Rosemary Marchetto, Bijou's Bill
Shortly after Rosemary Marchetto's Shih Tzu was dropped at a chain store groomer, she was informed that her dog had died. She feels the groomer was negligent and that the profession needed regulation. Bijou's Bill, named after Rosemary's dog, requires pet groomers to be licensed, at least 18 years old, and tested by the State Board of Veterinary Examiners. Rosemary joins us this week to tell her story. Animal Radio's Joey Villani was also on the forefront of this groundbreaking legislation and he says there is some push-back from many groomers.
Rosemary Marchetto was the guardian of Bijou, who died January 11th, 2012. She told us that she had taken Bijou to a very well known chain store for a routine grooming. She was surprised when the groomer said to her, "I hope this dog doesn't give me a hard time. I had a bad day." However, Rosemary didn't expect the outcome to be what it became.
Within 45 minutes, Rosemary got a call from the grooming salon and was told that Bijou was dead. Rosemary tells us that they would not disclose to her what happened and they would not let her speak to the groomer nor the store manager.
At that point, Rosemary called the police to come and make a police report, because she needed some kind of documentation as to what was happening.
Rosemary says she eventually took the matter into her own hands after she found out that dog groomers aren't licensed. She felt that she did the right thing by bringing Bijou to a very well known pet store chain, thinking if anything, she was protected by them.
Clearly that wasn't the case and that's how Bijou's Bill started to come together. Rosemary went to her local Assemblywoman, Valerie's Vainieri Huttle. Rosemary had a conversation with her and told her what had happened to Bijou. She then explained to Valerie that there are no laws that require dog groomers to be licensed.
Valerie was appalled. Rosemary states that everyone she tells story to invariably responds right away saying, "Oh, dog groomers aren't licensed?"
In the world we live in today, your nail technician is licensed, your locksmith is licensed and it's hard to believe that people who groom your dogs do not require any type of license. As a matter of fact, not only in New Jersey, but also in most of the country, Rosemary thinks there are only two states that require licenses for dog groomers.
If a groomer was in one of these two states and wanted to be a licensed groomer, they would have to take a practical and written test that given by their state. Upon completion, they would apply for a license that would cost about $50, depending on the state. They would then be a licensed professional, like a nurse or anybody else who requires a license to practice their craft.
Hindsight's is 20/20 and Rosemary knows that the statement made by the groomer of having a bad day and saying they hoped Bijou didn't give them any trouble, should have been a red flag. We've all been there, and you just think that this person is just blowing off a little steam, as we all have bad days. You're not really thinking they are going to kill your dog.
Joey Villani worked closely with Rosemary and the Assembly and was a big supporter of this Bill. It went through the Assembly like a freight train and there was no one that was against it. However, Joey's big issue is, because his claim to fame in the industry is owning schools, he went through the proper process and did everything he needed to do to make sure that pets were safe and were groomed properly. It always bothered him that somebody would open up a salon and do it properly, while the next-door neighbor could open up a salon and call themselves a groomer, because there are no safeguards in place.
Joey explains that licensing a groomer is not a straight jacket for them. What it's going to do is to make them an educated professional. They will learn things like how to properly use the equipment and even how to properly pick a dog up.
In Joey's school, they had to teach the proper way to pick a dog up and put it on the table. Something that sounds so meaningless is so important. They were also taught not to walk away or turn your back on a dog when they are on the table. These may be little things, but if you don't practice them and you don't study them, you won't know them. No one wants anything to happen to a pet, but because groomers not educated and there are no safeguards in place, things happen.
Rosemary pioneered something that could be wonderful for everyone's dogs. Think of all the pet owners out there who didn't know what was going on in grooming salons. Joey tells us he was an advocate from the very beginning as there was a need for some sort of safeguard. Unfortunately while bijou passed away, he did not pass in vain because this is going to protect so many other pets and it's well needed.
Surprisingly, Rosemary had been under attack while pursuing this Bill. There's a good majority of people in the grooming industry that were not looking at the big picture. Joey says that a lot of these groomers are probably very good groomers and are safe. However, they're the ones that said that this is going to be a hardship on them. Joey explains that it's not going to be a hardship at all. It's just a change in how you do things.
For example, Joey says look at the seatbelt law. No one liked wearing a seatbelt. Now, if we don't, we feel naked. So the pet groomers that were against this just need to rethink it. This is about keeping pets safe. That's it. Let's remember that that is the issue on hand. Groomers are still going to make money, they're still going do what they do every day and they are still going to love it, for the people who love it. And the people who don't like it, they shouldn't be doing it anyway because it's not for everyone. You have to be a pet lover and if you're a pet lover, you want them safe.
Rosemary tells us that she was able to get Bijou's body back after his passing, but due to
a lawsuit she filed. However, she does state the fact that the grooming chain took complete liability after the groomer made that disparaging remark, made it all seem a little suspect to Rosemary. She still doesn't don't know exactly what happened to Bijou, because nobody completely explained it to her.
Rosemary says this isn't really about suing, this is about preventing dogs from dying so that we don't get to that stage and everybody can take a lesson from what she's been through and whatever the other 47 people that lost their pets have been through. This is preventing this from happening going forward.
A Reason For Hope
Kristin von Kreisler, Kensington Books
Kristin von Kreisler joins us one again. She last joined us in 2003 for a book she wrote called For Bea. She has also written a lot of really great nonfiction books that pioneered topics in animal emotion and morality, with her last few books being fiction. However, even though they're fiction, she does her research.
Her newest book is called A Reason For Hope. Hope is the name of a courthouse dog. Most people don't know about these courthouse dogs and that's one reason why she wanted to put a courthouse dog in A Reason For Hope. Courthouse dogs were started in Seattle, near where Kristin lives.
What does a courthouse dog actually do? Kristin explains that they do so many things, but what they're known for is to comfort people while they're testifying in the witness box, which is very stressful. How it works is that the handler of the dog brings the dog in, waiting in the witness box before anybody else comes into the courtroom. Next, the witness comes in. This whole time the dog has to stay lying down and cannot stand up. That is so the jury cannot see the dog. Lawyers get freaky about this because if jurors see the dog comforting somebody, then they have sympathy for the person that's being comforted.
In Kristin latest books, she focuses on different breeds of dogs. In Healing Justice, it was a German Shepherd and now in A Reason For Hope it is the Labrador Retriever. Kristin tells us that Labrador Retrievers are mainly used as courthouse dogs, or at least they are used in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives. The reason is because labs are extraordinary; they are unflappable; they are calm; they are loving and sweet and just what people need when they're really under stressful situations. As far as the rest of the country goes, Kristin says these dogs are becoming more common.
Kristin volunteers with the Northwest Assistance Dogs, which was part of her research for this book. That is how she got a beautiful lab that she now has, which was originally trained to be a courthouse dog. They call these dogs career change dogs, instead of rejects, which is a much more proper term. So they had this dog who needed a career change and the director asked Kristin if she would like her. Kristin was beside herself because her beloved German Shepherd passed about a month prior.
At the time, Kristin had no plan to get another dog for at least another year. But, this dog was so beautiful and wonderful she couldn't turn her down. Her name is Ebby for Ebony. Kristin doesn't know why Ebby needed a career change. However, there was some mention that she was a bad match with her handler. Still, Kristin just can't imagine that Ebby would offend anybody, as she is so sweet.
Kristin explains that her book, A Reason For Hope, is about a woman who meets a man online. She then goes to his house the next weekend for dinner and has a terrible experience. Kristin explains it's not so much about the experience, but about this woman's grit and spunk and the people she meets along the way while she tries to get justice.
Kristin wants people to know about these courthouse dogs and all the beautiful work that they do, because they really comfort people in all sorts of horrible situations. They snuggle; they kiss; they do everything.
Kristin really gets into her writing and does much research prior. Once, she followed a grizzly bear for a Readers Digest article, where she used to be a staff writer. She also did hang-gliding to interview an eagle that had lost a wing. The eagle was actually taken hang-gliding hanging in a little harness that a fabulous man had made for it. She went hang-gliding to see what the eagle was experiencing. She says that it was one of the biggest thrills of her life.
A Reason For Hope is available at Amazon or your favorite bookstore.
Do You Have The Right Car Seat For Your Fur Baby?
Tim Spell, Automotive Columnist
A recent Harris Poll indicates that many dog owners don't restrain their animals while driving with them. Many admit to allowing their dog to roam freely about the car, sit on their lap or stick their head out the window. Award-winning car columnist Tim Spell tells us the dangers behind unrestrained pets in the car and how to find the right restraining system and use it properly.
First off, Tim tells us that there should never be any dogs in the front seat at all, especially on your lap while you're driving with them hanging head out the window. The problem with this is that both the dogs and the carriers can, if they're not properly attached and tethered to the vehicle, become projectiles. This is especially true if you have a large dog. That loose dog could then fly and hit another person or they can hit the dash and they can even go right through the windshield. A dogs need to be in the backseat properly tethered or in a carrier. The tether and carrier should also be also crash proof and crash worthy.
So what is safer for your pet - a tether or a carrier? Tim explains that a carrier is always better. The carriers should be made of a really a high strength material. They should be made of roto molded plastic, luggage grade plastic or ballistic nylon.
If you have a carrier that you normally put you dog in and it has a plastic case with a wire door, that is not a roto molded carrier. Roto molding is a process that they use where the melted plastic continually rotates and it forms a really strong single piece. An example of this is a kayak. Carriers made this way are much stronger than the regular plastic ones with a wire door. There's also a luggage grade plastic that's good. And if you wanted a softer fabric tether that would work, you can use a ballistic nylon with industrial grade stitching.
You need to understand that there's a lot of force in a collision. If you are driving a car and hit a stationary object at 35 miles an hour and you have a 60-pound dog, that dog becomes like a 3,000-pound projectile. The dog can go right through the windshield or it could hit another passenger. So it's really important that you never use a wire crate.
Now that you have the right carrier, you should also know that placement of the carrier is critical. You should put them down on the floor behind the driver or passenger seat. If you have a three row SUV, and you have a small dog 20-pounds or less, you can put the carrier on captain's chair in the middle. If you have a larger dog, you should put them in the backseat, but never put them on the tunnel in between rows.
Tim has three dogs that he sometimes travels with. He has a crate in the rear compartment of his SUV. However, he states that he has been guilty in the past of not restraining them in the car, unfortunately like most of us.
E-Cigarette Toxicity in Pets - Dr. Debbie
Think that vapor cigarettes (a.k.a. electric cigarettes or e-cigarettes) are a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes? The vapor habit might be better for you and decrease your pet's exposure to second hand smoke, but can increase the chance of a pet's toxic ingestion of nicotine. A story from England told of the tragic death of a puppy that died after chewing on an e-liquid container.
Ivy was a 14 week on Staffordshire Bull Terrier that chewed on her owner's bottle of e-liquid used to refill the electric cigarettes. Within 30 seconds of nibbling on the container, she fell sick with vomiting and disorientation and was rushed to a veterinary office. Sadly Ivy died within 24 hours due to heart and respiratory failure.
What's in e-liquid?
The ingredients in e-liquid vary but include carriers such as propylene glycol, polyethylene Glycol 400 and vegetable glycerin, as well as flavoring agents and nicotine. The amount of nicotine in e-liquid varies with some products not containing any nicotine, to others ranging from 18 mg/ml to 100mg/ml.
How toxic is nicotine?
The toxic dose of nicotine for pets is 0.5 to 1mg per pound of body weight. The fatal dose is 4mg per pound. So if you consider a 20 pound dog, toxicity would occur if 10mg were ingested, and the pet would die if 80mg were ingested. Therefore with the high nicotine levels in e-liquid, it wont take much to reach those fatal levels. That hypothetical 20 pound dog could die from less than 1ml of the highest potency liquid nicotine.
Pets likewise can develop toxicity if other sources of nicotine are ingested such as cigarettes, chewing tobacco, nicotine gum, or nicotine nasal sprays. The typical amounts of nicotine in these products are: Cigarette 9-30 mg; Nicotine gum 2 - 4 mg per pieces; and Nicotine patches 8.3 - 114 mg.
Even cigarette butts can be toxic if enough are ingested - cigarette butts retain 25-percent of the nicotine in the original cigarette.
What are symptoms of nicotine poisoning?
Symptoms usually develop within one hour of ingestion. Pets may display excitability, rapid heart rate, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, seizures, and coma.
How are pets treated for nicotine toxicity?
The first step is to decontaminate by inducing vomiting. Nicotine typically causes vomiting when ingested, but further decontamination is advised at the veterinary office. Other emergency care includes intravenous fluids, medications to manage elevated blood pressure and heart rate, and anti-seizure medications. Nicotine is metabolized by the liver and excreted within 16 hours after ingestion. Pets that survive the initial four hours after ingestion have a favorable chance of survival.
The vapor cigarette trend is becoming more popular world wide. It's important to recognize that nicotine is a toxin and poisonous to animals and children. Consider the e-liquid a hazardous material and store it safely in a locking cabinet, away from children and pets.
To read more about Ivy's toxicity after ingesting E-fluid go to "Dog dies after chewing e-fluid container."
Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend." Dr. Debbie's books.
Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks
Dogs Get SAD
During the shorter days of winter we, and our pets, get less sun. Guess what? This can affect pets the same way it does humans, causing SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Starting in fall, as the days get shorter and sunlight levels decline, many people notice their mood begins to dip. It's believed that lower light levels prompt a decline in the feel-good brain hormone serotonin and boost the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. No surprise then that pets, with their similar brain chemistry, may also suffer from the same kind of seasonal hormonal havoc. A survey by a British veterinary organization found that 1 in 3 dog owners notice their pet becoming less playful and appearing down or depressed during dreary winter months. Some symptoms that may indicate your pet is experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder include: aggressive behavior or soiling inappropriately; clawing at furniture; demanding more attention or appearing withdrawn; frequent barking; lethargy - sleeping more than usual; less interest in going for walks or playing; and reduced appetite and weight loss. So how do you combat Seasonal Affective Disorder in your dog? The same way some humans find relief - with artificial sunlight in the form of a light box. You should also open your drapes or shades and take more walks with your dogs.
It's Illegal To Threaten Pets
The federal stalking law received an update to include threats made against a pets and emotional support animals. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan managed to get his proposal, which added threats and violence against a person's pets to the stalking statute. Under the law, threatening or harming a pet as a way to harass or intimidate a victim is punishable by up to five years in prison. Experts say that victims of abuse often remain in a threatening situation because they fear what could happen to their pets. Right now, only 3-percent of women's shelters across the U.S. accept pets. After a study in Wisconsin, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) found that more than two-thirds of domestic violence survivors said their abusers had also been violent toward their pets or service animals. Other studies say as many as 25-percent of domestic violence survivors returned to abusive partners out of concern for their pets.
Police Dog Dumped In Shelter
A former police dog named Ringo, who was thought to be living in retirement with his handler, was dumped at a Mississippi animal shelter. However, because Ringo was micro chipped, the shelter A former police dog named Ringo, who was thought to be living in retirement with his handler, was dumped at a Mississippi animal shelter. However, because Ringo was micro chipped, the shelter called the dog's trainer who was not happy with the situation. Ringo had worked nine years for the Jackson Police Department. The Department looked into the matter and re-assigned Ringo's former handler to patrol duty, which is thought of as a demotion. The good news is the trainer went to the shelter right away and adopted Ringo after he got the call.
Pet Scams On The Rise
The Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker has seen an increase in people losing money to pet scams. They're not surprised, as it's typical around the holidays. Here's how the scams usually work: you find an adorable puppy on a website or online ad. Scammers claim they are breeders or act like a pet owner who has to find a new home for their pet. Then, once you've fallen in love with the pictures and videos, they ask you to wire money to make the purchase. Once the purchase is complete, the "owner" promises your dog or cat will be shipped right away. But there are always "unexpected" problems with airlines, vets, pet insurance, etc. With each problem, scammers promise that they will refund the unexpected costs as soon as your pet is delivered. It never happens. Experts say never wire money to anyone you don't know and make sure you see the pet in person before paying for anything.
Alexa Answers Pet Medical Questions
Vet24seven launched MyPetDoc, an Alexa skill that is the world's first artificial intelligence "SmartVet." Pet parents with a pet health question can talk with MyPetDoc on Alexa and get veterinarian-backed answers to their concerns. Once MyPetDoc has answered the pet parents' questions, they can then choose to speak immediately with a licensed veterinarian for more guidance and advice for a $25 charge.
Most Popular Dog Names
Rover.com listed the most popular dog names. Starting with male dog names and going backwards to number one: in 5th place is Jack, 4th place is Buddy, 3rd place is Cooper, 2nd place is Charlie and the most popular male dog name of the year is Max once again. Now for the females: in 5th place is Lola, 4th place is Daisy, 3rd place is Luna, 2nd place is Lucy and the most popular female dog name of the year is Bella once again.
Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1155)