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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio for March 19, 2016  

Country Star Partners with New Leash on Life
Lorrie Morgan

Lorrie Morgan at New Leash On Life Outspoken Country Artist Lorrie Morgan is our guest. She walks the walk when it comes to the animals. From putting on fundraising concerts to helping in the shelter, she's involved with supporting her local animal welfare organization, New Leash on Life Pet Adopt Center in Lebanon, Tennessee (check out the video). Lorrie has Pit Bulls at home and thinks they're so misunderstood.

The mission on New Leash on Life is to establish permanent adoption of abandoned cats and dogs. The center provides shelter, food, medical care and basic training to each rescued animal and became a no-kill shelter in 2009. It has found homes for more than 13,000 dogs and cats.

Lorrie said she wanted to get involved with a local shelter after viewing the negative treatments of animals online and in the news. She likes the no-kill aspect of it, because she doesn't like anything to be killed or euthanized, and she wanted to show her support.

Weezie T-ShirtLorrie helps support New Leash on Life by doing benefit concerts as well as directing as many people as she can who are ready to adopt to check out their animals instead of going to breeders. She has also created a T-shirt featuring one of her dogs, Weezie (named after the rapper) to the shelter and its efforts to improve the welfare of the animals, placement, education and awareness of animal cruelty. For more information and to purchase a "Lorrie & Weezie" T-shirt, visit

As you can tell, Lorrie has a soft spot for Pit Bulls and says her favorite show is Pit Bulls and Parolees. She believes these dogs are misunderstood and thinks of them as the, "Island of the misfits." She states Pit Bulls are very sensitive and beautiful dogs. They are also extremely smart and loyal dogs that have received a bad rap. Lorrie states that at one time she had a Chihuahua and said if he were a Pit Bull, she'd be dead! She states that the Chihuahua bit her many times and was meaner than her Pit Bulls and was a better guard dog.

Lorrie believes the bad rap comes from how they are raised, where they have been fought and trained, as well as all of the inbreeding. Because Pit Bulls are such a loyal breed, people have also taken advantage of their good nature and how they want to please their master by making them do unwanted behaviors.

When it comes to animal cruelty, Lorrie is not afraid to speak her mind. She tells us she can't stand to see all of the videos on Facebook on animal cruelty, because she wants to know who the person is who is filming them! She said she would like to smack the person behind the camera. Now, her husband won't let her go on Facebook after 9:00pm, because she doesn't sleep at night after watching them.

Lorrie has four pets at home, which include two Pit Bulls, one named Weezie and another named Puddin, as well as two Great Pyrenees' named Abby and Ray. She states that her dogs are welcome to get on the bed with them just before they go to bed, but that they also have their assigned sleeping places. However, this doesn't stop Weezie from sneaking on the bed in the middle of the night. Lorrie says when they wake up; there he is between her and her husband. She doesn't know how he does it, as he is so quiet and she calls him a "Silent little bed creeper."

No mater what people call her, Lorrie says she loves her animals and that animals help people live longer and be happier.

Picture of Me Album CoverLetting You Go Slow Album CoverLorrie continues to record albums and recently release 2 new albums, back-to-back. Following the February 12 release of her first new studio album in five years, Letting You Go… Slow, released by Shanachie Entertainment, as well as her brand new compilation album, A Picture Of Me - Greatest Hits & More.

You can also catch her at one of her Upcoming Tour Dates:

March 19 Georgia National Fairgrounds - Perry, Ga.
March 25 Golden Nugget - Las Vegas, Nev.
April 16 Grand Casino - Hinckley, Minn.
April 22 Shooting Star Casino - Mahnomen, Minn.

For more information on Lorrie Morgan, visit or follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

If A Natural Disaster Strikes, What Will Happen To Your Pet?
Karissa Hadden, Animal Storm Squad, Nat Geo

Karissa Hadden with PuppyKarissa Hadden chases natural disasters rescuing thousands of animals that have been injured, trapped or displaced as a result of tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and other catastrophes. Her life is documented in the new Nat Geo Wild television show, Animal Storm Squad.

Every year, thousands of animals are injured, trapped or displaced as a result of tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Traditional first responders are not equipped to assist animals, leaving them helpless in the wake of catastrophe. One such responder is Animal Storm Squad, who is able to save a lot of these animals.

Karissa leads the Animal Storm Squad (which premiered on Nat Geo on March 11th) in one of the charity's fully equipped vans, carrying animal medical supplies, lifesaving equipment, cages for transport and communication technology. She oversees caring and transporting each rescued pet to safety or to its owners.

What you will see on the show is a group of very dedicated, trained volunteers that go into natural disasters after the fact and get the animals out. These animals are triaged, transported to vets and ultimately reunited with their owners.

Animal Storm SquadKarissa was inspired to do something after trying to help some kittens that were ultimately lost in the EF5 tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, in May 2013. At the time, her good friend, Dave Holder who was a meteorologist, was tracking the storm. Dave called Karissa and told her that he had found a litter of 5 very tiny kittens. He was in a complete panic as the mother had been killed and he didn't know what to do. Karissa's day job is a veterinary assistant, so she was able to tell him what to do. However, because of all of the devastation and downed phone lines, Karissa was not able to find a local vet. Finally, hours later, Dave was able to find a shelter to take the kittens. Sadly, the next day three out of the five kittens passed away.

This was the moment that Karissa decided she wanted to start an organization that could help save these animals as quickly as possible after a natural disaster and get them back to their owners.

Things changed back in 2005 after Katrina, where people had to leave their animals behind. Now, if residents are given enough time to evacuate, they are taking their animals with them. But, Karissa heard many stories about wildfires in that people weren't aware of fires being so close until they smelled smoke and then it was too late. The people only had time to grab their keys and their kids and didn't have time to find all of their animals.

Luckily, Animal Storm Squad has Eric Fox, who constantly monitors tornadoes, potential floods and wild fire. This gives them a general idea of what to expect. Of course, that can change in minutes, so they are always preparing and getting themselves ready to deploy anywhere in the country at a moment's notice.

Catch Animal Storm Squad Fridays at 10/9c on Nat Geo.


- WILDFIRE: Wenatchee, Washington: Seven animals rescued during the largest wildfire in the state's history
- TORNADO: Van, Texas: Eleven animals helped after a powerful EF3 tornado
- FLOOD: San Marco, Texas: Ten animals helped after dangerous flooding
- WILDFIRE: Middletown, California: Eight animals helped after a devastating wildfire
- FLOOD: Andrews, South Carolina: Eight animals helped after a flood rendered the state a disaster zone

Karissa currently lives in Ontario, Canada and is an animal expert and veterinary assistant who founded the charity Never Stop Saving Animal Disaster Rescue Transport.

The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat
Gwen Cooper, HOMER

Gwen Cooper with HomerHomer was a blind, black cat that never knew sight. His owner, Gwen Cooper, realized this precious ball of fur was filled with lots of life-lessons. Gwen's second book about Homer will leave you delighted to have shared in his journey through words. She'll talk about the impact of handicapped pets in her life.

Homer was Gwen Cooper's little blind cat that she adopted when he was about 3 weeks old and had until he was 17 years old, losing him in 2013.

Homer was originally a neglected and unwanted blind kitten. He was actually born with eyes, but also born with an eye infection that he inherited from his mother. It was thought that Homer never was able to see because he had this infection before his eyes ever opened. Homer had his eyes surgically removed at the age of 2 weeks.

Despite all of this, Homer was an incredibly happy, fearless, amazing cat. Gwen doesn't even feel that Homer knew that there was such a thing as vision.

Gwen felt that Homer thought his "mommy" was omniscient, because he thought that quiet was the same thing as invisible. This lead Homer to try to get away with things in plain sight of her, that he knew he was not supposed to do, and he did them very quietly. Homer never stopped being startled when Gwen would catch him in the act and tell him, "No!" He could never figure out how Gwen knew, and she always knew!

When asked if he was harder to care for than a "normal" cat, Gwen stated, "Absolutely not." Six years ago when Gwen decided to write her first book about Homer (Homer's Odyssey) that is the first thing she wanted to convey. She originally had a lot of trepidations and concerns about adopting a blind kitten. Plus, she was quite young at the time herself. She also didn't feel if she was a good fit for a special needs animal.

Even though it wasn't that hard, Gwen states that there were a few, very simple, common sense adjustments. Some of these adjustments were for her benefit as well as for Homer's. One thing she changed was to stop leaving things lying around on the floor so he wouldn't trip over them. Gwen states that this was a habit that was time for her to grow out of anyway.

Homer Book CoverWhile Homer was fearless, there were still a lot more things for him to be afraid of than he even knew, but he didn't see them, and so he lived his life.

Gwen said she learned from all of this that there are, "Blind leaps of faith." There are things in life that are scary, and if you over think them, you don't do them. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and jump.

Gwen adopted two other kittens after Homer, with one only having three legs, named Clayton. Clayton took immediately to Homer, with sort of a hero worship, and always waited for Homer to do something interesting.

One thing Gwen likes to emphasize, that is at the end of the day a special needs animal is still just an animal, who is capable of loving you and living an amazing life as any other animal. She also stated that there weren't any additional expenses in adopting a blind cat.

Gwen Cooper is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir "Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat" and "Homer: The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat." She also manages Homer's ongoing social-media community, which reaches nearly two million cat enthusiasts and rescuers around the world each day. Gwen lives in Manhattan with her husband, Laurence. She also currently lives with her two perfect cats - Clayton the Tripod and his littermate, Fanny - who aren't impressed with any of it.

Dr. Debbie WhiteWhat's Your Vet-iquette - How to Be a Good Veterinary Client -Dr. Debbie

Sure you think your vet visits go off without a hitch, but do you know how to be a good veterinary client, the kind veterinarians rave about? Follow these suggestions to participate as a vital part of your pet's medical care, to ensure your pet gets the most efficient care, and to always be greeted with beaming smiles.

Be Prepared
Before you arrive at the office with a sick pet, know your pet's ins and outs. Without a pertinent history from you, your veterinarian may need more diagnostic tests to sleuth out the answer to the problem. That takes time and can cost you more in veterinary bills.

Expect the questions your vet is likely to ask you. Has your pet been eating? What types and brand of food do you feed him? Is there diarrhea or constipation?

Bring Evidence
Nothing is more useful to your veterinarian as seeing something with her own eyes. Bring evidence like stool samples, vomited material, and medications your pet is receiving. Has your pet chewed on some unusual plant in the backyard? By all means bring a sprig of that plant.

Document video on your smart phone. This can be immensely helpful to your veterinarian to witness behaviors that may be intermittent. I've been thankful when owners bring smart phone video of seizures, separation anxiety behaviors, and respiratory ailments.

Video eliminates misinterpretation by pet owners, and can permit a quick veterinary diagnosis. Vomiting and regurgitating may look similar, but are caused by different disorders. Pets strain to defecate with both diarrhea and constipation. Inspiratory wheezing, coughing, congestion and reverse sneezing are often described similarly by owners.

Trust Valid Resources
By all means do your research in advance of your veterinary visit. Know what questions to ask. But remember that the internet is abounding with both good and blazingly incorrect information, some based on opinions and conjecture without any sound medical basis. Pet owners who value Dr. Google's opinion over their veterinarian, who has examined their pet, could put their pet's health care in jeopardy.

Confine Your Pet
Make sure your pet is secure before entering the veterinary hospital. Don't underestimate the unpredictable things pets do in a noisy, crowded waiting room. Birds fly off shoulders landing in snack zone of nearby dogs. Dogs instigate fights, and cats flee the waiting veterinary staff's arms. Pay attention to where your pet is and don't allow your pet to approach other animals without the owner's consent. Some animals are there because they are sick, and could bite in unfamiliar surroundings.

Dogs should be on a secure leash. Flexi leashes are dangerous in the veterinary hospital allowing dogs to bolt quickly toward another dog, or to entangle limbs of humans or other animals in the waiting room. Cats and exotic pets should be secured in an appropriate pet carrier.

If you have a pet that has been or could be aggressive to veterinary staff…absolutely share that information before the visit starts. Veterinarians look out for the safety of people in their employment and appreciate a heads-up in advance to avoid potential staff injury.

Cat at Vet OfficeOptimize Your Face Time
So now you are in the exam room with the doc, so make the most of it. Put the cell phone away, and by all means…don't waste time taking a phone call if medical staff is standing in front of you.

Avoid distractions that will limit your ability to communicate with your veterinarian. This might include a roomful of boisterous children or other pets. If possible, arrange child care or pet sitting so your sick pet gets prime attention and you don't miss any details of the visit.

Emergencies Happen
At the vet office, we recognize how valuable pet owner's time is and try to minimize the wait. But recognize that emergencies are unforeseen and create delays for other pet owners. Most folks understand that emergencies happen and are accommodating during situations as this.

But making a scene or outburst about your wait time, while the veterinary staff tends to a critical pet is just inconsiderate. Recognize that one day your pet could be in that same place and you would be appreciative that your pet's medical emergency was triaged ahead of the waiting routine appointments.

Don't Attack the Messenger
Emotions can run high when you have a sick or injured pet, but it isn't an excuse to be abusive to hospital staff. Obscene language and overly aggressive behavior doesn't help your pet get the care she needs, nor does it endear yourself to those people working hard for your pet's health.

Own Your Own Reality
Pet owners have the daunting responsibility for the health and well-being of pets in their care. That means accepting the level of veterinary care you can pursue, and recognizing choices if finances are limited. Pet insurance can help defer the cost of veterinary care, but there isn't government sponsored Obamacare for pets.

Don't blame your veterinarian for your pet's health maladies, or expect her to cover the costs of treatment. People in the veterinary field do what they do because they love animals, but they shouldn't be expected to take financial responsibility for everyone's pets. I once heard a veterinary colleague respond to an client's question, "Doc, why can't you just do my Sasha's surgery for free?" His response was, "Because my staff needs to get paid and my kids need shoes." Recognize that veterinary offices aren't lending institutions, but rather are small businesses with pressing bills, just as anyone.

Share Your Feedback
Share feedback with the hospital management about service excellence or shortcomings. Every hospital appreciates the opportunity to improve, or the chance to pat staff on the back.

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."

4 Things Dog Parents Know That Others Don't
Robert Semrow, Animal Radio Listomania

Parents with Kids and DogHello Animalradians, it's Robert Semrow, your pet world insider here with this week's Animal Radio Listomania.

Are you a dog parent who is constantly scrutinized by people without pets? Well, take pride in knowing that your house is not only filled with unconditional love, but also deeper knowledge of life. That's right, here are just a few things that dog owners know that those without a dog, don't.

To begin with, it's truly important and socially enlightening to have someone special to share any meal with. In fact, it's even better for dog owners because your dog is more than happy to let you choose what that meal is. Are you feeling steak or chicken? So is your pooch. Maybe you want pasta. That's fine with your dog too. See, there's no wrong decision or hours of debating what to have. When it comes to meals with your dog - the decision is simple - let's eat!

Next - Sharing is expected in a household with a dog. There is no mine or yours, just who got there first and who has the bigger bark. See, dogs are more than happy to share their spot with you and they know that even though you may not think there is enough room on that chair or sofa or bed for them, they'll make it work. No need to worry, it's in their DNA - That's right that DNA - Dogs Need Affection.

Next - Without a dog, most humans would sit on the couch, never put down their electronics and probably rarely get any real exercise. Instead, dog owners get the joy and privilege of getting up and getting moving quickly. Dogs have learned if you want to get your human moving quickly, just let them know if they don't let you out first thing in the morning they will be on their hands and knees cleaning the first indoor dew droppings of the day. Additionally, walking to your car is not enough exercise, but a walk around the neighborhood or park, with a few bend at the knees to pick up a dog made road hazard exercises, will keeps you in better shape than another game on your phone or tablet.

Finally, if you have kids, you know that having a dog is essential life training. Yes, there is taking care of another being and learning about love and friendship, but I'm referring to something more important. That is, having the ultimate wingman. If your kid wants to play, their faithful pooch is there to play. If your child makes a mess - their pooch is happy to take the blame and if your child is forced to eat food that no one really wants to eat, their pooch is there to take one for the team and if not eat it, at least bury it somewhere a parent won't find it till it's too late to be mad.

Yes, the ultimate wingman even extends to you single folks. Take that pup out for a walk or run on the weekend and they will introduce to the world and many of inhabitants, just because they care like no one else in your life does.

Dogs are a gift from the heavens, and if you don't think so, you DON'T have one in your life.

Share your ideas on what only dog owners know on the Animal Radio Facebook Page.

Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Spring Clean Your Pet
Spring is just around the corner, so Joey gives us his quarterly report. Just like you "Spring Clean" your house, it is time to blow the dust off the bird, brush out the dog, comb out the cat and wax the turtles! It is time to get them ready for spring!

Most dogs and cats should be groomed 8 to 10 times per year. But for whatever reasons, quite a few people don't do this. It could be because of financial reasons or lack of time.

If you can't groom your pet that frequently, at least have it done during the change of the seasons. Think about the changes when flowers come up in the spring. Your pet's coat also "changes" during the seasons.

As it starts to get warmer, your pet's coat is going to start shedding out. If you don't want a mess in your house and you don't want your pet to be uncomfortable, you need to help get that coat out.

Cleaning Products and Dog  If you don't want to bring them to the groomer, take them outside and start brushing and combing them out.

Most people neglect cat grooming, but if you have a long-haired cat that has been laying up against the heater because of the cold winter, that coat will start coming out like crazy in the spring. Where is all of this hair going to go? It is gong to go on your clothes and furniture.

So get a brush and comb and get to work!

Lori and FlobearAnimal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Goats Gone Wild!
A herd of feral goats has begun roaming the streets of a small New Zealand town, causing havoc throughout the area. The 330 residents of the small town of Blackball have reported that the herd of 16 goats hide at night and destroy gardens during the day. The goats have lived in the area for several years and are believed to be the product of several escaped pets breeding together.

French BulldogsFrench Bulldogs Climbing Ranks as Favorite Dog
Labrador retrievers still reign supreme after a quarter century as America's favorite purebred dog. However, French Bulldogs are on the rise on this latest list and some lesser-known breeds are climbing the popularity ladder too, according to American Kennel Club rankings. Known for being easygoing, fun loving, multitalented and friendly, Labs have held the top spot for longer than any other breed since the AKC started keeping track in the 1880s. Rounding out the top 10 in order: German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, English Bulldogs, Beagles, French Bulldogs, Yorkshire Terriers, Poodles, Rottweilers and Boxers. French bulldogs moved from No. 9 to No. 6 on the new list and became the predominant purebred in Miami and San Francisco, having already conquered New York City. They weren't even in the top 50 as recently as 2002. Some other breeds rising in popularity include: the Cane Corso, an imposing Italian guard dog that rose from 47th to 35th and the Norwegian Elkhound, a hunting dog that's up from 100th to 88th. What about breeds declining in popularity? Dachshunds and Shih Tzus dropped out of the top 10 within the last five years. Boston Terriers, Cocker Spaniels and St. Bernards were No. 1 in decades past but aren't even in the top 20 now.

Pit Bull K9 OfficerPit Bulls Could Be Next Generation of K9 Officers
We've grown used to seeing German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois as police dogs, but how would you feel if Pit Bulls become the next generation of K-9 officers? It's happening now. Two organizations have joined forces to save pit bulls from shelters and train them to become police dogs. Animal Farm Foundations covers the cost of the training while Universal K9 prepares the dogs to be outstanding citizens and K9 officers. The program has successfully placed nine pit bulls across different police departments.

Dog Wearing Coyote VestPunk Rocker-ish Vest Protects Your Pet From Coyotes
A San Diego, California couple have invented a vest that dogs can wear to protect them from coyote attacks. Inspired by the loss of their dog Buffy, who was killed by a coyote, it left the couple angry, but wondering what could they do to keep other dogs safe from the same fate. That's when they came up with the idea for the protective vest. It may make the dog look a little bit punk rocker-ish though, since the vest has plastic spikes on it around the collar area and has quills that run up and down the length of the back, from neck to butt. So far they've sold 120 of the CoyoteVest and they've fielded so many orders, they've had to talk to someone about manufacturing the vests, just to keep up.

Ball Boy DogsRescue Dogs Become "Ball Boys" at Tennis Tournament
Like the Pit Bulls adopted from shelters and trained to be police dogs, there's a similar story line that played out in Brazil last month when four rescue dogs from a shelter were employed as "ball boys" at the Brazil Open Tennis Tournament. It was a brilliant move on the part of Brazilian dog lovers and trainers who took the mistreated dogs and gave them their new occupation by training them to feel at home on the tennis court and get them used to the noise of the crowds and the high speed of the balls they were fetching. They all did a fantastic job and were a huge hit with the sports fans.

Dog Wearing Braces   "Doggy Dentist" Fits Dogs with Braces
A Michigan veterinarian has earned the title of "doggy dentist" for his practice of fitting dogs with braces and performing root canals after a photo of a golden retriever puppy wearing braces was shared all over on the internet. Dr. Jim Moore says while it may be unusual to see a dog wearing braces, he stresses the importance of animals' dental health and says, "Orthodontia in pets is normally not for aesthetic purposes, but because of health concerns."

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