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 This Week on Animal Radio

Animal Radio for May 7, 2022  

Fear Free Movement Hits Home
Dr. Marty Becker, America's Veterinarian

Dr. Marty Becker and Fear Free LogoWhen Dr. Marty Becker created the Fear Free Certification for Veterinarians, he had no idea it would take off so fast. As a result, more and more veterinarians are creating a relaxed environment that pets will like. They're practicing techniques that make dogs and cats enjoy going to the vet. The end-game is happier, healthier pets that live longer.

Animal Radio was started around 22-years-ago with our prime mission to educate people regarding spaying and neutering and the extreme homeless population of animals. Millions of animals were, and still are, being euthanized just because they don't have a home.

Over the years there have been many animal related causes and one that Animal Radio definitely gets behind is the 'Fear Free Movement.' This is a great concept that's put into place when you take your pet to the vet. This helps them let go of their fear and they may even enjoy it because they are given treats, they are treated gently, their fears are taken into consideration, making it a very positive experience.

The creator behind the Fear Free Movement is Dr. Marty Becker. Dr. Becker admits that he didn't actually come up with the slogan, "Take the pet our of petrified," but that it pretty much says it all. It's simply looking after a pet's physical and emotional well-being.

Fear Free Cat At Vet OfficeDr. Becker has owned either all or part of seven veterinarian hospitals over the years and has always loved animals, but he was amazed when he heard a veterinarian behaviorist talk. He thought that while he had always been compassionate and spoke up for the animals, both in his many books and in his TV appearances, he had never really looked after their emotional well-being.

Now we know that veterinarians have been causing psychological damage to pets without meaning to. Veterinarians get into the business because of their love of animals, not make life worse for them.

The Fear Free Movement has been in the works since 2009 and there are many individuals in veterinarian offices that have taken the course. It's an on-line learning program, consisting of 8 modules, which takes a minimum of 9 hours to complete.

But the Fear Free Movement isn't just for veterinarians, it's also for the pet owner. This movement is 'Fear Free Happy Homes.' Dr. Becker stares it became pretty evident that what good would it be if your pet has an exquisite vet visit but then goes home to a house full of stress? The program will teach you how reduce fear, anxiety and stress in your house and increase calm and happy. It will also allow you to search and see if your veterinarian is Fear Free Certified.

If your veterinarian is not Fear Free Certified, you should highly encourage them to look into this program, and if you want a Fear Free Home, you should check it out for yourself!

Dr. Becker states that most vets think they have been practicing a fee free environment already, but he assures them that they haven't! He says he learns something new every week from this group and that we now know more than we knew before about how to reduce fear, anxiety and stress and how to increase calm and happy.

Visit Fear Free Happy Homes for tips on making your home fear free and to locate a Fear Free Veterinarian near you. Go to Fear Free Pets to become certified.

Listen and Explore the Fear Free Expert Series

Giving The West Coast Some Love
David Frei

David Frei and Dog   TV Host and Animal Advocate David Frei was the top dog at Westminster for almost 30 years. He then created the first major west coast AKC Dog Show and it happened in Beverly Hills. Trailing the super success of the Thanksgiving Day Dog Show, NBC bankrolled the celebrity filled dog show.

David Frei, along with actor John O'Hurley, had been hosting the National Dog Show since 2002. In 2017, they hosted a new show together, The Beverly Hills Dog Show, presented by Purina. Because it's Beverly Hills, there was also a red carpet and a fashion show for the Best in Show.

The Star-Studded event included Beverly Hills Housewife Lisa Vanderpump, who presented the Best in Show award and "E! News" Co-Host Maria Menounos, who interviewed attendees about how their dogs are the stars of their families. Also on the Red Carpet were dog loving celebrities including Bo Derek, Victor Espinosa, Rex Linn, Jennifer Marsala, and WWE wrestler The Big Show, as these glamorous canines squared off to win the top prize. But David stated we all know who the real stars were - the dogs!

The Kennel Club of Beverly Hills is a member club of the AKC, just like Westminster, so the same breeds were eligible for this show. There were over 202 breeds and varieties in competition, consisting of almost 1,400 dogs.

Lisa Vanderpump and DogDavid Frei is no longer calling Westminster Kennel Club after 27 years. When David was asked to host the Beverly Hills Dog Show, he stated that there were three great dog show on the east coast - Westminster in New York, the National Dog Show in Philadelphia and the AKC National Championship in Orland, Florida. David stated it was time to go west! For many years, David tells us that California dogs comprised the second largest entry at Westminster, so it was time to bring a show to California.

David is also the founder of Westminster's Angel On A Leash therapy dog program. Angel On A Leash champions the use of therapy dogs in health care facilities, schools, rehabilitation, hospice, extended care, correctional facilities and crisis intervention. Through advocacy, education, research and service, Angel On A Leash, promotes the role of the human-animal bond in enhancing human health and quality of life. Angel On A Leash began as a charitable activity at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian for the Westminster Kennel Club.

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Vegas Bats Positive for Rabies - What's the Risk? - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteThink your pet doesn't need a rabies vaccine because it lives indoors? Think again. Bats have been known to fly through open windows or chimneys. Dogs and cats that go outdoors are at risk for rabies exposure through wildlife. Felines that hunt and bring "presents" have added rabies risk.

Common questions about rabies:

What is Rabies?
Rabies is a viral disease causing encephalitis (brain inflammation) that affects all mammals including humans. The disease is almost always fatal. Over 59,000 people worldwide die of rabies every year, but fortunately U.S. human deaths are rare with 1 to 2 reported per year. Pet and farm animal rabies cases do occur in the U.S. though, usually after tangling with wildlife.

How is Rabies Passed?
Rabies is passed in saliva through the bite of a rabid animal. Less common exposures to rabies include aerosol transmission, mucous membrane contact or rare cases of organ transplant in humans.

What Are Symptoms of Rabies?
Excessive drooling, aggression, staggering and seizures are symptoms of rabies in animals. Wild carnivores, like coyotes, that avoid people are suspect if lacking fear and approaching humans. Nocturnal species like bats that are found out during daylight are also suspect for rabies.

What Kind of Animals Carry Rabies?
Although pet and human rabies cases in the U.S. are rare, the infection still abounds in wildlife reservoirs. In the Las Vegas area, bats are most commonly carriers, but other wildlife carriers include raccoons, skunks and foxes.

What Do You Do If You See a Sick or Dying Bat?
Avoid contact with sick or dying bats. Do not take sick bats to the veterinarian. Call Animal Control if any human or pet exposure to sick bat.

Despite the rabies concern, bats do have an important role in our ecosystem by consuming insects and pollinating plants. Not every bat has rabies, and there are other reasons bats die.

What Do I Do If a Person or Pet is Scratched or Bitten By a Bat or Other Wildlife?
If your pet gets into a fight with a skunk or raccoon, or plays with a dying or dead bat, there is potential for rabies exposure and a report should be made. Call animal control to have the bat or other wildlife picked up.

BatPossible rabies exposure is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Because rabies is fatal, any humans with suspect rabies exposure should make a report to the local health department. Fortunately post exposure treatment for people is very effective in preventing disease, and doesn't involve painful stomach injections reported of long ago.

What Happens to Pets After Exposure to Suspected or Known Rabies?
Ultimately local rabies ordinances dictate how each case is handled. Pets with current or late rabies vaccinations may be quarantined for 10 days.
A pet that never has had a rabies vaccine may be promptly euthanized and tested for rabies. In other cases of unvaccinated pets, extended quarantine periods up to 6 months may arise.

What Can I Do to Protect My Pets and Family From Rabies?
- Vaccinate animals for rabies - this includes dogs, cats, ferrets and select farm animals.
- Teach children never to handle bats.
- Do not keep wild animals as pets.
- Spay and neuter your pets to decrease the desire to roam.
- Maintain control of your pets when outdoors or hiking to avoid accidental exposure to wildlife.
- Bat-proof your home and garage to avoid nesting sites and close encounters with bats.
- Report human bites from pets or wildlife to public health and animal control authorities.

Vaccination is key to protecting pets from rabies and offers peace of mind to pet owners and the Rabies vaccine is typically inexpensive.

Rabies vaccination…Just do it!

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 You Must Do When Your Pet Is Annoying Your Neighbors
Robert Semrow, Listomania

Robert Semrow, Sugar and ZoeyWe all have neighbors who have pets that sometimes test the limits of our patience. We wonder why can't they help or soothe their pet so we don't have to listen to them bark all day, see them run through my back yard or deal with other annoyances? I know some of you are laughing thinking about your neighbor's pets, but some of you listening may in fact be the neighbor we are talking about. Yikes, that's embarrassing, and the Mama and Papa bears in all of us come out when confronted about our fur kids. Here are a few tips to employ when your pet is annoying the neighbors.

To begin with it starts with training your pet and having a routine for them that makes them comfortable and fulfilled. If you have a dog who needs exercise or a bird that needs engagement before you head to work, then make sure they get that. It's not their fault. They don't know that they are upsetting the neighbors, they are simply trying to get your attention and get their needs taken care of.

Next is listening to the complaints without immediately becoming defensive and showing your own claws. Your neighbors may have a justified frustration or concern. Your dog barking constantly throughout the day may not bother you when you are at work, but your neighbor who works the night shift or has a home office may find that, well, let's just say extremely inconvenient. Instead of telling them to live with it or deal with it, you need to listen and give consideration to what you can do to remove or at least reduce that behavior.

Another important thing is to be genuinely apologetic and understanding. Most people love pets and it brings out their warmer side. Don't turn up the flame by ignoring them or denigrating what they are saying and feeling. This leads to quick calls to animal control, law enforcement, homeowner associations and more. Better to be seen as open to the need to deal with it rather than have more extreme pressure define how you deal with it.

Barking DogThat brings me to another concern and that is having your pets legal. If they require a license, have the license up to date, if they require vaccinations, have the legally required vaccinations and when you have your pet out in public make sure they are behaving properly.

Finally, know your pet. Yes, I said know your pet. Know what they do when you are away, when you are at work, play or just running errands. These days it is easy and inexpensive to set up a camera or 3 to see what their days are like. This can help you determine not only what is causing their unwanted behavior but also what needs to be done to correct it.

Give your neighbors the same consideration you want them to give you when it comes to pets. Share your good neighbor pet ideas with us on our Animal Radio Facebook Page.

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Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Can Grooming Your Cat Stop The Hairballs?
If your cat is always hawking up hairballs, then perhaps you should hear what Animal Radio's Dogfather, Joey Villani has to say. He has some inexpensive and effective ways to reduce the hair your cat consumes. This is especially helpful if you've ever stepped in a juicy hairball in the middle of the night.

Joey doesn't usually get many questions regarding cat grooming. However, Joey states that you have to groom your cat just as much as you have to groom your dog.

The question was about a cat that has many problems with hairballs where they have actually become a medical problem and needed medical intervention. The woman wanted to know if routine grooming would get rid of the problem.

Joey claims that while routine grooming will not stop the problem entirely, it will reduce the amount of hairballs.

If you have a longhaired cat, you should be brushing and combing them on a regular basis, but if you can actually bathe your cat, it will do so much more for hairballs. That'a right - Joey said bathe your cat!

Believe it or not, Joey has a trick to make bathing cats easier. Surprisingly most cats aren't afraid of water. What a cat is usually afraid of is the noise and the spray of water. If you have a double sink, it will make bathing your cat easier. If you don't, you can get two buckets. Fill one of the sides of the sink or one bucket up with warm water and add cat grade shampoo. In the other, fill up with warm water and add a teaspoon of vinegar per gallon of water to rinse them off.

Bathing Cat in SinkSlowly place your cat in the warm water with shampoo. In most cases, the cat will not mind this at all. They might place their paws on the sides, but still allow you to wash them. When you are done, just slowly place them in the rinse water with the vinegar.

By washing your cat, you will eliminate the oils. If you don't remove the oils, the oil will actually hold the loose hair in the coat. No matter how much you brush and comb it, the oil will not let the all of the hair to be removed.

You don't want to bathe them too often, as the oils are good for their coats. If you do this once a month or every 6 to 8 weeks, you will see a significant reduction in hairballs.

If you are unable to bathe your cat, you still want to brush and comb them. You can even sprinkle a little cornstarch on your cat's coat and brush it through, which will reduce the oils on their coat.

Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearTaiwan Outlawed Dog & Cat Meat for Humans
Taiwan was the first country in Asia to pass a law outlawing the human consumption of dog and cat meat. An amendment to an animal protection law indicated a changing attitude in, "A society in which dog meat was regularly eaten, to one in which many people treat pet cats and dogs as valued members of their families," according to the government's own news agency. Like most everywhere else around the world, dogs and cats are seen as family members. Dog meat is consumed in many parts of Asia as a delicacy. Cat meat was less frequently eaten and some city ordinances in the country outlawed their consumption. Passage of the landmark law was the first national legislation against the practice. Those eating dog or cat meat in Taiwan can be fined up to $8,200 and those convicted of intentionally harming or torturing animals can face two years in jail and a $65,000 fine.

Attorney Believes Special Bond With Dogs Was No Accident
If you lived in Pennsylvania, then you were probably familiar with former governor Ed Rendell's dog Maggie, who unfortunately passed away. Maggie was a breeder dog on an Amish farm and had lived her first two-and-a-half years in a rabbit hutch. She was sold to a rescue following the birth of a stillborn litter. The rescue group knew at the time that the governor had lost another golden retriever, Mandy, and contacted him about adopting Maggie. On his Facebook post in a tribute to Maggie, Rendell wrote, "… the most persuasive empirical evidence I have found about the existence of God is that someone must have done something to create that special bond between dog and human. It exists for us with virtually no other animal and I can't believe it was just an accident."

Furrycon AnimalsGathering of Furries at Furrycon
A Michigan woman who brought her Bernese Mountain dog to an event called "Furrycon" said she and her dog were both surprised to learn the definition of "Furry." Cheryl Wassus thought Furrycon was a pet event and took her dog only to discover it was actually a gathering of Furries, people who like to dress up as anthropomorphic animals. Anthropomorphism is what most of us do with our pets, which is giving them human characteristics and qualities. Cheryl and her licensed therapy dog, Link, volunteer with the non-profit Pets for Vets, which gives veterans the chance to interact with therapy dogs. The group was chosen to receive money raised by the Furrycon event and she agreed to do a presentation at the Sheraton Hotel in Novi without being aware of the convention's true subject, which was people dressed up as animals with human qualities like a person in a dog costume wearing a suit and tie, or a cat wearing a ball gown and long gloves. Cheryl admits it was a little embarrassing at first because Link was curious why people were wearing tails, so he was doing some serious tail sniffing and checking out people. But, the really heartwarming part is that she says she talked to one of the mothers whose son was a furry and was told how a lot of the young people at Furrycon just don't feel comfortable in their own skin, but when they put on those costumes they're transformed and happy. The bonus is that Furrycon ended up raising $10,000 for Pets for Vets that day.

Patrick Stewart and GingerStar Trek Star Changes His Mind on Pit Bulls
Actor and humanitarian Sir Patrick Stewart was fostering a pit bull named Ginger after they bonded instantly. He admitted that he once believed the negative stereotypes about pit bulls, but his love for Ginger and other pit bulls grew so deep. The love affair between the Star Trek star who goes by Sir Pat Stew on Instagram and Ginger had been unfolding on Instagram for the world to see. Stewart admitted that he wasn't always keen on pit bulls and had believed the negative stereotypes about them until he was introduced to a docile senior pittie named Sadie in Brooklyn many years ago. Stewart confessed, "I had a reaction to that, which I am now significantly ashamed of, because pit bulls to me meant only one thing: aggression, hostility, violence. I was uncomfortable with the idea of meeting this dog." But now he says, "I literally find myself more optimistic than I was and there is only Ginger to account for this. It is the impact of sharing my life for only seven or eight days with her." But apparently Stewart was not a foster failure for Ginger. He only fostered her while he was living in LA. Sadly though, the actor and his wife would have loved to adopt her, but the UK has strict breed specific legislation (BSL) preventing people from making bully breeds their family members, so Ginger had to adopted to her forever family before they returned to the UK.

Couple Renewed Vows at Cat Sanctuary
A California couple celebrated 15 years of marriage by renewing their vows while surrounded by their favorite animals - cats. Jay and Charity Jones chose to renew their vows at The Cat House on the Kings, a cage-free cat sanctuary and adoption center in Parlier. Video from the ceremony, which was officiated by sanctuary owner Lynea Lattanzio, shows the couple reaffirming their marriage while literally dozens of cats acted as witnesses. The couple said they decided after getting married in 2002 that they wouldn't have children, choosing instead to devote their lives to rescuing cats. The ceremony was the first-ever vow renewal at The Cat House on the Kings, though it did host a wedding for two cat lovers previously.

Sasha, Jack and TweaksA Dog, Cat & Rat Walked Into A Shelter and Got Adopted Together
A strange trio of animals with a very strong and unique bond of friendship were adopted together. Sasha the dog, Jack the cat and Tweaks the rat packed their bags and left the Oshkosh Area Humane Society in Wisconsin together. You may have seen them online. They were known as "The Rat Pack." Shelter volunteers said their strong bond was obvious when they were separated while being evaluated on their first night at the shelter. It was immediately obvious that Jack the cat was extremely unhappy. It's much more difficult to adopt out two or three pets to the same home, so many times in shelters bonded pairs or groups are separated. And this trio was not an easy sell. Their new pet parent was initially hesitant to adopt Tweaks the rat, but quickly changed her mind when she recognized the friendship they all shared. She immediately softened to the idea of taking Tweaks after seeing how friendly he was.

EarListen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1170)

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