Animal Radio® Show #459 September 20, 2008

Jenna Fischer, The Office
Jenna Fischer talks about her cat Andy, who is now 16 years old. Last year he was diagnosed with the beginnings of kidney disease but is doing well. Jenna worked for many years doing animal rescue and received a crash course on animal care. As a result, she was not overwhelmed with the new responsibility of taking care of Andy's special needs.

Andy has been with Jenna since she was in college. When she first moved to Los Angeles from St. Louis, she took Andy with her across country. It took 3 days and Andy rode in a cat carrier in the backseat of her Mazda Hatchback. She talks about how she would sneak him into motels along the way.

Jenna spoils her cat and admits that she lets him bully her around with food. She also lets Andy walk on the table during dinner. When she has guests over, she pretends that Andy isn't allowed on the table and tells everyone that she is surprised when he does it!

Jenna also had a dog Wesley who went with her husband after their divorce. But, she has visitation rights and cares for Wesley when her ex is out of town.

Jenna is currently filming the new season of The Office where she plays secretary Pam Beasley.

Tricia Helfer, Battlestar Galactica
Tricia Helfer is dedicated to animal causes and has six rescued cats of her own. She tells us that they basically all get along, but Delilah, her first cat, is a little annoyed with all of the other additions. But, if Delilah gets her loving time separately, she manages to be okay. She also admits that her cats have full run of the house and are allowed to sleep in her bed. In fact, she finds that her husband is a little more accommodating with the cats in bed than she is!

Due to her travel schedule, Tricia currently has all cats but states that she is an animal person across the board. She works closely with Kitten Rescue of Los Angeles and raises monies via her website which she donates to animal charities.

Tricia began modeling in high school and began an extensive modeling career working for top designers such as Giorgio Armani, Versace and Dolce Gabbana. She also starred in the Sci-Fi miniseries "Battlestar Galactica" where she played the humanoid Cylon "Number Six," and has appeared on "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation."

Tricia is currently doing double-duty. She is working on a pilot for Fox as well as on a Battlestar Galactica Movie.

Who Gets The Money?
Merritt Clifton, Animal People ­ Watchdog Report
Once a year Merritt Clifton, Animal People, does a watchdog report on major non-profit organizations in animal protection and animal habitat protection, which includes some of the big conservation groups, to see "Who Gets The Money," which is a financial report on about 140 organizations. They also look at some of the leading opposition groups. Then in the spring, they update this with the Watchdog Report, which also adds program and policy information and comes out as a handbook. Who gets the money is a section of the Animal People Newspaper.

The last couple of years have seen an increase in donations due to Hurricane Katrina. In fact, Noah's Wish raised over 6.5 million dollars in connection with the hurricane, but the California Attorney General ruled that the money was not properly used in most cases.

Typically the animal welfare business was not thought to be a very lucrative business if you are a CEO, but the latest report states that they are taking home over $250,000 a year. But, you have to look at the size of the organization and the credentials of the person and the length of tenure there.

Unfortunately a few years ago, the animal welfare people had gotten into the same mentality as the corporate world where they were seeking superstar executive directors and throwing tons of money at them. That phase fortunately was short-lived, but during that phase we saw some people hired at salaries of $400,000 and up. What we are seeing is that those superstar directors are for the most part not lasting and not delivering the results that were expected when they came over from the for-profit world and are being replaced by people who come up through the ranks at substantially less.

A couple of other things to look at are that cost of living differs greatly in various regions. You almost need to make half as much more in San Francisco and New York than you do in the Midwest. You also have to look at the perks. The use of a vehicle and housing can increase the standard of living above someone's declared income.

Animal People also receives inquiries from people who are receiving solicitations for money from organizations that they have never heard of and they want to know the background and if they are verifiably doing anything? Before you give $1 or $100, you should do your research.

Think about giving to your local organization. They don't have the fundraising capacity and they won't be in your mailbox as often, but they are doing the lion's share of the hands-on-care work in your community. They should really be your first consideration. Give locally first, and then if there is something left over, you should find a couple of nationals that you feel a particular affinity for, and support them too.

To get a copy of the Watchdog Report and see just exactly where your donation dollars are going, send $25 to Animal People, PO Box 860, Clinton, WA 98236 or order through

Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

Puppy Barks At Everyone
Behavior problems in dogs are the number one reason pets are given up. When a dog barks, they are telling us something. They are also saying that they are in charge. A bark is already a bite, which hasn't been connected yet. This is something that should be taken very seriously. Vladae explains how to nip this problem in the bud!

Terrier Climbs Fence And Escapes
After asking several questions, Vladae find out that this male dog is NOT neutered. And, it seems to be that this is the cause of this dog's problem. If he is neutered, he is less likely to want to run away to find female, plus, it is healthier for him.

Dog Pulls on Leash
This is such an easy dilemma to deal with. In less than five minutes, you can teach your dog how to properly walk on a leash. Use a 6-foot leash and keep it slack. Let your dog go wherever he wants to go, and just before it gets tight, momentarily turn around in the opposite direction and do a quick snap of the leash. This is a surprise for your dog and it immediately directs your dog to pay attention to you. If your dog gets ahead of you, you go in reverse and snap the leash and praise him when he turns around and follows you.

Top 10 Medical Conditions for vet Visits
Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinary News Network
The nation's largest pet insurer releases the Top 10 Reasons Pets Are Taken to the Veterinarian.

For the second year in a row, you guessed it, urinary tract infections was the top medical condition that cat owners filed claims for to veterinary pet insurance companies, according to a recent review of all policy holder claims.

Veterinary visits for skin allergies resulted in the most claims for dogs.

Several of the Top 10 conditions for both dogs and cats remained the same over the last several years, but there were a few new additions.

Osteoarthritis, enteritis (which is diarrhea) and thyroidism were more common in dogs than they were the previous year, and diabetes in cats made the list. Kidney disease was the 10th most common feline complaint and it jumped to number three. The spike in certain conditions for both dogs and cats can be explained by a host of reasons. From a pet's age or genetics to nutrition or environment. For many of these conditions the main risk factor is age.

For example, Osteoarthritis and hypothyroidism have definite genetic and age related risk factors. Large breed dogs, for example, tend to develop arthritis at a younger age. Additionally, hypothyroidism, which is the failure of the thyroid gland to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone, is a relatively common age related disease in dogs. The increase in kidney disease in cats is also co-related with our aging companion cat population. Cats are simply living longer than their kidneys were designed to support them.

In order to help prevent such serious diseases from afflicting our pets, all pets should receive a comprehensive physical exam every year. If a disease is detected during the annual wellness examination, it may be early enough to treat and possibly prevent, and for sure, less expensive to take care of. In particular, geriatric cats need to see the veterinarian regularly, at least twice a year. Kidney disease can silently progress in an older cat, but the cat may not show any outward signs. So see your veterinarian twice a year!

Animal Minute With Britt Savage

Drug Addicted Elephant
An elephant with a heroin addiction has successfully completed his rehab program. Unlike many Hollywood stars that land in rehab, illegal traders in China fed this drug-addicted giant heroin-laced bananas. The four-year-old, named Big Brother, was captured by traders who controlled him with bananas filled with heroin. When they were captured, the arresting police officers confirmed that Big Brother was soon suffering some big withdrawal symptoms. He was sent to a wild animal park, after a year of methadone injections finally succeed in weaning him off heroin, but probably not off bananas!

Cat Goes Packing ­ Literally!
Kelly and Seth Levy said their 10-month-old cat, Gracie May, had recently been spayed and had been a little skittish lately. Seth took off for a trip from his home in Florida to Texas, not knowing that Gracie May had been hiding in his suitcase. To make matters worse, a stranger mistakenly took the wrong bag from the airport carousel. Kelly was home looking for Gracie when she received a call from a bewildered man, saying, "You're not going to believe this, but I picked up your husband's suitcase by mistake and a cat jumped out!" Rob Carter said he realized it wasn't his suitcase when he didn't recognize some of the clothes. He was just set to close it up, when a cat jumped out and ran under the bed. He was also quoted as saying, "It was so shocking, I screamed like a little girl!" He finally coaxed Gracie May out and got her owner's phone number from her ID tag. Rob bought Gracie a pet taxi and sent her on her way back to Florida. This time, the flight wasn't free, $80, but she had a lot more legroom!

SuperZoo Report
Gabriel Williams, Animal Radio® Correspondent

This year at SuperZoo there were a lot of great new products and excited retailers and exhibitors. Gabriel reports on some of the new items on exhibit.

Cool Collar
If you have a pet in a hot environment, you can actually insert ice cubes in this collar to help keep them cool, while he is out running around. When it melts, cool water will run down his chest.

Canine Caviar
Canine Caviar has some new jerky treats for cats as well as freeze-dried anchovies ­ a great source oil Omega 3 for your cat. They also have all natural chew toys, which are great for their teeth and gums, as well as their holistic, grain free cat and dog food.

Flexpet is great for arthritis and joint pain and hip dysplasia. Everyone is familiar with glucosimine, which is a great product, but by itself it only does so much. The thing that really stands out about Flexpet is that it is a chewable, so your pet feels like he is getting a treat, and it is filled with really good quality, all natural ingredients.

Sasquatch Pet Beds
This is a neat pet bed for cats and dogs based on a "croc shoe." It's very plush for your small pet and comes in different colors.

Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

Pet Obituaries
Where are they? Why aren't they? I know some of you are out there thinking, Vinn there is, you can go online here, or you can Google this, or they've always been here. But I'm talking about in the mainstream newspaper of your town, the local newspaper.

We buried an uncle of mine a few years ago, that the entire family hated. This guy ruined Thanksgiving upon Thanksgiving. He was a miserable old man who fell asleep in the middle of all of the revelry and would wake up, launching curses in everyone's direction and terrify the grandkids. The obit said he was so loving and he warmed the cockles of our hearts, he was a bright spot on many a snowy, icy He was not a bright spot! Even if he brought the sunshine - he couldn't be a bright spot.

I look at some of these obituaries and they are for people where their driver's licenses we used for the pictures, as they clearly have no one in their lives who care that they are gone. Not to be cold, but why not the pets? Why wouldn't we have obituaries for our pets?

When our dog, the beloved family dog Cruiser, our Miniature Schnauzer passed, let me tell you something, I could have dedicated two columns to my main man, raving about how he brought the family together at a time when my parents were divorcing. He brought love into a house that was devoid of love at this time.

And the little in memoriams a year later, they break your heart. Instead you see in memoriams for guys with faces, which make you say, "No one could have loved this man, this man doesn't even seem capable of love." And yet out of obligation, someone is saying, "It was a year ago today we lost." No you're not! You're thinking of the fact that you still can't get the smell out of the sofa that he fell asleep in every time he came over to your house for the last thirty years.

I want pet obituaries. I want them treated with the respect and reverence that we give to family members, human family members, who you had neither for. I mean, "R.I.P.?" An R.I.P. for your dogs and cats ­ that's what they do ­ they rip the sofa, it's perfect!

Let me know what you think!

International Animal News with Kaye Browne

Ownership Limited to One Dog
Peru ­ the country which boasts one of the oldest civilizations on the planet ­ is about to become famous for more than losing the Incas they're about to lose multiple dog households. A neighborhood in Peru's capital, Lima, has passed a law prohibiting families living in apartments from having more than one dog. People living in houses are allowed two dogs, but anyone found with more will cop heavy fines ­ and have their dogs taken away. Apparently some of the society types living in Lima's middle class suburb of Jesus Maria believe there are 'too many dogs and too much barking' ­ so the dogs have to go.

Jogger Attacked by Kangaroo
It can be tough keeping fit, just ask the Aussie jogger who was attacked by a kangaroo on the outskirts of the city of Melbourne. The man, in his 50s, managed to fight off the giant male roo by holding its forepaws ­ but was badly gashed by the animals hind legs. Kangaroo attacks are rare ­ but this is the second in recent months, being blamed on the continuing drought.

Former KGB Spy Thwarts Tiger Attack
The world's best-known former KGB spy, Vladimir Putin has reportedly saved a Russian television crew by shooting an attacking Siberian tiger with a tranquilizer dart. Putin had just arrived at a national park to observe how researchers monitor the tigers in the wild when one ran at a nearby camera crew. The Russian president, who enjoys his macho image, leapt into action ­ later praising the western nations who've helped bring the tigers back from the brink of extinction.

Price of Meat Goes Up
If you think times are tough, think about the poor people in Cambodia, who've found their staple protein source has quadrupled in price. Did I mention the protein source? Rats. Rodent meat is about a quarter the price of beef. Before you turn up your nose, Cambodians aren't the only rat connoisseurs ­ they currently supply about a ton of live rats a day to Vietnam. Rats are also commonly eaten in Thailand while Indians are being encouraged to eat more rat and save grain.

Miniature Cattle Alternate Source of Food
In a similar vein ­ if you'll pardon the pun ­ British people are turning to alternate sources of food. Not rats ­ but miniature cattle. Canny Brits are turning their backyards into stockyards with a breed of cow, called a Dexter ­ which grows to about the same size as a German shepherd. The little cow can provide about 16 pints of milk a day, eats lawn grass and can be a pet.

Cat Sprouts Wings
Our feline friends are known for their ability to land on their feet, but there's one in China, which has a little aerodynamic help - a mysterious pair of wings! The tabby from the Qingyan province in China apparently sprouted the fur-covered wings on his back during a spell of hot weather. There are photos on the Internet. Western scientists say the phenomenon is possibly a condition known as feline cutaneous asthenia or FCA, which causes the cat's skin to grow in heavy folds on its back or shoulders. But the cat's owner is adamant - she reckons the wings sprouted because the cat was stressed over having too many potential female wanting to mate with him. Problem a lot of blokes have, apparently.
Listen to Current World News

Talk With Your Animals with Joy Turner
Sue wants to speak with Milo, her Cockatoo, to find out a little more about who he is. Milo has been with this family for almost a year, and has not quite settled in. Joy tells Sue to give him a little more time.

Disaster Preparedness For Pets
Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinary News Network
In a natural or man-made disaster, you could be told to leave your home on very short notice ­ and that includes your pets. You should plan in advance for what to take along when you leave, what steps to take when an evacuation order is made and what do to when you return home. Good planning even includes preparation for disasters that occur when you are away from home.

Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill

Gulf Coast Pet Evacuations and Sheltering
The tropical storms that have been battering the Gulf Coast brought out several animal rescue organizations to assist pet evacuations and sheltering. The American Humane Association joined the Louisiana State Animal Response Team as well as the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Animal Rescue League of Boston. These organizations headed to the Gulf as hurricane Gustav hit. Many of these groups helped local animals after Katrina hit the area in 2005. The Best Friends Rapid Response Team provided 3-thousand pet carriers when it found out some evacuees were being turned away from buses because they didn't have carriers for their animals. Last August, an American Humane Association survey showed 47 percent of owners were reluctant to evacuate without their pets. This time around, more people evacuated and took their pets with them.

Petzlife Oral Care Spray & Gel Must Discontinue Their Health Claims
The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that the makers of Petzlife Oral Care Spray and Gel discontinue their health claims. The council, which is the advertising industry's self-regulatory forum, found that Petzlife's claims of reversing oral disease and eliminating bad breath could not be substantiated. The company could not provide evidence to support its health and safety claims, according to the council, who have now ordered Petzlife to stop making those statements in advertisements.

Dog "Rattles" After Ingesting 13 Golf Balls
A Scottish Labrador retriever apparently loves the national pass time a little too much. Oscar the 5-year-old lab was used to taking walks along the fairways near his home in Scotland when his owner Chris Morrison noticed his dog was rattling. A vet found the source of the noise - 13 golf balls. Oscar scarfed down more than a dozen of the dimpled balls, which were removed during surgery. Oscar now wears a muzzle on his walks.

NEWS UPDATE Brought To You By Simple Solution Natural Line Of Products

Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

Female Dog Gets Excited And Then Collapses
This dog gets excited for about 10-15 seconds and jumps up and down and then she falls down and stays down for about 10-15 seconds. She doesn't pass out completely but seems to be very confused and dazed during these episodes. She has been diagnosed with a heart murmur. Some puppies have heart murmurs that go away at about 4-5 months of age. Unfortunately, this dog is already one year old and it doesn't look like it will go away. The first thing Dr. Debbie suggests is an ultrasound on her heart to see exactly what is going on and how to treat it.

Cat Has Shaking Disorder And Now Kittens Do Too
There are possibly infections that can cause this, but it can even be a genetic disease. These cats need to be seen by a veterinarian to find out the cause before it can be treated. They also need to be spayed or neutered so that it can't be passed on to further generations.

Is There a Dog For Someone Who Is Allergic?
This woman's husband is allergic to dogs. She wants a dog and doesn't want to give up her husband! She is looking for a dog that he might be able to live with. There might be some dogs her husband can tolerate if he has a light allergy and only gets hay fever but if it is a life-threatening situation, she may have to give up on the dog idea. If it is just hay fever, she should look for dogs that don't shed like Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, Poodles, Bichons and even the Mexican Hairless dogs. There are also special hypoallergenic shampoos available to help keep the dander to a minimum.

Win Animal Radio® Advance Screening Passes of Disney's Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Here's your chance to win passes to a special advance screening of the hilarious new doggie adventure-comedy BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA from Walt Disney Pictures. If you live in one of the cities holding a special advance screening (Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles-Orange County, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New York City/Long Island, Norfolk, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco-San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa/St. Petersburg and Washington DC) listen for a chance to call in and receive passes for a family of four to attend the advance screening in your local market. If you don't live in one of those cities, we'll have a second-chance drawing to win a set of movie t-shirts for an adult, a child and a Chihuahua! BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA opens in theatres everywhere October 3rd but Animal Radio® is taking you to see it first!"

The cast of BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA includes: Piper Perabo, Manolo Cardona, Eugenio Derbez and Jamie Lee Curtis with the voices of Andy Garcia, Plácido Domingo, George Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Paul Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Luis Guzman, Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo, and Drew Barrymore as the voice of Chloe. Chloe (voice of DREW BARRYMORE), a diamond-clad, bootie wearing Beverly Hills Chihuahua enjoys her luxurious lifestyle so much, she hardly notices Papi (voice of GEORGE LOPEZ), a hilarious Chihuahua who happens to be crazy for Chloe. But when the most pampered pooch gets lost in Mexico with only a street-wise German Shepherd (voice of ANDY GARCIA) to help her find her way home, Papi heads south of the border ­ joining forces with a motley crew: three dogs (voices of PLÁCIDO DOMINGO, LUIS GUZMAN and EDDIE "PIOLIN" SOTELO), two humans (PIPER PERABO, MANOLO CARDONA), a sly rat (voice of CHEECH MARIN) and a nervous iguana (voice of PAUL RODRIGUEZ) ­ to rescue his true love.

Here are some fun facts about the movie:

· FACT 1: The film features a truly international cast of dogs and a variety of breeds -Dobermans, German Shepherds, Poodles, Pugs, Chinese Cresteds, a French Bulldog, a St. Bernard, a Labrador, a Border Terrier, a Dachshund, a Boston Terrier, a Yorkie, a Beagle, a Dalmatian, a Border Collie, a Pomeranian, a Bichon and Pekingese. Some were found at rescues in Los Angeles and Mexico -- some were seasoned Hollywood dogs. Half of them understand Spanish, half of them understand English.

· FACT 2: In addition to more than 200 dogs of various breeds, the film features appearances by many different types of animals, including snakes, pigeons, coyotes and a mountain lion, plus two virtual animals ­ a rat and an iguana.

· FACT 3: "Rusco," (ROOS-KO) the Chihuahua tapped for head hound PAPI, was rescued from a shelter. It was his big ears and great expression that attracted the filmmakers to the part-Chihuahua, part-mutt mix. Rusco has since found a permanent home at his trainer's seven-acre ranch outside of L.A. Today, he hangs out with his new canine brothers and sisters and awaits his next big Hollywood role.

Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#459)

Broadcast on XM Satellite Radio and Podcast Versions Only.

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