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Animal Radio® Show #509 September 5, 2009


How To Protect Yourself Or Pet From A Possible Shocking Or Electrocution

Blair Sorrel, StreetZaps

When you think about people and animals walking across manhole covers and getting shocked, you naturally think about New York.  But, this is not only a problem nationwide but also throughout the world. is a non-partisan initiative organized and led by Blair Sorrel to reduce the year round risk of injury and fatality from contact voltage shocking or electrocution resulting from damaged or tampered wiring.

Blair’s purpose is to heighten general awareness of this hazard.  Wherever there are outdoor electrical fixtures, be it in rural or residential areas, there is always the hazard of both people and animals getting voltage shocking or even being electrocuted. 

Some things to look out for are:

1.  Street Lights

Lamppost poles and their compartments are a possible source of shock as thieves and vandals can easily access the electrical connections at their base.  Pedestrians should be aware that an ajar or missing panel or one with a protuberant plug constitutes significant warnings of tampering/risk.  When the photocell is damaged internally, a lamppost compartment can leak voltage ... whether or NOT it is illuminated, even when appearing to be fully intact.

2.  Other Urban Metal

Ubiquitous metal plates on the streets and sidewalks with decaying wiring may jolt the passerby.  Rampant power pilferage, vandalism, wayward construction, or vehicular accidents can leave enlivened areas in their wake.

3.  Outdoor Lights Have Bite

While lovely to look at, decorative lighting may over time pose a risk to pedestrians and their pets since its insulation can decay from long-term exposure to temperature change, weather, and even tropical sun.

4.  Dog Booties Get The Boot!


At present, the material they are made from shields against cold, moisture, and rock salt, but does not insulate against electricity and when saturated creates an even greater hazard.

A person can complain of leaky boots, a dog can't!

Booties that protect against voltage are still a 'concept' rather than a practical option.  Any 'safe' product will require much research and development before they can insulate any dog.  Even electrical workers conduct periodic checks of their gloves and clothing to ensure safety and even more so with dog booties because the wearer relies on the purchaser's judgment.

Additionally, although some rescuers recommend Musher's Wax, which is readily available and easy to apply, it will not protect against contact voltage either.

Common Misconceptions:

1.  "I have a female dog."

Wet weather can produce a hazard for any pooch; however, male dogs may be particularly at risk when they lift their leg to spray the metal bases of lampposts or other upright electrical street fixtures creating a ready conduction path for stray current.

2.  "I wear rubber-soled shoes."

All footwear provides some insulation, but none guarantees protection; open-toed shoes and sandals provide the least safety.  Insulation denotes that a material will thwart an electric current to the maximum design limits, i.e., electrical wiring insulation.  Protection takes many forms, usually insulation, but also by avoiding contact.  In the case of footwear, while shoes offer a protective barrier, the only guaranteed insulation is found in specialty shoes so constructed to insure a greater buffer.

You can help by reporting tampered equipment and hot spots to your local electric company.  Or you can visit and fill out a quick report and they will contact the appropriate utility company.  Street Zaps also has information on locations that have been reported, so you know where to avoid them. 

Just use caution and if you are a dog walker, whenever possible avoid outdoor electrical equipment, lampposts, metal grates, manholes and service boxes.  And if you ride a bike, try not to lean or lock your bike against light poles or phone booths.


Eat Ice Cream & Help The Honey Bees

Jake Wall, Häagen-Dazs & Experience Project 
The Häagen-Dazs brand strives to create a natural based offering of ice cream with natural sweeteners. And if you have ever tasted their ice cream - you know it’s true!  As a result, the product is dependent upon the honeybee population.

But most people don’t realize that honey bees are responsible for 1/3 of our nation’s food supply, and that over the last three years, more than one-third of honey bee colonies have died due to a mysterious phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CDC), posing a serious risk to both food supplies and global economies.  In cases of CDC, honeybees mysteriously leave their hives and die – yet scientists still don’t know exactly why.

The Häagen-Dazs brand and Experience Project (EP) have teamed up to motivate the public to get involved in actively helping save honeybee colonies.   This campaign harnesses the power of social networking not only to educate the public on why honeybee pollination is so vital to our society, but also to take tangible steps to help the situation. Unique from traditional social media campaigns, critical aspects of the partnership include recruiting people into individual challenges, such as planting flowers or eating naturally for a week, and playing trivia games that earn donations towards honey bee research. While headquartered at, the campaign is tightly integrated with other social media applications, such as Facebook and Twitter.
The specific challenges include:
Plant a Flower, Help a Honey Bee Challenge
Since flowers are the primary food source for honey bees, this challenge encourages individuals to help out by planting more flowers and fruits wherever they are.  Participants upload photos of themselves planting flowers via Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr.  The three best photos, as judged by all of the participants, win coupons for a year’s supply of free Häagen-Dazs ice cream.

7-Day Go Natural Challenge
This challenge encourages individuals to eat and live naturally for seven straight days.  Participants learn about the honey bee’s contributions to our natural food sources while also earning coupons for Häagen-Dazs products and the chance to win a year’s supply of ice cream.

Help The Honey Bees Trivia Game
Help the honeybees with just a click of the mouse! As a key part of the campaign, EP will be hosting a special general knowledge trivia game where participants earn “nectar” points for each correct answer.  The accumulated points will then be converted into donations in support of scientific research to help find the causes and solutions for CDC.

When: The campaign goes through September 21, 2009.

Häagen-Dazs Help The Honey Bees:

Häagen-Dazs + Experience Project Help The Honey Bees Challenges:
Häagen-Dazs + Experience Project Help The Honey Bees Trivia:

To access the special Help The Honey Bees Facebook application:



Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

Neutered Dog Is Still Aggressive

Vladae helps a caller who has a male dog that has been neutered, but he still has those “desires” with other male dogs and is still very aggressive. He offers some great suggestions on how to curb this unwanted behavior.

My dog bites people

When you have a biting dog, here is what you need to do:  1.  You need to stop your dog from barking and from pulling on the leash.  This will stop aggression in your dog that makes him bite.   2.   You then need to teach her to love what she hates.  3.  Put her in the crate and get people to come into your home.  4.  If she barks or growls make loud growling noise to make her quiet.  5.  If she quits barking, give her a treat and praise her.

Dog Has Separation Anxiety Over Other Family Member

This guardian’s father is in the hospital, and while the dog doesn’t live with him, he spends a lot of time at his house and misses him.   Now, the dog is suffering from separation anxiety and has started chewing on himself.   This dog might need some light medication to get through this period of time.  But first, check to make sure there are no medical reasons for his chewing.  You can also try pheromones and some behavior modifications to take his mind off things, like physical work and mental stimulation.


Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

Dog Sitting

I want to talk to you about a little something called dog sitting.  A girlfriend of mine is in town this summer and she gave me a new number to call her.  I mentioned that she wasn’t staying at her folks and she said she was dog sitting for the summer.  I asked her what she meant by this, and she said that her friends went away and she was staying there.  I then said she was house sitting then.  No, she said, she was there for the dog and that the dog was the priority.

So I said if the house was burning down, you run in and save the dog but you don’t run back in for anything else?  The dog is the number one priority.  Are you going back in for maybe some documents, some trophies?  The guy who lives there is a doctor, are you going in for any of his degrees on the wall, or is it just the dog?

She said, “Vinny, stop ranting and raving, stop being the Party Animal, I’m sitting for the dog!”  I then asked her why she doesn’t bring the dog to her house and she said it was unacceptable by the owner.  The dog needs to stay in its environment.

I was like “What if that environment burns down as we just discussed?”

She said, “Listen, I take dog sitting very seriously!”

I then said, ‘Are you being paid for the dog sitting?”

She said, “No, they’re friends!”

And herein came the best part, so I said, “All day long you are going to just sit around and take care of the dog?’

She said, “Well, I love the dog!”

I said, “Yeah, I get that.  We’re all dog lovers!”

Then she said, “Yeah, I’m just going to swim in the pool!”

And that’s when I really decided folks, and to my girlfriend who’s listening, you’re not dog sitting and no, you’re not house sitting, but you are my dear - pool sitting!


On a previous installment, I told you about the beloved family dog, Cruiser.  While we had several pets in my house growing up, Cruiser was probably the one on the biggest pedestal.  He was a mini-Schnauzer and was very cool, even though what I am about to tell you might make you question that. 

Nonetheless, I told you about Cruiser and ironically right after that installment, I was moving a few boxes around in the house that I grew up in that my sister bought from my parents, and she kept Cruiser’s chew toys, which I think is a bit over the top to keep those nasty, dust bunny riddled chew toys.   Maybe some dog lovers out there who have lost their dogs keep such things.   I believe there are certain things worth keeping like their collars, but their chew toys are a little over the top. But then again, my sister puts the “rat” in “rat pack.” 

Nonetheless, what we also found in another box was what I used to call Cruiser’s Liberace sweater.  Now bad enough, I’m not a big believer of sweaters on dogs in the first place, although I have seen some cool things.  I recently saw a dog with CBGB t-shirt and I thought that was pretty cool and certainly a way to strike up a conversation with the ladies.  But, one holiday season my mom bought Cruiser a sweater that could only be described as a “Liberace” sweater. 

Liberace, for those of you who don’t know, was rather a flamboyant, outrageously dressed pianist.   His sweater just screamed!  I think my mother thought that Cruiser was gay.   It’s the only thing I can come up with.  My mother has since past away, so I can’t ask her.  But when I found Cruiser’s Liberace sweater, I thought why’d she buy this for him?  It’s not remotely masculine and did my mother think Cruiser was a gay dog?  Does that exist?  Is there such a thing as gay dogs and gay cats?   I have to say no! 

I watched Cruiser frolic with other dogs and he really didn’t treat boys… well, there was that one friend that had a dog named Thor that Cruiser would mount, but don’t they just mount both boy and girls? 

It’s not going to change my feelings about Cruiser if I were to now discover, hey, I had a gay mini-Schnauzer. I’m not going to go home and tear up that picture of the two of us on the beach that I hold so dear, but has there ever been any scientific studies?  Have we determined if animals are capable of this?  

All I know is that at the end of the day, gay or straight, Cruiser – I love you, I miss you!  But I have to say I wish mom had just bought you a “My owner went to Florida and all I got was this stupid doggy t-shirt!”

The Horse & Buggy of Yesteryear 

Recently I did the tried and true Horse & Buggy ride for perhaps the 7th or 8th time in my life.  I remember the first time; of course it was in New York, and as a little boy.  It was a real coup for me and maybe I was in a cowboy phase, I don’t remember.  But this animal was majestic to me and just hearing it “clop, clop” down New York streets was really something to me, and I literally, vividly remember this.  

Well, it has not been memorable since.  Even times when I took horse and buggy rides through Central Park with really good-looking girls all snuggled under a blanket with me.  One of the worst was when a girl went on a tirade about how convinced she was that this animal was being mistreated.   She could not enjoy this ride because she was certain the rider, as pleasant as he was and as prepared he was to regale us with tails of New York City, was beating this horse.  Or at the very least, this horse wasn’t happy with its present employment.  It ruined it for me, one because I certainly wouldn’t want that to be true as I am an animal lover; and two because I knew then that this wasn’t turning her on and nothing good was going to happen afterwards and what I really hoped for during. 

And every other time since then, in a romantic sense, the woman has never really been all that taken by the scenes, the horse or anything.   Plus, the riders never shut up. 

The most recent time was in Mystic, Connecticut at a place called the Mystic Sea Port.  For those of you who might be interested, there’s a lot of history there, it’s really a beautiful part of Connecticut.  And again, as I said, a lot of history and a day of fun to be had.   And what’s really cool about the horse and buggy ride we did there, I went with my sister, my brother-in-law, the missus and all of the kids. So we had two sets of cousins on the ride. 

My sister and my wife spent the entire ride discussing where they would have dinner, even though we were 20 minutes out of lunch, they were already discussing “Should it be sea food?  Do you think the kids might want pizza?”  They spent the entire ride discussing what was next on the menu.  

My brother-in-law enjoyed it at the very least, because he is a history buff.  And as I said, Mystic is just entrenched in history.  So, he was just taken by the woman who was giving us the tour and the little history lesson. 

And Little Joel was this beautiful horse and you knew he was being treated well.   You know he is a part of the Mystic Sea Port family.  So I didn’t have that hanging over my head. 

But when the most excitement it gleans from the children is them passing by one of Little Joel’s bowel movements from earlier in the day, you know that the horse and buggy ride is lost on today’s youth!


Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill

ASPCA Is Not Convinced That Vick Has Demonstrated Compassion Toward Animals

The organization that was instrumental in investigating the atrocities of the Michael Vick dog-fighting ring has released a statement on the quarterback’s reinstatement.  Ed Sayres of the ASPCA said Vick’s P.R. reps contacted them just after his release from prison.  Sayres said the ASPCA was “the first animal welfare organization given the opportunity to work with Mr. Vick but immediately turned him down...” The reason according to Sayres was the “unique knowledge we had of his indescribable and barbaric acts of animal cruelty.”  Sayres wants to make clear that the ASPCA is “simply not convinced that Mr. Vick has demonstrated compassion toward animals as living beings or the necessary remorse for his criminal actions against them.”

Bills Makes it Legal to Shoot Birds Near Airports

Ever since Capt. Sully Sullenberger safely landed jetliner on the Hudson River passengers are more aware of the dangers of birds near airports. But airports in California have been taking heat from the state Department of Fish & Game for shooting birds near flight paths.  The state Senate recently passed a bill, which will allow airport authorities to kill birds that might interfere with air traffic without being cited.   The bill introduced by California State Senator Dave Cox now heads to Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk for signing.

Traffic Noise Ruins The Sex Lives Of Urban Amphibians

Frogs “Down Under” aren’t getting as much nookie as they should.  A recent project done by Melbourne University found traffic noise is ruining the sex lives of the urban amphibians.  The car noise in Melbourne could be the cause of the decline in frog population numbers since the study began on 100 ponds in the city. The study found the frog’s most important component of initiating mating - the croak - is drown out by urban noise.  The A.P. story said the distance potential suitor frogs croaks can be carried have been slashed by city noise!

Concentration Camp For Horses.

The owner of an Arabian horse breeding ranch is being charged with cruelty to livestock in Texas.  Gordon Dennis Key, who turned himself in and faces jail time, if convicted of the misdemeanor, is currently free on bond.   According to the Associated Press deputies acting on a tip found and removed 76 horses, dozens of them emaciated.  One deputy on the scene told the A.P. the Renazans Arabians ranch in Pilot Point looked more like a concentration camp for horses.

Autistic Students Can Keep Their Companion Dogs In The Classroom. 

A court victory is helping two autistic elementary school students keep their companion dogs in the classroom.   The court orders in Illinois allow the students to keep their dogs with them, calming them and easing transitions.  The rulings follow similar victories in courts in California and Pennsylvania where school’s had refused to let dogs stay in class with the students. At issue, according to the Associated Press, is whether or not the dogs are in fact “service dogs”.

Be On The Lookout For 4-Month-Old Chihuahua Puppy With Pink Earrings

If you’ve seen a 4-month-old Chihuahua puppy with pink earrings in the Wilton Manors Florida area, call the police.  It’s a hot pooch. Little Hudson Hayward Hemingway was stolen from a South Florida gay bar last month and his owner Brian Dortort has spent weeks searching for his softball-sized pet.  Dortort says he let a man briefly hold his dog at a friend’s birthday party - but the man disappeared with the Chihuahua.  Police have a suspect but are waiting for the Broward State Attorney’s Office to issue an arrest warrant.



Animal Minute With Britt Savage

A Confidence Course for Cowardly Canines

Everyone has heard of the term “fraidy cat,” but what about “fraidy dog?”  If you have one of those dogs that appear to be fearful of everything, there is help!  A course in self-confidence, which has been a sell out success in Austria, has been designed to bring out your dog’s “inner wolf.” 

The course was designed by animal behavior expert Marianne Prutsch, who states  “More and more dogs are scared of their own shadows and the course is designed to make them more self confident and secure.”

Marianne, who lives at Hannersdorf, in the wine growing Burgenland region of Austria, said the course is not about making the dogs more aggressive, saying: “Self confident dogs rarely bite and are more fun to be with.

“Nervous dogs who are afraid of everything are even more likely to bite their owners and too often are aggressive.”

Marianne concludes that some breeds of dog were naturally more nervous than others, including the Doberman, Dalmatians and Border Collies.

She added: “The most self confident are the Irish Wolfhounds, but they are also one of the biggest.”

Snake Eats Electric Blanket

An electric blanket used to keep a python snake warm – was eaten by the snake!  It took about two hours for a surgeon to remove the queen-sized electric blanket, which extended about eight feet through the python’s digestive track.  The snake itself is 12 feet long.

It was a first for the veterinary surgeon, who had never operated on a snake before, but Houdini is doing fine.

Houdini has been with his guardian for about 16 years and was taken regularly to local school for show-and-tell.  It looks like Houdini won’t be doing any more blanket tricks and will soon be back at school.


Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

Dog Rearranges Furniture As A Result Of Separation Anxiety

Nine-year-old female German/Shepherd/Chow mix, when left alone, will take all of the cushions off of the couch and love seat by diving into them and knocking all of the cushions off.  She won’t destroy them, but she will push everything on the floor.  She will also will get a loaf of bread from the kitchen and put it on the bed, but she won’t get into it.   Dr. Debbie states that the dog needs to be taught independence and how to sit calmly.  Also, the guardians need to be trained on their departures.   Tune in to find out just what Dr. Debbie recommends in this case.

Advanced Cushing’s Disease

Eleven-year-old Malti-Poo has advanced Cushing’s Disease.  Cushing’s Disease usually appears in dogs 10 years or older and affects many breeds. It is a disorder resulting from excessive circulating cortisol (a steroid). The most common signs of Cushing's Disease are increased appetite, increased thirst and urination, hair loss, lethargy, and pendulous abdomen (due to increased liver size and muscle breakdown). In most cases the cause of Cushing's Disease is due to a non-cancerous overgrowth (hyperplasia) of the pituitary gland (called Pituitary Dependent Hyperadrenocorticism or PDH). Cushing's disease can also be caused by a tumor in the adrenal glands, which are located in the abdomen next to the kidneys.  Cushing’s is a manageable disease.  Check with you veterinarian to see the appropriate diet for your dog when diagnosed with Cushing’s disease.

Enlarged Heart

Eight-year-old Dachshund had recently stared coughing and stopped eating.  When his guardian took him to the vet, he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart.  However, just a few weeks before that, he was examined and received his yearly shots, and had a clean bill of health.  The dog has had a heart murmur for sometime, but can this happen that quickly?  Also, two vets are giving him conflicting information on proper medication. 


Dr. Jim Humphries - Veterinary Minute

Ultrasound Technology in Veterinary Medicine

Flip the switch, squirt on some gel and give old Sparky a friendly pat.  A few minutes from now your veterinarian might be able to diagnose a problem with your pet.  Increasingly, veterinarians are adding diagnostic ultrasounds to their offices as the technology improves.  It used to be only used by specialists, but now more general practice veterinarians have the machines.  The machines allow your veterinarian to get near instant feedback without hurting the animal.  It also allows the doctor to capture the images, which means they can e-mail the footage to a specialist and get a quick second opinion.

Elderly People & Their Pets

Helping elderly people and their pets is not only the right thing to do; it can also reduce health care costs that can save lives.   Pets can be a great source of comfort and joy.  By emphasizing a pet’s role in our mental and physical lives, over a period of time we can also reduce health care costs to society.   We know that people that live with companion animals receive numerous health benefits.  For example, people with pets visit the doctors less often and use less medication.  People with pets recover from illness more quickly.  People with pets have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure.   And exercising a pet can provide valuable exercise to an animal’s elderly guardian. 

There are measurable social and economic benefits to elderly people by providing services and care for their pets.  Get involved with your local humane society and see where you can help.


Animal Radio's Summer Giveaway

It’s back!  Animal Radio’s Summer Giveaway for 2009 and you can enter as many times as you would like before September 30th.

This year’s Grand Package includes items from Celestron, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of high quality optical products, with the Regal 65F-ED Spotting Scope; Bissell, with the Lift-Off Revolution Pet Vac; Automated Pet Care Products, with the Litter-Robot; Disney, with the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park passes; and recently added from SCS from the Disney G-Force movie which opened on July 25th, plush characters, t-shirts and trading cards.

The five runner-ups can win packages, which include the Outland Waterproof Binoculars from Celestron; the Pet Hair Eraser Corded Handheld Vacuum Cleaner from Bissell; and the  "UP" DVD, Leapfrog Reading System and "UP" Leapfrog Storybook from Disney-Pixar.  We have also recently added World's Best Cat Litter as well as Häagen-Dazs ice cream!

You may enter as many times as you want, but no more than 5 times a day prior to September 30, 2009. This contest is open to US residents 18 and over. Winner is responsible for all taxes on prize packages. Winners will be announced on Animal Radio® and notified by email or telephone. You may also enter by sending us a postcard with the requested information to Animal Radio -Summer-end Giveaway, P.O. Box 197, Shandon, CA. 93461. A complete list of rules is available at the Animal Radio Network™ Studios.

What are you waiting for?  Get entered now!



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