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Animal Radio® Show #478 January 31, 2009

Breaking Bad News With Baby Animals

Amanda McCall, Grandma’s Dead

Studies have shown that if you put a baby animal next to bad news, the person will not react to the bad news, but will concentrate on the kitten or baby bunny wearing a bonnet. 

So, are you afraid to tell your girlfriend that her butt looks fat? Do you need to explain to your nephew that dreams don't come true? Why not let a cute, fuzzy bunny do it for you!  It is very hard to tell someone that you're sleeping with his wife, so let a photograph of a duckling sleeping on a teddy bear soften the blow.   These 40 perforated postcards answer all of your cowardly prayers--you'll finally be able to tell the truth without ever conquering your fear of confrontation. Let these adorable baby animals supply a silver lining to any bad situation and avoid, a long, tearful afternoon explaining why daddy's never coming home.

Co-authors of Grandma’s Dead, Amanda McCall and Ben Schwartz feel they are doing a service to mankind.  They don’t mean to be awful, but hope that this makes people’s lives easier and saves them time.  After all, who has time these days to sit down and explain bad news to someone! 

Amanda doesn’t like confrontations, and this all started about a year ago when she went home for the holidays.  Her sister had just had a baby, and Amanda felt that the baby was the ugliest baby she had ever seen.  Amanda felt she had to tell her sister, but couldn’t bear the thought of telling her to her face.  So instead, she sent her sister a postcard.  Her sister took it very well and believe it or not, they are still on speaking terms.


Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

New Dog Growls at Old Dog

This woman has a 5-year old female Springer Spaniel and recently adopted a Cockapoo female puppy.  The puppy growls and snaps at the older dog, and she is just now realizing that she should not have gotten a second female.  This has been going on for over a year.  Vladae states that both of these dogs should know that this woman is the alpha female in the house.  Most dogs fight for 3 reasons.   They compete for toys, food or their owners’ attention.  You must remove all food and toys, and things such as rawhide, pig ears, etc.   He also suggests ignoring the dogs, and only give them attention when they are being trained.

Dog Gets Excited When He Sees Other Dogs

This Jack Russell Terrier/Pit Bull Mix is very high strung and intelligent.  He is now 4-years-old, and before, other dogs didn’t bother him.  Now, when he sees other dogs, he gets real excited and wants to go see the dog.  His guardian wants to know if he should get another dog as a companion. 

Why Are The Words Dog And God So Similar? - The Origin of Cats and Dogs - Ed Sayres, ASPCA President

It is reported that the following edition of the Book of Genesis was discovered in the Dead Seal Scrolls. If authentic, it would shed light on the question, "Where do pets come from?"

And Adam said, "Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked with me everyday.  Now I do not see you anymore. I am lonesome here and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me."  And God said, "No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will know I love you, even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish and childish and unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourself."

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased.  And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and he wagged his tail. And Adam said, "But Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and all the good names are taken and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."  And God said, "No problem! Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."

And Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that Adam's guardian angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam has become filled with pride. He struts and preens like a peacock and he believes he is worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught him that he is loved, but no one has taught him humility."  And the Lord said, "No problem! I will create for him a companion who will be with him forever and who will see him as he is."  The companion will remind him of his limitations, so he will know that he is not worthy of adoration."

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam. And Cat would not obey Adam.  And when Adam gazed into Cat's eyes, he was reminded that he was not the Supreme Being. And Adam learned humility.  And God was pleased. And Adam was greatly improved.

And Cat did not give a **** one way or the other.


Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

Invitation To Birthday Party For Friend’s Cat

This one tops them all – an invitation arrived in the mail the other day, not even email, but with postage paid to my wife – she was invited to a birthday party for her friend’s cat.   Now one, I have been telling her for ages that this girlfriend of hers has crossed the line; she’s past the point of no return.   She’s in her 40’s; this cat is the love of her life.  It’s just her, the cat, a quilt and a big jug of Ben & Jerry’s, that’s it!  Oh, and she knits!  This cat is her life.  And that’s great, but to throw the cat a birthday party – that is a cry for help!  I told my wife you are not a good friend.  This is a cry for help and you’re not responding to this.  And like, I said, maybe if she had emailed it, but stamps were put on these! Are people going to show up?  Are they going to sing to this cat?  Are they going to say, “ How old are you now?” and expect the cat to scratch out his age?

Be a good friend.  Take the invitation to your local therapist, write your friend’s phone number on it, or address, and get a straight jacket fitted. 

Watchdog Report

The Watchdog Report ( is a list of people who made the most money in the animal welfare industry in a given year.  What’s interesting about this is that the goal of the Watchdog Report is to take a look at the major non-profit organizations and kind of filter out if the money is going to the right place or not. 

And of course, PETA would play a big role in such listing and in the case of PETA, they actually have a parallel organization, a foundation to support animal protection that reportedly is spending 100% of its so-called program budget on fund raising functions for PETA. 

The point of this really is to make sure that these people who are claiming to take money and put it in all of the right places and airing commercials where owners are weeping over their one-eyed dog, that if the average lay person donates “x amount” of dollars, that that money does go there. 

Basically what you uncover in the Watchdog Report is that if you give just $20, that $20 that you are spending might be hard earned for you, and you might think you are doing the right thing, but that just turns around and goes into more mailers.  It just goes into generating more pleas for more money, which is their way of saying that the more you give the better at least some of it will go to the right place. 

There’s nothing more disconcerting than showing up at a fundraising event to benefit the animals, as I’ve done in the past.  One time I went to host a specific event raising money for an animal shelter and a gentleman pulls up in a Jaguar.   Now its appalling enough that he shows up in a vehicle named after an animal, but as the night went on, with his blackberry hanging in his ear and all of the important telephone calls that he is making in his Gucci suit, I say to him, “You must have one hell of a day job!”  And he says, “Well, this is my day job, working for the animal shelter.”  Now there is just no way that working in an animal shelter in the valley, an animal shelter that I’ve seen and could use a good paint job, could generate enough capital for this gentleman to be living this large. So, we need the Watchdog Reports to just kind of look and make sure the money is going into the right place.

So, I stand by the fact that me giving him a kidney shot was not deserving of me spending a night in jail!


Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill
Rapper Charged with Animal Cruelty

A name change didn’t help Earl Simmons escape prosecution for theft, drug possession and cruelty to animals.  Earl, who’s known to rap fans as DMX, pled guilty last week to one count of theft, one count of felony drug possession and one count of animal cruelty in charges stemming from a raid on his Arizona residence in August of 2007.  Dr. Melinda Merck, Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics assisted investigators for the ASPCA.  Dr. Merck determined that the deaths of three dogs found on Earl Simmon’s property in Cave Creek were the result of mistreatment.  Dr. Merck talking about the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation of this case, said, “I have worked with many different law enforcement agencies all over the country and the team working on this investigation was extremely dedicated.”

Dog Alerts Owners to Thieves

One good turn deserves another - that “saying” proved to be true last week in La Jolla, California when a rescued dog alerted his owner to thieves breaking into a van.   Lava altered Lt. Colonel Jay Kopelman who discovered two men trying to break into his wife’s van.  The retired marine gave chase and called 9-1-1.  Police pulled the suspects over just two miles away and arrested two men on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary as well as drug charges. Lava, the now three-year-old mixed breed dog, was rescued in Iraq by Kopelman in 2005.  Lava was just 5 weeks old when Kopelman found the puppy inside an empty oil drum during a standoff with enemy snipers.  Kopelman adopted the puppy and named him after the Lava Dogs Marine battalion stationed in Hawaii.

Dalmatian Gives Birth to 18 Puppies

There might be something to numerology after all - take for example - Button the Dalmatian, a daughter of one of the stars of 102 Dalmatians who gave birth to 18 puppies.  The litter, delivered the week of Christmas by C-Section, are being cared for around the clock by Button and owners Nicola and Adam Morley of England.  Button nurses six pups at a time while the other 12 get bottles from the Morley’s with the help of their teenage son Michael. The family has been rotating eight-hour shifts since the pups were born.  The 12 males and six female Dalmatian puppies were all dabbed with a different color of nail polish on their heads for identification.  The Morley’s will have to continue the round the clock feeding schedule until Valentine’s Day when they’ll be weaned at 5 weeks.  All the puppies have been spoken for but the Morley’s are keeping one.

Thieves Hit Animal Center

It may be a sign of the times or bad guys sinking to an all-new low.   The Helen Woodward Animal Center was hit by burglars who made off with over 15 hundred dollars in cash.  Thieves also broke into the Escondido Humane Society twice in a three-day period this week stealing 14-hundred in cash and checks. The money taken from the Escondido facility was a combination of adoption fees and donations.  John Van Zante with the Helen Woodward Animal Center said their facility had just finished their holiday adoptions and the money taken was a portion of those fees.  Had it been a “normal” week, the thieves would have gotten less than 500-dollars according to Van Zante.  Anyone with information about either break in is asked to contact the Escondido Police Department or the San Diego County Sheriffs Department.

Dog and Cat Fur Trade Ban

The European Union has banned the trade of dog and cat fur.  The law, which went into effect January 1st, applies to all EU member states.  The new rules ban all imports and exports of dog and cat fur along with products containing their fur.  The new law also covers trade between communities within the EU member states.

George, the Lobster, Has Been Set Free

The tale of George the Lobster has a happy ending.... without drawn butter.  Thanks to a diner at New York’s “ City Crab & Seafood” on Park Avenue.  George had been in the restaurant’s tank just ten days when the owners agreed to honor a request from PETA to set the crustacean free.  George, who is estimated to be about 140 years old, was set free off Kennebunkport Maine in an area that prohibits lobster traps.  George made the journey in a plastic foam cooler surrounded by wet newspapers, cold packs and seaweed.

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Dr. Jim Humphries - Veterinary Minute

Experimental Anti-Cancer Vaccine for Dogs

An experimental anti-cancer for dogs with melanoma has shown to be effective in some cases.  Scientists hope it will lead to the development of a similar cancer treatment for humans.  Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Veterinary Medicine have been producing the canine vaccine since 1998l.  They found that about 40% of all dogs with melanoma responded to the treatment.  Tumors disappeared completely in about 12 and 1/2 percent of dogs treated with the vaccine.  Not all dogs with melanoma responded to this treatment, but those that did, seemed to do quite well.  About 75% of dogs with oral melanoma die within a year, even with conventional treatment.

Dogs Smell Cancer

The California study was conducted by the Pine Street Foundation and will be published in integrative cancer studies.  It shows that five dogs were 88% to 97% accurate in smelling several types of cancers in breath samples.  Dogs may be able to give doctors clues about chemical markers that have not yet been discovered.  The knowledge that dogs can detect cancer was initially established in 1989 when a pet’s repeated sniffing of its owner’s skin lesion prompted a cancer diagnosis.  Four cancer studies using volunteer dogs from around the country are about to begin.  The studies will focus on prostate, mammary, lung and ovarian cancers.  Researchers estimate that for accurate results, studies must use at least 108,000 original samples and be precisely staged.


Animal Minute With Britt Savage
Panda Adopted by Cat

In Amsterdam, a zookeeper’s housecat has adopted a baby red panda and is nursing the cub along with her own kittens.  A spokesperson for the Artis Zoo explained that two red panda cubs were abandoned by their mother for some reason leaving them alone in the cold.  The zoo stepped in and put the cubs in an incubator where one cub was too weak and died.  The other was adopted by the cat that had just given birth to kittens.  Red pandas are an endangered species that look more like a raccoon than a giant panda.  They mature to just a bit bigger than a housecat, so the zoo plans to let the cub nurse with his cat family for a few months before bringing out some bamboo and fruit.  I’m thinking he won’t have to fight with his kitten siblings for that meal!

Dogs Sniff Out Pirated DVDs

Sniffer dogs trained in Ireland are now sniffing out black market bootlegged DVDs.  Illegal DVDs are a multi-million dollar industry, often being sold online or on street corners.  When the dogs visited Malaysia, they found 1.7 million dollars worth of illegal DVDs.  The dogs are able to detect the plastics used in DVDs and they are trained to calmly stare in the direction of the plastic smell.  Afterwards, they are rewarded with their favorite toy.  The dogs seem to love their work and hopefully all of this work will be reflected in lower popcorn prices at the movies!


Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

Does My Dog have OCD?

This 6-year-old spaniel mix seems to have an obsessive-compulsive behavior, which is getting worse.  She will sit on anything soft and move her paw from left to right, over and over again, as if she is smoothing the surface.  She will also move her head from side to side while she does this.  Other times, she will just sit there and stare at things as if she were in a trance.   Dr. Debbie wonders if this is truly an obsessive-compulsive disorder, as normally with OCD, dogs have a high anxiety level and a heightened arousal.   She feels that this may be more of a seizure disorder and suggests that lab work be done to rule this out.  She also suggests that the guardian videotape these episodes to present to the vet.

Katrina Survivors Not Adapting

These animals are all Katrina survivors, but since their move into a new home, they have not adapted and the cats and dogs are all peeing in the house.

Dr. Debbie worries that the cats might smell a previous animal’s markings and that they might also see cats outside the home, making them fell that they have to mark their new territory.   She also suggests trying one of those plug-in pheromone diffusers.  These are scent hormones, which can release a sense of calm in the pet.

Vladae has some suggestions for the dogs. When you can’t supervise the dogs, keep them in a crate.  Make sure you clean the spots where they have peed with an enzyme-based product.   Then, put their food where they have gone to the bathroom, as a dog won’t pee in an area where he eats.   Take them outside frequently and tell them to “go potty.” You should be able to correct this problem in about a week.

Arctic/Timber Wolf Might Be Underweight

This full-blooded wolf is about 5 years old and weighs about 140 pounds.  He is big, but is very slender.   His overall health is good, with no diarrhea or vomiting.   His diet consists of dry dog food and the occasional cooked meat scrap.  He has not been neutered.   These animals, compared to dogs, are usually much leaner with more muscle tone and lanky.   They also need more of a diet than just kibble, and raw meat should be added to their diet.

Chihuahua’s Baby Teeth Haven’t Fallen Out Yet

This dog is now around one year old and hasn’t lost all of his baby teeth.  Most small dogs should lose all of their teeth by age 10 months, at the latest.  If these teeth haven’t fallen out by this age, they will need to be surgically removed, as there is the potential for crowding and abscesses. 

Dog Is Loosing Hair Around Mouth And Legs

This is an 8-month-old Alaskan Malamute who has started losing hair around her mouth as well as a few spots on her legs.    Dr. Debbie suggests the first thing to do is to check for skin mites, which are so small you can’t see them with the naked eye.   There are certain types of mites that puppies are prone to having, as their immune system is still developing.  The good news is that humans can’t catch it!


The $150,00 Cloned Dog

Bernann McKinney

We all have animals that have died who were special.  But to spend the money and time to try to recreate them seems a little out of the ordinary.  But not to Bernann McKinney.  When her dog Booger died in 2006, she sold her house and spent $150,000 to “clone” him.

McKinney had the cloning done by the Seoul-based RNL Bio, who states that they cloned the first dog back in 2005 and have since cloned more than 20 canines.

McKinney claims that as a result of her efforts, 5 puppies have been born from Booger’s DNA.  She also claims that these dogs look like and act like Booger.  But when she mentions the things these puppies do, the behaviors seem more like regular puppy behavior.  Are they true clones?

This all seems a little strange to spend so much money, when it could have been better spent on animals that have already been born and are looking for homes.   In fact, what if someone had cloned Booger’s mother, “he” would not have been born and she would have missed out on her special relationship with him.

Cloning is not perfected and, even though Bernann denied it, the rate of miscarriage and stillbirth is extremely high in these procedures.  It can also lead to malformed offspring and exploitation of surrogates and egg donors, as well as unfounded claims that the new animal is an exact copy of the original.  And unfortunately many animals die trying to make one clone.

According to a report released by The Humane Society, 3,656 cloned embryos, 319 egg donors and 214 surrogates were used to produce just five cloned dogs and 11 cloned cats who were able to survive 30 days past birth.

Perhaps some people don’t understand the difference between loving animals for their own selfish reasons and actually loving animals.  Why not just rescue a new dog and save a life instead?  Then this animal can become “special” to you as well!

Perhaps we should let Mother Nature take her course, after all, she knows best!


Talk With Your Animals with Joy Turner
Nana is an 11-month-old Mastiff who has been in her new home for about five months. Her guardian wants to know if she is happy, especially with all of the excitement of the holidays being over, and everything turning back to normal. It turns out Nana is happy, but she wants to know where her place is, or what her job is, in this new family, as she needs a purpose. She also wants to know what “normal” is for this family.


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