Saturday, 19 December 2015 00:00

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Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours from all of us here at Talkin’ Pets. We look forward to spending 2016 with you all on the radio anf through our social network

Peace on earth and good will towards mankind…

Host – Jon Patch

Co-Host – Jillyn Sidlo

Producer – Lexi Lapp

Network Producer – Ben

Executive Producer – Bob Page

Special Guests - Author of Owls of North America and the Caribbean, Scott Weidensaul, will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 12/19/15 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away his new book

Neil Werde from Worldwise will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 12/19/15 at 530pm EST to discuss and give away New York Dog's Ugly Holiday Sweaters for dogs



Bring home the Bacon - Pet Pig rescued from a manhole in Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga. (CNN) – Georgia authorities rescued a two hundred pound pet pig from a manhole on Friday.

The pig named Rick “Bacon” Ross fell into the Atlanta manhole on Wednesday.  It is unknown how the animal came to be in this predicament.

Rick “Bacon” Ross

His owner climbed down into the manhole and stayed with him until he could be rescued.

It took a crew of 16 from the Atlanta Fire Department and special equipment to pull him out.

Bacon’s owner Latoria Middleton, who has had Bacon since he was a week old, expressed gratitude for everyone’s help. “Actually I’m really relieved. I’m glad that he’s okay.  At first I was terrified and now, I just have hope.  This is my baby.  Help me bring my baby home.  He means the world to me.  The love I have for him is genuine.”

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Metal blades, a will to live and a new home for Christmas

GALT, CA (KCRA/CNN) - It started out as an ordinary sorting day for one recycling facility worker, until he saw something that he says made his day.
Sorting recyclables along a conveyer belt on Tuesday, load operator Tony Miranda spotted something out of the ordinary heading his way.

“It was just surrounded by a bunch of debris and material, I mean it was hard to see it but I spotted it really quick,” he said of the kitten. It is barely the size of his hand. "So tiny," he added.  

The little kitten almost didn't make it. “It’s a lucky cat,” Miranda said. Because the next stop on the line, spinning metal blades and a compactor. “It just spins really fast, it could have really died in there,” he said of the animal.

“Over the radio I heard them say that they found a live cat, and I was curious because, I mean that's just amazing,” Heather Garcia said.

Shift supervisor Garcia headed Miranda's way and soon found a maternal longing coming over her. "It's just so cute, I mean why wouldn't you take it home?" she said. Garcia claimed her as her own, naming the kitten after the material recovery facility, or mrf, where Miranda found her.  

“We chose to name her Murphy because she's found here on the mrf,” Garcia said. Murphy had already been through a lot before she got rescued, heading up the conveyer belt, dropping down, and then heading down one more where she met Miranda.

“It’s just amazing to see a little kitty survive through all this. It made my day today, definitely made my day,” Miranda said.

A vet examined Murphy and says she's in good health.

Now with an amazing story of survival, as one person's trash becomes another's tabby.


Things can get wild when humans interact with animals, which could explain why some places around the country still have wacky, animal-related laws on the books. Here are a few animal interactions you'll be surprised to hear are allowed—and a few you probably won't be shocked to learn are off-limits.

1. NO BEAR-WRESTLING (OKLAHOMA) It should go unsaid that things won’t end well when one wrestles a bear—but the state of Oklahoma decided otherwise. Effective May 1996, anyone promoting, engaging in or employed at a bear-wrestling event can spend up to year in jail.

2. NO PIGS ALLOWED (MIAMI BEACH) Leave the pig pals at home if you're headed to the beach. The city of Miami Beach, where the infamous South Beach is located, prohibits the possession, control, management or custody of swine.

3. NO ANIMAL GIVEAWAYS (ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY, GEORGIA) Don’t expect to win a goldfish, cute puppy, or cuddly cat at Thursday night’s Bingo tournament. An ordinance in one Georgia county forbids citizens to “give away any live animal, fish, reptile or bird as a prize for, or as an inducement to enter, any contest, game, or other competition …”

4. NO CATCHING FISH WITH YOUR BARE HANDS (INDIANA) Gear up if you're heading out on a fishing trip in Indiana. In addition to prohibiting the capture of fish by electric current, dynamite, or a firearm, the state's fishing regulations forbid catching fish by "hands alone." But if it's noodling or nothing for you, head to one of at least a dozen states where it is legal, including Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

5. DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE ... YOUR HORSE (COLORADO) In Colorado, horses are considered vehicles, meaning, “Every person riding or leading an animal or driving any animal-drawn conveyance upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this article," according to the state's regulations. Those duties include not riding under the influence. While the penalty isn't as severe as a DUI conviction (there's no jail time involved), it is still considered a traffic infraction with fines up to $100.

6. NO TATTOOING PETS (NEW YORK) You may feel like your pet is an extension of you, but that doesn't mean they can share your body art. At least not in New York, where the governor signed a law banning pet tattoos and piercings in 2014. Support grew for this law after a Brooklyn artist tatted a dog who was still under anesthesia from surgery. Penalties include up to 15 days in jail and up to $250 in fines.

7. DON'T GIVE MOOSE A SANDWICH (ALASKA) They take moose very seriously in the frosty state and there are plenty of existing laws to prove it. Some of the more famous laws like the ones stating that citizens aren't allowed to push moose out of planes, view them from planes, or give them a brew, are either myths or have been repealed. Still, plenty are still on the books, including that is illegal to feed moose anything. 

8. YOU CAN PUT ON A FROG-JUMPING CONTEST, BUT IF THE FROGS DIE, YOU CAN'T EAT THEM (CALIFORNIA) If you're in the Golden State, go ahead and put on the frog-jumping contest of your dreams, but if things go south and one of your amphibious contestants dies in the process, don't add them to the dinner menu. California Fish and Game code states that "Any person may possess any number of live frogs to use in frog-jumping contests, but if such a frog dies or is killed, it must be destroyed as soon as possible, and may not be eaten or otherwise used for any purpose."

9. COLLECTING CERTAIN ROADKILL IS OK (MONTANA) If you’re looking to round up some roadkill for dinner or your prized collection, it’s OK to do so in Montana. The 2013 Legislature passed the bill, but requires salvage permits for anyone scooping up any deer, elk, moose, or antelope killed by cars. Just make sure you take the whole thing. The permits require that you collect all of the animal remains, leaving nothing behind. And if you hit another animal like a sheep or a bear, you'll have to walk away. The permits only apply to some animals.

10. DON'T BRING YOUR SKUNKS INTO THE STATE (TENNESSEE) These smelly animals cannot cross state lines into the great state of Tennessee, according to lawmakers. “It is unlawful for any person to import, possess, or cause to be imported into this state any type of live skunk, or to sell, barter, exchange or otherwise transfer any live skunk…”

11. DON'T SCARE THE HORSES (SOUTH CAROLINA) Railroad companies can get in big trouble in South Carolina for scaring horses while removing hand or lever cars from the tracks: “Any railroad company shall be liable for damages for any horse frightened as a result of the violation…”

12. NO DOGS IN THE BACK OF A PICKUP (ANCHORAGE, ALASKA) It can get awfully cold on the back of a pickup in Alaska. That’s why in Anchorage, officials prohibit the “transport [of] any animal in the back of a vehicle in a space intended for any load on the vehicle on a street unless the space is enclosed or has side and tail walls…”

Reporting for Talkin’ Pets I’m _________________

When pigs fly? It might happen more than you think. Over two million U.S. pets and other animals travel by air each year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

Just like us, “some pets are very good travelers and others become very uncomfortable or afraid,"  says Monique Udell of Oregon State University.

Acclimating a pet to traveling while they’re young can help, but if the animal seems stressed for instance, leaving them home “with a trusted caretaker” is likely the better option, …Panting and vocalizing are signs of stress in cats and dogs.

Some airlines allow small pets in carriers in the cabin with you and some will take animals in cargo —the U.S. Department of Transportation has more information, and you can check your airline for their policies and specifics on conditions of holds, like temperature, humidity, and presence of other animals. However Nicholas Dodman, an animal behaviorist at Tufts University, cautions that such holds are often “far too scary” for pets.

Carlo Siracusa, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, agrees that though the holds are safe, it’s preferable for a pet be with youon the flight so you can monitor them. Siracusa also advises telling the airline in advance if you’re flying with your pet: They may allow only so many animals per flight. Getyour pet acclimated to their carrier well ahead of travel. Putting a blanket and some treats in the open carrier to invite them inside can help, Once your pet has ventured inside, close the carrier for increasingly longer periods until it feels comfortable—and make sure it's well ventilated.

Siracusa doesn’t recommend tranquilizers, but if you think they might be needed, consult your vet and try them in advance: Cruising altitude is no place to test medication on a pet. Don’t give them to pets in cargo holds because you won’t be there should anything go wrong. “There are nutritional supplements that have anti-anxiety effects,” she says—another item to vet with the vet and try before flying. Also know that taking your pet out of a carrier to go through security can be tough, “because many cats get very scared” in the noisy, crowded airport. Hang onto them:.

If you're traveling by car, the Humane Society of the United States advises having your pet secured in a carrier, ideally in the back seat, though Siracusa adds there are beds, hammocks, and other comfortable devices available for their safety.Pets on long trips “should not travel outside of a car, and definitely not on the roof,” You can also plan breaks for your pet for snacks and exercise, not to mention stop whenever you need to, Oregon State's Udell says.

Pets are family too… Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?


One of the more romantic Christmas traditions is kissing under a sprig of mistletoe, hung from a ceiling or doorway. Those who find themselves under its green leaves might not know that this symbol of love is actually a vicious parasite that survives by sucking the nutrients from trees.

Don’t think that making out under a parasite sounds very romantic? Well, it gets weirder. The plant’s parasitic nature is probably why people began to think mistletoe was special enough to kiss under in the first place.

Mistletoe seems to miraculously stay green all winter, and this is "the fundamental basis of all mid-winter traditions relating to mistletoe,” says Jonathan Briggs, a mistletoe expert and consultant. But it keeps that lively green color by stealing water and soil minerals from its host tree.

Though some mistletoe species “can be fairly benign in limited numbers,” others take so much from the tree that they “can be problems in any quantity,” says Briggs. If either type spreads to most of a tree’s branches, the tree will die. “And so,” he says, “will the mistletoe.”

Throw in the fact that some species are poisonous, and mistletoe starts to seem less like something you’d spy mama kissing Santa under and more like something Krampus would plant on your Christmas tree. But that doesn’t mean that mistletoe is all bad. Scientific evidence suggests that some species of mistletoe could have serious benefits for birds—and humans.

Even though mistletoe kills trees, studies have shown that when some species are removed from their ecosystem, birds suffer. According to a 2012 paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, when scientists cleared mistletoe from parts of Billabong Creek in New South Wales, Australia, they saw a significant drop in the population of birds and other species. In the areas with mistletoe, those populations stayed the same or increased.

A 2014 study published in Acta Oecologicamade similar observations about the relationship between mistletoe and birds in central Mexico. Both papers argue that mistletoe is a keystone species—an organism that plays a crucial role in its ecosystem. 

There’s also evidence to suggest that some species of mistletoe can be used in treating cancer—something that people have actually used it for since the 1920s. Doctors today can prescribe mistletoe in Europe. And at Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine, doctors are performing the first rigorous, I.V. study of mistletoe’s effects on cancer patients in the U.S.

Other origin stories say that people started kissing under mistletoe because it was a sign of fertility; and there are some physical clues as to why people may have thought this. Besides the fact that many species stay green in winter, some species have large berries that secrete what some have described as a semenlike substance.

A symbol of fertility indeed.

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