Saturday, 08 December 2018 00:00

Talkin' Pets News Featured

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Talkin' Pets News

December 8, 2018

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Katy Meyer - Tampa Bay Veterinarian Emergency Services

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media / Production Manager - Bob Page

Special Guest - Re Mattei will join Jon and Talkin' Pets to discuss her new single, "Feels Like It's Gonna Rain" 12/8/18 at 630pm EST and give away copies of her CD


A service dog that assisted President George H.W. Bush flew with the presidential casket, CNN reports.

Sully H.W. Bush, a yellow labrador accompanied the president’s body from Houston to Washington. The former president, will be buried in Houston.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath posted a photo to Instagram of the dog lying in front of Bush’s flag-draped casket. The caption read: “Mission complete. #Remembering41.”

Sully is able to perform a wide variety of tasks — two pages worth, according to CNN. They include “answering the phone and fetching items,” the news outlet reports.

Sully came from a nonprofit organization called America’s VetDogs, which trained him. His next stop is Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Count Atlanta among the growing number of U.S. cities and towns that no longer allows the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores.

The ordinance was recently passed by the Atlanta City Council, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Eight other Georgia cities have passed similar ordinances. About 250 cities and towns nationally have done so.

In Atlanta, the measure, which passed 14-0, is preventive. Local officials don’t know of any pet stores in the city that sell cats or dogs.

The legislation “is intended to discourage the operation of puppy and kitten mills,” the Journal-Constitution reports.

“I thought it was best if the city was forward thinking and humane in its policies, alongside our polices for people,” City Councilman Amir Farokhi, who proposed the measure, was quoted saying.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it is investigating the presence of potentially toxic levels of vitamin D in several dog foods.

The dry dog foods were recalled following complaints that dogs eating them experienced vitamin D toxicity, the FDA said in a press release.

Testing found that samples of the dog food contained “excessive, potentially toxic amounts” of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, but very high amounts can cause serious health problems like kidney failure or death, the FDA notes.

The recalled foods were from Nutrisca, Natural Life Pet Products, Sunshine Mills, ANF, Lidl (Orlando brand), Kroger, ELM Pet Foods and Ahold Delhaize. A full list of recalled products is available at .

The recalled products were sold nationwide.

The agency added: “This is a developing situation and additional recalls may be announced.”

It further explained: “After receiving complaints from pet owners about dogs with vitamin D toxicity, one of the firms reported to the FDA that it was recalling dry pet food due to potentially toxic levels of vitamin D. Many other brands with a common contract manufacturer have also been recalled. The FDA is working with the contract manufacturer to provide a comprehensive list of affected brands.”


A new open access study by leading scientists rebuts unfounded criticisms and reaffirms the need for effective outdoor cat control. According to researchers, coordinated critics have mounted a “misinformation campaign designed to purposefully fabricate doubt regarding the harmful impacts of outdoor cats and stymie policies that would remove outdoor cats from the landscape.”

 The conflict stems from a groundbreaking study published in 2013 by scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. That study evaluated the combined impact of the tens of millions of outdoor cats in the United States. The authors found that roaming outdoor cats kill approximately 2.4 billion birds every year and are the leading source of direct, human-caused mortality to birds in the country. Similar results have since been confirmed in Canada and Australia.

 Several cat advocacy groups have consistently criticized the 2013 cat predation study as “junk science.” Researchers, however, contend that such criticisms are an attempt to manufacture uncertainty and deny scientific findings for political purposes.

 Lead author Scott Loss says, “In this era of unprecedented information, facts are often mis-portrayed, but the fact is that free-ranging pet cats and feral cats kill a tremendous number of U.S. birds.”

 The study’s authors provide a point-by-point analysis of cat predation claims and opposing viewpoints, backed by peer-reviewed scientific research. They conclude that the errors and misrepresentations of cat predation data constitutes science denialism. In fact, as the paper points out, “Overwhelming scientific consensus supports that cats are an invasive species; they have caused dozens of extinctions (Doherty et al. 2016), impact native wildlife populations (Loss and Marra 2017), and carry multiple zoonotic diseases (Gerhold and Jessup 2013).” 

 Outside of the U.S., the International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists cats among the world’s most harmful invasive species. The introduction of cats to new environments around the world has resulted in the extinction of 63 species in the wild and also contributes to the spread of parasites and diseases that are harmful to people and animals.

 “What is overwhelmingly evident based on the science is that maintaining cats on the landscape is harmful for cats, wildlife, and people,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs for American Bird Conservancy. “It’s time to treat cats like dogs and to safely remove stray and feral animals from our parks and neighborhoods.”


Drug-sniffing dogs with a nose for marijuana are falling out of favor as more cities and states legalize the substance, The New York Times reports.

Canines trained to detect marijuana can be a problem for police departments.

Tommy Klein, police chief of Riley, CO, explained why his department retired Tulo, a highly skilled dog trained to sniff out marijuana and other narcotics. Marijuana is legal in Colorado.

Such dogs “have the same behavior for any drug that they’ve been trained on,” he said. And many are trained to detect a wide variety of drugs.

“If Tulo were to alert on a car, we no longer have probable cause for a search based on his alert alone,” Klein said.

Marijuana-trained dogs “are being eased out of the labor force” across the country, according to the Times. When they need new recruits, many departments are now looking for dogs that have not been trained on marijuana.

What happens to retired drug dogs? The Times reports that they usually go home to live with their handlers — as pets.

Despite the unparalleled diversity of aquatic life in the Southeast, the millions of people who make use of the region's rivers, lakes and streams may have no idea how many species they share the water with.

When it comes to inspiring others to protect the Southeast's underwater rainforest, lack of awareness is a serious problem, says Dr. Bernie Kuhajda, the science program manager at the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute.

"It's hard to have a conservation mindset about aquatic animals if you don't know anything about them, especially where they live," he says. "We hope that once people learn about the cool things living in their backyard — or close by — they'll become more interested in helping protect them."

With the launch of the Freshwater Information Network(FIN), the Aquarium aims to help Southeasterners get to know the aquatic animals in their own neighborhood a little better.

FIN is a searchable database of scientific records, based on museum specimens as well as fish photos taken by citizens and scientists for more than 400 native fish species. Partners at the iCube at Tennessee Technological University helped create a website where users can search by specific address, watershed or species. With a few clicks, anyone can discover which fish have been found in more than 75 watersheds spanning eight states.

The database currently covers the biologically rich Tennessee, Cumberland, and Mobile drainage basins. This tiny region is home to 46 percent of the fish species found in the United and Canada, even though the area is just 1.4 percent of that vast landmass.

Development of the network was made possible by a 2015 grant through the Institute of Library and Museum Services' Museums for America program.

FIN facilitates sound science without impacting living populations by using photo vouchers, especially those of imperiled species. The network is accessible to the public. Users of the site are encouraged to submit photos of the fish they catch and where they were found. Each entry is reviewed by experts, and once a species is positively identified, a new record about the sighting will be added to FIN.

For scientists, the network offers the means to keep track of freshwater science throughout the region. By knowing where research and conservation work is occurring, Southeastern academics are able to make the best use of the limited resources available to study and protect species in the region, Kuhajda says.

The Freshwater Information Network is accessible via

An Alaska couple who were startled by a late-night doorbell ringing checked security footage and identified the culprit: a moose's rear end.

Kyle Stultz and Allie Johnstone said they were confused when their doorbell rang about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at their Anchorage home, but there was no one at the door when they checked moments later.

"We were thinking kids coming through playing ding dong ditch or maybe a neighbor coming through. We had no idea," Stultz told KTVA-TV.

The couple checked their home security camera footage and were surprised to see the rear-end of a moose playing "ding dong ditch."

"We had this nice moose behind waiting for us right here," Stultz said. "And he decided to back up right into it and that's how he got our doorbell."

Johnstone said the moose caboose offered "a bit of comic relief. It's really nice."

A small businessman in Northern California is desperately searching for 60 pregnant goats stolen in an elaborate heist.

Brian Allen, owner of Green Goat Landscapers, tells the San Francisco Chronicle the herd was stolen from a field in Morgan Hill over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Allen says he left the goats and their guardian dog behind an electric fence so that they could feed on an abandoned driving range.

He says the thieves shut off the power to the electric fence, cut a hole through it and herded the goats into his trailer before driving off.

Allen says they probably distracted his 120-pound Anatolian shepherd guard dog with food. The trailer was later found but without goats.

He says the animals are expected to give birth in about two months.

Despite being the third most populous city in North Carolina, Greensboro is often described as a quiet town. Thus, when the residents of the quiet neighborhood of Woodmere Park saw vultures circling near the woods, they were shocked. The menacing birds began circling a particular part of the community, around Phillips Avenue. Although there are sometimes big birds in the sky, it is not a common sight around a big city to see a vulture, let alone a group of them. Even for a neighborhood lined with trees and surrounded by several creeks, this sort of wild animal was extremely rare. At this point, residents began getting a little nervous.

Since vultures are a rare sight in the area, residents were scared and began wondering what exactly brought these creatures into their neighborhood. More urgently, people were wondering what their circling motion meant and if they were dangerous to the residents. Some neighbors did not want to investigate, deeming it a bit too risky. Others were very curious and wanted to know exactly why these birds arrived in Woodmere Park. Even the residents who went to check out the circling creatures knew little about what vultures are and what they hunt. What they discovered broke their heart.

The vultures had landed in a backyard and were standing around a dog kennel with a little puppy inside it. When the neighbors realized the dog was alive, they were both relieved and terrified. Would the vultures hurt it? Could it protect itself? From their vantage point, they could not tell much about the poor pup. When they got closer, they realized they had to do something.

Vultures are physically strong and are often quite large, especially for a bird of prey. You can see why their presence would alarm Woodmere Park’s residents. They are also a bird of prey, meaning they are carnivorous and hunt regularly. Vultures, unlike eagles and other birds of prey, however, are scavenger birds of prey. Therefore, they often hunt for carcasses rather than live prey.

As the residents got closer to the surrounded puppy, they realized why the vultures were circling: the poor dog was near death. It was barely moving and severely malnourished. Upon discovering the dying dog, residents quickly took action.

After seeing the birds of prey threatening the sick puppy, the neighbors were ready to take action. One neighbor decided something needed to be done, and so he called local animal rescue. He also reported what he saw to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and urged them to hurry. The dog was in a terrible state, chained and abandoned in the cold, during the Christmas season. The man didn’t know if they would come in time or if the puppy had much time left.

Animal rescue arrived as soon as they could and bravely scared away the big, scary vultures. Just before they flew away, a reporter captured the amazing photo above of the committee of vultures, sitting around the kennel and on top of it. This photo, as heartbreaking as it is, went viral and was a crucial step for the little pup’s recovery. When the rescuers saved the dog, they grabbed it and left a note on the owners’ door to let them know the animal had been taken. This was just a formality as the owners obviously didn’t care for this dog one bit.

After being abandoned and neglected, residents of Woodmere Park and animal rescuers expected the puppy to be in quite bad shape. Thankfully, the pitbull was not as bad off as she could have been. When looked over by a vet, she found that the dog was extremely malnourished, and had some cuts along her tail, body, and ears, that were likely from the vultures. However, outside of this, the dog’s health was not in any immediate danger. Unfortunately, the dog still faced another big challenge: the animal shelter and finding a forever home.

After being abandoned and neglected, residents of Woodmere Park and animal rescuers expected the puppy to be in quite bad shape. Thankfully, the pitbull was not as bad off as she could have been. When looked over by a vet, she found that the dog was extremely malnourished, and had some cuts along her tail, body, and ears, that were likely from the vultures. However, outside of this, the dog’s health was not in any immediate danger. Unfortunately, the dog still faced another big challenge: the animal shelter and finding a forever home.

While shelters are amazing and essential part of any city, they are not a permanent solution. Since they are usually over-crowded and new cases arrive every single day, shelters do not have room for every dog that needs help. As a result, they work really hard to get dogs adopted and start a new chapter in their lives. The harsh reality is that not enough people adopt shelter dogs and they often have to resort to euthanasia. Although none of the shelter workers want to do this, it is sometimes necessary to end the misery of dogs who get their heart broken each time they are not picked for adoption.

As if being an abandoned puppy weren’t enough, this pup was also an abandoned Pitbull. This meant that her troubles were doubled. After being at the shelter for two weeks, its workers were at a loss with what to do with her. The shelter, like many others, has a policy against putting Pitbulls up for adoption. This is due to their bad reputation and the negative views people have on the breed. Unfortunately, many people are misinformed about this breed and many others.

Some dog breeds have a bad reputation. They are considered “bad” dogs and risky to own as pets. These breeds include Pitbulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers and German Shepards. People fear them because they think they are dangerous and might harm them. These breeds are also responsible for most of the attacks on other animals. However, we have to question whether it’s in these breeds’ nature or if it’s bad training? More often than not, dangerous dogs are raised to be that way and are the actual victims.

In reality, Pitbulls are the opposite of dangerous. When raised and trained with love and compassion, they are amazing companions for babies and children. They are loyal, calm, and loving, even with strangers. They will often wag their tail in excitement and smell and lick people, trying to play with them.

At the end of the day, dogs are a product of their owners. Pitbulls are no different. If they are raised in a happy and loving home, they will grow up to be that way. If neglected and mistreated, they will be defensive and scared, much like people.

Luckily for our saved pup, there is a fantastic foundation working in North Carolina that specializes in helping Pitbulls. The Merit Pit Bull Foundation was given this helpless puppy in the hopes they could find a forever home for her. The foundation gladly took her in and helped her heal as much as they could. Luckily, although she was mistreated her entire life, she was a friendly and timid puppy who just wanted to be loved. For this reason, the volunteers knew she could be adopted soon.

Finally, the special day arrived, and our saved puppy was brought to a foster home. Young couple Keana Lynch and Travis Henley heard of the young dog and decided they would take her in until a family was found that would want to adopt her permanently. Lynch and Henley wanted to make sure the pup had somewhere warm to stay until she could locate a forever home. They also wanted to spoil her, to start a new chapter in her life. The couple already cared for two dogs and had successfully fostered other dogs, so they thought the pup wouldn’t stay there long.

When the puppy arrived at her new foster home, she finally received a name befitting her beauty: Lilo. And she began responding to it! This was part of the long process of showing Lilo she was now safe and being taken care of. Having a name to answer to and one that is called lovingly is very important for dogs. It shows them they are part of the “pack,” or family. But this was just part of Lilo’s journey. At every turn, Lilo’s new foster parents showered her with love and devotion, and it meant the world to her.

Lilo’s journey to her parents Kaena Lynch and Travis Henley was not accidental. Lynch explains that if she hadn’t have seen the viral photo, she probably would never have adopted the pup. Lynch thinks that the photographer who captured Lilo’s helplessness truly saved her life. It made sure people took notice of her. Lynch and Henley are thankful they saw the photo and decided to foster Lilo. Had they passed on the opportunity, they would never have gone on the incredible journey that followed.

The longer Lilo spent in Lynch and Henley’s home, the more they fell in love with her. They realized she was the puppy they needed, the dog that would complete their family. Although it may have been a tad selfish, Lynch and Henley didn’t want any other family to have little Lilo. They wanted her to stay with them and their two other dogs, Gemma and Gypsy. And we don’t blame them! It wouldn’t be easy, but Lynch and Henley took the challenge head-on. Their mission: to make Lilo part of their family.

As if it weren’t enough that Lynch and Henley took little Lilo into their home, now they wanted to officially adopt her. This would make Lilo a permanent member of the Lynch-Henley family. Lilo was thrilled, and even though she was still shy and timid, you could tell the pup was relieved. No more vultures circling over her head, abuse, or fighting for her life. The formalities didn’t take long to sort out. Since Lilo was abandoned by her owners, transferring the ownership over to her new parents was easy. Soon, the adorable puppy was officially added to the family.

Lilo now had two older sisters: Gypsy and Gemma. The three bonded incredibly quickly, which made life so much easier for their parents. Had the dogs not bonded, Lynch and Henley may not have adopted poor Lilo at all. However, bonding with her sisters was not Lilo’s only task. She needed to adjust to a brand new home. For the first time in her life, someone was taking care of her but also telling her how to behave and what to do. This is no easy adjustment for an abandoned dog. Luckily for Lilo, she was in the best possible hands.

Lynch and Henley began training Lilo for everything. From understanding basic commands to potty training, Lilo needed to learn it all! As Lynch said, “She had no clue what to do in the house. She was not house-trained, and she didn’t really know what to do with toys.”

Lynch, Henley, and Lilo put a lot of effort into the training and soon enough, the pup was progressing rapidly. Eight months, which was Lilo’s age at adoption, is a great age to train dogs as they are still young enough to make habits, but mature enough to understand commands.

Lilo was definitely a happier pup than when she arrived at the Lynch-Henley home. However, this didn’t mean she was entirely over her past abuses. It is important to remember she was extremely miserable for the first eight months of her life! Lynch says that she cannot leave Lilo by herself as she gets anxious. Her anxiety manifests itself in howling and crying by the door. Don’t worry, though, Lynch and Henley are amazing parents, and they knew what to do. Since her adoption, her parents have been slowly teaching Lilo to be less anxious.

As time passed, Lilo became happier and happier. Lilo began having fun outside and playing with her sisters, learning how to play with toys. Her real personality was shining through more and more. Lilo is a happy and funny dog who loves cuddling. In fact, Lynch says that Lilo is basically a baby “…she prefers to be held like a baby and snuggled with any chance she can get.” We completely understand, with such loving parents it’s the perfect recipe for cuddles. Plus, having two great sisters makes Lilo’s life even better and more vibrant.

These days, Lilo has the best life. When she’s not playing with her sisters, she hangs out in pools. Lilo loves swimming and playing in the water and hanging out in the sun. During winter, she enjoys playing in the snow and goofing around. She’s even got a pair of snow boots so she can have fun in the cold!

The common denominator of everything is that Lilo plays all day, every day. This is such a drastic change from her previous life, and she’s finally got the family she deserves. Lilo, despite now being three-years-old, still has the mentality of a puppy, which is what makes her so adorable.

Still acting like a puppy makes sense, as Lilo is the baby of the family. Gemma and Gypsy are older and let Lilo goof around a lot. Their parents also indulge her playful personality and often dress her in the cute outfits. During winter, she has adorable sweaters, while in summer she wears tutus and skirts. All three dogs seem to love these games of dress up and cooperate with their hilarious parents. Gemma, Gypsy, and Lilo love striking a pose for the camera, which is what led their mom to her next move…

Kaena Lynch decided to open an Instagram page documenting Lilo’s incredible journey and transformation. The page, called lilosstory, is both moving and hilarious. The first post on the page is of Lilo’s iconic photo in which we see the vultures all around her. Nearly all the rest of them are of the happy dog playing around the house. Lynch often posts photos of the family cuddling, sleeping, or dressing up. She also shows the amazing things Lilo does for the dog community and how she helps other dogs find homes.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, dogs have many functions in our society. One of the most amazing things that can be done with dogs is to use them as motivational dogs. They are used on posters and ads to encourage people to do things to make society better. Lilo, for example, is the poster Pitbull for the fantastic foundation that saved her life: The Merit Pit Bull Foundation (more on them in a bit). By using her story and photos, the foundation shows how great Pitbulls are and the inspiring journeys that can be taken by adopting one.

Our unique little Lilo is a helpful little dog herself! Not only is she the poster dog of the Merit Pit Bull Foundation, but she’s also a therapy dog. Lilo works closely with children in schools, just like her older sister, Gemma. Lilo goes to schools and libraries and calms the children as they learn to read. Dogs really help kids who struggle with school work or anxiety by assisting them in relaxing. Afterward, when they’re relaxed, they can focus and retain information better. Being such a happy pup allows Lilo to be the perfect therapy dog for kids.

The Merit Pit Bull Foundation is a unique charity. It focuses solely on Pitbulls and changing their negative reputation. It tries to find forever homes for all forgotten and stray Pitbulls and makes sure they do not die in shelters. In 2012, several volunteers banded together and founded this amazing foundation. It not only seeks to find homes for dogs but also educates new owners on the proper training of Bull breeds. The organization wants to ensure everyone is safe and happy, including the dogs. Furthermore, the foundation publicly educates citizens on Bull breeds and works on shattering the stereotypes surrounding them.

One of the most important things The Merit Pit Bull Foundation, and many others, fight against are puppy mills. These horrible places do not care for their dogs and just want to maximize profits by producing as many pure-bred puppies as possible. The cruelty of these farms is genuinely horrible, and many foundations are working hard to spread the word that they are dangerous. No breed of dog is worth the pain and suffering of the animals in those mills. Worse still, these mills often do not vet buyers, leading to tragic situations like Lilo’s.

You can help stop puppy mills from existing! One thing you can do is start adopting dogs, instead of buying them. Adopting a dog, regardless of size, age, or breed is a gift that keeps on giving. You will always know that you saved a life and your dog will be forever grateful and loving. Furthermore, you can feel great that your money went to a shelter instead of a mill.

Lilo is a beautiful example of how amazing and important it is to adopt dogs. If you are interested in doing so, there are many places you can contact, your local animal shelter being but one of them. Also, contact the ASPCA for any more information you need regarding the topic. So, remember: Adopt! Don’t Shop!

Sources: Icepop, The Dodo, Scribol, Barkpost.

Read 640 times Last modified on Saturday, 08 December 2018 19:02
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