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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for October 31, 2015  

Homeless People And Their Companion Animals
Dr. Gillian Squirrell, Working Dog LLC

Dr. Gillian SquirrellDr. Gillian Squirrell is a trained and qualified Canine Hydrotherapist, has a Masters in Canine Science and is an ardent attender of various dog trainings, conferences and events. She has developed a nonprofit program, Working Dog LLC, for vulnerable adults and young people working with dogs as a way to develop interpersonal and workplace skills.

Dr. Squirrell tells us that Working Dog LLC has a small fund ($3,000) for the development of ideas about how to improve support for homeless people and their animal companions. As we know, these clients and their animals can fall through gaps in service provision.

In 2013, 22-percent of the homeless population were in California, which means there are probably a lot of homeless pets in California as well.

Should homeless people have pets? Dr. Gillian states that that is an interesting conversation starter. This is a very under-researched and little understood area. There is a lot of judgment attached to homelessness as well as a lot of fear. People range on a continuum from "Absolutely they shouldn't, they can't look after themselves, to thinking it's a really cute thing," states Dr. Gillian.

It is an area that Dr. Gillian has explored from several angles, including:

- The meaning of the animal for the homeless person and the way being with an animal impacts their role and identity, as well as offering benefits and causing limitations for the homeless person.

- The welfare issues pertaining to animals that live with homeless people.

- The ways in which homeless services providers and other systems respond to homeless people with animal companions.

Homeless Person With PetAnother way to look at the situation is that a lot of animals are sitting home alone for 8 hours a day or more waiting for their owners to come home from work. But animals with homeless people are with their people 24/7.

Thee animals are also good therapy for the homeless, and sometimes the animals are all they have. The homeless feel that their animals are a huge value to them and offer unconditional love without strings. Their animals offer support without judging them and the current situation that they are in.

When you're homeless, life is very difficult. Think of the things we take for granted like washing our hands or getting something to eat, even putting on clean clothes. These things are very difficult and take up a lot of time and a lot of resources for someone who is homeless.

One of the things that someone who is homeless can do something about is being with and looking after their animals. This can give them self-esteem and self-regards. They can be the champion for their pet. They can be providing at least something for their animal, even if it is just sharing their food.

Do the homeless ever gets animals and use them to beg for money? While in London, Dr. Gillian stated did come across some situations where people used puppies to beg, what she calls, "Puppy Pimping." In fact, small cute dogs were actually being passed around from one homeless person to another as a way of getting more income. Dr. Gillian states that this is very common in London, but not so much in the United States.

Want to help homeless pets? You can help locally by donating pet food to your local resource connections or homeless shelter.

Dr. Gillian has been working on this for 18 months or so, giving out supplies, trying to develop strategic responses within her local County, reviewing the literature, talking at conferences and collecting data both from local homeless and service providers and from providers within the UK.

Cuddly Co-Workers
Lisa Rogak, Cats on the Job

Lisa RogakAuthor Lisa Rogak has found 50 cats that have jobs. This isn't easy. Cats are notoriously not workers, unlike dogs. From Grumpy Cat to Kitty Models, Lisa will share the stories behind these frolicking felines.

Believe it or not, around the world, there are cats earning their keep. Some are mousers, like Princess, a black cat who works at Mill Ridge Farm's Stables. Some are circus performers, like Tuna and her furry friends in The Amazing Acro-Cats, and some are even politicians, like Mayor Stubbs who holds office in Talkeetna, Alaska. While interviewing cats for her book, even Lisa said she was amazed at how industrious some of them were.

Lisa has written many animal books, from dogs of war and dogs of courage, and admits that this was a goofball book to research. She stated, "I cracked up with every one," as cats don't have the best reputation for being good workers.

Mayor StubbsSome of the jobs these cats have are being models, where they will model cat costumes and wigs. There are also cat actors in movies and television commercials, with one cat appearing in the Star Trek Series, as a reoccurring character. Lisa added that it's hard to film a cat and get them to pose on cue if they can't be bribed with catnip or food.

Then there are service and therapy cats. One of the stories in her book is of a cat that goes to nursing homes and hospitals. The cat just walks in and jumps on a patient's bed and instantly makes not only the patient feel better, but the patient's family and staff members too.

There are also two cats that work at an insurance office and even have their own business cards and job titles. The staff uses the cats as screening for potential employees. If someone comes in for an interview and the cats don't like the person or the person doesn't like cats, they don't get the job.

And let's not forget Mayor Stubbs, an orange Tabby who holds office in Talkeetna, Alaska. It turns out the previous Mayor wasn't doing his job, so everyone said, "Let's just let a cat do it!" so they did. So now how about Grumpy Cat for President?

Cats On The Job book coverOther working cats are specifically hired for their superb mouse-catching skills, while others have more focused careers as hosts and bed-warmers at inns and hotels, as assistants to bike messengers, or as companions at bookstores. Some even provide therapy and comfort as diabetic alert cats and service cats for veterans and children.

Lisa tells us that most cats were not trained for these positions. Basically the cat just showed up, had a certain skill, and created their own jobs.

Lisa Rogak is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 40 books. Her works have been mentioned in The Wall Street Journal, Parade Magazine, USA Today, Family Circle, and hundreds of other publications. While Lisa Rogak doesn't currently own cats, she says she is a "Former ex-crazy cat lady."

FREE On-Line Happy Healthy Dog Summit

Happy Healthy Dog Summit LogoThe Healthy Happy Dog Summit will train YOU to provide the happiest, healthiest life possible for your pup! You'll see 30 world experts including Sonya Fitzpatrick (Animal Communication), Victoria Stillwell (Puppies 101) and Dr. Nicholas Dodman (How Dogs and People Communicate). The Happy Healthy Dog Summit is ONLINE and FREE. Learn more at:

SUBJECT: SIT! For the Healthy Happy Dog Summit!
The Healthy Happy Dog Summit will train YOU to provide the happiest, healthiest life possible for your pup! With 30 world experts sharing their knowledge, they'll teach you the best ways give your dogs the wonderful lives they deserve!

Our dutiful dogs depend on us for more than just food and shelter, and we depend on them for more than entertainment - they are our some of our truest friends (and beloved family members), and deserve to be treated as such! It's our duty to make sure they're doing well by asking the right questions and always looking to improve our lives with them. Woof!

Register for FREE now at the following link:

The Healthy Happy Dog Summit will train you about:
- Canine care & grooming
- Positive training & problem behaviors
- Traveling safely
- Proper nutrition & healthy exercise
- Recognizing illnesses
- And much more!

Here are a few of the incredible experts who will speak:
- Dr. Ian Billinghurst, Raw Food 101
- Sonya Fitzpatrick, Animal Communication
- Dr. Jean Dodds, Are We Giving Our Dogs too Many Vaccines?
- Victoria Stillwell, Puppies 101
- Dr. Nicholas Dodman, How Dogs and People Communicate

With 25 additional speakers, this invaluable (and FREE) resource is intended for dog owners everywhere! The Healthy Happy Dog Summit takes place from October 26 - November 2, 2015!

Register for FREE at the following link today:

No More Stinky Dogs!
Lucy Pet Foundation

Lucy Pet Products Shampoos & Leave-In ConditionersAnimal Radio Executive Producer Judy Abrams also moonlights as a pet sitter. Currently she is watching a little "stinky" Chihuahua. Since she had these great Lucy Pet Products Shampoos and Leave-In Conditioners on hand, she decided to see if they would help this Chihuahua.

Judy decided to bathe the Chihuahua with Blue Lightning, which has a blueberry fragrance. She never told the owner she was doing this and wanted to see if she would notice. When the owner came to pick up her dog at the end of the day, she picked her pooch up and got this pleasant look on her face.

At first she didn't know where the scent was coming from. But when she put her nose down close to her dog, she realized it was coming from her dog. She said her dog had never smelled so good. Not only that, when she ran her hands over her pup, she said she felt so soft and smooth. Needless to say, she was one vey happy owner!

The owner immediately wanted to know what Judy used and wants some for herself and said she was going to tell all of her friends about it.

Judy also informed the woman that she could keep her dog smelling that way between baths by using the Blue Lightning Leave-In Conditioning spray. You just spray it on your pup in between baths and just brush it in. It's that easy and not only will it leave them smelling fresh and clean in an instant, it will condition their skin and coat at the same time.

Lucy Pet Products are products with a cause and proceeds support the Lucy Pet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) registered animal charity. When you buy Lucy Pet Products, you are not only getting great products, you are also helping animals in need.

You can find Lucy Pet Products at Petco and your independent specialty pet retailer. And if they don't have it, ask them to carry it!

The Mission of The Lucy Pet Foundation is to reduce pet overpopulation by having mobile spay/neuter clinics across the country and to support causes that benefit animal welfare. The Lucy Pet Foundation currently has two buses that travel around Southern California focusing on spaying and neutering. These buses are state of the art surgery units. Their next focus is in generating more funds to expand the work of these buses and have more across the country.

The Lucy Pet Foundation not only offers free and reduced spays and neuters, they also do microchipping, vaccines and de-wormings. Spaying and neutering is not only great for pet population control, but it has been proven that an animal will live on an average of 40-percent longer after having this surgery.

Lucy Pet Foundation Mobile ClinicHere is a list of upcoming free or reduced fee mobile spay and neuter clinics in California (Please call and reserve space):

November 2, 9, 13, 16, 23
Location: Baldwin Park, 4100 Baldwin Park Blvd., Baldwin Hills, CA
Check in 7:30am
Please call 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment.

November 4, 6, 18, 20
Location: Inland Valley, 865 E. Grand Ave., Pomona, CA
Check in 8:00am
Prices Vary - Please Book Surgeries
Please call 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment.

November 11
Location: Zippi Cats Wilmington, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington, CA
Drop Off 7:30am
Please call 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment.

Remember, you must get on a list to have your pet seen at these locations. Please call The Lucy Pet Foundation toll free at 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment, or register at the events.

See the current list of clinics at

Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

What Is That Black Pepper You See On Your Pet?
Have you ever noticed something that looks like dirt or black pepper on your pet? While it could just be dirt, it is also a good sign that your pet has fleas, even if you don't see any.

They way to be sure is to place your pet over paper towels or a white towel. Next, spray the towels lightly with rubbing alcohol. Now rub your hand over their fur and see what falls off. The black stuff that falls off is going to re-absorb. If it turns red, this is flea dirt. Flea dirt is basically flea poop, what a flea leaves behind after sucking the blood from an animal.

Flea Dirt on DogIf it doesn't turn red, it might be dirt or even acne, if it is around your pet's face. Your animal can even get blackheads that need to be kept cleaned. Don't use human acne products on your pet. You can find acne gels specifically for pets.

Acne is sometimes caused in pets by using plastic bowls. To be safe, switch to stainless steel or ceramic bowls.

Whatever you find, just be sure to treat your pet to get control of the situation.

Dr. Debbie WhiteAre There Mosquitoes in Las Vegas? You Can Bet On It--Dr. Debbie

Wagging her stubby Jack Russell tail, Freckles arrives for her veterinary exam with owner Julie in tow. After relocating to Las Vegas from California a few years ago, Julie discontinued Freckles' heartworm preventative when neighbors told her she didn't need it here. The duo makes the occasional RV trip to California on weekends, but Julie never got around to resuming heartworm prevention. Her vet's suggestion for heartworm preventive was initially dismissed with the reply "Oh there aren't any mosquitoes in Las Vegas. And besides, Freckles stays in the RV most of the time and isn't exposed to mosquitoes."

Just like an engorged biting mosquito, these common heartworm misconceptions need to be squashed.

What is Heartworm Disease?

Passed through the bite of an infected mosquito, heartworm disease results in development of worms in the heart which reach a size up to 14 inches in length. Heartworms quietly reproduce without apparent symptoms until significant disease occurs in the pet's heart, kidney, lungs and liver. A veterinarian might suspect heartworm disease in dogs that cough, are intolerant to regular exercise or have fainting spells, but by that time you have one sick critter.

Bulldog with Mosquito on NoseThere is treatment for heartworm disease, but it can be costly, there are side effects to the treatment and some pets with advanced infections suffer health deterioration by the time of diagnosis. Veterinarians agree that prevention is safer and cheaper than waiting to treat established infections.

Heartworm: The Facts

Do we have heartworm in Las Vegas? Sure we do. Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all fifty states, but no doubt, the infection rate here is much lower than in other parts of the country where the disease is endemic (widespread throughout the area). But that doesn't mean the disease isn't around.

According to the laboratory data tracking through Idexx Laboratories and Antec Diagnostics, 1 in 323 dogs tested in Nevada was positive for heartworm disease. And 54% of those cases occurred right here in Clark County.

Take your pet on a quick visit to California or other nearby states, and you are in smack dab in heartworm areas as well. Check out the heartworm incidence map by state or county on the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) website.

Dogs spending a lot of time outdoors are at higher risk for acquiring heartworm disease, but that doesn't mean that indoor dogs are somehow protected against the disease. Since mosquitoes don't knock on doors before entering, they easily fly inside a house to bite a house dwelling dog.

Proof of Mosquitoes in our Midst: West Nile Virus

According to the Southern Nevada Health District, 17 species of mosquitoes are known to fly in Southern Nevada skies. So yes indeed, these pesky insects are in the Vegas area. Fortunately West Nile Virus doesn't affect dogs or cats, but the detection of this mosquito borne human disease should alert pet owners to the realities of mosquito born disease for people and pets.

Mosquitoes Adapt to Life in Unusual Areas

The arid Las Vegas climate isn't the typical mosquito haven. Usually we think of states with high humidity and ample precipitation as mosquito zones. But some mosquitoes cleverly find breeding sites in micro-environments and unusual breeding sites.

Neglected PoolMosquito micro-climates arise through landscaping irrigation run-off, community ponds and stagnant pools left behind after home foreclosures. But even tinier micro-environments develop in old discarded tires, bird baths or overturned containers. The sneaky Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) enjoys urban living and reproduces in flowerpots on high-rise apartment balconies.

Salt Lake City, Utah used to see few mosquitoes until a city beautification plan resulted in planting of trees in the city. When trees were later pruned, it provided a happy home for the tree hole mosquito (Aedes sierrensis), which carries heartworm disease. Now Salt Lake City is endemic for heartworms, not because of weather conditions, but because of human intervention.

Think Prevention

Freckles is now protected with her monthly year-round heartworm preventative and her owner, Julie is taking precautions from mosquitoes for her own health. These disease prevention steps are easy and inexpensive.

It's time Las Vegas residents realize that old claims of "We don't have mosquitoes in Las Vegas," is no longer accurate. Get your pet on monthly year-round heartworm prevention. Protect yourself against mosquito carried disease. Don't ignore the realities of these flying pests - they are here to stay.

To learn more on West Nile Disease and Mosquito control methods, visit the Southern Nevada Health District.

For more information on heartworm disease in pets, visit the American Heartworm Society.

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."

It's a Wacky Wednesday Here at the Animal Radio® Studios

WackyWed Contest IS ON - LIKE your FAVORITE pic and the three pics with the most LIKES & SHARES are this week's winner will receive a Gift Basket from KONG.

Kong Giveaway ItemsTO ENTER Send us your FUNNY pet pic to - (Please put WACKYWED in the subject line & give us your pet's name, your name & where you hail from) If YOUR pic is chosen then spread the word to your friends & family on Wednesday - the pics w/the most LIKES and SHARES will be the winner!

This week we are giving away a KONG Classic Gift Basket from KONG. The gift basket includes 1 KONG Classic, 1 KONG Flyer, 1 KONG Ball, 1 Large Peanut Butter Snacks and 1 Real Peanut Butter Spread. KONG is a popular line of durable dog toys and cat toys introduced in 1976 in Colorado.

Animal Radio® Facebook
Join Animal Radio® on Facebook for Wacky Wednesday! Win great prizes every week for your wacky pet pictures. Last month we gave out goodies from Endure Flap, Bare Bites, SynergyLabs, Magiclatch, Glandex and more. Visit us on Facebook now.

Lori and FlobearAnimal Radio® News - Lori Brooks

Human/Dog Bond Dates Back Years
The bond between humans and dogs may be much older than we once thought. A group of researchers discovered an ancient wolf bone and say its DNA suggests dogs diverged from wolves as far back as 40,000 years ago and point to the ancient wolf as possibly the most recent common relative of modern wolves and dogs. Another implication of the study: re-imagining how dogs became an important part of human society. The most prevalent theory is that dogs became domestic creatures once humans settled into agricultural-based communities. But humans could have also caught wolf cubs and kept them as pets and that gradually led to wild wolves being domesticated.

Illinois Makes It Illegal to Leave Pets Outside in Hot or Cold Weather
Every year we hear about pets and children left to die in hot cars or freezing to death outside in winter. Leaving the family pet outside in extremely hot or cold weather could result in up to a year in jail and a hefty fine under a measure Illinois lawmakers have sent their Governor. The bill would make it a Class A misdemeanor to expose dogs and cats to life-threatening situations for prolonged periods of time in extreme heat or cold and make it punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, though judges would have discretion to impose lesser sentences. The bill recently passed the Illinois Senate.

Class PetsPets In The Classroom Have A Profound Impact
A new study reveals that having a pet in the classroom may provide real educational value through leadership skills and character building. Despite some of the challenges to having a classroom pet, such as coping with loss and teachers spending their own money to care for the pet, the study found six objectives proving the benefit of caring for a classroom pet, like teaching children responsibility, compassion, empathy, respect and leadership through animal care and providing relaxation when children are stressed. Many teachers told the study's researchers about the profound impact classroom pets had on their students, especially students in low-income areas who are unable to have pets in their family.

Cat Caught in TrapRodent Traps Kill Pets
There's a warning for pet owners after a cat was found with its head stuck in a rodent trap. It happened in England, but pet owners everywhere are being asked to look out for traps that can also kill smaller pets such as cats and dogs. The cat, which was seriously injured, was caught in a fenn trap, meant for squirrels and rats. Luckily the cat was found and rescued by a good samaritan. Since the incident in England last month, the SPCA is now calling on people to be aware that setting these traps could be breaking the law. While not illegal if the traps kill rodents, if the trap kills a domestic animal, the owner could be prosecuted by the police.

Weather Tips For Pets
We are still seeing some high heat in certain parts of the country. If your companion pet is a sun seeker and has a thin or light-colored coat make sure you put sunscreen on those vulnerable areas, like their nose, face and tips of their ears and their belly for those pets who like to sleep on their backs in the sun. Just be sure to use sunscreen made specifically for pets, or use PABA-free sunscreen or zinc oxide. When temperatures get extreme, heat exhaustion and heatstroke are concerns, especially for dogs with flat faces, such as Boston terriers, English and French bulldogs, Pekingese and Pugs. For short-faced breeds, as little as 15 to 20 min in high temperatures can be fatal. Dogs with heavy coats or those with heart problems may also be at risk. Signs of heatstroke include: excessive panting, weakness, dizziness, dark red gums, nausea and loss of consciousness. Cool the pet with lukewarm, not cold, water, and get him to the veterinarian right away.

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NEWS UPDATE brought to you by Drs. Foster & Smith, affordable pet supplies. Low prices every day, so you save on every order.

Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#830)

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