Talkin' Pets News
September 21, 2019
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Jasmine Johnson - Jasmine the dog trainer
Producr - Lexi Lapp
Network Producer - Quin McCarthy
Social Media - Bob Page
Special Guest - Jamie Gwen of Food & Wine with Chef Jamie Gwen will join Jon and Talkin' Pets at 630pm ET to discuss eating Carp for dinner
Cary, NC, just dropped its licensing requirements for dogs and cats as more people get their pets microchipped.
Compliance with the requirements was low — officials estimate that only 5 percent of the pets that animal control had contact with each year were licensed, the News & Observer reports. By contrast, 75 were microchipped.
And the licensing program was costing more money than it brought in. About 900 license tags were issued each year, generating $10,000 in revenue.
Rabies tags are still required by state law.
Cary is just one of several communities in the Triangle region of North Carolina that have discontinued such requirements, the News & Observer reports.
Raleigh dropped the requirements seven years ago, and Durham County did the same in 2013. Wake County also does not require licensing.
A number of other communities across the U.S. have also dropped their requirements, including Richland, WA, in June.
Alley Cat Rescue Protects African wildcats in Kruger National Park through TNR. African wildcats under threat of hybridization by domestic and stray cats.
Six hundred free-roaming cats have been sterilized and vaccinated by Alley Cat Rescue's international partnership to protect African wildcats in South Africa. The project aims to protect vulnerable populations of genetically pure African wildcats (AWCs) from hybridization by sterilizing free-roaming domestic and stray cats who live around their habitat in Kruger National Park.
The project has received generous support from the Ayers Wild Cat Conservation Fund, a foundation run by Helaine and Jon Ayers. Jon Ayers is the CEO of IDEXX Laboratories, a multi-national company that produces products and services for various animal-related applications.
The effort, spearheaded by Alley Cat Rescue (ACR), is bringing South Africa-based rescue and cat advocacy groups together around a common goal. With the support of local veterinarians and scientists, domestic cats from the targeted border areas will receive health exams and rabies vaccinations, as well as will be spayed or neutered. The park's borders in South Africa are where AWCs and domestic cats from nearby urban and settled areas most often come into contact.
Safeguarding the genetic integrity of the wild cat is supported by Invasive Species Specialist Dr. Llewellyn Foxcroft, who said, "Outside the park, one option is to try to capture, neuter and return feral cats." Dr. Foxcroft explains, "The reasoning here is that if a cat is removed, another will fill its home range and thus the problem is not solved. However, by returning cats which cannot breed, the home range is maintained and other cats are naturally excluded from the territory." This approach is, however, resource intensive. ACR is working to build the infrastructure and revenue stream needed to ensure that the program will be ongoing.
ACR is using the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method to capture, treat, then return the cats to their territory. TNR is widely practiced in the U.S. and abroad and is known as the safest and most humane way to manage populations of outdoor cats.
"The African wildcat is the ancestor of our domestic cats, the one who started our modern love affair with cats," said Louise Holton, President of Alley Cat Rescue and a native of South Africa. "Small wildcats around the world are threatened by numerous factors, including habitat loss, hunting, and interbreeding. With so much environmental change happening, it's important we do everything in our power to protect biodiversity right now," Holton continued.
For the multi-year project, Alley Cat Rescue will be participating in the efforts in South Africa. ACR is currently looking for additional support for the project. A similar strategy is taking place in Scotland to help the endangered Scottish wildcat. The African wildcat (Felis lybica) lives throughout the continent of Africa and in parts of Asia and the Middle East. They are currently listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international agreement among countries to protect threatened and endangered species. African wildcats are not immediately threatened with extinction, but do need protection in order to ensure their survival.
The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, chaired by longtime champion of animal welfare, wildlife, and conservation issues, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), is considering a set of major animal protection bills affecting marine and terrestrial wildlife. The mark-up hearing includes the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (H.R. 737), the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1380), and his own CECIL Act (H.R. 2245). “Sharks should not be chopped up for their fins, tigers shouldn’t live in basements or backyards, and lions and elephants shouldn’t be shot in a head-hunting gambit,” said Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action.
“I thank my committee colleagues for joining me today in approving the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act,” said Delegate Gregario Kilili Sablan (D-MP-At Large). “The bill has 230 bipartisan cosponsors. 12 states and 3 territories already have a shark fin ban in place. 4 of 5 Americans support a national ban. And over 630 private companies and major corporations have endorsed my bill. This important, commonsense legislation is necessary to effectively curtail the shark fin trade. But we must continue working – to get the bill to the House floor, have the Senate pass Senator Booker’s companion bill, and get it to the President’s desk.”
As many as 73 million shark fins end up on the market each year, with an increasing number of species facing extinction. Sharks serve as an indicator of the overall health of our ocean and a decline in their population will directly affect our marine ecosystem. Ensuring their survival is of paramount importance.”
“Too often, private owners of big cats are unequipped to care for these wild animals, leading to dangerous situations for first responders, the public, and the animals themselves,” said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL). “I’m pleased that Chairman Grijalva and the Natural Resources Committee are advancing my legislation to restrict ownership of big cats only to those properly prepared to care for them. It is my hope that it will soon be brought to the floor for a vote and that my colleagues will support this important legislation.”
The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, led by U.S. Delegate Gregario Sablan (D-MP-At Large) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), has 231 cosponsors and expands on the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000 and the Shark Conservation Act of 2010. While those laws banned shark finning and the transportation of fins on U.S. vessels, this measure would strengthen current law by prohibiting the trade of shark fins and allow for better enforcement of the law.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act, led by U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), has 124 cosponsors and prohibits the ownership of dangerous big cats and makes it illegal for exhibitors to allow public contact with cubs. Irresponsible breeding, inhumane living conditions, and public exploitation is a serious problem in the U.S., and caging these wild animals also present a terrible threat to human safety. State laws regarding private ownership of big cats are inconsistent or nonexistent, which is why a uniform federal law is necessary to end this dangerous industry once and for all.
The CECIL Act, led by Chairman Grijalva, and named in memory of Cecil the lion – killed in 2015 by American dentist and big game hunter Walter Palmer – prevents the issuance of import permits for trophies from certain endangered or threatened species. These animals are already subject to a range of human-caused threats that have dramatically reduced their numbers.
Americans certainly love their pets—in some cases, even more than their own flesh and blood.
This is according to a recent survey of 2,000 pet parents across the U.S., conducted by OnePoll on behalf of pet food company I and Love and You.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they considered their four-legged friend to be “part of the family,” while 34 percent took it a step further, admitting their pet is their “favorite child.”
Other findings include:
- 67 percent of respondents classify their pet as their “best friend”;
- 54 percent think their pet understands them “better than” their best friend or significant other; and
- 68 percent believe “pets are people, too.”
Orange, Calif., is the number one city for heartworms in September, the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) reports.
This was revealed in the group’s monthly Top 10 Cities Heartworm Report, which warns pet owners, veterinarians, and pet-related service providers of U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest percentage increase in positive heartworm tests from the last 30 to 45 days.
“What the new CAPC Top 10 Cities Heartworm Report demonstrates is that heartworm disease—transmitted by mosquitoes—is a national threat to pets who are increasingly vulnerable to this debilitating and potentially fatal illness in most communities across the country,” says CAPC board member, Michael Yabsley, MS, PhD, FRES, professor in the department of population health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia.
“It takes just one heartworm-infected dog in an area to become a reservoir of infection, increasing the number of infected mosquitoes and ultimately spreading the heartworm parasite to unprotected dogs and cats. This is why CAPC recommends monthly heartworm protection and annual testing for both heartworm antigens and microfilariae—regardless of where pets live or travel.”
According to CAPC, the following U.S. cities have the highest percentage increase in positive heartworm tests for September:
1) Orange, Calif.
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3) Fontana, Calif.
4) Cleveland, Ohio
5) Omaha, Neb.
6) Syracuse, N.Y.
7) Milwaukee, Wisc.
8) Tacoma, Wash.
9) San Jose, Calif.
10) Cary, N.C.
Nationally, prevalence rates for heartworm have steadily risen in the last five years and are up 20 percent from 2013 levels, CAPC reports. This spike can be attributed to many factors, including the prevalence of mosquito microclimates, a rising number of owners traveling with pets, and a greater volume of rescued animals being transported across state lines.
September marks National Disaster Preparedness Month
Owners should prepare a specific pet emergency kit to store alongside the rest of the family’s emergency supplies. This should include:
- basic first aid supplies;
- three-day supply of pet food (in a waterproof container) and bottled water;
- safety harness and leash;
- waste clean-up supplies;
- medications and a copy of the pet’s medical records
- list of local veterinarians and pet care organizations;
- details on the pet’s feeding routine and notes on behavioral issues; and
- comfort items (e.g. blanket, favorite toy).
Further, adhere to these safety tips.
- Ensure your pet’s identification by using a microchip or collar ID tag. Make sure all contact information is up to date.
- Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Learn where your pets like to hide in the house when frightened. Finding a pet quickly will help you evacuate faster.
- Identify a location to take a pet in case of evacuation. Disaster shelters for people may not accept animals, so scout hotels/motels with pet-friendly policies, or ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet.
- Carry a picture of your pet in case you are separated.
- Consider taking a pet carrier/crate for transport and safe keeping.
All foals must leave the comfort of their dams at some point in their lives, but most don’t complete this momentous transition without some measure of stress. Methods of weaning foals include abrupt, gradual, intermittent, and various combinations of these approaches. Which method is best in terms of minimizing the foal’s stress has yet to be determined.
In a recent study* that explored weaning stress, researchers from Kansas State University selected nine Quarter Horse mare and foal pairs maintained on pasture. Foals had access to their mare’s feed prior to weaning. At 120 days of age, foals were either weaned abruptly or gradually. In the abruptly weaned group, foals were removed from their dams and not allowed either visual or auditory contact. Gradually weaned foals had progressively less contact with their dams during the process. Researchers measured changes in fecal bacteria to assess the intestinal microbiome during weaning and to gauge indicators of stress, such as heart rate and cortisol levels.
The researchers found no change in foal fecal bacterial populations between gradually and abruptly weaned foals. They did, however, identify small changes in the composition of those bacteria in both groups following weaning.
“These results suggest that the lack of mare’s milk in the diet resulted in an alteration of each foal’s intestinal microbiome regardless of weaning protocol,” said Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research. “In this study, all foals were introduced to solid feed prior to being weaned from a milk-based diet, which may have supported the delicate microbiome during weaning.”
Further, this study confirmed previous findings that weaning is stressful. Heart rates and blood cortisol levels were higher in abruptly weaned foals compared to gradually weaned ones during the separation process.
“To ease some of the potential damage caused by weaning, add Triacton to the diet shortly before weaning. Continuing this supplement throughout the weaning period may soothe the stressed digestive tract of the foal,” Crandell advised. The vitamins and minerals included in Triacton, particularly a marine-derived source of calcium, support the growing foal’s musculoskeletal system.
Play is an important developmental process not just in humans but also in other primates.
Through play, humans and other animals gain more physical and mental acuity and learn behaviors that will serve them well into adulthood.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, "Gorillas share 98.3% of their genetic code with humans, making them our closest cousins after chimpanzees and bonobos."
Like humans and many other primates, gorillas — especially throughout childhood and adolescence — engage in play, which allows them to learn key skills and behaviors. Play also allows young gorillas to strengthen their muscles and become more agile.
So far, researchers have focused mostly on studying play as a social activity, but they have paid less attention to gorillas' solitary play and what it might mean to them.
For this reason, a few recent sightings of mountain gorillas playing on their own in water have caught the attention of a team of investigators, from the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University, in Japan, the Primate Cognition Research Group, in Lisbon, Portugal, and Conservation Through Public Health, a nonprofit organization in Entebbe, Uganda.
The sightings — which occurred at the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in Uganda — were even more unusual because the gorillas playing on their own were subadults and adults: a 9-year-old female, a 10-year-old female, a 7-year-old male, and a 15-year old male.
Young pet owners are willing to spend on their pets, but their loyalty is far from free.
This is according to a new nationwide survey of 532 millennial pet owners, conducted by customer communication company Weave.
The findings show a need for clinics to maintain personalized, friendly care and strong communication to retain millennial clients, with 44 percent citing “unfriendly staff” as the top reason they would switch veterinarians. Likewise, 57 percent consider “friendly staff” as the top driver for clinic loyalty.
Other findings include:
- 92 percent of respondents are as concerned about their pet’s health as their own;
- 86 percent would risk their own life to save their pet; and
- while only 15 percent will “always” answer their phone if they don’t know who is calling, 81 percent say they would “definitely” answer if they saw it was their veterinarian.
Additionally, 86 percent place appointment reminders as the top reason they would like their clinics to text message them.
The Humane Society of the United States has released a statement regarding the death of Beulah the Asian elephant displayed at the The Big E. in Massachusetts.
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society and the CEO of Humane Society International said:
“The fate of Beulah the elephant is a reminder that for most performing animals it is death alone that provides relief from bullhooks, cramped transport, overwork and other cruelties.
Massachusetts legislators must follow the lead of six other states* that have passed laws protecting elephants in traveling shows since the Big E exposition has, for years, refused to eliminate its controversial wild animal displays.
It’s also the right time for Connecticut-based Commerford to end its role in supplying elephants for such performances and transfer the remaining elephants to an accredited sanctuary so that they can live out their remaining days in dignity, peace and comfort.”
*Illinois and New York ban elephants in traveling shows. New Jersey bans wild animals (including elephants) in traveling shows. Hawaii bans the import of wild animals (including elephants). California and Rhode Island ban the use of bullhooks on elephants.
Proposed legislation in Massachusetts targets people who falsely claim their pet is a service dog in order to get special treatment.
State Rep. Kimberly Ferguson says some people are using the ploy so they can bring their dog into restaurants and other places where they normally aren’t allowed, the Boston Herald reports.
Breaking the proposed law would be a civil infraction. Penalties would include a fine up to $500 and a community service sentence of up to 30 hours.
The bill was recently heard by the judicial committee, the Herald reports.
Other states that have cracked down on fake service animals include Arizona and Alabama.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners by funding significant scientific research and sharing information to prevent, treat and cure canine disease, announces the receipt of a $5.9 million bequest from a private, anonymous donor. The donation is specifically designated to scientific canine health research and will further strengthen CHF’s already robust portfolio of grants to address the health needs of all dogs across their entire lifetime.
“This donor understood how dogs so positively influence our lives,” states CHF Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Diane Brown. “Thanks to the generosity of this dog lover who strongly believed in the importance of peer-reviewed science as a primary means to advance veterinary medicine and the health of all dogs, his investment in the mission and vision of CHF will have important impacts for years to come.”