Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:27

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Talkin' Pets News

March 21, 2020

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Gino Sassani - Jurassic World Reptiles

Producer - Lexi Adams

Reporter - Dan Adams

Network Producer - Darian Sims

Social Media Consultant - Bob Page

Special Guests - Sara Amundson is the President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund and she will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 3/21/20 at 5pm ET to discuss animal protection legislation.

COUNTRY NEWCOMER JOE HANSON RELEASES “CATHARTIC” SINGLE “PART OF ME” PREMIERED BY THE BOOT - Joe will join Jon & Talkin' Pets 3/21/20 at 630pm ET to discuss his music and pets with a gift package give away


A dog in Hong Kong that was quarantined for a “low-level” coronavirus infection has come up negative for the virus on a blood test, the Washington Post reports.

Earlier, the dog tested weakly positive on oral and nasal samples after its owner was hospitalized with the infection. It has been in quarantine since Feb. 26 and has not displayed any symptoms.

The dog is staying in quarantine for now, as officials believe it may indeed be infected. Hong Kong’s government said in a statement that the negative blood test indicates “that there is not a strong immune response and that there are currently not measurable amounts of antibodies in the blood.” However, it “does not suggest that the dog is not infected with the virus.”

In humans, mild cases do not always develop antibodies, the Post reports.

The fact that the dog tested positive several times suggests that the dog’s case represents a “true infection,” said J. Scott Weese, professor at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College.

“It wouldn’t be surprising for this to be a low-grade infection because dogs are not thought to be very good hosts for this virus, based on its genetic structure and what we know about the original SARS,” he told the Post.

Hong Kong’s government has said the case likely represents “human-to-animal transmission.”

At the same time, however, the World Health Organization states that there’s no evidence that pets can transmit the virus to humans.


The “social distancing” that authorities are encouraging or, in some cases, requiring in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus is by definition an isolating experience.

Some animal-shelter official are encouraging pet adoption as a way to stave off loneliness, People reports.

“If you don’t have a pet and are thinking about getting one, now is the perfect time to ‘try it on’ by fostering from your local shelter,” Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, was quoted saying.

Major health agencies say pets are not a factor in the spread of COVID-19, People notes. At the same time, they can be great for your mental well-being.

During the pandemic, many local shelters are experiencing “a lag in adoptions, an increase in intakes and limited resources,” according to People. Some, such as those in Los Angeles, have had to close temporarily.

Best Friends Animal Society stated in a Facebook post: “For some, this may be a lonely time and there are so many dogs and cats who would love to keep you company!”

But the organization is, like everyone else, facing challenging circumstances. It explained in another post Tuesday that it had “made the difficult decision to close our sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, to visitors and volunteers — for the first time in our 36-year history — to ensure our staff’s health so that they can keep caring for the animals.”


Ice Age hunter-gatherers, foraging the bone-chilling, unforgiving steppes of what today is Russia, somehow completed a remarkable construction project: a 40-foot-wide, circular structure made from the skulls, skeletons and tusks of more than 60 woolly mammoths. The reason remains a mystery to archaeologists.

Alexander Dudin, a researcher from the Kostenki Museum-Preserve, and a team of scientists began excavating the 25,000-year-old mammoth-bone circle in 2014 at a site called Kostenki 11, which is 300 miles south of Moscow. It is the third structure uncovered at the site. The discovery was published Monday in the journal Antiquity.

Archaeologists have unearthed about 70 mammoth-bone structures across Eastern Europe. But this one is the oldest on the Russian plain thought to be made by modern humans. Most of the previously identified structures were small, leading researchers to conclude they were most likely used as winter dwellings on a nearly treeless landscape. But the researchers said this circle was too large for a roof, which might suggest it was used for a different purpose.

“There are more than 60 mammoths in this one structure,” said David Beresford-Jones, an environmental archaeologist at the University of Cambridge and an author on the paper. Layers of rock showing signs that fires were burned at the site. The team suggested that the hunter-gatherers instead might have butchered massive mammoth carcasses at the site and then stored the meat and fat in nearby permafrost as if in an ancient refrigerator.

Through further processing, they identified more than 400 charcoal pieces, evidence of wood-burning. The charcoal came from conifers such as spruce, larch and pine, suggesting that trees still grew in the harsh, frozen environment. They also radiocarbon-dated the charcoal, which further supported that the site was about 25,000 years old.

They also found burned mammoth bones, which indicated that the Paleolithic people were probably starting fires with wood and then using the beasts’ greasy bones to feed the flames. Bone-fueled fires burn brighter than wood fires, but spread less warmth. “You won’t produce a nice good fire for roasting your mammoth meat on,” Dr. Beresford-Jones said. But the flames would have allowed the hunter-gatherers to work through the night to hastily strip meat off mammoth bones before hungry wolves and foxes arrived to try to seize the haul.

The team also uncovered plant material similar to what is seen in modern parsnips, carrots and potatoes. This suggested that the Paleolithic people may have supplemented their mammoth meals with vegetable side dishes.

The team acknowledged that they did not fully solve the mystery of how the mammoth-bone circle was used. They still do not know whether the hunter-gatherers killed or scavenged the beasts, how long the location was used or if it held any ritualistic importance.


Those reporting a significant increase in sales due to the Coronavirus in the pet world are pet supply stores at their core, and they point to online ordering, curbside pickup and/or delivery — whether they have increased promotion of, expanded or offered for the first time these services — as major contributors.

“We can’t keep up with online orders,” Nancy Guinn of Dog Krazy in Virginia says, adding: “We extended our delivery area to 30 miles of every store.”

Some businesses have limited the number of customers allowed inside at a time, while others have closed to in-store shopping altogether. They are still seeing spikes.

“The last four days have had record sales totals,” reports Jodi Etienne of Razzle Dazzle Doggie Bow-tique in Bradley, IL. She currently only offers curbside pickup and delivery. “Monday alone was four times the normal sales tally.”

Unfortunately, day cares, boarding facilities and pet sitters are not faring as well. They responded to the question “What has been the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on your revenues so far?” with “They’ve dropped noticeably” and “They’ve cratered.”

Myra Tsung responded with the latter and said: “As a boarding facility, we would normally be starting to ramp up to summer levels of business at this time, between college and public school spring breaks. As of today, our business is down at least 60 percent over this time last year.

“Right now, most of our spring break crowd has not canceled, but we feel that much of that will likely be canceled in the next two to three weeks.

“We have only had one new call for boarding in the past week, and it is merely an overnight due to maintenance at the owner’s house. We are normally at about 80 to 90 percent capacity, even 100 percent on weekends at this time, and are at about 20 to 25 percent right now, with those numbers continuing to fall as pets check out who were here before the real crisis started.”


Tons of carrots and sweet potatoes have been dropped from a helicopter in Australia to feed the threatened marsupials. The helicopter known as the Squirrel is typically used to douse fires and shoot pests. But these days it has a new mission: scattering tons of carrots and sweet potatoes in New South Wales, Australia, for threatened wallabies on the brink of starvation.

A long-running drought had already drastically reduced the marsupials’ food supply. Then came the bush fires that devastated southeastern Australia in recent months. “There was absolutely nothing left,” said Michaela Jones, a senior project officer at the National Parks and Wildlife Service in New South Wales.

Some ecologists have estimated that more than a billion wild animals were lost in the fires that began burning in July and eventually blackened millions of acres. For threatened species like brush-tailed rock wallabies, conservationists have rushed to figure out ways to support local populations. Feeding wildlife runs against the usual advice, said Trent Forge, threatened species project officer at the National Parks and Wildlife Service. But after the fires robbed the wallabies of their natural foraging grounds, wildlife officials began a mission in January to drop food every 10 to 14 days in two valleys of Wollemi National Park.

“These are unique circumstances,” Mr. Forge said, adding that about 80 percent of the brush-tailed rock wallaby’s habitat had been affected by the fires. “We need to give those survivors a helping hand if we are to conserve the species as a whole.” His colleague Ms. Jones has looked after the wallabies since 1999, and over those years the population had grown from eight to 110.

When the fires first tore through the Jenolan area, she went to see the survivors as soon as possible, which she was able to do by foot. On the first day, she and other park officers found no life among the ashes — only dead possums. “I sort of felt that my whole life’s work was going up in smoke,” she said. “You could smell dead animals everywhere.” Later, though, the officials found 16 rock wallabies sheltering at a waterfall. Some of the wallabies had not eaten in days. “I think at least a third has survived,” Ms. Jones said of the wallaby population in the Jenolan area, “but we don’t know how many we have lost.”

The Parks and Wildlife Service staff began considering how it could get food to the survivors. Helicopters that could be employed to drop sustenance were being used to fight fires in other parts of the country. Pressure mounted to help the animals after an advocacy group, the Friends of the Brush-Tailed Rock-Wallaby, wrote a letter to Matt Kean, the state environment minister. Three weeks after the fires, the food drops began.

In addition to the carrots and sweet potatoes, the helicopter is dropping water. The first time Ms. Jones visited the area, she brought about 50 gallons. In one night, the animals drank almost all of it. “You always think that the animals will just move to the nearest bit of unburned bush land — but where is it?” she said, adding that there was almost no land untouched by fire for 25 miles.


First there was Narwhal, the unicorn puppy with the lone little tail on his forehead. Now meet Rae (that’s “ear” backward), the cute Golden Retriever puppy who just happens to have a unicorn ear.

Yes, you heard that right. Hearing is believing as this adorable pooch’s one and only ear is planted firmly on the top of her head, the better to be cuter than ever.

Rae’s Instagram name @goldenunicornrae fits her perfectly and her bio says, “I’m a one-eared golden retriever! Accidental injury at birth left me with only my right ear. As I grew, it migrated to the top of my head”

Apparently, Rae’s ear was accidentally torn off by her mother after birth. She was immediately sent to Family Friends Veterinary Hospital and Pet Care Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rae had surgery and was in critical condition. Eventually relinquished to the hospital by her former owner, Rae found a home with Brianna Vorhees, a receptionist at the hospital.

Brianna provided the tiny puppy with round-the-clock care and the bottle feedings she needed to heal and heal she did. Eventually, Rae’s remaining ear moved to the top of her head giving her that undeniable unicorn look.

Rae went from being in an uncertain situation to a spunky and funny pup who is an Instagram sensation. She’s quite the unicorn princess with 185,000 followers (as of this second) and counting very fast!

There are some unanswered questions about Rae and her very different ear, from how her ear actually works to just how much she can hear. But she knows when someone calls her by name, which is most of what any dog needs.

One thing that’s certain is she’s loving the attention and she’s a positive force wherever she goes. Don’t try to keep Rae down because this ball of energy will come back at you with positivity times 10, and with at least two toys in her mouth.

Rae is making friends wherever she goes and she has no plans to stop.

We hear you Rae, and we are rooting for you all the way!


Most dogs chase after the mailperson — but a Texas neighborhood stray knows to stay far away from those who deliver packages so that he can make his next move.

After a Texas family noticed they were dealing with a package thief, they decided to check footage from their doorbell camera to catch the culprit.

Upon reviewing the video, the Graza family discovered that the person stealing their packages wasn’t a person at all — it was a dog!

“It was kind of funny because nobody would ever expect a dog to steal a package,” Abby Garza, 10, told local television station, KRGV, of the neighborhood stray.

As the family watched the clip, they noticed the dog had a very thought out plan to steal the packages.

The dog — who Garza said frequents the McAllen, Texas neighborhood — is seen patiently waiting for the mailperson to drive off before making his move toward the doorstep.

Once in the clear, the dog trots to the door, sniffs the package, and grabs it with his teeth before running away.

“The first package was my mom’s clothes, the second was my easter basket, he was chewing all over it,” Garza said.

As most of the neighborhood is aware of the four-legged thief, the Ganza family said neighbors will return packages to their rightful owners should they come across a box dropped by the dog in the wrong spot.


Three contestants mushing through the final stretch of Alaska's famed Iditarod sled dog course two days after the winner crossed the finish line were rescued by helicopter on Friday from trail flooding caused by unseasonably warm weather, authorities said.

The mushers were near the final checkpoint, just 22 miles from the finish line in Nome, when they ran into deep water and extremely high winds, according to representatives of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The three activated their emergency beacons and were plucked from the submerged trail by an Alaska National Guard helicopter team, with help from state troopers and other search-and-rescue personnel, officials said. The dogs, all accounted for, were collected at the site and transported separately to Nome, where they were checked by veterinarians, a race spokeswoman said.

The rescued mushers flown to Nome – Sean Underwood, Tom Knolmayer and Matthew Failor – were evaluated at a hospital and released, race officials said.

A series of storms brought howling southern winds and above-freezing temperatures to the Nome region, creating treacherous conditions near the end of the Iditarod trail.

Norwegian contestant Thomas Waerner won the Iditarod early Wednesday morning, mushing into Nome for a first-place showing witnessed by a much smaller crowd than typically throngs the finish line. City officials had canceled all Iditarod-related festivities and asked out-of-town fans to stay away as a public health precaution against transmission of the coronavirus.

Even Waerner’s wife watched the finish from afar. She had flown back to Norway to avoid being stranded in Alaska by travel restrictions.

Ten mushers were still on the trail on their way to Nome late on Friday. The race committee said it was working to repair the trail in the flooded section of the course.

Fifty-seven mushers and their teams started the 48th edition of the race in Anchorage on March 7. Twenty-three, including the three who were rescued on Friday, have dropped out of the race so far.


China today announced a ban on buying and selling wild animals for food, taking its most decisive action yet to halt a trade that has been implicated in the global coronavirus crisis, and that causes immense suffering for hundreds of thousands of animals each year, including endangered wildlife.

China’s wildlife trade has decimated populations of certain wild animals within the country and in other nations, and this is its most monumental announcement concerning animal welfare since it banned ivory in 2017. Today’s decision has the potential to affect even more animals than the ivory ban, because of the sheer volume and number of animals involved in the wildlife trade. And it couldn’t have come sooner: the coronavirus outbreak, believed to have originated at a live animal market in the city of Wuhan, is spreading to other countries. It has already claimed more than 2,600 lives, most of them in China, and sickened more than 79,000 people worldwide.

Wildlife markets have, in the past, spawned or exacerbated other global health crises as well, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the deadly bird flu, and China’s move today will also have the effect of preventing more disease outbreaks in the future.

The ban is especially significant because for far too long, the wildlife trade in China has had an outsized influence over the nation’s regulating agencies and has operated with impunity or little oversight. Even after the previous disease outbreaks, the markets were only temporarily banned and then reopened. But with casualties escalating—President Xi Jinping acknowledged last week that this is the biggest public health crisis the country has encountered since its founding in 1949—the government has clearly realized that it cannot both keep this inhumane industry alive and keep its citizens safe.

Today’s announcement from the National People’s Congress, the Chinese national legislature, elevates the ban from an administrative action to the level of a national law. Specifically, the announcement, issued as an emergency measure, creates a comprehensive ban on the trade in terrestrial wild animals bought and sold for food, including those who are bred or reared in captivity.  Finally, the national legislature announcement said, the hunting, trade and transport for consumption of terrestrial wild animals who naturally grow and breed in the wild will also be completely banned.

We hope the ban will also cause a decline in the numbers of endangered and at-risk animals brought into China through the transnational smuggling network and that China will include the trade in wildlife for medicinal or decorative purposes in the ban too. In order to prevent businesses that breed wildlife for consumption and other trade from carrying on their activities underground, China should also act to help these businesses transition to alternative livelihoods.

Hopefully China will next revise its Wildlife Protection Law to make the ban permanent. Meanwhile, Humane Society International will continue to closely follow the implementation and enforcement of the ban, and we will work with local animal advocates on restricting other areas of wildlife consumption not covered by the announcement. But today, let’s applaud the Chinese government for taking this important step in the right direction, for its people, for the animals, and for the world. ------------------------------------------

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