Saturday, 16 September 2017 00:00

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Talkin' Pets News

September 16, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestrial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guests - Eileen Smulson Founder & Director of Operation Blankets of Love will join Jon & Talkin' Pets 9/16/2017 at 5pm EST to discuss their efforts to help victims of Huricanes Harvey & Irma and the fires on the West Coast

The Scooter Brown Band will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 9/16/2017 at 630pm EST to discuss and give away his new CD


A fire-tailed titi monkey, a pink river dolphin, a honeycomb patterned stingray, and a yellow-mustached lizard. These are just a few of the 381 new species recently discovered in the Amazon.

A new WWF and Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development report reveals that between 2014-2015, a new plant or animal species was discovered in the Amazon every two days—the fastest rate this century.

The report, New Species of Vertebrates and Plants in the Amazon 2014-2015, details 381 new species that were discovered over 24 months, including 216 plants, 93 fish, 32 amphibians, 20 mammals, 19 reptiles, and one bird.

These findings come as extensive sections of the Amazon are increasingly under threat, impacting both wildlife and communities.

Spanning eight countries, the Amazon region is home to one in 10 known terrestrial species on Earth, half of the planet's remaining tropical rain forests, and 4,100 miles of winding rivers. Its diversity and size mean there is still much to be learned there.

Counting the total number of species in a region is critical for scientists to have a baseline to monitor current and future biodiversity losses. Discovering new species is important for environmental and natural resource management, too, and can guide the establishment of protected areas to safeguard wildlife and the communities that depend on these resources.

WWF has been working in the Amazon for more than 40 years and is at the forefront of efforts to protect its forests for the species and people that call the region home.

Learn more about how WWF is working to help protect the Amazon at

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Water is essential for all life on Earth. Fresh water is used for drinking, sanitation, agriculture, transportation, electricity generation, and recreation. Freshwater habitats—like lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands—house more than 10% of all known animals and about 50% of all known fish species.

One of these freshwater habitats, wetlands—a place where the land is covered by water, either salt, fresh, or somewhere in between—are often undervalued. They are the planet’s natural waste-water treatment facilities. And they’re crucial for food security. Between 300 million and 400 million people live close to—and depend on—wetlands. They support the cultivation of rice, a staple in the diet of half the world’s population. They also provide flood control, clean water, shoreline and storm protection, materials, medicines, and vital habitat.

Upwards of half of the world’s wetlands are estimated to have disappeared since 1900, despite their value to the human population. World Wildlife Foundation is working to conserve and protect these valuable habitats.

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1. What is a wetland?
A wetland is a place in which the land is covered by water—salt, fresh, or somewhere in between—either seasonally or permanently. It functions as its own distinct ecosystem. You can recognize wetlands from other land forms or bodies of water primarily by the vegetation that has adapted to wet soil.

 2. What kinds of species live in wetlands?
A wide variety of species live in wetlands. Wetland birds include ducks, geese, gulls, kingfishers, and sandpipers. Wetlands are welcoming places for birds who use them as pit stops during long migrations, providing them with protection and food. Mammals like otters, capybaras, minks, beavers, and waterbucks also live in wetlands. And, of course, fish!

 3. What are some of the world's largest wetlands?
The West Siberian Lowland, Amazon River Basin, and Hudson Bay Lowland are among the largest wetlands in the world. The world’s largest protected wetland is Llanos de Moxos, located in Bolivia. It is more than 17 million acres—roughly equal in size of North Dakota. 

 4. How are wetlands natural water filters?
Wetlands trap pollutants such as phosphorus and heavy metals in their soils, transform dissolved nitrogen into nitrogen gas, and break down suspended solids to neutralize harmful bacteria. New York City found that it could save $3 billion to $8 billion in new wastewater treatments plants by purchasing and preserving $1.5 billion in land around its upstate reservoirs.

 5. What are the different types of wetlands?
Wetlands take many forms including marshes, bogs, estuaries, mudflats, ponds, swamps, billabongs, lagoons, lakes, and floodplains. Most large wetland areas often include a combination of wetland types.

 6. What are bogs?
Bogs are wetlands that accumulate peat. Almost all water in bogs come from rainfall. Bogs take thousands of years to develop in old lake basins or depressions in the landscape. Because they are unsuitable for agriculture, forestry, or development they provide a haven for many different species like moose, black bears, lynx, and snowshoe hares.

 7. What is the Ramsar Convention?
The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for wetlands protection. It was established more than 40 years ago to protect wetlands. Today, there are more than 2,000 wetlands, covering 476,000 acres, designated as Wetlands of International Importance. About 75% of the sites added to the list since 1999 were included as a result of WWF’s work. 

 8. What threats do wetlands face?
Wetlands face threats from pollution, climate change, dams, agriculture, and development. WWF works to preserve wetlands around the world, through projects that support the Ramsar Convention, as well as by promoting climate change adaptation.

9. What happens when wetlands disappear?
Without wetlands, cities have to spend more money to treat water for their citizens, floods are more devastating to nearby communities, storm surges from hurricanes can penetrate farther inland, animals are displaced or die out, and food supplies are disrupted, along with livelihoods.


 In 2016 alone, 1,054 rhinos were reported killed in South Africa. This figure represents a loss in rhinos of approximately 6% in South Africa, which is close to the birth rate, meaning the population remains perilously close to the tipping point.

Black rhinos have two horns, and occasionally a third small posterior horn. The front horn is longer than the rear which makes them lucrative targets for the illegal trade in rhino horn. Between 1970 and 1992, 96 percent of Africa's remaining black rhinos were killed. A wave of poaching for rhino horn rippled through Kenya and Tanzania, continued south through Zambia's Luangwa Valley as far as the Zambezi River, and spread into Zimbabwe. Political instability and wars have greatly hampered rhino conservation work in Africa, notably in Angola, Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan. This situation has exacerbated threats such as trade in rhino horn, and increased poaching due to poverty.

Today, black rhinos remain Critically Endangered because of rising demand for rhino horn, which has driven poaching to record levels. A recent increase in poaching in South Africa threatens to erase our conservation success. The increase is driven by a growing demand from some Asian consumers, particularly in Vietnam, for folk remedies containing rhino horn. AIn 2014, a total of 1,215 rhinos were poached in South Africa – a 21 percent increase from the previous year.

Habitat changes have contributed to population declines, but this is a secondary threat compared to poaching. In southern Zimbabwe, privately owned rhino conservancies have been invaded by landless people. This reduces the amount of safe habitat for two large black rhino populations and increases the risk of poaching and snaring.

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A vendor in California has pleaded guilty to selling fraudulent flea and tick medications, reports.

Sean L. Gerson admitted to earning $2.5 million in profits over 15 years selling the products online. 

The plea was connected to a wide-ranging investigation that involved culprits in the U.S. as well as Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, authorities say.

Federal authorities "seized $35 million in products of unknown origin with fake labels or products made for use in other countries that were not cleared for U.S. sales." Gerson was accused of selling medications in the U.S. that were intended for the South African market.

In many cases fraudulent products bearing popular names such as Frontline landed with major U.S. retailers, who were unaware it was fake, federal authorities said.

Seven culprits have pleaded guilty in the scam. One alleged supplier remains at large.

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The owners of the pets who were abandoned as Hurricane Irma approached Florida could face felony charges, according to the state's office of animal control. Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control officers rescued 49 dogs in the days before the storm hit, all of whom were left outside to fend for themselves. 'This is a prime example of animal cruelty,' Palm Beach County state prosecutor Dave Aronberg told the New York Post

'We will find you, and we will prosecute you.'

The owners of the pets who were abandoned as Hurricane Irma approached Florida could face felony criminal charges.  Authorities said many of the pets who were rescued were tied to poles or left in pens outside of their homes. 'There is absolutely no excuse for doing that,' agency director Dianne Suave told the Post.  She and Aronberg have vowed to come down hard on the animal owners.  Both have said they intend to file felony prosecutions against anyone who left their dogs outside during the storm, provided that they can gather enough evidence against those individuals. The pair are also asking anyone who can to consider sheltering the animals they come across who were left out in the storm.  

In addition to the pets rescued by the agency, Animal Care and Control also took in roughly 40 cats and dogs who were given up by their owners due to the storm.  Relinquishing a pet to animal control or one of the two-pet friendly shelters in Palm Beach County means the individual gives up ownership of their animal and can't get them back when the storm ends. Suave explained that surrenders are normal during storms, but the number was particularly high in the lead up to Irma.  'It's always disappointing,' she told USA Today about the surrenders. 'Our goal is to keep pets and people together.' 

'But we're not a boarding facility.'  

The ASPCA also worked throughout Irma's path in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina to rescue up to 600 animals left in shelters or abandoned during the storm. The agency set up an emergency shelter in Duncan, South Carolina, and works through the week to continue moving animals to safety.

'It's critical for pet owners to consider their animals when preparing for any disaster, and we strongly urge them to always bring their animals with them if they have to evacuate their home,' ASPCA Vice President Tim Rickey said in a statement. 

'The ASPCA stood ready to assist animals in Hurricane Irma's path, but the first and best line of defense for a pet will always be a well-prepared owner.'  

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RATS on the rampage near a Keighley fast-food restaurant have caused a storm on social media.

Photos of rodents wandering close to the KFC outlet at Keighley Retail Park, Hard Ings Road, have been posted on Facebook.  Many people have voiced shock at the vermin.  But supporters of the chicken chain attribute the problem to people dumping rubbish.  Horrified Sandra Maria messaged on Facebook that she had counted eight rats just inches from the restaurant entrance.  She contacted KFC, which responded that it "insists upon extremely high levels of hygiene and safety".  It said strict food safety procedures were followed, with frequent monitoring and routine inspections. KFC got in touch, saying the Keighley premises are "a rat-free zone" and that the restaurant holds the highest possible Food Standards Agency rating of five.  A spokesman added: "We're now working closely with The Pied Piper to apprehend these rampaging rats in the surrounding area and lead them out of Keighley."

This week, the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) warned property owners that rat numbers are likely to soar this autumn and urged people to take precautions.  The expected surge is due to a combination of cooler temperatures and increasingly wet weather.  Dee Ward-Thompson, BPCA technical manager, said: "Rain washes rats out of sewers and other nesting places and, inevitably, they go looking for shelter.  "Our members report that the number of calls to deal with infestations often rises in the autumn, when the temperature drops quite dramatically, and we're expecting a similar pattern this time."  She said that apart from the health risks, rats also chewed on wood or electrical wires which could pose a safety hazard.  And they breed rapidly.

Advice includes cut back overgrown areas and keep yards tidy to remove potential nesting sites, dispose of rubbish carefully and don't leave leftover food lying around.  Mrs Ward-Thompson added that anyone seeking to get rid of rats should only use a qualified person.  "Rats must be dealt with by an expert technician who knows the area in question and their likely habitat and knows how to treat any particular strain," she said.

While Keighley deals with rats, due to Hurricane Irma, Florida is dealing with alligators, snakes and other crawling creatures misplaced from the high waters.

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Read 848 times Last modified on Saturday, 16 September 2017 18:05
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