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Talkin' Pets News Featured

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Talkin' Pets News

May 2, 2020

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jasmine the Dog Trainer - Tampa Bay, Florida

Producer - Zach Budin

Producer in training - Kayla Cavanaugh

Network Producer - Darian Sims

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest - Jerry Grymek - NYC Hotel Penn Doggie Concierge - Toronto, CN



JBS owned Planterra Foods is officially selling “OZO”, a BeVeg certified vegan meat line, in grocery stores across the nation. Customers can find plant-based, vegan verified, products such as Italian Style Meatballs, Burger Patties, Ground, and Mexican Seasoned Ground. 

All Ozo products are made from rice and pea protein, and are fermented by shiitake mushrooms. Peas are members of the legume family, and are considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. The average amount of protein in OZO products is about 20.25 grams per serving. All products are non-GMO, soy free, cholesterol free, and contain no artificial colors or flavors. 

This Colorado team of innovators claims the shiitake mushroom fermentation process makes the plant protein more digestible than meat, and their taste testers claim they have mastered the taste and dares you to try it for yourself. “For us, it’s all about the people who want to eat something that’s full of flavor that’s good for you and the planet,” says company CEO Darcey Macken. 

While the product is marketed to the flexitarian or those transitioning their food choices, there is no doubt a plant-based future is necessary for planet survival and sustainability. According to the Economist, vegan food is the food of the future, and going vegan for two-thirds of meals could cut food-related carbon emissions by 60%. The largest meat companies in the world recognize consumer demands for vegan meat alternatives have exploded, and are investing in sustainable food products that are environmentally friendly and better for us. 

“This is a win for the vegan movement to see the largest meat producers in the world transition investments into the plant-based sector,” says attorney Carissa Kranz, founder and CEO of BeVeg International vegan certification firm. 

JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, is not the only meat giant to launch and invest in plant-based alternatives across the world. Tyson is investing in plant-based meats like New Wave vegan shrimp, and launched a plant-based protein meat brand called Raised and Rooted. Tyson sold its 6.52% stake in Beyond Meat after announcing its intention to compete in the plant-based protein space. Cargill launched a plant-based patty and ground products as part of their inclusive approach to the future of protein, and Smithfield Foods launched a plant-based portfolio under Pure Farmland Brand. Having the largest meat conglomerates in the plant-based space means plant-based meat alternatives will be more widely accessible, as common sense would have it, all these meat producers and suppliers already have grocery chain relationships to encourage immediate and wide scale distribution.   

BeVeg International is a vegan certification firm managed by the Laws Offices of Carissa Kranz. The law firm has set out and defined a vegan standard to keep vegan claims accountable, honest, and credible. Vegan claims on products must be certified vegan according to a set out vegan standard to maintain integrity and credibility.


According to a survey from PETS+ Brain Squad, “How are you currently servicing customers?” The answer “Online/phone orders, curbside pick-up” came in first at 68.6 percent. “Online/phone orders, home delivery” came in third at 48.1 percent.

Many stores already had these options in place. They asked the follow-up question “What role has e-commerce played for your business during the COVID-19 crisis?” Chris Guinn of Dog Krazy, with five stores in Virginia, said, “We had it before, and it’s helped us continue to earn revenue.”

Johnna Devereaux of Fetch RI in Richmond, RI, implemented e-commerce during the pandemic and said, “The plus side of all of this is that we have upgraded our website to include more of the products in our store, so that will stay around.”

The second most popular answer to the “How are you currently servicing customers?” question was “On-site with social distancing protocols” at 51 percent.” “Per usual” came in at 20.4 percent, “By appointment” at 17.52 percent and “Other” at 14.6 percent.

That last number represents many of the non-retail pet businesses surveyed, including pet sitter Kelly Catlett of Waggs 2 Whiskers in Bagdad, KY. She answered the follow-up question “Is there a technology or business practice that you’ve adopted that you expect to continue using once business gets back to normal?” with “Completing a virtual meet and greet and contract signed online.”

Finally, 10.2 percent of respondents answered the question “How are you currently servicing customers?” with “We’re completely shut down.”


TO KEEP as many employees working as possible, independent pet businesses we surveyed have applied for the potentially forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan more than any other — at 62.3 percent.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) came in at 54.3 percent. And several businesses shared that they applied for PPP, EIDL and other aid. Julia Rohan of Rover-Time Dog Walking Business & Pet Sitting also applied for a loan through the City of Chicago. Marcia Cram of Just Fur Pets in Springfield, VA, says, “Got an interest-only loan from my mom!” And Pennye Jones-Napier of The Big Bad Woof, Washington, DC, also applied for grants for District of Columbia businesses.

Traditional Small Business Administration loans accounted for 8.7 percent of loans applied for by respondents.

Instead of applying for loans or other aid, Karen Conell of The Bark Market in Delavan, WI, was one of the 5 percent who are relying on their current banking products and services. “We’ve always had a line of credit/overdraft protection.”

Finally, 22.4 percent say they have not taken out any additional loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brigid Wasson of First Street Pets in Cloverdale, CA, said “I deferred payments on a loan I already have. I don’t need any more debt so didn’t apply for any of these programs.”

What is your opinion on big businesses getting financial relief versus the small businesses like local pet companies in America that truly need help during these pandemic times?


A pug living in North Carolina has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, becoming the first known dog in North America to be diagnosed with the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.

The animal, Winston, lives in a home with three people who have tested positive for novel coronavirus, TIME reports. It is believed the dog, who the family says has since recovered, became infected through human contact.

“To our knowledge, this is the first instance in which the virus has been detected in a dog,” says the study’s principal investigator, Chris Woods, MD. “Little additional information is known at this time as we work to learn more about the exposure.”

Winston’s family is participating in an ongoing research study examining how the body responds to infection, which is being conducted at North Carolina’s Duke Health, reports TIME. Since the pandemic began, the study, Molecular and Epidemiological Study of Suspected Infection (MESSI), has focused on people who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Another member of the household has since tested negative for the virus, along with a second dog and a cat, reports Reuters.

The news follows last week’s announcement that two domestic cats in New York State tested positive for SARS-CoV-19. Like Winston, it is believed the felines contracted the virus through contact with infected humans.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have stated, at this time, there is no evidence suggesting pets can transmit COVID-19 to humans, adding more testing is needed to understand how different animals could be affected by the virus.

Until more is known, CDC recommends the following:

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least six feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where groups of people and dogs gather.

Additionally, if you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with pets just as you would with people. Specifically:

    • Have another member of your household care for your pets, when possible.
    • Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a face mask and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
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Identifying the genetic cause of a debilitating ocular disease found in golden retrievers may allow for its early detection and future prevention.

This is the focus of a study currently underway at Purdue University.

The research, led by Wendy Townsend, DVM, MS, an associate professor of ophthalmology in the school’s department of veterinary clinical sciences, aims to uncover the genetic cause of golden retriever pigmentary uveitis, an inherited ocular disease seen almost exclusively in purebred golden retrievers that can lead to blindness due to cataracts and glaucoma.

Early symptoms of the disease are mild (e.g. redness, drainage) and do not typically present until a dog is well into adulthood, Dr. Townsend says. This means the condition, which affects about 10 percent of senior golden retrievers, can progress into an advanced stage before a canine is examined by a veterinarian.

If the gene responsible is identified, the disease can be detected earlier, which will help breeders know which of their dogs may be carriers and allow them to prevent it from being passed through its bloodline.

“The problem breeders are facing right now is that even if they’re being responsible and making good decisions, they don’t know their dog is affected,” Townsend says. “They can be several generations down their pedigree before they know there’s a problem.”

Golden retriever pigmentary uveitis is also sometimes seen in cross-breeds, Townsend adds, which presents a particular problem for service dogs.

“That becomes a concern because Labrador and golden crosses are frequently used as seeing-eye dogs,” she says. “And because the disease doesn’t show symptoms until these dogs are older, they could be struggling with their own vision and you might not even know.”


A Tennessee woman was charged in connection to a hoarding case in Lincoln County.

WAFF reported that Laura Lifer was taken into custody Thursday in connection to a hoarding investigation. Officials said they found dogs, horses, donkeys, sheep, geese, ducks, exotic birds, turtles and other animals on her property.

Investigators said some of the animals were dead.

WAFF reported Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder said on Thursday that Lifer was hoarding animals and running a puppy mill, he added that this is the worst case of animal hoarding he’d ever witnessed.

He added that there had been complaints about Lifer previously.

If you have an animal hoarder in your neighborhood you might consider a call to your local animal control!


Animals in urban areas are exploring emptied streets and waterways, and delighting human inhabitants along the way. While many of these are not unique sightings, the human restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic seem to have given animals the confidence to go deeper into our cities and stay for longer. Others are enjoying having nature reserves and parks all to themselves, and some authorities report a boom in wildlife while tourists are away.

The Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey is normally one of the world's busiest marine routes. Huge tankers, cargo ships and passenger boats criss-cross the straits that cut the city in half 24 hours a day. Now, with a lull in traffic and fishermen staying at home during the city's lockdown, dolphins are swimming and jumping in the waters.  

Boars were seen snuffling and foraging for food around the city of Haifa Israel before the pandemic, but the absence of humans has encouraged them further, residents say.  The issue is now so serious that local officials held a Zoom meeting to discuss the expanding population. People are afraid the boars won’t leave when life resumes to normal for humans.

However some species are enjoying solitude in previously busy natural reserves or parks.  In Albania, pink flamingos are flourishing in lagoons on the country's west coastline, where numbers have increased by a third to 3,000, park authorities told AFP. Thousands have been seen soaring over the waters at Narta Lagoon where they go to mate after flying from Africa and the southern Mediterranean. Nearby olive oil and leather processing factories that have been accused of polluting the waters are closed, and the traffic that usually congests a road 500m away is absent, creating quiet for the birds. And in Divjaka National Park, 85 pairs of curly pelicans are nesting. The usual 50,000 monthly tourists are keeping away, creating quiet in the area where officials hope a population boon will now happen.

In Thailand, a herd of 30 dugongs was caught on camera swimming in the Hat Chao Mai National Park where tourism has ground to a halt.  The dugong, also known as sea cow, is classed as a vulnerable species and can often fall victim to fishing nets or suffer due to water pollution. The national park has been posting videos on Facebook of large swarms of fish and other species, and says there has been a revival in wildlife since the pandemic began.

However some animals enjoying new adventures aren't able to stay around for long. Several cougars found wandering the streets of Santiago, Chile were captured and released back to their natural habitats. One of the big cats was found inside an apartment complex. "They sense less noise and are also looking for new places to find food and some get lost and appear in the cities," said Horacio Bórquez, Chile's national director of livestock and agriculture service.

And who could forget the famous Kashmiri goats of Llandudno?  They enjoyed the deserted town in Wales and had a scamper around last month. Some even helped themselves to garden flowers and hedges. But not all creatures are benefitting from the coronavirus lockdown.  Europe's pigeons risk starvation, warns an animal rights group in Germany. That's because the humans who normally feed them or drop morsels of food on the streets are stuck at home. The group, while acknowledging that pigeons are a problem for many cities, says they should not be allowed to die a painful death. In Krakow, Poland, one animal welfare organization is coming out specially to feed the flocks abandoned for the time being. --------------------------------


A pug in North Carolina has tested positive for the coronavirus, which may be the first such case for a dog in the U.S.

The dog, Winston, was part of a Duke University study in which a family in Chapel Hill, the McLeans, were tested for the virus.

The mother, the father, the son and the pug tested positive, while the daughter, another dog and a cat tested negative, according to NBC affiliate WRAL of Raleigh.

Dr. Chris Woods, the principal investigator for the Duke study, said Winston may be the first dog in the country to have a confirmed case of the virus.

The mother, Heather McLean, a professor of pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine, told WRAL that Winston has had mild symptoms.

"Pugs are a little unusual in that they cough and sneeze in a very strange way," she said. "So it almost seems like he was gagging, and there was one day when he didn't want to eat his breakfast, and if you know pugs, you know they love to eat, so that seemed very unusual."

Ben McLean, her son, said it made sense that the dog got the virus because the pet "licks all of our dinner plates and sleeps in my mom's bed."

While Winston may be the first dog in the U.S. known to have tested positive for the virus, a 17-year-old dog in Hong Kong with the coronavirus died last month, although the cause of death was unclear, as the owner refused an autopsy.

Guidelines on pets from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say "there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19," but the CDC recommends that you treat them "as you would other human family members."

"Do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household," the center says. "If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets."

Heather McLean said she hopes the study will shed more light on how animals fare if exposed to the coronavirus.

"I think because there's not a lot of studies and sampling of pets, we just don't know yet," she said. "My advice is just not to get too worried about it."


America's rats are being hit hard by the coronavirus. As millions of Americans shelter indoors to combat the deadly virus, many businesses — including restaurants and grocery stores — have closed or limited operations, cutting off many rodents' main sources for food. On deserted streets across the country, rats are in dire survival mode, experts say.

A restaurant all of a sudden closes now, which has happened by the thousands in not just New York City but coast to coast and around the world, and those rats that were living by that restaurant, some place nearby, and perhaps for decades having generations of rats that depended on that restaurant food, well, life is no longer working for them, and they only have a couple of choices. And those choices are grim. They include cannibalism, rat battles and infanticide. Rats whose food sources have vanished will not just move into other colonies and cause fights over grub. They will also eat one another.

Residents of dense urban areas and some rural parts of the country have coexisted with these vermin, but the sightings in some cities have increased in recent weeks because of the pandemic. In New Orleans, where Louisiana's governor imposed a stay-at-home order that shuttered many restaurants, particularly those in popular tourist areas like the French Quarter, a viral video posted in March showed swarms of rats taking to the streets to find food. And officials said social distancing is to blame.

"What we have seen is these practices are driving our rodents crazy," Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a news conference late last month. "And what rodents do, they will find food, and they will find water. That puts our street homeless in dire, dire straits. And that's why I'm so laser-focused on it right now."

Claudia Riegel, director of the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board, told The Times-Picayune newspaper that the city is preparing aggressive pest control measures. "These rats are hungry, so we want them to eat our bait," she said, adding that the city is "going to put a lot of pressure for at least the next month" until the population decreases.

Washington, D.C., is also taking steps to combat rodent issues. Mayor Muriel Bowser shut down restaurants and other businesses but designated pest control workers as essential. Before the pandemic, the city had already aggressively implemented pest control measures, including the use of feral cats. In the past 30 days, the city has had nearly 500 calls regarding rodents, according to city 311 data. In nearby Baltimore, which has a robust rat eradication program, city data show that there were about 11,000 "proactive" calls or online 311 requests about rats in the same period.

This is not going to be a case where all of a sudden the rats are doing invasions everywhere, and it's not going to be exactly as we saw on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Rats can get desperate, and people might see them near their homes or properties. Experts say, "Rats are designed to smell molecules of anything that's food-related, they follow those food molecules like heat-seeking missiles — and eventually you know they end up where those molecules are originating."

Read 120 times Last modified on Saturday, 02 May 2020 16:22
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