Animal Radio® is on 101 great AM-FM radio stations and XM Satellite Radio - 350,000 listeners every week! Animal Radio® Sponsors loading... Animal Radio® is on 100+ great AM-FM radio stations and XM Satellite Radio - 350,000 listeners every week! Click to find a station near you
 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for December 5, 2015  

Turning Rescue Dogs Into Broadway Stars
Bill Berloni, From Wags to Riches

From Wags To RichesYou've most likely seen his work on film even if you don't recognize him. Bill Berloni is an animal trainer for stage and screen. His reality series on the Discovery Channel follows him around as he trains animals from the shelter for TV and movies.

Bill Berloni is the go-to casting agent when the script calls for animals of all stripes. He also stars in "From Wags to Riches with Bill Berloni" which premiered August 6 on Discovery Family Channel and features the Berlonis plus their 17-year-old daughter, Jenna, and their massive herd. Bill describes his show as, "It's 'Ozzie and Harriet' meets 'Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom' meets 'Doggie Dance Moms.'"

Bill originally wanted to be on stage himself when he landed a technical internship at age 19 at Connecticut's fabled Goodspeed Opera House in 1976, where they did the original production of Annie the Musical. They couldn't afford a dog trainer and no one on the paid staff would train a dog. So, when he was told he could get his Equity Card and snag a part in one of the shows if he could get his hands on a dog to appear in an upcoming musical about Little Orphan Annie, he jumped at the chance. "They needed a sucker. They told me all I had to do was find and train a dog for no money," he remembers.

The problem was the no money thing. Bill heard you could get cheap dogs at the animal shelter. Bill was 19 years old and had never been to an animal shelter before. Upon his first visit, he was profoundly moved. He states he never knew that dogs were in so much peril.

Bill did find a dog at the Connecticut Humane Society for $7.00. A year later, in 1977, the show opened up on Broadway and Bill suddenly became a world famous dog trainer at the age of 20. The original Sandy played 2,033 performances on Broadway and was 11 years old when the show closed.

Bill Berloni with DogTraining a dog was not a far stretch for Bill, as he grew up on a farm in Connecticut and was an only child. When he was 2 years old, his mother asked him if he wanted a brother or a sister, to which he replied, "A dog." His mother got him a Collie, who turned out to be his best friend and they grew up together.

Just like with his Collie, Bill uses positive reinforcement when training animals. He never forces an animal to work but instead creates conditions in which the animal will want to do a behavior or two.

When Bill was asked if he trains cats and if it's a difficult thing to do, he says there is no such thing as a "Cat Trainer," as cats are independent creatures. When he does get a job that calls for a cat, he looks for a cat that has 'atypical feline behavior.' That 1 in 10,000 cat that thinks it's a dog. This is a cat that is social and comes up and greets people and will even retrieve toys.

Bill says when he is looking for a cat at a shelter, if there is one that is hanging out at the receptionist desks where all the activity is going on, that is the one he will adopt. He is careful to say he has a trained cat, because people will start asking him to get the cat to do all kinds of crazy things!

When a show closes, Berloni and his wife and business partner, Dorothy, who live on a sprawling 90 acres in central Connecticut, takes the animals home with them. They currently have 30 dogs and one cat, all showbiz veterans. "We've created a farm to give them forever homes, whether they're working or not," he says. "The dogs like being on the farm and running free." It's all about honoring what's best for the animals. The Berlonis also have a bunch of farm friends who have never worked in the biz, including two horses, a donkey, a pony, two pigs, a llama, three ducks and a macaw.

Calm Your Pets During The Stressful Holidays With A Bath
Lucy Pet Foundation

Purple Rain Leave-In ConditionerPurple Rain ShampooThings can get a little stressful at this time of year. Everyone is running around making sure that the gifts have been bought and wrapped and travel arrangements have been made to visit the relatives.

It's no surprise that our animals pick up on this frenzy so you want to help keep them calm. You can do double duty with the Lucy Pet Products Purple Rain, Calm and Clean Lavender Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioner. The natural lavender oil will get your dog clean and make him calm as well. Who knows, it may even calm you while you're bathing them!

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):

December 9 & 16
Location: Inland Valley, 865 E. Grand Ave., Pomona, CA
Check in 8:00am
Prices Vary
Please call 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment.

December 7, 14 & 18
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.

December 11
Peter Zippy Cats
Location: Zippy Cats Wilmington, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington, CA
Drop Off 7:30am
$10 copay
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

Dr. Debbie WhiteCoyotes Stalking our Neighborhoods - Dr. Debbie

I just saw a scraggly coyote in front of my house this morning - the second coyote sighting in my neighborhood this week. I feared what could have happened if my 15 pound terrier was outdoors alone. Wildlife is beautiful, but when my little terrier, Boss, is in harm's way - my doggie momma protective instincts kick in. While not a threat to be exaggerated, the coyote nonetheless poses a risk to our pet's safety.

Coyotes are increasingly becoming a concern in urban areas - some are displaced by the urban sprawl that consumes their potential habitat. But other coyotes become urbanized savvy to living, feeding and thriving within city environments. Coyotes are born opportunists and dine on what they find available. They eat small animals like rabbits and rodents, but also consume ample vegetable matter with up to 40-percent of their diet consisting of seeds, grasses, fruits and flowers.

The most serious coyote concern for pets is injury and predation. As a veterinarian, I can recall many a client whose pet was brought in injured by unknown wildlife or whose cat just one day reportedly just vanished. While many might believe their cat was stolen, in reality these cats most likely fell victim to coyote predation. Likewise, small to medium sized dogs can be injured or lost to the same fate as their feline counterparts.

Steps to Keep Your Pet Safe

Whether you have pets or not, it's important not to feed coyotes. Intentional feeding of coyotes makes them dependent on humans and less fearful which increases the chance of an unwanted, dangerous interaction with people or pets. Just leaving unsecured garbage is invitation enough for these opportunists. Secure all garbage in closing containers and avoid leaving bagged garbage at the curb overnight. Pick up uneaten pet food as soon as your pet has finished eating.

Coyote Attacking DogPet owners should take precautions to keep their household pets protected as well. Keep cats indoors and maintain all pets on leash control when outdoors. Ensure your dogs and cats are up to date on their rabies vaccines. Even indoor cats that do not venture outdoors should be current on this vaccine for both pet and human safety.

Besides rabies, keep your pets current on other vaccinations, deworming and preventatives as recommended by your veterinarian. Coyotes are known to harbor carry skin mites, canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, adenovirus, and heartworm disease. So even if your dog never leaves your yard, there is potential for infectious disease crossover between wildlife and your pet.

These wild canids are masters at adapting to their changing world, and it's unrealistic they are going away on their own. As humans we are the ones that need to change to make urban areas less appealing, removing easy feeding sites, and by raising awareness to the potential crossover between wildlife and pets.

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."

Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Help Your Dog To Look Younger
A client who has Pomeranian/Poodle mix who is nine years old recently contacted Joey. She asked him if there was any hair cut she could give her dog to make him look younger.

Unlike cats that never show their age until they are very old, dogs actually start showing their age as they get older. On dark coated dogs, you may notice they have a grey muzzle or grey throughout their coat. Your dog may still act young but you may treat him as an old dog because of the way he looks.

Puppy and Older DogA big mistake people do on older dogs is getting them groomed regularly and having their coat clipped down repeatedly. When you keep clipping down coat, you don't stimulate anything. This means you won't get new hair growth. When you don't get hair growth, you don't get anything new. This means you won't get a new vibrant coat.

The best thing to make an older dog look younger is to brush and comb. Joey can't stress this enough. When you brush and comb, you will stimulate hair growth, no matter how little. It will grow back and be shinier and darker and will take out the dead coat and make your dog look younger. You may even start treating your dog like a young dog again because of his new youthful look, and they may even act younger because they feel great!

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 Car Seat Cover from Ruffwear.

Dog on Car Seat CoverTO 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 Ruffwear Dirtbag Seat Cover from Ruffwear. the Dirtbag Seat Cover is a durable, waterproof cover that shields vehicle seats from the remnants of dog adventures. The Dirtbag Seat Cover from Ruffwear is easy to fit and remove, cleans with a shake, or is machine washable and fits the backseat of most passenger vehicles.

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 Kong, GingerLead, Paw Wash, Evangers and more. Visit us on Facebook now.

Lori and FlobearAnimal Radio® News - Lori Brooks

It's Now Believed That Pets Make Good Christmas Presents
A few years ago, pictures of all kinds of pets in overcrowded animal shelters filled social media as a warning against giving pets as Christmas presents. The ASPCA was just one of several organizations against the idea. However, they've changed their tone. The ASPCA position statement on pets as gifts now says, "Recently, the ASPCA conducted a survey to learn more about people who acquire pets as gifts. In the survey, 96-percent of the people who received pets as gifts thought it either increased or had no impact on their love or attachment to that pet. "The vast majority of these pets are still in the home (86-percent). The survey also revealed no difference in attachment based on the gift being a surprise or known in advance." This proclamation is not without some warnings, though; they do recommend giving pets only to people who have expressed sustained interest, as well as checking with the parents if the gift is intended for a child.

Dog in Crate on TarmacDelta Airlines No Longer Checks Pets as Baggage
Dogs may be man's best friend, but they are no longer allowed to be your travel companion on Delta Airlines. Starting March 1, 2016, it will only allow passengers to fly large animals on its cargo service, rather than as checked baggage. Two groups will be exempt from the new rule: service animals and pets of US military personnel and their dependents that have an active transfer order. Pets that are small enough to fit under the seat will still be eligible to travel as carry-on. The airline hasn't stated why it is changing its pet policy, although according to the US Department of Transportation, Delta was among the worst airlines when it comes to pet deaths. United Airlines also doesn't allow pets to be checked in as baggage.

Using Pets as "Date Bait"
A new survey reveals that owning a dog boosts a man's sex appeal and one in five people admit to using their pets as 'date bait.' The survey conducted on also found a third of women and quarter of men have been attracted to someone because of their pet with rescue dogs making the most alluring pets Nearly half of the women and a quarter of the men said they judged potential partners on how they responded to their pet. And three quarters of female participants and 54-percent of men said they wouldn't date someone who didn't like pets.

Robotic CatRobotic Pets Easier For Seniors
Owning a pet can have many health benefits, but for seniors, the responsibilities of taking care of a pet can be too much for some. Hasbro thinks it has the answer with lifelike, robotic pets. The toy company's new line of "Joy for All Companion Pets" that respond to petting, hugging and motion, and even purr like real cats. Owners can pet the robotic cat to elicit a variety of different lifelike responses, which do NOT include scratching, biting or hissing. The robotic pets sell for $99 on Hasbro's website and Amazon.

Pigeons As Smarts as Humans
You probably know some birds are really smart. Now you can add pigeons to that list. In a new study, pigeons proved as good as humans at differentiating normal from cancerous breast tissue in mammogram images. Pigeon brains are about the size of a large pea. But they work similarly to ours. The pigeons' skills at spotting differences in medical imagery might be put to practical use someday by training pigeons to do the work that can be considered tedious and expensive for humans to do. Past research found pigeons could count as well as monkeys. Another study showed pigeons recognize and remember human faces. And they have good long-term memories.

Cat Opening GiftMost Pet Owners Give Their Pets Gifts at Christmas
For the animal lover, our pets are part of the family, so if you're giving gifts, then obviously you buy or make a present for your pets too. In fact, 95-percent of pet owners say they have bought a Christmas gift for their pet, according to a recent survey conducted by Christmas is the most popular day for giving pets presents, followed by their birthday. So how much do we spend? Gifts average about $36, but about 5-percent of respondents said they'd bought something that cost over $100. One-third of those surveys said that they get their pet a present on every holiday and birthday.

Drs. Foster & Smith Logo

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 (#835)

About Us | Airstaff | AM-FM-XM Radio Affiliates | Community | Home
Jobs | Submissions | Affiliate Lounge | Podcast | Contact Us | Advertising
Book Club Reviews | Pet Product Reviews | New & Notable | Newsletter
Copyright 2003-16 Animal Radio® - Animal Radio Network LLC.