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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for January 17, 2015  

Get Control Back From Your Dog
Dr. Roger Mugford, Company of Animals

Halti LogoDr. Roger Mugford talks to us just as he is returning from court in London, where he made a plea on behalf of a little dog named Mason. Mason's crime was that he was registered as a Pit Bull and wasn't wearing a muzzle when he got into a fight with another dog.

Dr. Mugford states that if Mason had been wearing product from Company Of Animals, he would be okay and wouldn't have been in court. But it appears that Mason might get a pardon, which is only right, as Mason appeared to be a victim of an attack and then bit back.

In these cases, it is always the big dog's fault, especially in this case, where a small dog was bit and got the worst of it.

It seems that black dog and big dogs get the entire bad rap in Britain, but Dr. Mugford states that in his opinion, they make the world safer for any dog and any owner to be out there. He has sympathy for dogs that are labeled aggressive, which are no different than the dog sitting by your side. These dogs just need to have different rules and some different social skills.

Dog corrected with Halti collarDog Pulling on LeadTo help with this, Dr. Mugford created the HALTI line 32 years ago, which has become the world's favorite canine head collar because it has been designed to combine maximum steering efficiency with unequalled comfort for the dog. A particular feature of the HALTI, which is not shared by other designs of head collars, is that it has an on-off muzzling action to close the dog's jaws.

The HALTI makes training and behavior modification of dogs practical and safe. It can be used in a number of ways: either as a passive means to simply stop dogs pulling or as an active training aid. Handlers can gently direct the dog's head, steering him into desired positions which can then be rewarded and linked to a command associated with that posture, for example 'heel.'

The HALTI range features six sizes in four colors and there is also a special leather-padded edition available. A Velcro fastening can also be requested as an alternative to the standard clip fastening, to aid owners with reduced dexterity.

People tend to adopt small to medium sized dogs because they feel they then won't have a 'pulling' problem when walking the dog or they won't be aggressive. Big dogs then get left behind. One of Dr. Mugford's main focus is to empty the entire rescue kennels out of unwanted dogs and make them wanted dogs. This means making them easy to walk, easy to live with and fun to be with. So if you have a dog that pulls or want to train your dog properly, check out the HALTI line.

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"HERO PEOPLE OF THE WEEK" - Vanessa O'Dell - Volunteer

Montgomery County Animal Control and Adoption ServicesWhen Vanessa O'Dell started volunteering at the Montgomery County Animal Control and Adoption Services in Clarksville, Tennessee on August 16, 2013, the shelter did not have a volunteer program and it had been several days since any volunteers had even signed in.

She was absolutely shocked to learn that the dogs did not get taken outside, did not get bathroom breaks, walked or played with. Vanessa then decided that she needed to do something to make things better for them.

Vanessa started walking as many dogs as she could each day and quickly worked her way up to walking every dog, every day. Next, she figured out how to get them all out twice a day (once on Sundays and holidays because the shelter is closed). In order to do this, she would arrive at the shelter early in the morning; rotate all of the dogs to the outdoor kennels, 14 at a time, while their indoor kennels were cleaned.

If it were raining out, she would walk them one at a time while their kennels get a quick clean. She also helped to clean kennels each day and assist with miscellaneous tasks, like laundry, feeding and moving dogs from stray hold to available kennels.

The morning shift usually takes her about 4 - 5 hours. She goes home mid-day and spends time with her own dogs, then returns to the shelter around 12:00 to get the dogs out for their afternoon break. The afternoon shift takes her about 4 hours. The dogs really enjoy being outside, running around in the kennels, playing with rope toys, chew toys and tennis balls.

Vanessa has been doing 2 shifts a day, 6 days a week and one shift on Sundays and holidays for the majority of time since she started volunteering. Vanessa and her husband have been able to take a few vacations and she's been able to find volunteers to cover almost every shift, which gave her great peace of mind!

Her goal from the very start was to make things as good as possible for the animals while they are at the shelter, which includes giving the dogs toys and treats, playing with them and doing whatever she can to let them know they're loved.

She does her best to comfort animals that are scared, sick or injured. Occasionally, she takes a dog to the vet herself and she's helped treat dogs with mange, flea allergies, ear and eye infections or wounds that need to be drained.

One of her favorite things to do is bathe dogs, however, that is a rare treat simply because there are just not enough hours in the day.

Vanessa has purchased items for the shelter to help organize the puppy rooms and cat rooms, like shelves to get cleaning supplies, toys and treats up off the floor, totes to put newspapers in, baskets and buckets for cleaning supplies. She's made signs for the puppy room doors and the kennel area and put large cat and dog decals on the doors to help direct visitors to the correct areas.

Vanessa has also made laminated signs to hang on kennels or cages to tell a little something about the animal, usually something silly to get someone's attention. Shortly after she started volunteering, she brought cardboard boxes for each of the cats so they'd have a cozy place to hide instead of just sitting out in the open, feeling exposed. Just as soon as she put the boxes in the cages, the cats climbed right in and now every cat has a box in their cage all the time! She's constantly in search of items to use at the shelter and always looking for ways to clean and organize the place.

But that's not all. Vanessa also helps with adoptions whenever possible, including trying to pair the right dog with the right family and talking with them about crate training. She also helps at off-site adoption events and tries to keep in touch with as many adopters as possible. For most of the dogs that get adopted, she's spent time with them every day since they arrived at the shelter and gets very attached to them and really enjoy seeing pictures of them getting spoiled in their new homes.

Prior to volunteering at the shelter, Vanessa had been spending time on the road with her husband, Russ, who is a truck driver. Now, every time he's in town, he's at the shelter with her and has been 100% supportive of her from the very start.

Basically, she knows that the animals are at the shelter through no fault of their own and is just trying to make them feel as safe, comfortable and loved as possible while they're there.

Vanessa has lots of dreams for the shelter, including getting covers on the outdoor kennels, getting larger cages for the puppy room, getting more people involved with the shelter and having a successful volunteer program.

She's even met with some elected officials and voiced her concerns about animal welfare issues and discussed ways to improve the overall well-being of the animals at the shelter. They will be getting a new shelter director early next year and she's really looking forward to working with them and seeing many positive changes and new programs.

While we feel every shelter needs a 'Vanessa,' she sates, "I want our shelter to be the very best it can be!"

Thinking Globally. Acting Locally. Do you know someone that should be nominated for our Hero Person of the Week? Send us an email to:

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Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

How To Solve Winter Pet Allergies
Have you noticed that a lot of people are complaining more about pet allergies this time of year? It is not because you become more allergic, it is that during the winter months you are cooped up inside with your pet, because it is too cold to go outside. The good news is that there are few good remedies for this.

If you go to your local pet shop, there is a product called Allerpet that works wonders. You just spray it on you pet twice a month and it will clean their hair of dander and saliva.

There is also an easy recipe you can make at home with household products that will save you some money. Just take some Downy Fabric Softener and mix it with distilled water, if you want to keep it around for any length of time. The reason you use distilled water, is because if you use tap water or spring water, it will spoil within about 4 to 5 days. This is not something you then want to spray on your pet, because it is like spraying bacteria on them. So, use distilled water to be safe. Just mix 4 parts distilled water to 1 part Downy Fabric Softener in a spray bottle and shake it well. You can spray this on your dog or cat. You can do this twice a week if you are extremely allergic, or once a week if you have a minor allergy. This will not cure it like medication from a doctor, but it will make it a lot more bearable. It is also non-toxic to all pets.

DownyWhen spraying your pet, it is not necessary to saturate them. This will not make it more affective and in fact will only make them look greasy and gum their hair down. Just apply a mist, leaving it slightly damp. The Downy will keep the dander and all of the skin shavings on your pet

People think that they can get a pet that is hypo-allergenic, but there is no such thing. Some pets just shed less, which will then keep the dander and skin particles stuck more to their hair. Remember, it is not the hair that people are allergic to, it is actually everything that is stuck to the hair.

Dr. Debbie WhiteGet Your Pet To the Vet Safely with No Escapees - Dr. Debbie

A frightening situation occurred the other day at my veterinary hospital. Working inside my office, I could hear a woman's shrieks coming from the parking lot. I ran outside to find a woman with one dog on a leash, and the other dog skittering about the parking lot - the result of a slipped collar. The owner would approach the panicked dog and he'd retreat, darting under nearby cars. Those familiar with our hospital location understand its proximity to a busy intersection. Should the dog run in the wrong direction, he'd meet up with 45 mph traffic.

My staff was outside in moments to assist the owner in retrieving her dog and safely escorted everyone into the building. Thankfully my client's few minutes of terror ended uneventfully. But that's not always the case. I've seen dogs run straight into the road, cat's leap from a family member's arms, and owners dive into oncoming traffic trying to catch an escaping pet.

The lesson is simple. Don't underestimate your pets' fears. Fear of car travel, new places or the veterinary office can cause a pet to behave in unpredictable ways. If you know your pet to be nervous with new people or new situations, be especially vigilant when transporting your pet in a vehicle.

Identify Your Pet
Use two methods of identification for best insurance your pet is returned to you if lost. Permanent identification with a microchip is a must, and should be complimented with a collar and ID tags.

Restrain Pet in Vehicle
Keep your pet secure during travel and when the car door opens by using a doggie seatbelt. Small dogs and cats should be housed in a pet carrier which is secured with seatbelt to avoid undue carrier movement during travel. Do not allow cats and small pets to roam freely in the car. Cats have been known to take cover under car seats which may require sedation or seat removal to extract kitty from her hiding place.

Check for Proper Fit
Improper fitting harnessImproper fitting collarProper fitting collarA proper fitting collar allows 2 finger widths between the collar and pet's neck. Allow more than, and should your pet put on the brakes, he'll easily slip out of the collar. Poor fitting harnesses are just as dangerous and allow gap room which allows a back-peddling pet to wiggle out. Not sure if the collar is too loose? Snug the collar up one fitting in anticipation of your trip to the vet.

Try Other Collar Styles
Even if you don't normally use a choker or pinch collar, consider using one when going to the vet's office. For thick necked dogs with smaller head size, try the Martingale collar, a fabric and metal combo collar that snugs down should your dog try to back out. Boisterous dogs that jump and leap when on leash may benefit wearing a head collar that fits over the muzzle. Ensure your collar choice is properly fitted, since any of these styles can fail if improperly fitted or used incorrectly.

Call Ahead
If you anticipate difficulties getting your pet to the vet's office, call ahead. Veterinary staff members are on the ready to help ensure your pet's visit is a safe one.

So, take a few minutes to consider your pet's travel safety before heading out on that next car trip, whether it is to the park, groomer, or veterinary office. Your four legged friend will thank you, but may pout on the way there.

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


It's a Wacky Wednesday Here at the Animal Radio® Studios

WackyWed Contest IS ON - LIKE your FAVORITE pic and the three pics with the most LIKES & SHARES are this week's winners and each will receive a Turbo Scratcher and Catnip Cyclone from Bergan.

TO ENTER Send us your FUNNY pet pic to - (Please put WACKYWED in the subject line & give us your pet's name, your name & where you hail from) If YOUR pic is chosen then spread the word to your friends & family on Wednesday - the pics w/the most LIKES and SHARES will be the winner!

Catnip CycloneTurbo ScratcherThis week we are giving away 3 Wacky Wednesday prizes where three winners will each win a Turbo Scratcher and Catnip Cyclone from Bergan. The famous Turbo Scratcher cat toy offers hours of fun and exercise for your cat while reducing potential furniture damage from scratching. Catnip and ball included. Scratch pad is replaceable. The Catnip Cyclone generates air currents to stimulate the euphoric aroma from cat nip inserted into the center.

Keeps cat entertained to decrease unwanted scratching or clawing with Bergan.

Animal Radio® Facebook
Join Animal Radio® on Facebook for Wacky Wednesday! Win great prizes every week for your wacky pet pictures. Last month we gave out goodies from Company of Animals, EZ Dog, ESPREE and more. Visit us on Facebook now.

Animal Radio® News with Tammy Trujillo

Goldfish SurgeryHow Much Would You Spend To Save Your Goldfish?
Most of us would do just about anything for our cat or dog. But what about a goldfish? A man in Britain loves his so much that he spent the equivalent of $460 recently to save the 3-inch long goldfish's life. The fish has two small tumors and would need surgery to survive. A veterinarian at the Toll Barn Veterinary Center in North Walsham did the hour-long surgery. First they put a small amount of anesthetizing agent into the goldfish's water. Once it took effect, the fish was taken out of the water and put on a waterproof drape and anesthetic water was inserted into it's mouth through a tube and bubbled over the gills. Dr. Faye Bethel then used a miniature heart-rate monitor to make sure the fish was 'under' and removed two lumps with a mini scalpel. Finally, she stitched closed the tiny incisions and covered them with a special 'glue' to waterproof the scales before the fish was slowly awakened.

Autistic Children Respond to Animals of All Types
We've heard about research that pet dogs can help autistic children improve their social skills. Now a first-of-it's kind study says that any kind of pet can help. The study was done at the University of Missouri and suggested that when pets are present, the children tend to interact and talk to others more. The study involved 70 families with children between 8 and 18 years old. Nearly 70-percent of the families had dogs and around 50-percent had cats. There were also other pets, including farm animals, reptiles, rodents, rabbits, fish, a bird and even a spider. The data reveled that children with any kind of pet in the home reported being more likely to engage in behaviors such as introducing themselves, asking for information or responding to other people's questions. The results though were even more dramatic in families with dogs, especially smaller dogs.

Roo BitesAnother Recall Is In The News
A company called Jump Your Bones of Boca Raton, Florida is recalling a dog treat called 'Roo Bites' because of potential Salmonella contamination. The treat is made from dehydrated kangaroo meat and was distributed nationwide and sold online. There are no reported illnesses connected to the product, but still if you have some, you should not give it to your pet. You can either throw it out or return it to the place you bought it for a full refund. Pets with Salmonella infections are usually lethargic and have diarrhea, fever and vomiting and should be taken to the vet right away. Salmonella can also be transferred from a sick animal to humans.

Do Passengers Mind Animals On A Plane?
A study done by the airport shuttle service Go Airport Express found that 52-percent of people say they're ok with pets traveling in airplane cabins instead of being stowed like cargo, but 6 out of 10 thought it would be a good idea to keep them in a special area because of possible allergies. Several people in the survey said pet owners should demand better care for animals traveling as cargo.

Dog left on tarmacUnited Airlines Gets Flack For Leaving Dog on Cold Tarmac
United Airlines has a lot of animal lovers pretty ticked off. It's taking heat for a picture that was shared on Twitter of a dog in a kennel out in the rain on the tarmac at George Bush Airport in Houston a few weeks ago. The photo was put up by a woman on a plane nearby who says that airline employees were just ignoring the dog and after 30-minutes, she decided to let the company know using social media. At the time it was 41 degrees outside, with a wind chill of 35 degrees and raining. United acknowledged the situation, blaming the pet carrier service, then went on to say that the kennel was sitting under the plane's wing so it was protected from the rain and that employees were keeping an eye on the dog. Red cones had also been put around the kennel so employees wouldn't forget to load it after the baggage was put aboard the plane. The airline has continued to try and calm down the whirlwind of comments online by saying that it takes every step possible to ensure the safety and comfort of its four-legged passengers. Interestingly, or maybe disturbingly, nothing has been posted by the dog's guardian.

Are Animals Property in Custody Battle?
Animals are still considered property when it comes to the law. That's what makes it so tough when couples break up because to many people, those pets are like their kids. But not to a judge. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says that 27-percent of the respondents in a recent survey had noticed an increase in the number of couples who fought over custody of a pet during the past five years. Most of the time those disputes involved a dog, but people have fought over all kinds of pets. Recently, agreements have started being signed between couples outlining how to handle pet custody, just in case. But so far, none of those agreements has been tested to see if it will hold up in court. Most lawyers say anything that you care about, and that includes pets, should be in the pre-nup. And one points out that, "Possession is nine-tenths of the law," so if you really want that pet, take it with you when you leave.

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