Talkin' Pets News
April 20, 2019
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestrial Custom Dog Services
Producer - Lexi Lapp
Network Producer - Quin McCarthy
Social Media - Bob Page
Special Guest - Carol Novella author of "Mutual Rescue" How adopting a homeless Animal Can Save You, Too will join Jon and Talkin' Pets to discuss and give away her new book
“Less than 10% of animal facilities registered with USDA have achieved AZA-accreditation, so The Florida Aquarium is truly a leader in the profession,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “AZA-accreditation signifies The Florida Aquarium’s active role in protecting our world’s wild animals and wild places while providing exemplary animal care and meaningful guest experiences.”
To be accredited, The Florida Aquarium underwent a thorough review to make sure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards in categories, which include animal care and welfare, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years to be members of the Association.
The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation, including animal care and welfare; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff, and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and more.
Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.
The Florida Aquarium received its first accreditation from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) in March 1997 and has been accredited with AZA ever since. The AZA inspection team highlighted a long list of important assets at The Florida Aquarium. A sample of this list includes its Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Apollo Beach, and the critical work that the Aquarium’s biologists are doing at our Coral Arks (greenhouse nurseries) in raising various species of coral to restore those affected by disease along the Florida Reef Tract.
Furthermore, a dedicated and enthusiastic animal care and welfare team, a very active and experienced research and conservation department that is working to save the Blue Planet locally and globally, and a forward-thinking community engagement program that is creating a fantastic experience for our guest. The AZA was founded in 1924. It has more than 200 accredited members and is a leader in global wildlife conservation.
At least one running argument among cat lovers is now over: Whiskers, Lucy and Tigger are definitely better off staying indoors, scientists reported.
Pet cats allowed outdoors, in fact, are nearly three times as likely to become infected with pathogens or parasites than those confined to quarters, they reported in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. Two-legged house-mates should also take note because cats—a.k.a. Felis catus—can transmit some of those diseases to humans, the authors said.
Intriguingly, the farther domesticated felines are from the equator, the more likely they are to be afflicted by some kind of bug or virus, if they spend time outdoors. "Each degree in absolute latitude increased infection likelihood by four percent," said lead author Kayleigh Chalkowski, a researcher at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University in Alabama. "You think of tropical regions as just having more wildlife, more parasites," she told AFP. "But it turned out that latitude had the opposite effect."
To settle the indoor-vs-outdoor question once and for all, Chalkowski and colleagues combed through nearly two dozen earlier studies in which the prevalence of one or more diseases was compared across interior and exterior environments. All told, the new study looked at 19 different cat pathogens in more than a dozen countries, including Spain, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Pakistan, Brazil, the Netherlands and St. Kitts.
"This is the first time outdoor access as a risk factor for infection in cats has been quantified across a wide range of geographic locales and types of pathogens," Chalkowski said. The effects were consistent for almost all of the diseases, including feline roundworm and the single-cell parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, both of which can affect humans. This held true regardless of how they were transmitted—whether from soil, other cats, or prey such as mice and birds.
"Basically, no matter where you are in the world, keeping your cat indoors is a great way to keep them healthy from infectious diseases," Chalkowski said by way of summary. This is especially good advice, she added, "considering that many of the pathogens cats carry can actually be spread to humans". Other domesticated animals transmit disease to their caretakers—dogs, for examples, spread rabies, and cattle carry Cryptosporidium parvum, a parasitic disease that attacks the intestinal tract.
Wild cats were likely first drawn to human communities in search of rodents, and were domesticated some 5,000 years ago. In ancient Egypt, they were associated with gods and prominently featured in hieroglyphics. There are some 90 million pet cats in the United States, and an estimated 500 million worldwide.
VistaJet, a global business aviation company, announced the launch of VistaPet, a luxury service for pets.
The company says it’s seen a 104% increase in the number of animals flown over the last two years. But travel standards in general have failed to reach expected service levels, with 75% of owners distrusting commercial airlines to safely care for their pets, making the journey stressful for both animal and human, according to a VistaJet press release.
The new offering, VistaPet, has been designed in collaboration with veterinary practitioners, groomers, dieticians and coaches. “From care kits, sleep mats and balanced menus, to travel advice, global flying regulations and fear of flying courses, all VistaJet passengers can expect the same exceptional service and support,” according to the release.
Unfortunately, there are no standard rules for the transport of pets around the globe. VistaJet’s customer service team advises passengers on the regulations that apply to their flights and destinations when traveling with pets, including details for vaccinations, microchips, certificates and permits, according to the release.
To ensure all passengers enjoy their flight, VistaJet can arrange fear of flying courses for dogs, in partnership with The Dog House. The four-week course desensitizes pets to what they could experience during a flight – the smell of fuel, the sounds of jet engines, cabin air pressure and the movements of air turbulence.
On board every flight, passengers will receive a VistaPet Pochette – a travel bag containing a collection of items to take care of pets during and after a flight. With advice from clinical veterinarian Bruce Fogle, VistaJet has developed a balanced menu to keep members’ pets hydrated and healthy. VistaJet Cabin Hostesses can also offer natural flower essences to mix with pets’ drinking water to aid relaxation during the flight.
While flying regulations require that animals be kept on leash or in a travel cage for take-off and landing, during flight pets can relax by their owner’s side on a handmade Labbvenn sleep mat. A full cabin reclean is included as standard after every pet flight.
To help entire trips be enjoyable, VistaJet has selected a collection of pet-friendly facilities and partners all around the globe, whether members require a pet hotel in London, a pet salon in New York or a photography session to capture moments with pets around the world.
The team can also assist in finding pet walkers and trainers, or suggest unforgettable experiences including pet yoga, rafting and surfing.
A longstanding tradition is ending at one of Harvard University's main undergraduate residential houses.
Students and staff will no longer be skinning and barbecuing a locally sourced goat in the courtyard, during their annual goat roast.
Faculty Deans at the Dunster house cite that decision came after health concerns were flagged by an environmental health inspector at the school and some discomfort from some students.
“I was a little uncomfortable when I experienced my first goat roast, because I didn't know about the tradition,” said Saran Beck, a student at the school.“Caught me a little off guard.”
And while they were health concerns over the handling of animal carcasses, Eric Kim, a senior at the school said they’re always extremely careful and diligent when handling the goats.
“I’ve been there for the roasting of the goat at least two years now. Everything was handled very carefully. A lot of the students are serve safe certified, so they know how food should be treated at every stage,” he said.
Kim says the discomfort some students felt after seeing the meat prepared and cooked sparked some valuable conversations at the goat roast about where the meat they eat in the dining hall comes from.
According to The Crimson of Harvard the annual tradition began in the 1980’s where a goat is skinned on campus. Students and university staff would then marinate the carcass overnight in lime, curry, salt, pepper, herbs and garlic.
Then roast it the following day.
A diver off the coast British Colombia got an up close and personal experience with a Giant Pacific Octopus while she was exploring an underwater wall. The sea creatures can grow to have a span of 16 feet and weigh up to 110 pounds.
The trio of divers, who are "extremely experienced instructors and dive shop owners," noticed the giant octopus hiding among the rocks and plant life on the ocean floor.
According to Rumble, the octopus is colorblind but is able to camouflage itself by duplicating "the color and texture of their surroundings when feeling threatened by a predator."
One of the divers, Shaz, tried to lure the creature out to get a better look. As Shaz moved in closer, the octopus became curious as well and began to swim toward her before engulfing her head with its tentacles.
One of the other divers proceeded to calmly swim over to Shaz and began to carefully pry the tentacles off of her so he would not hurt the octopus. Once he freed her from the grip of the octopus, it returned to its hiding spot. The divers claim that they were not in any real danger during their close encounter with the Giant Pacific Octopus.
Petland Discounts, a chain that operated in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The action follows the January death of the company’s owner, Neil Padron.
The company has closed its stores.
Notices with each of the three states’ labor departments indicated that more than 300 jobs could be lost across 70 store locations.
The bankruptcy petition was filed in New York Eastern Bankruptcy Court.
Padron started the business in 1965. He died of bladder cancer on Jan. 14.
Many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and one Michigan contractor has 30 tips to help get them started.
April is the month that most people look to help the environment – whether it's by picking up trash on Earth Day or planting trees on Arbor Day. While these are great ways to make a difference, others are looking for ways to continue their environmentally friendly work year-round.
RetroFoam of Michigan, a foam insulation contractor based in Montrose, MI, compiled a list of tips to help homeowners be more environmentally friendly, create a healthier home, and reduce their monthly energy bills.
The list, "30 Tips to Go Green This Earth Day," gives tips from buying locally grown produce to installing a programmable thermostat. Some other tips homeowners may not think of include:
- Utilizing green travel
- Using cloth over paper for cleaning
- Making a worm bin
- Collecting rainwater
- Using environmentally friendly insulation
To see this story, more information and the complete list of Go Green tips go to talkinpets.com
The Florida Aquarium staff recently reached another milestone on conservation and research efforts to increase populations of staghorn coral, one of two of the most endangered species of coral, in the Florida Keys. Aquarium staff have dedicated thousands of field and laboratory hours to help give corals a chance not only to survive but to thrive in a challenging and changing environment. Earlier this month, The Florida Aquarium’s biologists and divers traveled to the Florida Keys for an unprecedented coral research and conservation trip designed to help the Florida Reef Tract combat a rapidly spreading disease that can potentially put this animal at risk of extinction.
The Florida Aquarium team members led the conservation mission in collaboration with the Coral Restoration Foundation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Keys Marine Lab, the University of Florida, University of Miami, Nova Southeastern University, and others, releasing over 3,000 staghorn coral offspring back into the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Each one of those corals has a unique genetic makeup, originating from 20 different parents, and range in age from eight months to two years old.
The Florida Reef Tract is experiencing a multi-year outbreak of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. While disease outbreaks are not uncommon, this event is unique due to its large geographic range, duration and the number of species affected. Staghorn coral is not affected by Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, but the techniques used at The Florida Aquarium to raise young corals from eggs and sperm will be applied in the future to species that are heavily affected by the disease.
Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystems on earth, providing shelter to thousands of animal species. The reefs of the Florida Keys provide food and recreational opportunities for residents and vacationers alike and protects coastal communities as a buffer for hurricanes and other storms. The economic impact of tourism related to the Florida Reef Tract generates $8.5 billion in economic activity and supports over 70,400 jobs.
“The Florida Aquarium is proud to have led such an important mission. We believe that spawning, rearing and introducing genetically diverse coral is our best hope for saving the Florida Reef Tract,” said Roger Germann, President, and CEO. “This effort is a prime example of how working together is the key to restoring our Blue Planet. These efforts are having a good, positive impact and working towards a better future for our children.”
The Florida Aquarium staff members are now prepping for coral spawning in August, a synchronized event when coral polyps release a bundle of egg and sperm into the water that provides new corals to the current population. To learn more about The Florida Aquarium’s s coral reef research and conservation efforts and the latest updates, visit https://www.flaquarium.org
Polar ice caps are melting as global warming causes climate change. We lose Arctic sea ice at a rate of almost 13% per decade, and over the past 30 years, the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has declined by a stunning 95%. If emissions continue to rise unchecked, the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer by 2040. But what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. Sea ice loss has far-reaching effects around the world.
1. Temperatures The Arctic and Antarctic are the world’s refrigerator. Since they are covered in white snow and ice that reflect heat back into space, they balance out other parts of the world that absorb heat. Less ice means less reflected heat, meaning more intense heatwaves worldwide. But it also means more extreme winters: as the polar jet stream—a high-pressure wind that circles the Arctic region—is destabilized by warmer air, it can dip south, bringing bitter cold with it.
2. Coastal communities Global average sea level has risen by about 7–8 inches since 1900 and it’s getting worse. Rising seas endanger coastal cities and small island nations by exacerbating coastal flooding and storm surge, making dangerous weather events even more so. Glacial melt of the Greenland ice sheet is a major predictor of future sea level rise; if it melts entirely, global sea levels could rise 20 feet.
Stand up, raise your voice, and demand urgent, meaningful, and concrete climate action to keep global temperature rise to 1.5C and help communities and wildlife adapt. There’s still time to avoid many of the worst impacts of sea ice loss and climate change if we act now and we act together.
3. Food Polar vortexes, increased heat waves, and unpredictability of weather caused by ice loss are already causing significant damage to crops on which global food systems depend. This instability will continue to mean higher prices for you and growing crises for the world’s most vulnerable.
4. Shipping As ice melts, new shipping routes open up in the Arctic. These routes will be tempting time-savers, but incredibly dangerous. Imagine more shipwrecks or oil spills like the Exxon-Valdez in areas that are inaccessible to rescue or clean-up crews.
5. Wildlife When there’s less sea ice, animals that depend on it for survival must adapt or perish. Loss of ice and melting permafrost spells trouble for polar bears, walruses, arctic foxes, snowy owls, reindeer, and many other species. As they are affected, so too are the other species that depend on them, in addition to people. Wildlife and people are coming into more frequent contact – and often conflict – as wildlife encroach on Arctic communities, looking for refuge as their sea ice habitat disappears.
6. Permafrost Arctic ice and permafrost—ground that is permanently frozen—store large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. When it thaws, that methane is released, increasing the rate of warming. This, in turn, causes more ice and permafrost to thaw or melt, releasing more methane, causing more melting. As we lose more ice more quickly and see more rapid permafrost melt, we will start seeing the worst climate change predictions come true.