk With Your Animals on Animal Radio Network™
    hosted by Joy Turner Check Schedule for Airtimes

    Honoring Instead of Judging
    Life seems to run in patterns. Have you ever noticed that? One pattern that seems to be predominant at this time is judgment. People act as the judge of what is right for everything and everyone including their animal kids. Generally speaking, even with the best of intentions, people usually are not taking into account their animal kids' feelings, or if they are taking into account the feelings, they don't take into account the desire of the animal. Many people, not the readers of Animal Radio Network, of course, think they are the lord and master of everything including other humans. It's very important to remember that people are not the only ones who have the key to life. If you happen to see someone you know in one of these examples, remember it's never too late for them to start a new way of looking at life. Animal kids always forgive us.

    Annie, 5-year kitty, can only drink her food due to a health issue. She gets bored with her food and loves to taste different soft foods. She wants to be able to decide whether she likes the food or not even if she has tried it before and did not like it at that time. On the other hand, her dad wants to be the judge of what is right for her. She likes to lick her parents' plates or bowls after every meal. She enjoys taste testing. Annie wants to be able to smell the food on the plate even if she rejected it before. Because, as she says, "Who knows, as I grow more mature, I just might like the taste." Her dad tells her, "You didn't like this before and you won't like it now so you are not getting the plate." (A definite no-no is anything with onions or chocolate.)

    DJ, a 13 year dog barks incessantly to the point his voice is now permanently hoarse. His parents tell him, "NO, DJ!" or "Stop it, DJ!" constantly. Animals always need us to receive what they are doing even if it is something we don't want. EVERYONE wants to be received. It is so much easier to receive them and then redirect than to constantly reject them. Besides, the constant rejection affects the relationship - imagine what it would be like for you to have someone you love always rejecting you because you're doing something they don't like. DJ would just like them to pay attention to what he wants as well as honoring when he wants it instead of having them decide if and when he can have something. If he wants a treat from the cookie jar, he asks for it and would like it when he asks for it. Waiting sometimes is very different than always being rejected and having to wait until someone decides they think it is time to offer a treat. As far as he is concerned, the only good reason for a treat is that he wants it. DJ wants to be able to taste their dinner. He has no concern if some people think human food is not good for dogs. He would like to be honored enough to be allowed to be the judge of what might be appropriate for him. He may be "just a dog", but he has feelings, wants and desires that he would like to see honored.

    When people move, they tend to forget to consult their animal kids. There are so many things that can go wrong with this type of non-interaction. One thing is that to the animals they see that their parents just moved and did not give them an active part in deciding what they wanted or what was best for them. This type of interaction often upsets the animals emotionally in one way or another. And the emotional upset often is acted out through behaviors. Then I get calls from their parents asking why their animal kids are acting the way they are. One recent call was about how a woman was having trouble because her dog barks all day. She and her dog moved far away from their human family. She rents an apartment with a roommate who also has a dog. Her dog lives only in her room when she is not home. He is isolated from everyone most of the time. Before this, they lived with his doting grandmother. The caller wanted me to make him feel more comfortable and stop barking. Stating that if he wouldn't stop barking, she would have to resort to buying a shock collar. I explained the emotional issues her dog was having and suggested flower essences.

    People are so used to being the ones making all decisions about everything in their lives, they sometimes forget that, if they are living with animals, they are living with other sentient beings that are only different than them, not less. From a spiritual perspective, they have all the same rights and choices as humans and mostly are quite capable of making appropriate choices for them in their lives. It would be wonderful to acknowledge them as that.

    The animals who grace our lives are our kindest teachers. They are willing to forgive us. They do not hold onto grudges because they live in the present. They teach us to let go of limiting beliefs by opening our hearts to greater possibilities. When we understand the lesson, all of us (humans and animals as well) benefit.

    Until next time, I'm Joy reminding you, you can never love your animal companions too much. You can only love them, hopefully, enough.

    If you would like to schedule a private session with Joy, call 425-867-1779 or go through If you are interested in being a caller on Talk with your Animals, please email to make arrangements. Joy Turner is a regular Animal Radio® correspondent. She can be heard daily on Animal Radio Network. LISTEN TO ANIMAL RADIO NETWORK NOW


    Public Events:

    Email your events to:

    Mardi Paws
    Saturday, February 9, 2008
    Holiday Inn Parkside
    Missoula, MT

    AniMeals presents The 3rd Annual AniMeals Ball & Silent Auction.

    Got any artwork that just doesn't fit into your decor anymore? Think of donating it to the MardiPaws Silent Auction. Your donation doesn't have to be an original can be a print or something you bought from your local department store. Anything will do!

    We are going to be back at the Holiday Inn Parkside this year and will be occupying both the ballroom and the atrium. The fabulous "County Line" will be rockin' us into the night! Hope to see you all there!

    Rover, Get Off Her Leg! with Darlene Arden

    ASK "THE DOG EXPERT" - by Darlene Arden, Certified Animal Behavior Consultant

    Q. Dear Darlene Arden,
    Now that Winter is here, what can I do to help my dog during this horribly cold weather? Thanks!
    - Jessie

    A. Dear Jessie,
    Winter weather is a real concern. If you have a small dog, he will lose body heat more quickly so he needs a coat or sweater, as would a dog like a Greyhound or Whippet who has no hair coat to protect him from the elements. And did you know that leaving your dog in the car on a very cold day is as dangerous as leaving him in the car on a very hot day? For your dog's comfort and safety, leave him at home while you run errands.

    Don't forget that the cold weather can cause frostbite, etc., in dogs so your dog should never stay out for very long in very cold weather. Bring him inside where he can be safe and warm.

    If your town or city uses salt or sand on the roads, please be sure to wash and dry your dog's feet as soon as you bring him inside, otherwise he could be poisoned if he licks salt or ice melt off his paws, or sickened if he licks off sand.

    Think of your dog as you would any family member and keep his safety and comfort in mind during the cold days of winter.

    "Ask the Dog Expert" is a regular column by Darlene Arden. This month's column features information found in her book, "The Angell Memorial Animal Hospital Book of Wellness and Preventive Care for Dogs," (McGraw-Hill), which helps you, in concert with your veterinarian, design a wellness program based on your dog, your lifestyle and the place where you live, and "Small Dogs, Big Hearts," (Howell Book House), and the newly released, "Rover, Get Off Her Leg!" Further information may also be found on her website: Copyright 2008 by Darlene Arden. All Rights Reserved.


    \(rated 4 and 1/2 out of 5 paws)

    Birder's Conservation Handbook: 100 North American Birds at Risk By Jeffrey V. Wells
    Paperback: 464 pages
    Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 2007)
    ISBN-10: 0691123233
    ISBN-13: 978-0691123233

    This book contains everything you need to know on North America's one hundred most threatened birds. Along with pictures of these birds, it not only informs you of where you can find these particular birds (where they breed and where they go in the winter), but it also lists the threats they face, the conservation efforts that have taken place so far and actions you can take to protect these birds and their habitats.

    Anyone who is a bird watcher can tell you that our birds are declining. Even though some of the information you will find is alarming and discouraging, perhaps it is a "wake-up" call.

    There is still time to be proactive and save our most vulnerable birds. The author has even included some things you can do at home like buying recycled paper products and decreasing pesticide use. It's not enough to sit back and watch these birds anymore. Even the novice bird watcher can help with their protection.

    You can't help but pick up this book and learn something immediately on these birds, all the while feeling the need to help.

    \(rated 3 and 1/2 out of 5 paws)

    Dogs by Catherine Johnson and William Wegman
    Hardcover: 512 pages
    Publisher: Phaidon Press Inc. (October 2007)
    ISBN-10: 0714848034
    ISBN-13: 978-0714848037

    What first attracted me to this book was its cover. It is beautifully done and reminds me of a brooch my mother used to wear. But when I opened the book, it took me back even farther.

    Inside you will find over 450 vintage photographs of dogs in almost every setting imaginable. The snapshots start at the turn of the century and go to the early 1950's.

    Ever wonder if pets played a big part in the lives of people in centuries past? This books shows you that our beloved dogs have always played a huge part in our lives.

    This is one of those beautiful books you will want to display on your coffee table and pick up over and over again, as each time you will see something new.

    See other reviews at Send books and literature for review on-air and in this newsletter to: Animal Radio Network™ Book Reviews, 233 East 330 North, Kanab, Utah 84741. Product may not be returned. Allow 5 weeks for review.


    Does Your Pet Have Teeth?
    If you can answer "yes" to the above question, your pet needs regular dental care. Yes, even your pet can't escape the "dentist's" chair. She doesn't get to swish and have the cool bib wrapped around her neck, but she does need regular care.

    According to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some sign of oral disease by the age of three.

    You can help to keep your pet's teeth healthy by:

    • Having professional dental exam and care provided by your veterinarian
    • Providing dental care at home based on your vet's recommendations
    • Maintaining regular professional check ups
    • Treating any symptoms quickly

    Symptoms of Dental Problems (If your pet is displaying any of the following symptoms, please seek professional dental care):

    • Bad breath (halitosis)
    • Broken or missing teeth
    • Changes in eating (usually decreasing)
    • Chewing habits
    • Depression
    • Gum issues ­ red or swollen or painful (gingivitis, periodontal disease)
    • Nasal discharge
    • Pawing at the face or mouth
    • Swelling or tearing below one eye
    • Weight loss
    • Yellow teeth

    Why is Dental Health So Important?

    Dental health also affects other parts of the body. Plaque which is made up of bacteria, saliva and cellular debris builds up on the enamel of the teeth. When combined with food particles, it becomes calcified and is now tartar. Tartar can lead to tooth decay and other oral diseases if not treated. In addition, it can cause a bacterial infection which then travels through the blood to other vital organs and can result in serious illness and even death.

    Domestic cats are very susceptible to Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions. In fact, these painful lesions are the most common tooth disease in domestic cats. Some studies report that 60% of cats over 6 years of age have at least one.

    In addition to regular exams, you may want to ask your veterinarian about food or chew toys that may aid in your pet's oral health.

    Did You Know?

    • Puppies have 28 "baby" teeth that appear around 3 to 4 weeks of age
    • Dogs have 42 "adult" teeth that begin to appear around 4 months of age
    • Kittens have 26 "baby" teeth that appear around 2 to 3 weeks of age
    • Cats have 30 "adult" teeth that appear around 3 to 4 months of age

    In addition, if you have rescued or adopted a pet, or obtained a pet that was older, you don't always know what their nutrition level was as a "baby" or if they suffered any untreated infections that may affect their oral health. Dental exams and treatment can help to improve and maintain the health of your adoptee for years to come.

    Animal Radio® is a proud partner with Pets911! Hear about the latest Pets911 activities on-air on Animal Radio®


    Pet Talk Radio! on Animal Radio Network
    with Brian and Kaye Pickering Check Schedule for Airtimes

    G'day from down under!
    When we started Pet Talk Radio about six years ago we had two dogs ­ now we have four. The family ­ we call them our '4 pack' - are well and truly used to our 'sloppy routine'.

    Breakfast is around 7-8am, dinner is anywhere between 7pm and 9pm. No snacking and they always eat AFTER us. That's the rule.

    One of the dogs - Monet - gets special training on a Saturday. He definitely knows which day is Saturday! Mostly we both work from home so the dogs are with us all day every day.

    Recently we returned to Australia after spending 5 weeks in the USA (yes we met Hal & Judy while we were here ­ check out what we thought of them!) and naturally we were missing the 4 pack real bad. I mean we even took a soft toy dog with us for company!! ­ now THAT say's a lot right??

    Anyway, driving out to Pet Resorts Australia (run by our friend and animal trainer Steve Austin) we thought "will they still remember us?..." ­ "will they be mad at us for being away so long?" ­ "have they learnt any bad habits like forgetting to go outside to empty?"

    Well as you might imagine all of this was just us being 'precious' pet owning mums and dads. Even though we tell our listeners every week not to smother your pets with love, we all do it occasionally right? Hmmmm

    Of course one dog seeing their owner after a break can be overwhelming ­ probably like your own when you get home from work?.... but imagine four dogs jumping, barking, rolling "pat me .. no me NO MEEEE..!!!"

    All of this is significant because just before we left the US to fly home, we received a phone message. Our eldest dog Cosmo was not looking the best and in fact it seemed touch and go if he would make it at all.

    "Hang on Cosmo just a little longer until we see you one last time!"

    We were nervous about the greeting we expected and what we might find.
    All the kennel assistants looked glum too knowing how much he means to us they really do take a personal interest in their charges.

    But just as you can't predict the weather, we've learnt you can't predict dogs either.

    Cosmo ­ a 14 year old miniature apricot Poodle came bounding up so fast he almost bowled Kaye over. He's practically deaf, 80% blind and has a back problem. And even though he looked dreadful ­ tired, thin and worn out he spent the next 10 minutes 'being a puppy' again.

    He eventually settled down for the car ride home.

    He strolled slowly inside and we thought 'this is it' For some months now we've vacillated over his quality of life 'is now the time to say goodbye?'

    But it has taken just one week, some veterinary prescribed Chinese herbs and his routine (eat sleep play sleep, eat sleep play sleep) to get his body looking better and his famous smile back on his face.

    Were the kennels a problem. No way just a different routine and 'mum and dad' weren't there. Perhaps he felt abandoned?.. after all he's been with us almost constantly for 14 years.

    So what's the punchline? Simply ­ to create a strong routine with your pets, especially dogs and to enjoy every waking moment with them.

    Walk with them more, talk with them more and if you go on holiday ­ always try and find a way of taking your pets with you wherever you go. Quarantine reasons (returning to Australia) meant we couldn't easily do this this time ­ but we don't take big overseas vacations every year.

    And if we ever ended up moving to America for some reason?... well, you guys would have a few more dogs and we'd be able to catch up with your Animal Radio hosts Hal & Judy and their traveling cats again in the Animal Radio mobile studio. That's right they take their pets with them on vacation!

    Hugs for your pets from Brian & Kaye!

    Hear Pet Talk Radio! on Animal Radio Network - LISTEN TO ANIMAL RADIO NETWORK NOW - Check schedule for showtimes.

    Voice of the Animal on Animal Radio®
    Rae Ann Kumelos Ph.D.

    Film Familiars - A Golden Lineage on the Silver Screen
    Tokens of silver pass through an arched hole in a glass window. An aura of anticipatory silence envelopes the carpeted path that slopes gently down into cavernous darkened space. A single beam of swirling light projects fantastic images unto silvered fabric. These ritual actions are performed thousands of times a day all over the world. Welcome to the movies.

    A favorite saying goes, "Every great ritual surrounds a story that is wonderful." And a really wonderful story always includes an animal. The animals portrayed in recent films: those winged, four-footed and finned companions that always accompany the Disney heroines; Hidalgo, the real-life wild mustang who rode to victory with cowboy Frank T. Hopkins, as well as many others, enjoy a truly golden ancestry. Their mythic and fabled counterparts have entertained audiences long before the invention of the projector and the Cineplex.

    In The Lord of the Rings, the majestic horse Shadowfax carries the mythic memory of an ancient alliance between human and horse. Shadowfax is Lord of all Horses, and "he has been my friend through many dangers," explains the wizard Gandalf. J.R.R. Tolkien's epic masterpiece is clothed in the raiment of Celtic, Norse and Germanic myth, and Shadowfax comes from a distinguished line of horses who understand the speech of humankind, especially Sleipnir, the horse of the Norse god Odin. Sleipnir had eight legs, could fly through the air, gallop over the sea, and outrun any horse in all of the nine Norse worlds. Sleipnir is known as the "Swiftest of steeds," while Gandalf asks of his noble stallion: "Run Shadowfax. Show us the meaning of haste." Like Shadowfax and Gandalf, Sleipnir and Odin share in many magical adventures, galloping over mountain and plain to dual with evil and, save those destined for royalty.

    In The Fellowship of the Ring, the Elven princess Arwen, a dying Frodo clutched to her breast, gallops just ahead of the evil Ring-wraiths in a scene that can trace its heritage to Celtic myth. As Arwen and Frodo reach the safety of the river, boundary to the Elven lands, she invokes a spell and the river is transformed into foam-driven waves of horses that topple and drown the Ring-wraiths. In this scene is a tribute to the Irish god Mananan, Lord of the Sea, who was a master illusionist; white-crested waves were called the Horses of Mananan.

    The totem animal, an animal that holds sacred significance for a particular individual, clan or culture, is seen in films like Dances with Wolves, in which the hero enjoys a spirited and joyful relationship with a wolf, their mystical bond acknowledged through his adopted Sioux tribe honoring him with the name: Dances with Wolves. In Whale Rider, the whale that carried on his back to safety an ancient ancestor of the Whangara New Zealand people, is immortalized in an unbroken lineage of song, story, and leadership, and in the film all are reminded that the ancient connections and stories still hold relevance for the Whangara people today.

    In Star Wars, Chewbacca carries the role of the traditional animal helper to the hero of myth, shown in his steadfast courage, loyalty and support of his partner Han Solo, as well as to all involved in the Rebel Alliance.

    Audience tests have shown that including an animal in a scene rivets people to the screen. Perhaps it's because Shadowfax, wolves, whales, and wookies speak to a timeless mythical relationship; a deep need and yearning to reconnect with an ancient heritage of companionship with the animal world. The ritual process of attending a movie provides an opportunity to dwell in that timeless realm.

    So, next time you see an animal on the silver screen, remember that they harken from a golden lineage.

    Visit us at to hear more stories and to order CD's of Voice of the Animal programs. Copyright ­ 2008 ­ Voice of the Animal. Rae Ann Kumelos is a regular Animal Radio® correspondent. She can be heard daily on Animal Radio Network. LISTEN TO ANIMAL RADIO NETWORK NOW

    Ask the Bird Folks with Mike O'Connor

    Dear Bird Folks,
    On a recent trip to Florida I saw one of the oddest birds I've ever seen. Every morning this rather large but weird-looking duck would come wandering through our campsite. (Oh, I forgot to tell you that we were camping.) It didn't seem to be afraid of us, but we were a little afraid of it. The duck had these grotesque-looking lesions all over its face. We wondered if the duck had some kind of infection, but another camper told us that it was a "Muskie Duck" and they are supposed to look like that. I tried looking it up online, but found nothing. Have you ever heard of or seen a Muskie Duck?
    - Joyce, Champaign, IL

    Oh Yeah, Joyce,

    I've heard of Muskie Ducks. However, I'm surprised you saw one in Florida. The ones that I am familiar with come from Maine and have played a significant role in Maine politics. I remember one year when...wait, that's not right. I have this wrong. I'm thinking about Ed Muskie, the guy who ran for president in 1972. He wasn't a duck at all. And even though he wasn't the best-looking man, he certainly wasn't "grotesque." I'm beginning to think you didn't see a "Muskie Duck," since there is no such thing. What you saw, Joyce, is a Muscovy Duck. They are quite common in Florida and, as far as I know, none has ever run for president. I know you didn't suggest one did run for president, but I'm just trying to get things straight in my own mind.

    Over the years I have written about many different species of ducks. Often I will say that a duck is strikingly handsome or brilliantly ornate. You will not hear me make that same statement about the Muscovy. It is one nasty-looking creature. I am sure I'm going to hear from people out there who love Muscovys. They will be upset with me for calling their favorite birds "nasty-looking," but I don't care. This is one foul-looking fowl. Even the Ugly Duckling feels better about itself when the Muscovy is around. I'm not saying that it's a bad bird, but appearance wise it definitely comes out second best when compared to a Wood Duck, a pintail or a road killed toad.

    There are three kinds of Muscovys. There's the uncommon wild Muscovy. There is a domesticated one that is raised for food and eggs. And finally, there is a feral Muscovy. Feral Muscovys are basically domesticated birds who heard that they were being raised for food and decided to go AWOL in order to avoid the ax. The wild birds are native to Mexico and Central and South America. When the first Europeans arrived they found that the local people had already domesticated the Muscovy. The Europeans immediately shipped crates of the fat ducks back home, along with tons of gold, silver and whatever else they could steal from their American hosts.

    The duck's name comes from the Muscovy Company, one of the first importers of the bird. Europeans simply associated the duck with the importer and the name stuck. Some people have mistakenly thought that the bird was named for its musk oil gland. Like most ducks, Muscovys have an oil gland, but there is no musk smell to it. In fact, Muscovys have no musk smell at all. I believe their real smell is more like English Leather.

    Wild Muscovy Ducks are black with white wings. The domestic birds are mostly white, while the feral ducks can be just about any assortment of white, black and brown. The feral birds also interbreed with mallards or any other duck that doesn't mind the smell of English Leather. These odd looking cross breeds are called "mules," and like four-legged mules they are sterile and very stubborn. By crossbreeding Muscovys, farmers are able raise birds that are much larger than the wild ones. Breeders in Australia have developed a Muscovy that tips the scale at nearly 20 lbs. Of course, these Australian birds are much too heavy to fly, but they do have a handy storage pouch and can hop great distances.

    Muscovys make quiet neighbors and aren't nearly as noisy as those quacking mallards. However, it's their looks that make them hard to warm up to. Those facial growths that you so lovingly referred to as "grotesque-looking lesions," are called "caruncles." I'm not really sure what purpose they serve, but they make this duck's face look like a cross between a turkey and a teenager in need of a gallon of Clearasil.

    It's not surprising that you saw a Muscovy in Florida, Joyce. This duck likes water, warm weather, mosquitoes, and people...and Florida certainly has plenty of all four. Like anything else, I heard that some people complain when this large, ugly duck starts hanging around their property. But on the whole the Muscovy does more good than harm. It eats its share of mosquito larvae, is usually quiet and occasionally runs for president. No, wait. Again, that last one is Ed Muskie. I have to stop doing that.

    Besides being a frequent guest on Animal Radio® - Mike O'Connor is the owner of the Bird Watcher's General Store on Cape Cod, which opened in 1983 as one of the first stores in the United States dedicated solely to birding. His column, Ask the Bird Folks, appears weekly in The Cape Codder, The Register, The Harwich Oracle, and The Upper Cape Codder newspapers, and his writing was included in the Best American Science and Nature Writing 2004. Copyright 2007 by Mike O'Connor. All Rights Reserved.

    Reader and Listener Comments:


    I just read the Victory List in your January Newsletter. When you say the ASPCA, is that of the United States?

    I think it is great that you send out so much needed information. Most people don't know anything about abused animals and laws. I try to tell people and give out information about voting and signing petitions (e.g., which Doris Day Animal League sends out already made up to sign and return to them).

    If all these laws were passed or some upgraded, how come the police do not respond to animal abuse calls? Also, is the ASPCA a private organization or run by the city or state. I and many others have called the ASPCA and have gotten a recording to call 911. No one is sent out by 911 and 911 or the precinct that the call is relayed to never gives the information to the ASPCA or anyone else. In other words, nothing is ever done whether or not the caller gives their name or prefers to remain anonymous. I have called numerous precincts about this and they have stated that they do not respond to animal calls. Yet, the ASPCA, even told about this years ago by numerous people, have done nothing to change their recording.

    I met a husband and wife yesterday in the bank and they said that they called about cats being poisoned in their neighborhood and was told someone would call them back. No one ever called back.

    In conclusion, if laws are passed and not enforced, whom do we go to and whom do we call???

    If certain animal abuse is a felony, how come Michael Vick has been torturing and killing animals for years (probably since a small child), and received only 23 months (which will be reduced) and will be allowed to own a dog after his probation? I am so sick about this. I think that he should never be allowed to own or go near any animal for the rest of his life. This goes for the men involved in this horrific nightmare and Michael Vick's mother and the rest of the Vick family who thought it was okay and took part in the abuse by ignoring and allowing it to continue. Vick's father stated that his son was abusing animals in the family garage years before the six years that he has his so-called kennel (for dog abuse and fighting). What kind of judge would allow him to start abusing dogs again in a few years? Is it any wonder all lawyers are called foul names and hated because of judges like the one in the Michael Vick case that would take part in animal abuse. This judge that sentenced Vick and is allowing him to own animals after probation, is in the league of a pedophile that is allowed to baby-sit small children after his probation.

    Thank you for caring about the animals and your informative newsletter.

    Diane Cavanaugh
    Brooklyn, NY

    We recently asked you how you keep peace in bed between the spouse and the animals. One reader told us:

    "Well we keep the peace with my other half of 17yrs., who has moved into the spear bedroom and we make a "special date night" when needed."

    Renee' Meltzian
    United Capital Insurance

    If you would like to tell Animal Radio® how you keep the peace in bed, or have any other comments, call toll-free 866-405-8405 or email

    The Backyard Breeders' and Puppy Millers' Big Book of Old Excuses

    1. When called on bad breeding practices, ALWAYS claim that you are merely an innocent posting as a favor to a friend or family member.

    2. Point out that everybody you know breeds this way, therefore it must be okay.

    3. Claim that "snobby show breeders" are only criticizing you because they want to corner the market on puppy profit.

    4. Claim that a Champion in the pedigree is just as good as 56 Champions in the pedigree. Not that it matters, because you doubt that there is such a thing as a dog with 56 champions in the pedigree.

    5. Claim that you are just trying to produce good pets, therefore good pets are all you need for breeding.

    6. When asked about health testing, enthusiastically point out that your bitch had a health checkup before breeding.

    7. Be sure to mention that you do not need to run such health tests as OFA, CERF, thyroid, cardiac, patellae, etc., because your dogs look healthy and had no visible problems at their last vet checkup.

    8. Point out that these tests cost too much and would cut into your profit margin. Be sure to champion the right of poor people to breed dogs.

    9. Confidently assure worried rescuers that no puppy you produce, or any of their puppies or grand puppies or great-grandpuppies will end up in shelters because you have a bunch of friends who have told you that they'd like a pup from your bitch.

    10. Point out that you don't need Championships or working titles on your dogs because you are breeding for temperament and your dog is really sweet.

    11. Silence those annoying people who ask about your health guarantee by assuring them that buyers can return any sick puppies and you will replace it with another pup as long as it got sick within a certain amount of time of sale and as long as you don't think the buyer did something to make the puppy sick.

    12. If your breed or line is rare (or you have a "rare" color, or believe your breed or color is rare), be sure to remind everyone that you do not need to show, temperament test, or health test your breeding stock because you are doing the world a service by continuing this "rare" breed/color/line.

    13. No matter what anyone else says, claim that you obviously know what you are doing because you've been breeding for a long time. Point to the hundreds of puppies you've pumped out over the years as proof.

    14. If this is your first attempt at breeding, make sure to remind everyone that you HAVE to breed your dog because how else are you going to learn how to breed?

    15. Assure everyone that your dog does not need to be shown because you were assured by someone at PetsMart/the park/the vet's office/a friend that your dog is a perfect example of the breed.

    16. Always remember that "rare" colors, oversized or undersized dogs, and mixes of popular breeds are great selling points. Anyone who doesn't think so is obviously not in tune with their customers' wishes.

    17. Claim that your dogs are better because they are not inbred, as inbreeding obviously produces sick/stupid/deformed dogs. If breeding poo [as in "Cock-a-Poo," "Peek-a-Poo," etc.] dogs or other mutts, always point to "hybrid vigor" as proof of your dogs' superiority.

    18. Remind everyone that you do not need a waiting list because your puppies are cute.

    19. Assure everyone that your puppies will not end up in shelters because they are cute.

    20. Claim that YOUR breed never ends up in shelters in your area, therefore your puppies will never end up in shelters.

    21. If asked why you think your dogs are breeding quality, point out that they "have papers." Extra points awarded for using the phrase "AKC Certified." Double points if those papers come from the Continental Kennel Club.

    22. If you sell a sick puppy, always blame the owners for making it sick. If the owners are clearly not responsible, blame their vet. (see #11)

    23. If presented with irrefutable evidence proving you wrong on any excuses you have used, pretend your server did not receive the post/e-mail.

    24. Claim that none of the rules of ethical breeding apply to you because you only intend to have one litter and therefore aren't a "real" breeder.

    25. If all else fails, tell everyone who criticizes you to "get a life."

    Written by Denna Pace . It was compiled by reading the horrible BYB ads on rec.pets.dogs.breed.


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