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 This Week From The Redbarn Studios

Animal Radio for April 18, 2020  

Drone Is A Game Changer For Lost Pets
Kenneth Hendrick

Kenneth Hendrick with DroneHobbyist Kenneth Hendrick specifically bought his flying camera drone to look for lost pets in Florida. Teaming up with a Loxahatchee Lost and Found Pets Inc., in Florida, they search for up to 95 animals a month. He says he reunites pet parents with cats, dogs, pigs, turtles and even calves.

Kenneth states that there are a lot of inaccessible places where people can't go where he lives to search for animals. He felt that from the air he would be able to cut down on the amount of time that people were spending driving up and down the streets looking for animals and that he might be able to spot them a lot faster. He is also able to scan the canals, to make sure an animal hasn't fallen into a canal, which you can't do on foot.

Kenneth has partnered with Gail Bass and her friends Michelle French and Dawn DiBari. Gail Bass created a Facebook page four years ago, the Loxahatchee Lost and Found Pets, and it's grown to a membership of more than 10,000 Facebook users.mmTogether they reunite an average of 85 lost pets with their owners every month in the Loxahatchee area.

That sounds like a lot of lost animals, but Kenneth explains that there are a lot of animals out in the country where he lives. People might have two or three dogs and many cats. There was even a lost horse, and Kenneth states if he had known about it a day or so earlier, they might have been able to save the horse.

So where does he start to look for an animals? Kenneth tells us he starts his search at the last place the animal was seen. His drone has an HD video camera on it, which allows him to see things in real time. Whenever the drone is launched, it can stay up for half an hour and go about five miles before it has to come down to have the batteries changed.

Kenneth has been able to find many pets this way. However, he states that while the drone can locate the animal, it still takes Gail, Michelle and Dawn to go crawling through the woods and through the canals to actually retrieve the animals.

Kenneth doesn't charge for his animal locating services. While people who have lost their pets love his service, Kenneth's neighbors don't. They feel he is intruding on their space. He tells us he doesn't even look at their property; he just needs to cross it to get to another location. Plus, flying a drone takes practice, which he needs to constantly do. He also explains that you need both a pilot's license as well as a drone license to fly a drone, which he has.

Kenneth tells us he hopes this practice will start taking place all over the country.

Training Cats - Yep!
Steven Applebaum, Animal Behavior College

Steven ApplebaumSteven Applebaum is our guest. A former dog-trainer, he is now the President and CEO of the Animal Behavior College. This institution trains humans for the pet industry. He wants to tell us about his new program training people to train cats. Oh, and yes, they are trainable.

Most people don't think that cats can be trained. To this, Steve asks, "Are your cats litter box trained?" If you answered yes, then you have trained them.

Steve said that training cats has a lot to do with someone's perception of what the word 'training' means. For many people, when they think of training they immediately think of dogs. This usually includes putting a leash on a dog and to teaching them basic commands like, come, sit or stay. While this is training, and it is very important for dogs to learn these things, you can actually teach these things to cats as well.

However, that is not the focus of the cat-training program. The focus is behavior modification. This might include things litter box issues, scratching on furniture or even learning to be a bit more social and accept dogs in the house. Reports have shown that at least 50-percent of cats, after having their first vet visit, never go back for regular checkups. This is in part because their owners can't get them in a carrier.

There are roughly 86 million cats in the United States compared to about 77 million dogs. Steve wants to change the perception of cats and tells us that they can be trained, but for different things than dogs and using different motivations.

However, if you would like to teach your cat tricks, the program will teach trainers how to train a cat to do tricks, but it is not a trick-training course. The course is mainly focused on practical behavior problems.

Cat Training ProgramSteve was a professional dog trainer since the early 1980's. He remembers the mantra at that time that would come out of animal shelters was always spay and neuter. He knows that this is a very important message and one that he agrees with, but about 15 years ago the mantra changed and it became more spay and neuter and train. He said the shelters understood the correlation between good training and what prevented dogs from winding up in the shelter in the first place as well as what allowed them to be re-homed more easily and for the recidivism rates to go down.

While this was whole heartedly embraced on the dog side of the shelter world, with cats, which typically wind up in shelters more than dogs and are euthanized at a higher rate every year, you didn't hear anything about training on the cat side. This was in part because of the perception that you can't really train a cat, or what would you train them to do?

The Animal Behavior College is located in Southern California. The Cat Training Program, like all of their programs, is a combination of distance learning. Some of this is done online and then coupled with an externship. They place students at specific locations so they can get hands-on experience. In the case of the Cat Training Program, those students will be placed at various animal shelters, which is in part one of the reasons why the program was started.

Most of the students are likely to be cat owners who also want to make a difference in the lives of other cat owners and their cats. There might even be some that don't have cats at all, but still want to make cat's lives better. It also allows dog trainers and veterinary personnel to offer an additional set of skills to make them more marketable.

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Judy Gold is Funny For Fido

Judy GoldComedian Judy Gold joins us to talk about her burning desire to own a dog. She wants a big dog that sleeps with her and looks her in the eye. She minces no words when it comes to dressing up the dog.

Judy is a big animal lover and tells us about her animals that are no longer with her. She had 3 cats that passed away and a 4th one that she had to re-home, named Nathan, because her partner was allergic to him.

It is now time for a dog, according to Judy. She is yearning for a dog and claims she is like the dog whisperer in her apartment building. She knows that because of where she lives, a dog would actually force her to get up and go in an elevator to go outside. Judy states she is a big girl and needs a big rescue dog that can make eye contact with her and get in bed with her! Growing up, Judy's father would never let them have a dog. She tells us that now both her brother and sister have dogs, but not her.

Judy mentioned that her partner once had a bird and probably would like another one. So, if her partner gets a bird and she gets a dog, everyone's happy! She keeps telling her kids every weekend that that will be the weekend they will get a dog - but so far it hasn't happened.

However, Judy can't wait to get a dog and go to the dog park. Everyone has to get out and exercise their dogs and she wants to belong to that cult!

You can catch Judy on her popular weekly podcast Kill Me Now, which is on CBS' network and can be downloaded at or on iTunes. You can also catch her on the new season of NightCap on Pop TV, as well as in "I'm Dying Up Here" on Showtime in June, as well as her standup.

Funny For Fido LogoJudy will also be performing at Funny For Fido. Each month the country's top comedians perform at Funny For Fido in New York City to raise money for grants program and awareness for their mission to save homeless animals. Funny for Fido is a 501(c)(3) charity created by comedian and animal activist, Justin Silver, to provide financial grants to animal rescue organizations. 100-percent of the profits raised at their events and throughout the year are used to pay for veterinary care, food, training, transport, temporary and permanent housing for animals that would otherwise be killed.

If you would like to inquire about a grant for a rescue organization, would like to get involved or have comments or questions for Funny For Fido, Bark At Them at

For updates on future events, to see their rescue dogs and enter contests, join their mail list:

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The Dangers of Doggie Dragon Breath - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteDoes your dog's breath cause you to gag and turn away? Are your pet's kisses unwelcome due to fetid breath? Many dog owners recognize that distinctive smell which is often accepted as a condition of dog ownership. But stinky dog breath, while common, is actually a symptom of illness and should not be ignored. Doggie dragon breath, just like a blinking traffic light, is a sign of danger ahead. Don't ignore dog breath for what it is - an indicator of oral infection that if left unchecked will impact your dog's health and shorten his lifespan.

What's the big deal about bad breath? It's more than just the smell. Bad breath, also referred to as halitosis, arises from plaque and oral bacteria. Periodontal disease progresses as plaque accumulates, mineralizes into tartar, and inflammation causes destruction of the supportive tissues around the teeth. Dogs don't simply get cavities, rather they will lose their teeth as connective attachments deteriorate. Untreated dental infections jeopardize the health of nearby teeth and may lead to osteomyelitis - infection in the bone. And with time, untreated periodontal disease showers the bloodstream with bacterial products leading to other diseases such as liver, kidney and heart disease.

Fight Halitosis
The best way to control periodontal disease is to assume an offensive attack. Monitor your pet's oral health by flipping up your dog's lip to discover what is lurking underneath. Look for red inflamed gums, yellow or brown accumulation on the teeth, tooth discoloration, or bad breath. Any symptoms of periodontal disease should be addressed with your veterinarian. Have your pet's teeth cleaned regularly at the veterinary office and follow up with home dental care including daily brushing.

These professional veterinary cleanings are important to safely remove mineralized tartar, clean under the gum line, permit a thorough oral exam and take x-rays. Veterinary dental x-rays are an essential tool in detecting problems and have been shown to identify oral disease in 28-percent of dogs and 42-percent of cats that have an outwardly normal mouth.

Don't fall into the hype about herbal spray-on products or 'awake' dental procedures - these only offer a cosmetic improvement in visible tartar, which only covers a small part of the tooth. These methods, often incorrectly touted as a safe alternative to professional cleanings, can't address the 60-percent of a dog's tooth which lies under the gum line - exactly where periodontal disease brews and does its damage.

Tartar on dog's teethOnce you identify that nasty doggie breath, you can be certain some degree of periodontal disease is present and dental intervention is needed. Statistics show that by 3 years of age 80-percent of dogs and cats already have periodontal disease. Don't forget that small and toy breeds of dog have accelerated dental problems diagnosed as young as 1 to 2 years of age.

Think prevention - have your dog's teeth cleaned and embrace home dental care steps. And the next time you find yourself in a cloud of canine halitosis, you won't turn the other way - you'll grab that toothbrush.

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.

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5 Things We Do That Give Pets Complexes
Robert Semrow, Listomania

Robert Semrow, Sugar and ZoeyHelp, my pet has attitude! What's the deal and why the pet complex? Well, that may be something that we've caused by what we're doing.

If your dog or cat is giving you attitude and you can't figure out why, let me help with a few common things that I think our four-legged friends wish we'd think of before acting upon.

1. Pet Strollers
That's right, we've all seen the latest in high-tech and low-tech strollers for our four-legged friends. Do you think nature bestowed them with four legs so they could ride comfortably in a wheeled contraption meant for those that can't walk or haven't yet learned to walk? I admit it. It's certainly cute and sometimes it's medically necessary. But let's make sure they're getting plenty of exercise and remember we do have a pet obesity crisis.

2. Clothing For Pets
I know, I'm the Pawtographer and I am certainly guilty of loving a pet in a cute outfit and I can appreciate the work of pet fashion professionals. However, unless it's a need, and I'm thinking of you the shorthaired pets in the winter, sweaters, clothing and costumes can be very uncomfortable and can even cause over-heating issues for our pets. Never force a pet to wear an outfit, a hat or even a wig. They've got their own fashion sense and we want them to be able to roll with pride at the local dog park.

3. Snuggies For Pets
That's right, it's a separate category. While pets have a natural nesting instinct, you don't see them trying on sweaters or blankets at the local flea market. Dogs and cats enjoy warmth, but enjoy freedom more. I look ridiculous in a human snuggie and a dog might just send me a fragrant message if I wrap them in a dog snuggie. Being wrapped up as a baby when they're scared can give your pet comfort, but having them wear a blanket if they're not a Charles Schultz character can get them laughed at during a dog park visit.

Dog Wearing Shoes4. Pet Shoes & Socks
Again, if you're a rescue dog climbing over dangerous debris, by all means, get some safety footwear in place. If you're a senior that slips on tile floors, it makes sense to have sock and shoes for your paws. But if you're a dog or cat being forced to wear shoes or socks to be fashionable, remind your pet parents that you sweat and regulate your body temperature through the pads of your paws. Prolonged covering can be harmful.

5. Pet Bling
Pets are more blingy than ever. From necklaces, to toenails to tiaras, I can appreciate showering your pets with love, but keep in mind that these shiny objects look more like toys and distractions than fashion statements for your pets.

Oh heck, now I know why my pets have so many complexes! I'm putting down the snuggie right now. Remember, your pet trusts you and wants you to be happy. Make sure you're giving them the same consideration.

Share your pet complexes with us on our Animal Radio Facebook Page.

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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearRichest Acquisition in Internet History
Chewy, the online pet product retailer that rocketed to nearly $1 billion in reported sales in the only five years, has more than likely set a record for the richest acquisition in Internet history after Chewy was bought by PetSmart, the nation's largest pet store chain. Tech news site Recode is reporting that multiple sources familiar with the deal say the price is $3.35 BILLION dollars. For PetSmart it is all part of the company's transformational journey. With $7 billion in revenue and more than 1,500 stores, 30-year-old privately held PetSmart opened 73 net new stores last year, but its same store sales, and same store sales at rival Petco, have not been growing. By comparison, in recent months Chewy said its revenue had exceeded $100 million a month thanks to its legions of loyal shoppers who love their great prices on just about every pet food available, free shipping and 24 hours customer service that went beyond imagination by sending original pet portraits or flowers to customers whose pets had passed. According to a press release from PetSmart, founder Ryan Cohen will remain at Chewy as CEO and Chewy will operate largely as an independent subsidiary.

April and BabyGiraffe Cam Comes To An End
A livestreamed video feed of a pregnant giraffe that has enthralled millions of YouTube viewers since February is coming to an end. Animal Adventure Park in rural upstate New York says the giraffe cam showing April the giraffe and her new baby has ended the project. The giraffe cam made the park the second most live-viewed channel in YouTube's history, with more than 232 million live views since February. More than a million people watched when April gave birth on April 15th.

Bill Mandates Stores Sell Animals From Shelters
AB 485 is a bill making its way through the California legislature. It is aimed at changing how cats, dogs and rabbits become family pets by making it illegal for pet stores to sell these animals from any source other than from a shelter or rescue group. The aim of the bill is to save thousands of pets' lives, put pet adoptions front and center and deal a major blow to puppy and kitten mills. Supporters of the bill say it takes clear aim at unscrupulous breeders who churn out an alarming number of pets each year while those animals suffer. Those opposed say it paints all breeders with the same brush, that it will force some pet stores to close and will increase the black market in pets. There are many legitimate, licensed breeders who practice safe breeding and provide excellent care for their animals, most of which are smaller operations that sell directly to people looking for pure bred dogs and specific cat breeds. However, there are an estimated 10,000 puppy and kitten mills operating in the United States. These unscrupulous mills set females on a breeding schedule that does not include time for recovery between pregnancies and often female dogs are bred too young. Puppy mills typically care less about healthy pets than they do their profit margins and breed without regard to genetic or behavioral concerns. Add to that, figures from the ASPCA show 6.5 million dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters each year - of that number, about 700,000 are strays that eventually are returned to their owners. Of the remaining animals, 3.2 million are lucky enough to find new homes, while 1.5 million are euthanized. That leaves about 1.7 million animals in shelters, waiting for homes.

Aidan with Pet RatPetco Wins Lawsuit After Rat Bite Fever Death
A San Diego jury has sided with Petco in a lawsuit brought by the family of a 10-year-old boy who died after contracting an illness from a rat purchased at a Petco store. The jury found Petco was not negligent or liable in the death of Aidan Pankey four years ago, after he was rushed to a hospital with severe stomach pains. The San Diego County medical examiner's office ruled the cause of death an infection known as rat-bite fever. The boy's father filed a 20 million dollar lawsuit against Petco saying that Petco knows the rats it sells are likely to carry rat-bite fever. Petco's lawyer countered that the company does everything it can to prevent the disease and said there is no way to determine what percentage of rats have the disease, but it's pretty rare.

Anthropomorphizing Your Pet Is Not "Stupid"
A professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago says, "Historically, anthropomorphizing has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity." But, he claims it actually makes humans smarter and no other species has this tendency. Many people think that giving a pet or even an inanimate object the same qualities as a human being is weird and a sign of stupidity. It might be something that children do, but as you grow up you're taught to stop talking to things that don't talk back. They don't have minds like humans, so why should we talk to them like humans. After much research, Dr. Nicholas Epley says, "Recognizing the mind of another human being involves the same psychological processes as recognizing a mind in other animals, a god, or even a gadget. It is a reflection of our brain's greatest ability rather than a sign of our stupidity."

MiaDog Saves Family From Fire
A San Carlos Park, Florida couple was able to safely escape their home after a fire broke out. It wasn't their smoke detectors that warned them though. The family says the fire started in their garage while they were home but were able to make it out alive because of their dog, Mia, who started barking and alerted them to cracking and popping noises coming from the garage. She literally ran to the garage door to let them know. They opened the door and saw the flames. Within two minutes, the home was engulfed in smoke.

Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1063)

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