Animal Radio® Sponsors loading...

Animal Radio® Show #489 April 18, 2009


Poop Scooping Business Does Well in This Economy

Red Boswell, CEO “Chief Excrement Officer” The Pet Butler

One of the few businesses still making money in this economy is the Pet Butler.   The Pet Butler provides professional pet waste cleanup and removal services plus pet stations and supplies to individual yards, parks, and multi-family communities across North America. The Pet Butler really is #1 in the "#2" business!  Pet Butler has been cleaning up poop and deodorizing the outdoors for close to 20 years.

They currently have over 130 franchises in 28 states and clean up dog poop for about 16,000 dogs each week, and they even clean kitty litter boxes.   Their “Poop Central Command” headquarters are located just north of Dallas.  Nationwide they made 4.4 million dollars and are growing the company at a rate of 50-75% each year.  

When asked what do they do with all of that poop – Red Boswell, CEO (Chief Excrement Officer) states they are a marketing company first and foremost and want to get their word out, so they throw it in the neighbor’s yard and leave a card!

And they don’t charge extra for small poops – yes, I said small poop, which is actually harder to find in the grass thank larger ones!  So no matter if they use a microscope of a backhoe the cost is the same to you!  To subscribe to their services or to get information on starting your own franchise, please call 1-800-Pet-Butler or visit


“Road To The Rescue” Interview With Tony La Russa (ARF Founder) by Leslie Smith, DogTime

Baseball Legend Tony La Russa's True Passion: Animal Rescue

When the time comes to memorialize Tony La Russa, they'll say he's one of the greats. He leads a team of talented professionals--some of the best around--and to many, he's a hero. I just hope that history won't forget his contributions to the world of baseball as well.

You see, Tony La Russa is a true animal advocate. In addition to managing the St. Louis Cardinals, he founded and heads Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF)--one of the most successful animal shelters in the country. And if you think he's just some wealthy sports figure who threw money at a cause and slapped his name on a building, you're sadly mistaken.

Rescue Dogs: A View From Inside

In the off-season, he's at ARF nearly every day, and he and his wife Elaine--who's he quick to credit with so much of ARF's success--have envisioned and brought to fruition some of the most innovative developments in animal sheltering.

Inspiration Into Reality

If the story were a Hollywood movie, they'd say it was too sweet to be believable. A feral cat living under a baseball stadium wanders out into the middle of play one evening. The team manager wants to turn the cat over to a municipal shelter, but grows concerned she'll be put down when he learns that space there is so limited. So, he starts his own no-kill animal shelter.

Sure, that's a simplified version, but that feral cat (later christened Evie, after Oakland As team owner Evie Haas) was truly the inspiration for La Russa's founding of ARF in 1990. It was hardly, however, La Russa's first foray into the world of animal welfare. For years, both he and his wife have actively advocated on behalf of animals, traveling to shelters around the country helping raise money and awareness. And they've both been vegetarians since 1977, a rarity, if not complete anomaly, in the world of professional sports.

Animals Rescuing People

Though ARF in name is an animal shelter--a place to adopt a cat or dog--to call it that only paints a small part of the picture. It's more like a community center with classrooms, a summer camp, and a spay/neuter clinic. You can even hold your child's birthday party there. What's more, the campus is a place one actually wants to spend time. The facilities are gorgeous with clean warm condos for the animals and acres of beautiful walking trails.

And while ARF's mission is about rescuing as many companion animals as they can, they've developed an entire curriculum devoted to "animals rescuing people." Called People Connect, this set of programs was designed to tap that innate comfort--and sheer joy--animals elicit and channel that directly to people in nursing homes, schools, and rehabilitation centers.

Clearly, La Russa's spirit is the driving force behind the innovation and success of ARF. When I ask him whether he's more passionate about baseball or about animals, he tells me it's not even close. Russa. "I spend eight months out of the year doing baseball, twelve months doing ARF," he says. "Our family, myself - we choose this passion."

I have to admit I don't watch a lot of professional sports, and before our interview, I only had the vaguest notion of who Tony La Russa is. But I can tell you that from here on out I don't care who La Russa is managing, I'll always enthusiastically be rooting for his team. Because clearly, he's constantly going to bat for mine.


Animal Minute With Britt Savage

US Border Finds Alligator in Suitcase

Us Border Patrol agents recently detained an Arizona driver when drug-sniffing dogs reacted to the smell of marijuana in his car.  The dogs were right!  A small amount of marijuana was found and when the agents asked the driver if he had anything else they should know about, he admitted yes, he did have an alligator.  Sure enough, there was a live 4-foot alligator stuffed into his suitcase.  The driver was arrested on drug charges, and the alligator, which was in good shape (although wrinkled I bet), was released to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.   Maybe with all of that pot smoking, he thought he was carrying an alligator bag! 

Heartbroken Bird Lover Places Ad On Craigslist

Lots of people place online ads for love or maybe to sell their used car, but a heartbroken bird lover got his missing parrot back thanks to Craigslist.   Thirty-five–year-old Jason Strong couldn’t bear to think of never finding his 8-month-old Amazon parrot, but the though of his beloved Dino becoming a meal for another animal was unbearable.   Strong has Cerebral Palsy and his caregiver had taken Dino to visit some friends.  They were sitting at a pool with Dino perched on her arm when he suddenly took of flying. Something he’d never done before.  They made flyers and put an ad on Craigslist about the missing parrot, but weren’t expecting too much.  Meanwhile, an employee from Hyundai Motors found Dino in a parking lot at work.    She was going to post a “found bird” on Craigslist when she found the “lost bird” one.  She returned Dino to Strong where he happily found a place on Strong’s wheelchair, right next to a parakeet named Pharaoh, a cockatiel named Willow and a conure named Spirit.   He explained, “Some people are cat people, some people are dog people, maybe I was a bird in a past life!”


Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

My Dog Eats Her Poop

Your dog may be eating their poop as habit or maybe the previous guardians did not pick up the poop.  It could also happen while switching diets.  Also, your dog may not be producing certain enzymes to digest the food, and his poop still has the smell of some nutrition.  What to do:  Try putting the product “Stop” on your dog’s food.  This will help their digestion and make their poop taste bad.  If you do catch your dog eating poop, clap your hands and make a growling sound to startle him to a stop and never punish him.  

Poodle Is Aggressive Towards Both Humans And Dogs

Just lately this male poodle has started getting aggressive to both humans and dogs.   When his guardian tries to take something away from him that he is not supposed to have, he will growl and snap at her.   He has even bitten her before.   Vladae states that when the guardian tries to take something away, she is showing authority.  However, there are other situations when she lets the dog take control, so he is confused.   Vladae suggest giving the dog the “cold shoulder” for about 2-3 weeks.  This means don’t talk, don’t look or even pet your pet at all during this time, and totally ignore him.  Vladae says dog training is like dating, the more attention you give, the less you will get in return!  Then, put a small chord, like a clothesline, on him.  Make sure the line is saturated with a chew deterrent, and when the dog is in the house, make sure the line is always attached to him.  So when he grabs something he is not supposed to have, and you get his attention, you don’t need to chase him, just step on the rope and pull him towards you.  Once he gets near you, he will not bite you because he will be amazed at how you did that!  And when he comes to you, give him another toy in its place or a treat for coming to you and don’t be angry.

Beagle Has Separation Anxiety

Every time they leave the house, their Beagle starts howling and barking relentlessly.  They have even had some complaints from their neighbors.  Some people use harsh methods, which don’t address the cause of the problem, sort of like giving aspirin for a headache, and you need to address the problem.    Vladae states don’t give the dog any attention for the last 15-30 minutes before you leave the house, and when you return, also don’t give any attention for first few minutes.    When you leave, you can place a shirt you have worn on the floor for the dog or you can even sleep with one of his toys so your scent will be on it, and give it to him when you leave.


Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

Stella’s Piggy Bank

I cracked open my daughter’s piggy bank the other day, at her urging of course.  The economy has not gotten the best of me, although it’s pretty damn close.   She’d filled it up over the years, she’s six years old, and she was ready to spend the loot in it.

It got me to thinking.  Why a pig?  Who’s the person who came up with that years ago.  Like, we are going to store all of this money, so let’s store it in a pig.  I don’t really understand that.  Why are we filling a pig?  Does anyone know the legend behind why it is a piggy bank and why we’re sticking the coins in it’s back? 

Do you know what is was like that morning, having bacon and eggs with my daughter. Explaining to her, because she asked me, why a pig?  She’s the one who actually instigated this Party Animal segment.  I’m just sitting there munching on bacon.  I wonder if she even knows what we’re eating right now. I guess there were once nickels and pennies rolling around inside.

I don’t know why it is a pig.  What else should it be?  I don’t think an animal.  Why don’t they just have little banks for children?  Little plastic banks that you put your money in and it says, “Bank.”  Blue ones for boys; pink ones for girls.  Why a pig?  Email me; I kind of really want to know!

Eating The Family Pet For Dinner

I’m just going to come right out and say it.  My sister and my brother-in-law killed the family pet and ate it for dinner.   I’m just going to say it; with my nephews, my two small nephews.  If that’s not further proof of the economy being in turmoil, as if any of you needed it, I don’t know what is, killing the family pet and eating it for dinner!  You heard right.  But, I guess I should explain that the family pet at the time, and just for a few days, was a lobster. 

Get a load of this – my nephew has just begun fancying lobster.    They went out for a seafood dinner and he tried lobster for the first time and he loved it.  So me being the good uncle that I am and a big fan of “Lobstergram.”  (I don’t know how many of you out there are familiar with Lobstergram, but you can go online and send a variety of different meals like chowders, even steaks, and things like that, but of course, seafood and namely obviously lobsters), I said I’m going to be the good uncle, Uncle Vinny, even though they call me Uncle Sam, but that’s a real long story. 

So I sent them out a small order of lobsters for the family.  Well, my sister’s got the bright idea that she’s going to open the crate when it shows up, with the boys.  When they see the live lobster in there that was sent with some chowder, as I said and with some whatnot’s, the kids screamed in ecstasy and immediately named him “Plankton.” 

My sister and my brother-in-law didn’t know what to do.  They think it’s a pet.  They’re calling him Plankton, and they can’t process that the lobster that they’ve eaten at restaurants, even though it looks exactly the same, just not moving, is the same thing.  And, they would never hear of eating him.  So for three days they had to let the lobster hang around.  I don’t know if it was three days, I’m kind of running amok right now, and then ultimately do what all parents do, and lie and say that Plankton ran away one day while they were at school, but hey, lobster’s for dinner tonight.  They just kind of served it in a way that the kids didn’t know they were eating Plankton. 

Am I the bad guy in this?  Because my sister screamed at me that when she opened the crate.  She didn’t know it would be alive and waving it’s arms at them.  I said, “What am I going to send you a dead lobster? “  That’s what Italians do when they’re threatening your life.  Of course it’s going to be alive.  It’s a Lobstergram.  I’m not going to send a dead lobster. 

My sister said she had to let it crawl around on the carpet for a while and the kids were playing with it, because of course the claws were closed up with elastic bands and whatnots, and I’m made to look like a bad guy.  And now, of course, the children think that Plankton made his way all the way from Las Vegas to Reno and is living a good life on a farm somewhere with Sunny, my sister’s collie that died a couple of years back.  Plankton and Sunny, sounds like a Fox TV show!


Talk With Your Animals with Joy Turner

Stanley The Cat

Stanley’s guardian, Elsa, wants to know why he has once again started his little nighttime thing where he wakes her and her husband up at around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning by scratching on the furniture.  The only way she can get him to stop is to put him outside of the house so she can get some sleep, but it is really disruptive.  Stanley wants to know if his guardian wants him to stop doing this and to never do to again.  Yes, his guardian says.  Stanley says he does this because he is bored.   Joy makes a suggestion to Stanley for him to be a little more active during the day so he will be more tired at night.   She also suggests his guardian play with him before bed time and to ask him to let them sleep through the night on the promise that they will get up in the morning and play with him for a few minutes.


Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill
Michael Vick Plans To Return To The NFL

Admitted dog killer and former NFL quarterback Michael Vick is planning on rising from the financial cellar he’s in by returning to the NFL.  But the bankruptcy judge hearing his case told Vick to come up with a better Chapter 11 plan that includes liquidating his three cars and Virginia homes.  Vick, who was indefinitely suspended from the NFL by Commission Roger Goodell, is scheduled for a July release after the 23-month prison sentence at the federal penitentiary in Kansas is served for his conviction of dog fighting conspiracy.

Do You Know How Old Your Dog Really Is?

Math may not be your best subject but if you’re a dog owner you may want to grab your calculator.  Do you know how old your dog really is?  Is a 3-year-old dog 21 in human years?  Not necessarily.  A story in the Asbury Park Press says research shows most dogs reach adulthood within the first few years of life.  A one-year-old dog is close to 12 in human years, but by doggie year 2 he’s closer to 24 human years.  Smaller breeds tend to outlive the larger dogs but aside from size, the breed, nutrition and environment play key roles in dog aging.  For dog owners, knowing your dogs age could help with diagnosis and health issues throughout their life.

Top 10 Cat Friendly Cities

Catalyst Council, a newly formed organization working to raise the level of awareness of America’s number one furry companion, the cat, has come out with a top ten list.  The CA Talyst 2009 Top 10 Cat Friendly Cities based upon cat ownership per capita, level of vet care, cat friendly local ordinances and microchipping.  The CATalyst Council, a coalition of nonprofits, academia, veterinarians and animal welfare organizations hope to call attention to just how much the domestic shorthaired feline is appreciated.  Here’s the of the twin cities, Minneapolis grabbed the number 10 position - with Atlanta at number 9 followed by San Diego, Seattle and Boston at number 5.  In fourth place, Denver then Portland, San Francisco, Phoenix in second with Tampa in the top spot.

Animal Rescue During Natural Disasters

The American Red Cross is teaming up with the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical foundation to coordinate animal rescue efforts during a natural disaster.  Here’s how it will work - the AVMF will bankroll the effort while the AVMA will give technical advice and the Red Cross will coordinate the services.  Mary DeWitt Dia, senior associate at the Red Cross said, “We will be able to help our communities better prepare for and respond to the needs of families and animals before, during and after disaster.”

Oprah’s Dog Survives Parvo

Sadie the cocker spaniel is home after recovering from parvovirus.  The puppy, one of two adopted by Oprah Winfrey from a Chicago area shelter, survived the bout with the highly contagious disease that claimed Sadie’s littermate Ivan.  In other Oprah news - Winfrey’s show has been honored by the Humane Society of the United States at their 23rd annual Genesis Awards.  The show was honored for exposing what the USHS described as “The cruelty of puppy mills, factory farming and dog fighting.”

Good News For Germaphobic Pet Owners

Good news for germaphobic pet owners - experts say zoonotic diseases are less likely to be spread from cats or dogs to their owners.  Zoonotic diseases are infections that can be spread between animals and humans.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found both dogs and cats are not only safe to live with but actually enhance health for humans.  The germs pets do carry are more likely to be transmitted through contaminated food or water.  Dr. Ed Dubovi, a virologist at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine says, “The reality, fortunately, is that transmission of infectious diseases from pets to people is a relatively rare event.”

NEWS UPDATE Brought To You By Simple Solution Natural Line Of Products


Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

Dog Has Started Limping

This toy poodle is about 6 years, and about a week ago when she was doing her business as she usually does she scratches the grass afterwards and takes off running.   However, this time she took off running and yelping and is now limping.    Dr. Debbie feels it might be a problem with her knee, as poodles commonly have problems with their kneecaps.  She suggests an orthopedic exam and x-rays.

English Bulldog Stinks & Shed

This seven-year-old English Bulldog stinks, according to his guardian.  He also sheds horribly.  They brush him constantly and nothing stops the shedding.  He is also groomed about every 3 weeks but his body still stinks.   Bulldogs have many skin disorders because they have a lot of folds in their face.    Dr. Debbie states that if there is an odor coming from the face area, she would first look for skin infections.    She also suggests using a supplement with fatty acids and even trying a hypoallergenic diet.

How To Make Cat And Dog Friends?

Dr. Debbie says the number one problem in introducing cats and dogs are when the dog goes into the chase mode, which will cause a continual pattern.   So try to never let that start.  Always keep them supervised during introduction and keep the dog on a leash.  Practice obedience commands with the dog during the introduction.  You might also want to place the cat in a carrier and place it a little bit higher than the dog so he feels safe.  Praise the dog and give him treats while doing obedience training with him while the cat is in the vicinity. 

Cat & Dog Both Have Cryptosporidia & Maybe Guardia

This 3-year-old Border Collie Mix and six-year-old Main Coon male cat have both been exposed to cryptosporidia and guardia.  Their guardian just found out that the city she lives in is using reclaimed water for irrigation, and while the cat is strictly indoors, she thinks that the cat may have picked this up from the dog.  They have both been put on medications, which work well, but as soon as they are taken off the medication, their diarrhea returns.   Dr. Debbie warns the guardian that both of these diseases are zoonotic in nature, which means that they are contagious to people, especially to someone who has a depressed immune system.  They can even be fatal.    Dr. Debbie’s preferred treatment for guardia is a combination of Panacur combined with Metronidazole, and for the cryptosporidia, she suggests Tylosin in combination with another antibiotic called Clindamycin.

Jack Russell Has Gas

This Jack Russell seems to have an excessive amount of flatulence and his guardian wants to know if he can use Beano or GasX.  Dr. Debbie advises that these products are not approved for dogs and that he should go back to the basics and see what is actually causing the gas.   Some things you can do to control gas in dogs is to feed them smaller, more frequent meals so they don’t eat too fast and gulp their food.   You can also turn a smaller food bowl over into a larger food bowl with food, which will make them work harder for their food and therefore eat slower.   And sometimes, it is just their diet.  You might want to find a food that agrees with your dog a little bit better.  This might include one of two special diets, which is either a low reside diet or a hypoallergenic diet.

Dog Pees And Poops In House Since Neutering

This Jack Russell Terrier mix was recently neutered.  Ever since being neutered, he has started eliminating in the house, something he never did before.  This is unusual, as being neutered usually helps if the dogs has been doing this.  This leads Dr. Debbie to believe that there may be something else under the surface.   Perhaps something that happened post-operative, such as wearing one of those e-collars, would make a dog upset and cause him to have inappropriate behaviors.   Even some medications administered during surgery can cause this kind of behavior.  Dr. Debbie says that you have to take this dog back to the basics of potty training.

Cat Only Eats Wet Food And Frequently Gets Sick

This cat will only eat wet food and frequently gets sick.  Her guardian has tried different foods, such as a hairball formula, with no luck.   Dr. Debbie suggested brushing the cat frequently to help remove the hair.   She also suggests taking a fecal sample to the vet to have it checked for parasites.   The guardian also might want to try a hypoallergenic diet.


Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#489)

Broadcast on XM Satellite Radio and Podcast Versions Only.

Listen to Animal Radio® - Go to the launch page
Return to Animal Radio Network™ Home Page
Read April Newsletter


Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Animal Radio Network LLC