December 30th 2006

Looking Back Over 2006

Out of Control - Clive Pearse
HGTV Design Star & Designed to Sell
No, Clive is not out of control, Out of Control is a documentary that was filmed when 10 volunteers from California traveled to Romania to help with the stray dog problem that plagues the country. Some of the volunteers had special skills in the veterinarian or construction fields. Others decided to embark on this journey out of the goodness of their hearts. All are ordinary people who care deeply about our world and its future. After the filming, 13 puppies were brought home.

Clive, star of HGTV's Design Star and the Designed to Sell series, currently lives in Los Angeles with his dog Delia.

For tips on updating your property, for your own enjoyment if selling isn't in your immediate plans, check out the book, Designed to Sell: Make any home the hottest property on the block with expert advice from the popular HGTV series, available everywhere books are sold.


Home Sweet Home, Where Bailey the Buffalo Roams
Jim Sautner, Bailey the Buffalo
For thousands of years, the majestic North American buffalo roamed freely over the wide-open Canadian prairies. Today, most of these brown, woolly beasts spend their time grazing on ranches - or in the case of Bailey, watching TV in the living room of an Alberta family's home.
Jim and Linda Sautner are the proud owners of Bailey, a nearly four-year-old bison, who has a penchant for spending his time inside the couple's home, about 20 kilometers west of the provincial capital of Edmonton. "My wife wouldn't let me bring my German shepherd puppy in the house one day, so I got even with her by bringing Bailey in," Mr. Sautner said on Wednesday. "He's made a mess on the carpet a couple of times, so now we bring out an ice-cream pail whenever he gives us that look."

The Sautners, who own 270 head of buffalo, have become used to having the 725-kilogram beast watching television in their lounge room. "He prefers to watch The Nature of Things," Mr. Sautner said, referring to a Canadian nature series.

The couple rescued Bailey as a baby, after the calf was abandoned by his mother. Along with farm hands, they bottle-fed Bailey with milk daily and their affinity for one another grew rapidly. Christmas was especially memorable at the Sautners with 21 wide-eyed guests sitting down to a dinner of mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, and buffalo meatballs - with the furry giant snorting behind them.

Although the Sautners have lost quite a bit of money this year on their buffalo meat business, the indirect result of a mad cow disease case that shut down much of Canada's beef industry, they have no plans to sell Bailey.

"He knows he'll never be buffalo burgers because he's an ambassador for the bison industry," Mrs. Sautner said.

The laid-back Bailey, who has been neutered, has been involved in some unusual promotional stunts, including showing up in the lobby of three-star hotels and climbing with Mr. Sautner to the top of a grandstand at the Calgary Stampede rodeo.


Kitten Goes Undercover in Vet Scam
Carol Moran, Deputy District Attorney, Brooklyn, NY

He came from the streets of Brooklyn, a cool customer on four legs, the perfect bait for a sting on a fake veterinarian. Meet Fred, undercover kitten, the 8-month-old former stray cat that posed as a would-be patient while police investigated a college student accused of treating pets without a license. Last week, an investigator posing as Fred's owner summoned Steven Vassall to an apartment rigged with a hidden camera. Authorities played a videotape at the news conference showing Vassall saying the kitten could be neutered for $135.

Vassall was arrested as he left the apartment carrying Fred in a box and cash for the operation. Investigators later recovered a price list for vaccinations and other procedures, including surgeries. It was unclear how long Vassall - a college student who once worked as a laboratory assistant in a vet's office - allegedly scammed pet owners before Fred helped put him out of business.

The Animal Care and Control, which originally rescued Fred, predicted the kitten had a future in law enforcement.


"Bart Simpson" Nancy Cartwright
Nancy's achievements as an actor include dozens of credits in television, film and theatre. She is recognized as one of the world's leading voice-actors, Bart Simpson.

Cartwright lives with a ranch-full of animals including a plastic cow affectionately named "Milk-Dud," which she says is only appropriate because one of Bart's catchphrases is "Don't have a cow, man!"

Cartwright shares her feelings for her pets this week on Animal Radio's national weekly program. They've always been a major part of her life.


The Dog Wizard

People speak English, Spanish or any other human language. Vladae speaks five languages and one of them is "doglish." People all over Michigan and beyond call him "The Russian Dog Wizard," a miracle worker or just "Vladae911" because he is able to help with their dogs, when others fail. Vladae is the grandson of the former USSR chief biologist who was conducting Pavlov-type research on farm animals. As a child, Vladae spent a lot of time playing, observing and working with his grandfather's animals. His first real teacher, who was absolutely mute, revealed his secret of dog talk to Vladae.

Vladae, who has worked with dogs in other countries, believes that if you treat your dog like a human, your dog will treat you as a dog. He states it is very important to be the dominant one when owning a dog. And when you take your dog for a walk, you should walk the dog instead of the dog walking you.

Vladae has just released "Obedience for Life" a dog-training program available on two interactive DVDs. You can quickly and easily teach your dog how to obey you with the affective methods that deliver astonishing results.


Woman Lives in Dog Kennel for 30 Days
Cheryl Walker, Marion, Indiana Humane Society
After 30 days, Cheryl Walker is out of the doghouse. For real! She spent 30 days living in a four-by-seven-foot kennel in the Marion, Indiana area. She's a member of the local Humane Society's board of volunteers, and her stunt raised more than $11,000 dollars to help finance a new animal shelter. They are in desperate need of a new shelter, as their current shelter is falling apart, their well is going dry with less than 2 years left, and their septic system is collapsing.

During her stay, Cheryl's family relinquished her. The shelter personnel even created a relinquishment sheet with her species, color, cage number and personality traits. And, the mention that she will "bite" if provoked.

Unfortunately, the $11,000 is far short of the 3 million needed to build a new animal shelter.

Walker says she's glad to be home. But she says she misses her four-legged kennelmates.

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