Animal Radio® Show #449 July 12, 2008

Mobile CSI Unit Dispatched to Puppy Mill Raid
Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA
The Mobile CSI (Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation) Unit was recently dispatched to Tennessee's largest-ever puppy mill raid of more than 700 dogs, leading a special forensic cruelty investigation team that includes two forensic veterinarians. There, they were able to collect and process evidence at the crime scene.

The 747 animals discovered in the raid were housed in various enclosures among the property's 92 acres of hilly and rocky terrain known as Pine Bluff Kennels in Lyles, Tennessee. The farm's owner could face criminal charges.

The majority of the animals suffered from things such as little to no food or water, lack of proper ventilation in enclosed areas and feces encrusted pens. Many of the breeds found were Jack Russell Terriers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, Boxers, Chow-Chows, Dachshunds and Great Danes. Other animals include horses, burros, miniature horses, chickens, goats, purebred cats and even parrots.

Some animals were in such extreme neglect and illness, that they were examined immediately on the ASPCA's CSI Unit with state-of-the-art forensic tools. Other animals were transported to a nearby emergency shelter, while others are in foster care.

For more information about puppy mills and how to fight animal cruelty, visit Take a tour of the Veterinary Forensics Truck

Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

My Dog Seems Sad
We all think that giving pets a companion is the right thing to do, but this is not always the case. Sometimes animals like to be a solitary pet. But if you do bring another animal into the mix, there are right and wrong ways to do it. Vladae explains the right way.

My Dog Does His Business in My Truck
This dog urinates outside like he is supposed to, but poops in his guardian's truck. Vladae suggests putting him on a feeding schedule of once per day. Little breeds have a very fast metabolism and they will probably poop 40 minutes after eating, and then about 2-3 hours later, and then about 4-6 hours once again. About 30 minutes after they eat, take the dog outside and give him the command to "go potty." If your dog won't go, put him in a little crate in your truck, and then about 45 minutes later, take him out and try the command again. You should only have to use this schedule a couple of days, and once the dog poops outside, he will get in that habit.

I have 4 Dogs ­ But 1 Problem Dog
A Beagle won't stop digging and actually tunnels out of its kennel. Vladae feels the dog needs more exercise ­ both physical and mental. You would be surprised by how just exercising your dog can change their attitude, as a tired dog is a happy dog!

Frankie the "Walk 'N Roll" Dog
Barbara Techel
When Barbara Techel went on vacation back in 2006, she endured a pet owners worst nightmare when she got a call from the kennel where she was boarding her dog. It turned out Frankie, her Miniature Dachshund, injured his back when Barbara was a thousand miles away. Frankie was given a slight chance of ever walking again and was immediately rushed into surgery.

Once they were home, Barbara started using physical therapy on Frankie to help her walk. About 2 months into the therapy, Barbara realized that Frankie wasn't ever going to walk again, and she started feeling sorry for herself and for Frankie. But when she looked at Frankie, Barbara saw that she didn't feel sorry for herself, and that she was just happy to be alive. That then became one of Barbara's missions to teach, especially children, that we all have challenges but we can find positive choices to our challenges.

Barbara decided to share Frankie's story with others through her children's book, "Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog." Teaching children, as well as adults, that we can overcome challenges, which has become a passionate mission of hers.

Dr. Jill Answers Your Vet Questions

Chihuahua Doesn't Get it!
This little male Chihuahua is having a hard time. He seems to always approach the wrong end of the female. Dr. Jill tells his guardian to just give him a little more time and let nature take its course, and that eventually he will figure it out. Or, you can spay and neuter them!

Cross-Eyed Siamese
Not all Siamese cats are cross-eyed, and those that are, don't seem to have any vision problems.

A Befriended Skunk
It seems this woman's daughter has befriended a skunk in their yard. She asks Dr. Jill if she can make a pet out of it. But beware, there are many things to be careful of with wild animals, and in some states it is actually illegal to have a skunk as a pet. Hear what Dr. Jill suggests she do.

Cat Has Spots On His Eye
Spots, like freckles, recently appeared on a male cat's eye who is about 5 years old, Dr. Jill suspects a pigment change and suggests an ophthalmologist examine the eye specialist to be sure.

Signing Is Not Just for Primates
Sean Senechal, AnimalSign To You
We've all heard about Koko the gorilla with the kitten who was able to communicate with sign language, but what if you could teach your animal to do the same?

That is what Sean Senechal has done with her horse and her dog. The language that she uses is a special AnimalSign that she has created with her animals. It extends beyond the natural body language animals already use, putting it into new learned gestures.

Can you imagine instead of your dog sitting at the treat cabinet begging for a treat, he actually comes to you and asks for one? Now this would probably get annoying over time, because as soon as he learns that this gesture will get him a treat, he will probably do it all day long. But, Sean also teaches you how to teach your pet the meaning of "later." Now, if we could only get that to work on our human kids!

Her book, AnimalSign To You discusses AnimalSign language, its origin, development, structures and dialects. It then goes into a "how-to-section" for dogs and horses, and includes pictures and sketches of the gestures.

Sean is the founder of AnimalSign Center where she is an animal language educator ­ teaching animals to use sign language.

Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

Cat Merchandise
One of the things that I love and admire the most about animal lovers is that they rally around the issues and they're not afraid to sign petitions, to draw up petitions and to do things of that nature. I really respect that, I really admire that, and that is why I would like to bring one to the table, to get a petition made up for, to circulate it and put a stop to something.

The people we would be targeting are those who come up with merchandising for cat owners. It's bad enough the things that cat owners will buy and wear, but even worse is the stuff that these people come up with.

I was at the mall last night and saw a woman walking my way. She must have been in her late 40's or so, and she had on this glittery big-baggy sweatshirt and it had a picture of a cat on it wearing a cowboy hat, and it had a lasso, and it said "Cat-A-Girl" on it. I just looked at this and thought it's not this woman's fault, it was probably the worst stocking stuffer known to man that she got stuck with, this probably glow-in-the-dark cowboy cat sweatshirt. It's not her fault. It's not even her fault if she bought it for whatever reason. It's the merchandiser's fault!

And why is it always cats? Another one I saw once, on an actual good-looking girl, was a shirt that said "Sex and the Kitty," and there was a cat where Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw was supposed to be. I don't even know what to make of this! Caterotica? She's like twirling and in high-heeled shoes, and it's a cat. I know the merchandisers are out there thinking, hey Vinnie Penn Party Animal, say whatever you want; we make a bundle of money on that stuff. But, they are causing corneal abrasions because there is such disbelief when people see other people wearing this stuff, that we rub our eyes so violently, you're causing corneal abrasions.

And like I say, it's always the cats. You don't see somebody who has a huge aquarium at home wearing a shirt that says, "I've got fish-ues." With a big picture of a goldfish on his shirt making funny faces. You don't see that cool Harley dude that has a snake, wearing a shirt that says, "Snake It or Leave it." (Which is actually a great tag line for a plumber!)

So, let's get the petition made and out to the cat merchandising folks!

Animal Minute With Britt Savage

Shooting Over Dogs at Wedding
A disagreement about dogs at a wedding left four people shot, including the bride and groom! Although 50 people attended the outdoor Arkansas wedding, the details are still sketchy.

Authorities said the shooting happened moments after Melissa Smith and Mike Beavers took their vows along Piney Creek in rural Poke County. Smith the bride, said the shooting began after Patrick Paul DuVall's dog started fighting with her dog, who was a guest at the wedding. DuVall was not a guest and didn't know the couple.

The dogfight started a human fight, which ended up with 29-year-old DuVall shooting the bride and groom, plus two other guests. Three of the guests were driven to the police station in the back of a pickup truck while the police found a fourth victim at the site of the wedding.

Patrick Paul DuVall now faces 4 counts of first-degree felony battery, each of which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a $15,000 fine.

Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill

Flooding Creates Demand for Shelters
The Midwest floods are keeping volunteers busy finding no kill shelters to handle the numbers of pets seeking homes. In Illinois, there are about 50 no kill animal shelters that reported taking in scores of pets, victims of the floodwaters. In many cases, the owners lost their homes and are looking for permanent shelter for themselves as well as their pets. This demand has created a network of volunteers who are working to transport the pets to no kill shelters in the Chicago area. Dogs and cats aren't the only animals battling floodwaters.... In Iowa this week, teams of rescuers were able to save 15 pigs who'd been stranded near the Big Ditch levee in Oakville. The pigs were transported to their new home in Watkins Glen, New York.

$8 Billion Dollar Trust Fund for Dogs
The estate of the woman once called the Queen of Mean could literally go to the dogs, that is if her final wishes are followed. Turns out Leona Helmsley left a two page "mission statement" for her 8-billion dollar trust instructing trustees to use it for the welfare of dogs. The news comes from a couple of anonymous sources that say they saw the document left by Mrs. Helmsley who died last August. However, some lawyers say that because the document wasn't incorporated into her will or trust, it may be meaningless. There is hope for the dogs Mrs. Helmsley wanted cared for though, the New York State probate court won't be able to just ignore her wishes since longstanding laws favor following a donor's intent.

Family Pays $50,000 For Cloned Dog
The South Korean team of scientists who created the world's first cloned dog 3 years ago say they've done it again. Their first success was an Afghan named Snuppy cloned in 2005. Now the team says three cloned puppies are expected to arrive this month via surrogate mothers. The McKinney family paid 50-thousand dollars to the South Korean firm R-N-L Bio to clone their former pit-bull terrier named Booger, who died in 2006.

Give Your Pooch a Massage and You'll Both Feel Better
Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinary News Network
When we pet our dogs, we know by looking into their dreamy eyes how good it must feel. But what about giving our dogs a massage? Well, I think it's a good idea. But remember, petting and massage are different.

Massage is a deliberate and focused technique, with each stroke controlled in pressure, direction and intention. Experts claim that massage increases blood circulation and lymph movement and brings a sense of comfort and tranquility. Studies show that when people have affectionate contact with their dog's skin for just a few minutes, measurable amounts of positive bio-chemicals are released into the bodies of both the dog and the person. While we always knew this act made us feel good, we did not know how good it was for us.

Petting dogs helps to lower blood pressure, decrease cholesterol levels, minimize stress by dropping chortisol levels, blunt chronic pain, elevate moods and even raise children's IQ scores. According to Dr. Narda Robinson at Colorado State University, what remains unknown is whether the benefits from massage arise simply from gentle touch, or whether the mechanical impact of massage itself yields helpful benefits.

With so many massage techniques available, it would be helpful to know which specific method optimizes performance, promotes healing, increase relaxation and prevents injuries. Either way, you should give it a try. You both will benefit from it.

Animal Minute With Britt Savage
Hero Dog To Be Cloned
A dog who sniffed out survivors at Ground Zero at the World Trade Center will soon be cloned. Trakr, a German Shepherd, lives with his owner James Symington in Los Angeles, was the chosen one. The 15-year-old hero was picked by BioArts International as the most "clone-worthy" canine in a competition offering an owner a free chance to duplicate their pet. Symington said he and Trakr were among the first search and rescue teams to arrive at Ground Zero after the September 11th attacks and Trakr was responsible for finding the very last survivor under about 30 feet of debris. He added, "To know that part of him is going to live on is just beyond words. It's the greatest gift I've ever received." The cloned dog could be ready by the end of the year.

International Animal News with Kaye Browne

Croc Joins Patrons at Bar
It takes a bit to drag thirsty blokes away from their beer at an aussie outback pub ­ but a rather unusual visitor did the trick this week. Locals at the Noonamah tavern about an hour out of Darwin ­ the country's northernmost city - couldn't believe their eyes when an adolescent saltwater croc ­ about 2 foot long- strolled up to the bar. The mini snapper was quickly rounded up and persuaded to join the boys ­ albeit with its mouth taped shut ­ while they awaited wildlife workers from one of the many crocodile farms in the area to come up and pick what's thought to have been an escapee.

Man Resorts to Crime to Feed Pets
We've mentioned in past news bulletins about the economy affecting pet owners all around the world ­ well in Japan ­ an animal-lover has resorted to holding up convenience stores to feed his pets. Japanese media branded Takaharu Kawata "The Dogman" after he was caught on a surveillance camera waving a knife and wearing an oversized black-and-white dog mask. The 28-year-old told police he'd seen robberies on TV and thought it was the only way he could get money to feed his two dogs, five cats, five turtles, two snakes and an aquarium of tropical fish. The dogman's now in custody - his pets are now being looked after by a pet store.

Child Survives on Cat Food
Relatives of a two-year-old Californian boy are now singing the praises of the nutritional content in dry cat food ­ after it saved the life of a little boy - in a home alone for 6 days. The Sacramento Bee says it appears the toddler's mother died of natural causes leaving the little boy to survive on what he could find ­ which turned out to be dry cat food. A social worker passing the house called police after hearing the toddler crying inside.

Biting Dog Can Sometimes Be a Good Thing!
You won't hear many stories about dog bites in this news program ­ but sometimes a dog bite can be a good thing. Just ask the New Jersey family of 12-year-old Jessica McMahon whose dog Princess attacked a man who tried to grab the little girl while the pair were out for a walk. According to Jessica, the German Shepherd cross Labrador leapt to her defense when the strange man grabbed her necklace ­ biting the would-be abductor on the leg ­ scaring him off! Good doggy!

Pigeons Supplying Contraband to Prisoners
Brazilian prison officials had a problem the inmates were somehow getting drugs and cell phones ­ even though they'd installed high tech surveillance equipment. Then they noticed a couple of carrier pigeons looking like they'd had a big lunch ­ they were having trouble keeping airborne. You guessed it. Those crafty crooks in Sao Paulo state prison had been training the birds to smuggle in goods using cell phone sized pouches on their backs. Now - like their trainers ­ the birds are behind bars.
Listen to Current World News

Famous Poodle Parade
Steve Hoegerman, French Festival
Smiling families dine at sidewalk cafés with checkered table clothes and umbrellas. Starry-eyed couples toast each other with wine. Artists wearing bérets paint at their easels. The air is filled with music, laughter, and the tempting aromas of French cuisine. Surely this must be France?

Actually, it's the 21st Annual French Festival in Santa Barbara, California, Saturday and Sunday, July 12 & 13 (Bastille Day Weekend), from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Santa Barbara's Oak Park. While Parisians celebrate the French Revolution 8,000 miles away, Californians will revel in the sights, sounds, foods and joie de vivre of France at the largest French celebration in the Western United States.

And let's not forget the "Poodle Parade," Sunday at 5:30pm. Some poodles will be in costumes, while some "poodles" could actually be in disguises. A few years ago, someone snuck in a dog that looked suspiciously like a Labrador Retriever wearing a lot of big crepe paper puffs! You can also expect to see Labradoodles, Cockapoos, Pappilions and French Bulldogs. Sounds like a lot of fun!


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