Friday, 03 April 2020 23:39

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Talkin' Pets News

April 4., 2020

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Karen Vance - Tampa Bay Dog Trainer

Producer - Zach Budin

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guests - Hour 2 - David Frei Host of the Beverly Hills Dog Show



According to a survey by Shih Tzus have a long history that goes back to the Ming Dynasty during China’s Imperial period. Shih Tzus, meaning lion dog in Chinese, lived the royal life with many emperors with their affectionate temperament. They weren’t known to the rest of the world until the 1930s.

Shih Tzus are great apartment dogs as they’re small and hypoallergenic. This little toy dog breed only goes up to 16 pounds when fully grown.

It’s no surprise that they’re the most popular dog breed in 31 states out of 50. From Florida to Alabama and up the east coast to Connecticut, Shih Tzus have captivated the hearts of folks with their soft manes and minimal exercise requirements.

Even though they’re highly energetic, Shiba Inus earned a spot for most popular dog breed in a number of states. Most of its fan base is concentrated in areas with outdoor enthusiasts — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, among them.

With its iconic fluffy, curled up tail and foxlike coloring, Shiba Inus were only brought to the U.S. right after World War II from Japan. A major plus is their love of walks, while their seasonal shedding can be overwhelming for some.

Arkansas, Kansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma have a soft spot for Great Pyrenees dogs that are often used to guard livestock. They can grow up to 120 pounds, which might not be allowed in certain apartment communities. This breed thrives outside with tasks and jobs to do. Its thick coat allows it to survive cold winters while protecting sheep from predators.

Delaware, Maine, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming love Bulldogs and their many wrinkles and rolls. Bulldogs grow to 55 pounds but are low-energy pups with friendly personalities.

Depending on the breeder, bulldogs can face respiratory and other health issues. But that hasn’t stopped folks in these six states from loving up on their bulldogs. We can’t say we blame them.

The relationship between a dog and its owner is one of the most special ones, especially when done intentionally. Providing the right amount of exercise, a comfortable living space and enough attention is vital for a dog to thrive in an apartment.

Make sure to select a breed that matches your lifestyle, and you’ll have a best friend to share your daily life. There’s nothing better than a loyal pup by your side.


American Airlines has temporarily suspended its checked pet service amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The change took effect March 25, according to an email from the airline to customers. Carry-on pets and emotional service animals are still allowed.

The decision was made “because schedule changes increase the risk of leaving a pet stranded,” according to the email.

In other changes, the company (NASDAQ: AAL) is:

  • Relaxing its seating policy to enable customers to practice social distancing on board whenever possible.
  • Temporarily suspending food and beverage service on flights under 2,200 miles (typically less than four-and-a-half hours). Limited beverages will be available upon request. On flights over 2,200 miles, the airline will continue to offer a streamlined food and beverage service.

Because of decreased demand and changes to U.S. government travel restrictions, American announced on March 16 that it would make numerous changes to its flight schedules. The airline will:

  • Reduce international capacity by 75 percent year-over-year, from March 16 to May 6.
  • Continue to operate one flight daily from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to London (LHR), one flight daily from Miami (MIA) to LHR and three flights per week from DFW to Tokyo (NRT).
  • Continue short-haul international flying, which includes flights to Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and certain markets in the northern part of South America, as scheduled.

The airline also said it anticipated that its domestic capacity in April would be reduced by 20 percent compared to last year and that May’s domestic capacity would be reduced by 30 percent year-over-year.


Like much of America, Chad Chronister recently binge-watched the chronicles of an eccentric roadside zookeeper known as Joe Exotic and his archenemy, an animal activist who wanted him to stop profiting off big cats. The Netflix documentary featuring Joe Exotic, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” quickly found a captive audience of would-be investigators, trapped inside homes across the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But it also transfixed Mr. Chronister, the sheriff of Hillsborough County, Fla. By Tuesday morning, Sheriff Chronister, who watched the seven episodes of the documentary with his family, was holding a Facebook Live news conference in his kitchen. He wanted to discuss the disappearance of Don Lewis, who ran a big cat sanctuary in the Tampa area before he went missing 23 years ago. Mr. Lewis was discussed frequently in “Tiger King,” and Sheriff Chronister hoped he could tap into the online frenzy to generate new leads in a case that had been dormant for years.

Joe Exotic, a tiger breeder whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is now in a federal prison cell in Texas, sentenced to 22 years for an unsuccessful scheme to kill the animal activist Carole Baskin, and for killing five tiger cubs. He was reportedly enraged that Ms. Baskin, who was married to Mr. Lewis and an outspoken critic of Mr. Maldonado-Passage, had won a million-dollar civil judgment against him for trademark infringement.

The case on Don Lewis was never officially closed, but the last time anything significant happened was in 2011, when the police asked Ms. Baskin to take a polygraph. She refused.

The documentary series was released on March 20, as authorities across the country were pleading with people to stay home and blunt the spread of the coronavirus. With newfound time and plenty of restlessness, viewers did not take long to make “Tiger King” a pop culture fixation.

Soon, tips started trickling into the sheriff’s department. Since last week, the department has received an average of six tips a day, the sheriff said, but none have been credible. Most callers offer theories on who they think is responsible for Mr. Lewis’s disappearance. Many think he was killed. “We still have it labeled a missing persons case,” Sheriff Chronister said. “We don’t have any type of evidence, not one piece, that suggests that he was killed.”

Sheriff Chronister has met with homicide supervisors and assigned a detective supervisor to cull through the tips. The police have not spoken with Ms. Baskin, who denies any role in the disappearance. Mr. Lewis left his home on Aug. 18, 1997, never to be heard from again. The next day, police officers found his van at a private airport, the beginning of a hunt that carried investigators from the 69-acre wildlife sanctuary he ran with Ms. Baskin to Costa Rica, where Mr. Lewis owned a 200-acre park. His disappearance sparked all kinds of rumors, Mr. Maldonado-Passage’s theories among the most pointed. He repeatedly accused Ms. Baskin of killing her husband and of possibly feeding his body to the cats.

But for the most part, the case went quiet. Then came “Tiger King.”  


Pet food sales are up as consumers stock up amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Nielsen data showed that dog food sales were up 54 percent for the week that ended Saturday, CNN reports. Cat food sales were up 52 percent. Pet supply sales, meanwhile, were up 24 percent, according to the data.

The trend is playing out in the aisles of mass retailers such as Walmart and pet specialty retailers. Online retailers are also getting piece of the action; Chewy’s, in fact, plans to hire 6,000 workers because of high demand, CNN reports.

CNN quotes a Petco spokesperson saying it’s important for pet specialty retailers to stay open during the pandemic, and Petco has done.

“Mass retailers and grocery stores simply can’t feed all our pets,” said the spokesperson.

On March, representatives from Petco and many other pet industry companies and groups called on government officials to exempt pet stores from any mandatory closures put into place as a result of the coronavirus. They released an “Open Letter to All State and Local Government Officials Regarding Pets and COVID-19 Precautions.”

They requested that pet stores be considered “essential retailers” and be allowed to stay open like grocery stores and hospitals.


Goats in Wales; coyotes in San Francisco; rats, rats, everywhere: With much of the world staying home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, animals have ventured out where normally the presence of people would keep them away. A herd of Great Orme Kashmiri goats galloped through the desolate streets of a seaside town in Wales looking for food. Some goats got their fill from hedges, others climbed building walls.

More than a billion people worldwide are staying at home under guidance from their governments, socially distancing themselves from one another to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. With businesses closed and towns and cities emptied out, people are getting a glimpse of what animals that usually keep their distance do when they are left alone.

The goats live in Great Orme Country Park, in Conwy, Wales. They were a gift from Queen Victoria, from the royal herd, but their descendants are wild animals that roam and forage in the large park but with lack of humans they are not fearful of walking down town streets.

Residents in San Francisco have been under orders to practice social distancing for two weeks, leaving their homes only to buy groceries, go to pharmacies and participate in other essential tasks. The streets have been left to the coyotes, which seem to be venturing farther into the city because there are so few cars, according to Deb Campbell, a spokeswoman for San Francisco Animal Care and Control. “We have had a lot more reported sightings of them in the streets,” she said. “They are probably wondering where everyone went.”

Social distancing has not increased wild animals’ populations, but it does seem to have changed their behavior in seeking new food sources, said Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist at the National Pest Management Association.

Ever since Louisiana imposed a lockdown, causing restaurants to shut down, the rats in New Orleans are almost certainly wondering where the usual French Quarter crowds — and their trash — have gone. “Animals are opportunistic and feed off trash,” said Claudia Riegel, executive director of the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board. “The restaurants are producing a lot of trash, and right now, a lot of that is just gone.” This moment of desperation for the rodents can become an opportunity for communities trying to control the pest population, since rats are more likely to be lured by traps and baits, Dr. Fredericks said. Dr. Riegel and her team are taking advantage of that.

New York City is known for its large population of already brazen rats, including the notorious Pizza Rat. There has not been a change in behavior from pests in the city, according to Katy Hansen, the spokeswoman for the Animal Care Centers of NYC. But there is a possibility that with the absence of people, and their trash, New York rats become even more brazen in their search for food, as a gang of macaques did in Lopburi, Thailand, last month. The macaques are usually fed by tourists who visit the ancient city, but with an 85 percent drop in tourism, the monkeys became more aggressive in their search for food.

Humans can easily forget that the cities and towns they call home and frequently visit are also home to wild animals, like the Great Orme goats and right now cities for wild animals is becoming a free for all.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—the federal agency that oversees more than 10,000 commercial breeding facilities, zoos and research labs that use animals—released its Impact Report for 2019, which claims that 99% of these licensed facilities were in “substantial compliance” with animal welfare law. The agency’s report does not explain how it defines “compliance” or provide any evidence for its rating. During 2019, the USDA withheld, redacted and otherwise blocked access to animal welfare records. Still, inspection records that have been obtained paint a very different picture from the one described in the Impact Report.

Alabama: “7 adult dogs were housed in outdoor enclosures which contained shelter but did not contain bedding. It snowed and the weather at the time of the inspection was 48.7 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Florida: “All kinkajou enclosures contained excessive accumulation of decomposing food and excreta, swarming with flies. The fennec fox enclosures had a buildup of excreta outside of their litter boxes. The licensee stated that he only has one animal keeper who cleans the enclosures once weekly.”

Georgia: “A pregnant Great Dane in the large dog whelping building is excessively thin. Her spinal vertebrae, ribs, scapula, and pelvic bones are easily visible. This dog needs to be evaluated by the vet to get recommendations for keeping her weight up during pregnancy and lactation.”

Missouri: “All of the puppies were thin with three of the puppies having visible ribs and hip bones. The puppies were housed in an outdoor enclosure. The puppies had not received any type of supplemental nutrition or husbandry. A veterinarian had not been consulted about their condition.”

New York: “During the inspection, a litter of puppies was observed with one appearing to be the runt and slightly away from the other puppies. None of the workers in the kennel during the inspection process, before and after had noticed the puppy was deceased.”

Ohio: “A female standard chinchilla, [number] 2470, is thin. Upon further examination, at least half inch of the animal’s collar is embedded into the top portion of her neck. The skin around the affected area is covered in a thick yellow/green crust. Blood is present and muscle can be identified in the open wound.”

Pennsylvania: “There was a dead and decomposing newborn guinea pig observed embedded in the feeder. There was feed piled on top of it and the licensee had not observed the dead animal in the feeder prior to adding more feed.”

Texas: “a female baboon pulled a door cable through an opening at top of a holding cage in a working chute and strangled.” ///////////////   The USDA’s Impact Report offers a gross mischaracterization of the state of federally regulated animal businesses. This not only erodes public trust in this agency and administration, it puts animals in danger. Without an accurate and transparent assessment of the level of animal care licensees provide, it is not possible to implement effective programs and policies. Visit for more information. -


Every dog has his day and this year one of 22 pups from New York may take top spot in the 10th annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards®. American Humane, the country's first national humane organization, urges New York families to swing into action and vote for their favorite four-legged heroes. More than 400 dogs across the country are competing for this prestigious award.

“Our best friends do so much to improve and even save our lives, and every dog owner knows about the extraordinary, unbreakable bond they share with their dog,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane president and CEO. “The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are our way of celebrating the power of the human-animal bond, which has been a core part of our organization’s mission for 143 years.”

Parents and kids can visit once a day and vote for their favorite dogs in each of seven categories. During a time when positive news is in short supply, and children are cooped up at home, the campaign for the nation's next top dog can provide a positive outlet for pent-up energy. Voting on the first round is open until May 7.

The seven categories for 2020 are: Military Dogs, sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation; Therapy Dogs, sponsored by the World Pet Association; Law Enforcement Dogs; Service Dogs; Shelter Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; and, Guide/Hearing Dogs. American Airlines is the official airline of the Hero Dog Awards.

The 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards are sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and will be broadcast as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall.  To learn more and to vote daily, please visit


With this worldwide pause, a travel ban has been implemented which will restrict hunters from North America to fly to Botswana.  Thus, it is possible that the majority of the hunting permits will go unused.
Siobhan Mitchell, UK Director of Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, reported; "We welcome the fact that foreign trophy hunters cannot kill elephants in Botswana, and hope that the government takes the time to reflect on and rethink its deadly strategy towards elephants and shake off this colonial pastime altogether.”
Leading wildlife charity, Born Free Foundation’s head policy maker Mark Jones, urged Botswana to abandon any return to trophy hunting. “Born Free has always maintained that commercial hunting does not offer an ethical or sustainable wildlife management tool, nor is it an effective or sustainable way of funding conservation activities or local communities.”
Both the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting and Born Free Foundation are prime examples that most people do not want to see the elephants get hunted and killed, so let’s stand in solidarity and make our voices HERD because now more than ever the elephants need our support!

Elephants need our support! We need Congress to take action to Ban the Import of Hunting Trophies please visit: to make a change


The VIN Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing tools and resources to support veterinarystudents and veterinarians throughout their careers, is excited to announce an educational webinar on strategies for navigating student loans in the age of COVID-19. In collaboration with the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), the webinar is Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 5pm PT / 8pm ET. Complimentary registration is available using the webinar registration link.

Recent federal changes drastically impact student loans: from interest waivers, to forbearance options, and payment suspensions. Speaker Tony Bartels DVM, MBA (VIN Foundation board member and a leading authority on U.S. veterinary student debt), will share the answers veterinarians need along with up-to-date analysis of the changes made by Congress and the Department of Education.

During this webinar session Dr. Bartels demystifies the most significant changes to loan repayment due to COVID-19 including:

1) What changes have we seen to student loan repayment recently?

2) Which loan situations will be affected?

3) How will the changes impact student loan repayment strategies?

4) What happens after COVID-19?

“We’re living in a new time, and this time calls for helpful information to make sense of what’s going on with student loans,” said Dr. Tony Bartels, student debt educator and VIN Foundation board member. “Choosing the right repayment strategy and knowing the options is vital in this new age of COVID-19.” Webinar registrants will be kept up to date on student debt information, receive a PDF checklist with helpful tips, and be able to access a recording of the webinar with the ability to ask further veterinary student debt questions. For Information visit

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