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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for August 30, 2014  

No More Pet Piercing
Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, D-NJ

Assemblyman Carmelo GarciaAssemblyman Carmela Garcia (Dem. N.J.) has written legislation that would outlaw piercings and tattoos on cats and dogs. Inspired by a lady that pierced her "gothic kittens," Garcia feels this ban would stop a burgeoning fad.

While some people enjoy dressing up their dogs in colorful sweaters and bandanas, others have started giving them tattoos and body piercings, and officials in New Jersey are concerned about this disturbing new trend. One Garden State lawmaker is outraged by this, and has introduced a bill to make it a criminal offense punishable by fines and possible jail time.

Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia loves animals and has two dogs himself. He tells us that some of his constituents noticed some really weird tattooing on one dog in particular for vanity reasons. He immediately felt that he needed to look into some type of bill that would prohibit anyone from tattooing or piercing an animal, which is actually mutilation and animal cruelty.

Dr. Debbie mentions that human ears have a floppy earlobe that is normally pierced. But dogs have firm cartilage throughout their ears. It would be like a human getting their upper ear pierced. It can be painful. Plus, dogs do have sizeable vessels in their ears, with the potential of serious bleeding if not done properly.

Pug with piercingsAlso, think about how dogs play. They can easily rip them out accidentally. Plus, they might try to remove them if they are irritating, ripping their ears.

This new bill has been amended to allow tattooing and microchipping purposes for identification. The bill would also exempt farm animals that are sometimes branded or tagged for identification purposes as well.

Garcia said he hopes the bill introduced recently, along with the New York legislation, would start a trend of these types of laws throughout the country.

Dog with tattooGarcia states that, "I will do everything humanly possible to ensure, and as a legislator, that these animals who don't have the right to consent or choice, can definitely be protected in this way." "We don't want this to be another weird fad that people think it's cool and dogs and animals are this type of toy or doll that they can basically take advantage of."

Garcia urged everyone to share this news on social media to help stop this trend and protect the animals.

Pet-Friendly Housing
Danielle Tocco, Standard Pacific Pet Friendly Homes

Standard Pacific LogoStandard Pacific Homes knows the $60-Billion-dollar pet industry has a place for homebuilding. From California to Florida, 27 of their developments now include pet accouterments including a pet-spa and TV exclusively for Fido. Standard Pacific's Danielle Tocco explains what they're doing to cater to pet owners.

Danielle Tocco explains that the idea was a collaborative one and that Standard Pacific Homes was constantly talking to their homeowners about what's important to them in their homes.

Pets are a very important part of many families, with over 70 percent of Americans owning pets. The builders wanted to help enhance the lives of homeowners and create a space for their furry family members.

Pet WashStandard Pacific Homes have incorporated spaces dedicated completely to our pets. The most lavish suite is a 170-square-foot pet paradise with a step-in wash station, handheld sprayer and leash lead; tile walls and floors; a designated drying area with a commercial sized pet dryer; a water station; automated feeders; a large bunk-style bed; cabinets for toys, treats and food; a stackable washer and dryer; a French door that opens to a puppy run; and a flat-screen television set.

The suites are not all the same. Standard Pacific Homes has just begun to introduce these suites, and currently they are in 27 of their 190 communities across the country.

Some suites have a puppy wash station, most of them have beds and some have customized cabinetry to help keep the toys and treats organized. Some even have a stacked washer and dryer to keep the laundry needs of your pet separate from the household.

So what do these suite add-ons costs? Some lavish pet suites can run upwards to an additional $35,000 for 170 square feet of space; or $6,000 for 50 square feet.

These pet spaces are personalized by the homeowner and can accommodate different types of pets, including cats, dogs and birds.

"HERO PEOPLE OF THE WEEK" - Debra Jo Chiapuzio, Emma Zen Foundation

Debra Jo and Emma ZenDoes one size fit all? The Animal Radio® Hero Person, Debra Jo Chiapuzio helps supply fire departments with life-saving oxygen masks for dogs and cats. She loves her job and has a great passion to teach others pet-first-aid.

It is estimated that 92 percent of all dogs and cats will experience severe injury or illness during their lifetime. After hearing that statistic, one can understand the drive Debra Jo Chiapuzio has to teach pet owners what to do when the unthinkable happens.

The founder of the Emma Zen Foundation works year-round to inform emergency responders throughout the U.S. about how effective pet oxygen masks are in saving animals in case of a fire.

Not only is Chiapuzio spearheading the Emma Zen Foundation's efforts to raise money for pet oxygen masks for area fire fighters and first responders to use, she is spreading pet safety tips to people she meets along the way. Debra knows that pet emergency preparedness kits are something most people don't think about. Surprisingly, most people don't even have human emergency preparedness kits!

The Emma Zen Foundation started off with Debra just wanting to make a difference for her own pet. She learned about an apparatus called the pet oxygen mask, which is something a firefighter or first responder had. This way in the case of a home fire, they would be able to save our pets.

Pet Oxygen MaskWithout these masks, all they can do is to lay a human oxygen mask alongside an animal, without a great fit. Human faces have very little contour, so human masks are very flat, and don't fit on a muzzle or snout of an animal. The pet oxygen masks are cone-like and have a nice rubber seal. When that seal goes over an animal's snout, it closes those jowls very tight and make it so that fresh oxygen can only enter through their nostrils.

Debra Jo then learned that these pet masks only cost around $75 each. With only 17 trucks in her city, she felt that she could easily raise the money to equip each truck with a pet oxygen mask. It only took her 6 months to make sure that her pet would now be safe.

The Emma Zen Foundation is named after Emma Zen, who is a black Labrador and Great Dane mix. She is above all a shelter survivor! She was misplaced during the 2007 Santiago Canyon Fires in Orange County CA. She is unique, she grew up in a sidecar; with as much attention as that can bring she remained humble. Never understanding why people stared. She has a purpose, providing Pet Oxygen Masks to first responders!

The Emma Zen Foundation also offers an online course that provides hands-on approach to teach pet owners how to check their pet's vitals in case of an emergency, how to put a bandage or splint on an animal and how to do rescue breathing and CPR. Pet owners will also know the signs to look for in cases of bloating, choking, constipation, drowning, frostbite, heatstroke, insect bites, and what do in the case of a disaster.

Sign up for classes online at and to access a variety of resources on pet emergency preparedness. Learn more about the Emma Zen Foundation at

Debra Jo wants to remind anyone who feels they can't make a difference, you can! If you want to start somewhere small, contact her and she can get you on your feet and send you out there to make difference for all of the pets in the world.

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Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Should You Trim Your Pet's Nails at Home?
Trimming a pet's nail is pat of their care. However, Joey doesn't feel that anyone should be clipping their pet's nails at home. He says you should go to a groomer or a veterinarian.

This is because you want to have your pet in a safe environment where the pet is restrained properly or held properly, as you don't want them to jump around and get injured or even injure you, as most animals don't like getting their nails trimmed.

If you are one of these people who want to try it or already know how to do it, go ahead but make sure you have the right tools. There is the traditional nail clipper and now there us a dremel. So what is the difference in using a nail clipper or a dremel?

If you get a nail clipper, make sure you get one of good quality and nothing cheap. With cheap nail cutters, you are more than likely to end up slitting the nail. This makes it chip and can actually make it split all the way down to the quick, which will make it bleed.

A dremel, or file, works a little easier for home use. This will not split the nail, and if you take your time, you can actually grind it down to where you can start to see the quick peek through and stop.

Pet DremelMost people like to go out and buy a dremel that you would use for furniture or carving wood. This is not the type of dremel you want to use on your pet. There is no safety shut off on these. So when you have something turning that fast and it grabs a piece of hair, tail or even a dog's lip, it is going to pull it right off. Make sure you get one made specifically for pets. With a pet dremel, when too much pressure is applied, it will slow down or even shut off.

Some pets like a dremel, while others don't. The best way to get your put used to a dremel is just to turn it on around your pet. You want them to get used to the sound. Next, just approach them with it turned on, but don't use it. Just do this a little every day, and they will eventually get used to the noise and not be afraid when you actually do apply it to their nails.

You want to make sure if you do trim the nails at home, that you do it properly and not traumatize your pet. This can make your pet fearful of having their feet handled and a future of horrible nail trims.

Animal Radio® News with Tammy Trujillo

Heartworm Medication Causes Deaths
There are more worries about the dog heartworm medication Trifexis. So far, 965 complaints about dogs dying after taking Trifexis have been filed with the FSA over the last three and a half years. According to it's own label, the most common reaction to Trifexis includes vomiting, itching and decreased activity for 1 to 2 days. The drug's maker, Elanco, says it's sold 70-million doses and has found no link between the pill and any dog deaths. But the FDA says it is continuing to monitor the drug and is urging anyone whose dog has suffered an adverse reaction to report it to both drug maker Elanco and the FDA.

No Pets Allowed SignMoving With Pets Can Be Pricey!
We all know that pets can be expensive, but they sure are worth it, right! Anyway, add pets and moving and things can get really pricey! did the math in its 2014 Pet-Friendly Renting Trends Survey and boy did it add up. The survey included some 3,000 people across the U.S. It found that close to 80-percent of renters had to pay a deposit to have a pet and it was more than $200 per year in more than half the cases. About 64-percent of the people asked said they had a hard time finding an apartment that allowed pets even with a deposit. And people who had a large dog were the ones who had the toughest time finding a place to live.

Airline Offers Pet Videos
If you've got to fly overseas, you might want to check out a new perk on British Airways. The airline is launching an in-flight entertainment channel called Paws & Relax and it will feature videos of pets as well as cartoons. The company says the channel was initially designed to keep kids entertained during long distance traveling but then it found research that suggests that watching pets can enhance overall well-being in adults as well.

RobinWilliams and KokoGorilla Depressed After Robin William's Death
I think we were all shocked by the death of Robin Williams a few weeks ago. So apparently was Koko, the amazing Gorilla at the Gorilla Foundation who understands spoken English and uses American Sign Language to communicate. She met Robin back in 2001 and the video of them laughing, tickling and hugging each other like old friends is just amazing. Koko heard her mentor, Dr. Penny Paterson, talking on the phone about Williams' death and she says Koko has been depressed and sad since that call.

Doggy Social Networking
Remember a few years back when we thought that a 'tweet' was the sound a bird makes or 'friending' someone meant getting to know them. Well, get ready for a whole new language courtesy of a new app that helps pet owners connect with friends, acquaintances and even willing strangers, to take care of their pets when they can't. It's called DoggyBnB and it aims to let people take advantage of their existing social networks. The company's co-founder Adam Pokornicky calls it a world unto itself, complete with its own language for certain tasks. For example, you can post a 'woof', volunteer to help with pet care using the 'fetch' option or declare yourself a 'boarder,' someone willing to take on pets from friends and friends of friends.

LaShena and FatCatIf You've Lost A Pet, Don't Ever Give Up!
Here's one of those stories for anyone searching for their lost dog, don't ever give up! Eight years ago, LaShena Harris' white English bulldog puppy named Fatcat was stolen from her backyard in Memphis. Fatcat was chipped and LaShena put up posters, placed ads, rewards, everything and nothing happened, until a few weeks ago when she got a call from an animal rescue group in West Memphis, Arkansas. Fatcat had been dropped off at the shelter by someone who said he had found her wandering on the highway. Fatcat was in terrible shape and the vet says she had been used up as a breeder at a puppy mill. But she is on the mend, back with her family and with LaShena and her now 14-year-old son, who was only 6 when Fatcat went missing. LaShena is now helping spread the message, don't ever give up, get your pets chipped and put a GPS locater on their collars, something that didn't exist when Fatcat disappeared.

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