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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for March 1, 2014  

Crowd-Funding For Pets
Stacey Nutini, Fund A Pet Miracle

Stacey Nutini with dogStacey Nutini has taken crowd-funding to a new high! Her one-person organization directs funds to those who need urgent veterinary care. She describes the kind of people that give dollars to help other pet owners and the vetting process.

Stacey Nutini founded Fund A Pet Miracle, which is much like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. It allows someone to come on and create a project over a certain amount of time for a monetary goal that they need for their animal. While they are similar, Fund A Pet Miracle is different than other crows-funding in reaching your goal. While other crowd-funding will only let you keep the funds if you have met your goal, with Fund A Pet Miracle, you get all funds raised whether or not your goal was reached.

The timeframe on projects run up to ninety days. For instance, if your dog needed a surgery that costs $2,000, you could set up a project with that goal, which could run 30 days. People could then go on and help you in your time of need to afford the surgery for your pet. But if your pet needs emergency surgery, you can have a project that lasts as little as five days.

If you are on the other end and would like to contribute, how can you make sure that the money you end is actually going to an animal in need? Stacey tells us that every project has to go through an application process. Stacey will then personally make calls to the actual veterinarian to verify that the animal and owner are real and that they have the problem they are claiming they need funds for. She also makes sure that the amount they are asking for aligns with the cost of the procedure.

Stacey tells us that people give to these types of projects because pet stories are very relatable. Some people relate to a certain breed that they either own or once owned and want to help. Perhaps they even had a pet they lost because they couldn't afford the surgery that someone else is requesting funding for. While they may not have been able to help their own pet, their heart allows them to help others in the same situation.

Fund A Pet Miracle was started because Stacey and her boyfriend had a Beagle Terrier mix dog that had diabetes and kidney disease. They both invested every penny they had in her treatment. They felt lucky that they were in a good financial position at the time and could afford it. However, she knew that you are not always in a position to be able to do something like this. Everyone has highs and lows in life, and what if you are at a spot where you couldn't afford the care for your pet?

Fund A Pet Miracle was started in October 2012 and has so far raised a total of $150,000.

Cleaning Up After Westminster
Jerry Grymek, Hotel Penn Sky.743.jpg

Jerry GrymekJerry Grymek has the unfortunate duty of cleaning up after a bunch of dogs. Where do the dogs in Westminster stay? Hotel Penn of course. And Jerry is the certified Doggy Concierge who spills the beans and behind the show gossip.

Westminster is the oldest, continuous sporting event in America, with the exception of the Kentucky Derby. The Dog Show is the most prestigious of National Dog Shows and has been held every year despite power shortages, hazardous weather conditions, economic depressions and World Wars.

New York's Hotel Pennsylvania has been host to millions of visitors to Manhattan, more than any other hotel in the world. With 1,700 rooms and over 90,000 square feet within walking distance to many of Manhattan's famed tourist attractions, including Times Square, the Theater District and the Empire State Building.

So what types of strange things go on behind the scenes at Hotel Penn during Westminster? As soon as you walk in the doors with your pet, Jerry, the certified Doggy Concierge, greets you. You then get the welcome kit, which includes dog cookies, commemorative postcard and a magazine on information about the show and the hotel.

Hotel PennJerry has greeted dogs wearing such items as a nice sunny hat and sunglasses. And if they weren't wearing these items, people were asking where they could purchase them.

The madness continues when they get to their rooms. The most popular food requests in the past for dogs have been pizza and cheeseburgers. However, this year people were cutting back on the junk food for their dogs and going with healthier choices. Jerry feels this was due in fact to the addition of agility to the show. I guess they needed to be in tip-top shape!

Special requests included owners asking where there could get massages for their dogs, which were offered in the Dog Spa. Looks like more and more owners wanted their VIP show participants to be more relaxing and stretched before the show.

And with the snow in the city, some of the warmer climate dogs were excited to make snow dog angels and experience snow for the first time.

They are all true celebrities!

Less Vet Visits = More Sick Pets
Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig, ProLabs

ProLab Pets LogoNew studies show that pet guardians are visiting the vet less and usually with sicker pets. Why this down-turn? Perhaps the costs associated with vet visits, vaccines and medications are the reason. Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig explains how you can keep your pet protected on the cheap.

Unfortunately too many of our canine companions are being exposed to preventable diseases such as the Corona Virus and Leptospirosis.

In the last ten years, people have reduced the number of visits to their veterinarian. As a result, diseases, which that were once controlled and controllable, are starting to spring up again.

ProLabs has made vaccines available over the counter, but have added a couple of new components to the vaccines to address the problems that Corona Virus and Leptospirosis presents.

The Corona Virus is a virus that is very common in boarding situations. It is a very contagious virus, and it doesn't take much to pass it from dog to dog. It is most often associated with diarrhea, vomiting, appetite loss and depression. In some cases, it can be fatal.

Puppy with vaccineLeptospirosis can cause severe liver disease and jaundice, and can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, depression, and blood in the urine.

These diseases are occurring because our dog's lifestyles are changing. More people are taking their dogs to dog parks, to doggy daycare, and are even bringing their dogs to work. The potential for these dogs, which were normally kept in the house, are now pretty significant to catch these diseases.

There have been a number of instances recently that haven't been so mild and the virus does have the ability to mutate and cause significant problems.

The easiest to way to prevent these diseases is to go to your veterinarian and have your pet vaccinated. Even though we are slowly dragging ourselves out of a recession, cost is very much an issue for many of us. If this is the case, you can get these vaccinations directly from ProLabs.

Be sure to check with your vet, because nobody knows what your pet needs better than your own veterinarian. Always use their guidance and their suggestions to get your dog protected.

Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Maintain Healthy Ears & Nails On Your Cat
Something you may never think about is your cat's ears. However, just like dog ears, they need to be maintained to stay healthy.

The main difference between a dog's ear and a cat's ear is that cats don't have hair in their ears, so there is nothing to be removed. This is a good thing, because can you imagine plucking hair out of cat's ears? Good luck!

The easiest way to maintain healthy ears in a cat is to go to your local pet store and buy ear cleaner (you will need cotton balls) or ear wipes that they sell over the counter. Then just swab the ear out.

You can also make your own ear cleaner with four parts water and one part white vinegar. Just mix the solution together and wipe your cat's ears.

Cleaning a cat's earYou don't want to go in very deep at all. Just wipe out the canal, which you see, and take out any debris. If the debris is really heavy and crusty and has a horrible odor to it, take your cat to the veterinarian.

As far as a cat's nails go, they are much easier to cut than a dog's nails. The problem is the cat itself! Joey doesn't personally recommend cutting a cat's nail at home unless you have experience holding cats, or there is someone there who has the experience holding them while you cut their nails. Cats are not going to sit still like most dogs will while getting their nails cuts. Some cats will, but most won't allow it.

Fortunately most cats (about 99%) have clear nails so it is easy to see the quick. If you cut too close too, or even cut the quick itself, it will bleed. Make sure before cutting any animal's nail that you have some sort of clotting powder on hand.

For cats, just stay about 1/8 of an inch away from the quick and just cut the hook off the end of the nail. This should be done about once a month. You really need to pay attention to the nails of cats that are indoor cats and not very active. Their nails can curl and actually go into the cat's pads, which can be very painful.

Animal Radio® News with Stacey Cohen

James LawlorStolen Cat Food Results In Grand Theft
James Lawlor of Clearwater, Florida was charged with Grand Theft after attempting to steal over $300 worth of cat food from a local Wal-Mart. Officers responded to the Wal-Mart on Us Highway 19 North in Clearwater to investigate a shoplifting case involving cat food. Loss prevention staff had detained James Lawlor for loading up a shopping cart full of cat food and then walking to his car without paying. Lawlor explained to officers that he had done this in the past and that he steals the cat food to sell in what he calls "hustling." Lawlor also said he has a friend with 300 cats and he sells the food to him and others. I'm not sure what part of this story I find most alarming: That "hustling" is actually a term used to describe stealing hundreds of dollars worth of cat food to sell on the black market, or that there are apparently people out there with upwards of 300 cats that warrant this type of illegal activity!

Cat Video Festival
Attention fans of cat videos. The Internet Cat Video Festival is returning to the Walker Art Center this summer. The Minneapolis museum is bringing the festival back as a free community event at Open Field, the Walker's summer gathering place, on August 14th.
Some 10,000 people gathered at the Walker when the museum held its first cat video festival in 2012. Last year, the Walker presented the second installment of the festival at the Minnesota State Fair.

Deer Dropping StatueDeer Droppings Send Messy
An angry artist in Canada is expressing his or her displeasure with the city's deer population with a deer statue covered in deer droppings. CBC News says an anonymous resident left the statement piece on the steps of City Hall in Penticton, British Columbia. The Penticton mayor called it a "very effective way" of letting them know that there was a problem that needed to be resolved. However, city officials apparently already knew that there was a deer issue in town and had been waiting for a decision in a legal battle over a nearby deer heard, where they voted to spend $15,000 on a project to relocate the deer.

Black JackLongest Serving Police Horse Retires
Black Jack, the longest-serving police horse in St. Paul, has been a workhorse. In his 14 years with the department, he never once called in sick or missed a day of work, a senior police commander joked. The 18-year-old horse will return to his owners, who had donated him to the police department and live out his remaining years in pasture, said officer Hank Price, the rider primarily assigned to Black Jack most recently. "He's done his duty; he deserves a good retirement," he said. "As far as we know, it's the longest in the history of the department, at least in the modern era." Because it can take a while to find a good police horse and get it trained, the mounted patrol worked to get a new horse ready before Black Jack retired, Price said. Lisa Halvorson heard the police department was looking for a new horse and offered to donate Rascal. The 10-year-old Oldenburg breed "has a ton of personality and is kind of a busy horse," she said. "He thrives on things going on, and it seemed like a perfect fit for him. ... It's really a good feeling that he can do something like this." The mounted patrol operates year-round, and the horses wear special horseshoes with studs, so they have traction on the snow and ice. Black Jack's horseshoes fit Rascal perfectly, according to Price and a farrier transferred them to the new horse. Rascal also got Black Jack's police saddle at a recent ceremony.

Free Pet Discount Drug Card
Pet News and Views A PET BLOG is offering Free Pet Discount Drug Cards that's actually good for pet and human prescription medications. A lot of the drugs prescribed for pets are the same meds that we take, just smaller doses. The cards are accepted at over 80 percent of all pharmacies in the U.S. and its territories, from national chains to local drug stores. The card never expires and can be used over and over again. With this card you can save up to 55% on generics and up to 15% on brand-name medications. Once you get the card, just take it with a prescription from your veterinarian to a participating pharmacy to receive the discount. You can use it for your own medications too!

Military DogTaliban Steels Military Dog
An American military official says a dog seized by the Taliban in Afghanistan belongs to the British and not the U.S. The Taliban released a video claiming that they seized the U.S. dog in what the insurgents said was an "attempted nighttime raid" in late December. The video shows the animal decked out in an elaborate harness. There's been no word so far from the British military.

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