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Animal Radio® for December 8, 2012  

Don't Let Your Dog Play With Matches!
John Hall, National Fire Protection Association

Cat near candle flameAs the holidays approach, state and area fire prevention officials warn that fires could happen as the direct result of our pets.

According to John R. Hall Jr., Division Director for Fire Analysis and Research for the National Fire Protection Association, pets and other animals inadvertently set about 510 house fires every year in this country. Hall said from 2006 to 2010, such fires caused an average of $8.7 million in property damage and injured eight humans a year.

Most fires started by animals are by them knocking over something, or knocking something on to a stove burner. There are even some cases where the animal turned the knobs on the stove, causing a fire. Animals have knocked over lamps, causing the light bulb to break. Animals have also gotten into hot embers from an ashtray or a fireplace. They have even knocked over portable heaters. And then, there are always the candles that are knocked over or ignite an animals' tail when they get near it.

Firemen using oxygen mask on dogBut it isn't always household pets that cause fires. Wild animals also cause fire, such as mice that have chewed on wires. Once, a bird in Africa flew into an open fire, causing its wings and feather to ignite, starting one of the worst fires in world history. The bird then continued flying around, setting fire to all the straw huts in the area. In the end, there were dozens of people dead and tremendous devastation. There was also another rumor that a cow kicked something over and started the infamous Chicago fire, but that seems to have been disproven.

How does evidence determine a fire was caused by an animal? Fire investigators look at fires to see where things have landed. Also, where did the fire start? What heat sources were available? If they see something that's knocked over, they believe kids or pets caused it. They then check to see who lived in the home, and where were they at the time of the fire. At the end of the process, they come up with the answers.

"Any animal (or child) that is allowed to be in contact with heat sources like open flame and space heaters can start a fire," Browning said. "Either by knocking over the device or in some cases actually being set on fire and catching ordinary combustibles on fire." "No one should ever leave these type of devices unattended as well as give supervision to your pets if they are used and always equip your home with smoke alarms," Browning said.

Pooches For Parkinson's
Roy and Lynn's Rodins' Parkinson's Ride Across America! "PD Challenge 2012"

We are checking in weekly with Roy & Lynn Rodin who are traveling by bicycle from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida to raise awareness for Parkinson's Disease. They are taking on this 4,500-mile journey with their two dogs, Oliver (a 65 pound Springer Spaniel) and Samantha (a 90 pound Labradoodle).

Currently, they are on the coast in North Mendocino, which Lynn calls, "Paradise!" The dogs are having a blast, as they rest with a view overlooking the Pacific Ocean and mountains in the background. However, they are chomping at the bits to get on the beach and chase the sea gulls. They have travelled about 500 miles, and only have about 4,000 more to go! Lynn and Roy are getting used to the bike seats, and say what doesn't "hurt" is probably "numb!"

Roy Rodin and OliverRoy's Story: Cat's out of the bag.... so here's my Story. It all started several years ago with a thumb twitch on my right hand, not always...just when I positioned my palm face up. It was a nurse practitioner that mentioned the possibility of Essential tremors or possibly even Parkinson's Disease. The findings were conclusive to a 99% probability of accuracy. My twitch now had a name. Parkinson's Disease (PD).

I became an active advocate for Parkinson's Disease. I've organized fundraisers for the National Parkinson's Foundation as well as the University of Miami /Miller School of Medicine at Olympia Gym in Aventura.

I'm making it my charge to educate people living with PD and their caregivers about the opportunity to participate in clinical studies that will hopefully better treat or better yet, cure Parkinson's.

On July 18 2012, I underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in an effort to reduce my physical motor symptoms caused by Parkinson's' and hopefully to cut down on the dozens of medications I was taking every day. Embarking on this journey, I hope to prove to myself and others that I may have Parkinson's, but Parkinson's does not have me. Together we can make a difference and find a cure.

Lynn Rodin and SamanthaLynn's Story: Having been married for a little over 4 years and struggling with Roy's Parkinson's diagnosis as our 1st year anniversary present, we have decided, with our dogs, Oliver and Samantha, to take a 4,000 mile cross-country journey via bicycle to help put in perspective our personal struggles, both individually and as a couple

This journey, through the grueling physical trial of biking cross-country, will mold our confidence of ourselves and each other and strengthen our bond that together we can overcome our obstacles. In the hopes that by being selfless, we may find ourselves and find our way through this new and wonderful world of Parkinson's.

The Cause: The more our message gets out there, the more help, awareness and education we can provide to facilitate people living with PD and their caregivers about the opportunity to participate in clinical studies that will hopefully better treat or better yet, cure Parkinson's.

Have a clean T-shirt? A place to stay? A warm meal? All efforts are welcome. The more contributions we receive the more donations go directly toward Parkinson's foundations for research. The ultimate goal is to give the maximum amount to charity to support this great cause.

In addition, we absolutely welcome the opportunity to have others ride with us for this great cause. View our journey route and if we are coming through, or near your town, please contact us for details on where we can share this journey together.


Samantha and Oliver- It is estimated that about 1.5 million Americans have Parkinson Disease.
- Approximately 60,000 people are diagnosed each year.
- About 10%-20% of those diagnosed with PD are under the age of 50, and about half of those are diagnosed before age 40. Some are even diagnosed as early as the age of 21.
- Someone is diagnosed with Parkinson Disease every 9 minutes.

To donate or sponsor the PD Challenge 2012, please visit

The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Joey VillaniMatting Problems
If your dog is matted and you are not taking him on a regular basis to a professional groomer, there is a way you can solve this problem at home.

You must, however, have the right equipment in order to get the matts out safely. Be aware that longhaired dogs tend to become matted more frequently, such as Samoyed and Huskies.

If your dog is already knotted and tangled, you need to purchase a slicker brush. A slicker brush has short, metal pins that are curved. These are designed to pull and straighten the hair.

The next thing, and this is an important one, you do not want to brush out a dirty dog. If you do, this will cause hair breakage and pain and discomfort to your dog. Dirty hair doesn't separate as easily, so you will end up pulling the hair, causing pain to your pet. So, before you try to remove the knots and tangles, you will have to bathe and dry your pet completely.

Knotted dogWhen your dog is dry, spray a detangler or conditioner on your pet. You can purchase a professional detangler for pets at your pet store or make your own. To make your own, take you own hair conditioner and mix about a quarter cup of conditioner in a bottle with water.

Spray the detangler on your pet and let it sit on them for 10 to 20 minutes, depending upon the severity of the knots and tangles. When the time is up, it should almost be dry. When you work on the knots and tangles, you want your dog to be slightly wet, not damp. This will make removing them easier.

Take the slicker brush, but don't apply any pressure, just use the weight of the brush. It should glide through the hair nice and easy. Go through the hair a little at a time. If it dries out too much, spray more conditioner on your pet.

This is not a magic wand. It won't take the knots and matts out immediately, you are going to have to work at it.

Once your dog is free of matts, give it a brushing every couple of days, and your dog should remain free of tangles.

If your dog is severely matted to begin with, you might want to take him to a professional to remove them or clip them down. If you can't get the matts out and your dog is screaming, it's not worth it. A beautiful coat can grow back, but the psychological effects of a hard grooming last forever!

Once this is done, you can do maintenance at home to keep your dog matt free.

Animal Radio® News with Stacey Cohen

Magnolia Bird Farm bird seed recallBird Food Recall
Magnolia Bird Farm, Incorporated, of Anaheim, California, is recalling raw and roasted in-shell peanuts and Magnolia Bird Farm Bird seed mixes that contain peanuts, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The peanuts contained in the mixes are being recalled by Sunland, Incorporated, of Portola, New Mexico.

Chimpanzee suffering from midlife crisisHumans Aren't Only Ones Who Suffer Mid-Life Crises
Researchers say humans are not the only ones to have midlife crises; chimpanzees and orangutans also experience such conditions. The finding raises the possibility that if great apes share sadness and frustration at midlife, perhaps the midlife crisis is driven by biological factors and not the responsibility of jobs and family and the dawning recognition of mortality. The research is published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

Arktos undergoing root canalA Very Dangerous Root Canal
A group of 12 dentists, vets and dental nurses recently teamed up to perform a very dangerous root canal. According to BBC News, employees at the Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland discovered that Arktos, a four-year-old polar bear, was suffering from a toothache. They eventually tranquilized Arktos, who weighs more than a thousand pounds, and set him up on a specially designed operating table made from scaffolding poles and thick planks. The team of experts spent three hours working on the bear's rotted canine tooth, which they say could have been fatal had the infection been left untreated. But animal collection manager Douglas Richardson says they were delighted to be able to save Arktos' tooth, adding that he really is a lucky bear.

PelicansBirds Fly South First Class
A pair of wayward brown pelicans got a first class plane ride back to Florida. The two birds were found in Rhode Island after being rerouted by the winds of Hurricane Sandy. The first pelican was found on the side of the road and came from a nest in North Carolina. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had tagged the bird and their records show it was thought to have died. The second bird was rescued after it landed on a fishing boat off the coast of Rhode Island about ten days after the storm. Jennifer Brooks from the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island says the birds were underweight and "a little beat up from the storm." Because the birds typically migrate to Florida during the winter, they were flown to the Sunshine state in a private plane on Saturday. The $2,000 flight was paid for by public donations.

Diving pigsKeep Your Pigs Fit, Happy & Better Tasting
A farmer in China says he's found a way to keep his pigs fit and happy and make them taste better all at the same time. According to Orange News, Huang Demin encourages his animals to dive headfirst into a pond every day from a ten-foot tall wooden diving board he made. He says some of the pigs need a little extra encouragement before making the leap, but they all grow to love the aquatic activity. Demin explains that the diving seems to make the pigs grow healthier and faster, making them taste so much better that he can charge three times more than normal for the meat.

Pooch HotelWhat To Do With Fido And Fifi Over The Holidays?
After several high-profile airline-related dog deaths this year, its no wonder pet parents are having second thoughts about bringing their pooches along for the flight this holiday season. And while the majority of pets fly without incident each year, it's a stressful, not to mention expensive, experience that the Humane Society of the United States warns against. So what to do with Fido and Fifi over the holidays? It comes down to two choices: boarding facilities and in-home (yours or someone else's) care. When it comes to boarding facilities, experts say the biggest mistake pet owners make is assuming they're all suitable for your pet. They're not, said Meagan Karnes, general manager of the Pooch Hotel in Richardson, Texas. The Pooch Hotel is a canine boarding hotel with eight locations nationwide. "It's important to take a tour of the facility," said Karnes. "If they're hesitant to show you around, that should raise a red flag," she said. And beware of the 'staged suites,' she said. "You want to see where your dog is actually staying. Anyone can keep one staged suite clean with great bedding all the time, but that might not be where your dog will ultimately be kept." In-home care can be a good alternative when boarding facilities aren't available. But she cautions the pet person vet the potential caregiver carefully. "Anyone can call themselves a pet facility," she said. "Make sure the person you are working with is reputable, insured and licensed." No matter which pet care option you choose, Karnes said it really comes down to one thing: "Go with your gut," she said. "You've got to feel good about it at the end of the day, or you're not going to be able to enjoy your holiday."

Voldemort and JaxonBoy Bullied By Billy
A goat had it out for a 14-year-old boy. Jaxon Gessell says a goat charged him as he rode his bicycle on his paper route in Smithfield, Utah. According to Logan, Utah's The Herald Journal, the goat blind-sided the teen, knocking him to the ground. Jaxon tried to get back on his bike, but the goat rammed him again. The belligerent billy then chased Jaxon and forced him up a tree, where he remained for the next hour. Jaxon says the goat "just sat under the tree staring" at him. Eventually a group of girls passed the tree and the goat took off after them. With the goat gone Jaxon was able to climb down, but instead of running away he went after the goat. He caught up with the animal and wrestled it to keep it away from the girls. Neighbors eventually called the police and the goat was impounded. Jaxon's mother said she wasn't surprised something like this happened to her son. According to her, "weird things always occur with him."

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