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Talkin' Pets News

November 6, 2021

Host - Jon Patch

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

Producer - Devin Leech

Network Producer - Ben Boquist

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guests - Sarah A. Bowen author of Sacred Sendoffs, An Animal Chaplain's Advice for Surviving Animal Loss, Making Life Meaningful, and Healing the Planet will join Jon & Talkin' Pets 11/6/21 at 5pm ET to discuss & give away her book

Megan Novinski founder of Minnie's Monkeys for pets will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 11/6/21 for a spotlight interview at 630pm ET to discuss and give away her pet products


More tigers are held in captivity across the U.S. than remain in the wild globally, estimates suggest. The Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance (BCSA) is a coalition of wildlife rescuers, reputable sanctuaries, and animal advocates working to eliminate the trade in “pet” wildcats and the commercial exploitation of exotic felines nationwide. Seeking to raise awareness about the plight of captive big cats held in inhumane conditions, the BCSA today released a new video titled Tiger Queens.

Tiger Queens features an in-depth discussion among incredible women who have dedicated their lives and livelihoods to operating legitimate, fully accredited sanctuaries that provide lifetime care to rescued tigers, lions, leopards and other wild felids that have been saved from cruel conditions. Moderated by Emily McCormack, a BCSA leader and animal care expert at Arkansas’ Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR), Tiger Queens allows viewers to listen in on a candid discussion about the extraordinary commitment required to lead a true sanctuary and the steps that we can all take to help combat the exploitation of big cats in the U.S. The “queens”—who operate sanctuaries in different states and at different scales—share an unwavering commitment to animal welfare. They include Tanya Smith (Cofounder & President at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas), Bobbi Brink (Founder & Director at Lions Tigers and Bears in California); Lisa Stoner (Cofounder at Forest Animal Rescue in Florida), and Tammy Thies (Founder & Executive Director at The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota).

“The poorly regulated trade in wild felines and prevalence of exploitative pseudo-sanctuaries across the U.S. leaves untold numbers of big cats abused and in desperate need of help,” said Carson Barylak, Campaigns Manager, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) the organization which helped organize and supported the creation of Tiger Queens in partnership with the BCSA. “Unfortunately, pop culture depictions of captive big cats—from “Tiger King” to the emergence of ‘tiger selfies’ across social media—have glamorized the exploitation of tigers and other felines and, in turn, perpetuated cruel and exploitative practices. It is critical that we consider what is really happening to these animals. The sanctuary leaders who share their expertise in Tiger Queens are uniquely qualified to educate all of us about making responsible, humane choices and supporting federal policy reform to protect captive big cats nationwide.”

The “queens” discuss the need for broad reform in the U.S., where both exploitative big cat displays and trade among private individuals are rampant. Keeping tigers, lions, and other exotic cats as “pets” fuels abusive trading and breeding practices while also creating serious public safety challenges. Demand for cubs to be used as photo props or for ‘pay-to-play’ sessions promotes speed-breeding and devastating, premature mother-cub separation, and causes enormous physical and psychological suffering to the animals involved. These big cats may be subjected to physical abuse to enforce compliant behavior and are often denied basic veterinary care, proper nutrition, opportunities to engage in natural behaviors and other basic needs.

With so many big cats held in captivity outside of legitimate zoos and sanctuaries across the U.S., the public and first responders are faced with unnecessary dangers including maulings, escapes, and even deaths. In fact, October 2021 marked the ten-year anniversary of the devastating “Zanesville Massacre,” during which first responders were forced to kill dozens of dangerous big cats following their release from a private menagerie in eastern Ohio, shocking the nation and drawing international media attention. “Risks for traumatic human injury or death are highest when big cats are kept as pets, used as props for photos, petted, or otherwise in direct contact with humans. Even when born in captivity these cats remain wild animals with their predatory instincts intact. A big cat can attack suddenly and without warning, with disastrous results,” said John Madigan, Chair of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance. “Tiger Queens underscores the serious danger that exotic cats pose to the public and the fact that it is never safe to be in direct contact with a big cat of any age, under any conditions.”

Proposed federal legislation known as the Big Cat Public Safety Act, endorsed by emergency responders and safety officials across the country, aims to put a stop to exploitative practices and protect the public from deadly encounters with wild cats. The legislation is also supported by a number of animal welfare and wildlife conservation groups including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Born Free USA, Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance (BCSA), Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), animal care and control department across the U.S., and many more.


A team of researchers found a fossil of a sea scorpion that was about 3 feet. That's about the size of a dog – and not a chihuahua either.

Mixopterids, the most remarkable of the eurypterid (sea scorpion) species, are known for their large limbs to capture prey. Their limbs are often referred to as the "catching basket," according to a Science Bulletin article.

It might also be the top marine predator of the Silurian era, which is a geological period that began 443.8 million years ago and ended 419.2 million years ago.

Researchers uncovered a fossil of the oldest mixopterid advancing what is known about the species.

Researcher Bo Wang told News 18 this sea scorpion was male with a thorny mustache at the front of his body to attract females.

The findings improve the understanding of the differences between the various forms of mixopterids and where they were found across the globe said doctoral researcher Han Wang from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Before this discovery, there were only four types of mixopterids found, and they all were during the Silurian Period and found on the paleocontinent Laurussia.

The researchers have found mixopterids called Terropterus xiushanensis from the Lower Silurian, and but this is the first mixopterids found in Gondwana, an ancient supercontinent that extended from present-day Australia to North and South America.

These predators feature a particularly enlarged head, unique spin formation and special limb features which is different from other mixopterids.

This shows that their limbs are not similar to their ancestral type, but has changed independently over time said Han Wang.


Last week, the Missouri Department of Conservation announced trophy hunters had killed 12 black bears, far short of the state’s allotted quota of 40 bears.  This is the first bear hunt in the state since they were nearly extirpated decades ago.

These 12 bears each represent a family now disrupted, a genetic line broken and, possibly, orphaned cubs who are unlikely to survive. Missouri is fortunate to have bears since populations around these regions were nearly wiped out by the early 1900s as the result of market hunting and the overlogging of their forest habitats. 

A poll commissioned by the Humane Society of the United States found few Missouri residents supported a trophy hunt. Of the more than 2,000 comments submitted to the agency about the proposal to open up a black bear trophy hunt, fewer than 100 wrote in support.

“Last year, the four-member Missouri Department of Conservation Commission, hardly a representative body, ignored widespread opposition and voted unanimously to approve the hunt. The state also permitted trophy hunters to kill cubs who were unaccompanied by their mothers,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

Fewer than 8% of Missouri residents held a paid hunting license in 2020, and a recent economic study found that only about 2% of the hunters in the state are trophy hunters, who seek to kill wildlife primarily for their heads, hides, claws or for bragging rights.  But this small faction of Missouri citizens has the support of well-funded trophy hunting groups, all of which lobby heavily in states to open hunting seasons on native carnivores like wolves, grizzly bears and black bears.

The Humane Society of the United States discredited the arguments underlying Missouri’s trophy hunt proposal, and we will continue to stand up for bears in Missouri and other states that place them in the scopes of rifles. We are committed to showcasing the incredible benefits these bears bring to Missouri's forest ecosystems. 


If you have ever visited Tampa Florida you most likely stopped in Ybor City for dinner a drink and some fun but many don’t realize that Ybor is the land of free roaming chicken, roosters and hens.

A family of chickens in Ybor City was reunited after being rescued by Tampa Fire Rescue Tuesday

According to TFR, Truck 1-A had a special rescue this week when a mother hen and her baby chicks were walking around Ybor City, when suddenly 4 chicks fell in a storm drain.

Thankfully, the firefighters were there to reunite the mama hen with her babies and all continued to move along their way.


Carole Baskin is suing Netflix for using footage of her in the upcoming “Tiger King 2” series.

Baskin and her husband, Howard Baskin, filed suit in Tampa, Fla. on Monday against the streamer and production company Royal Goode Productions. According to the documents, obtained by Variety, Baskin alleges that Royal Goode Productions has breached contract by continuing to use footage of her and her husband in “Tiger King 2,” since they only signed appearance release forms for the first documentary. Netflix declined to comment on the matter.

“Understanding that the Appearance Releases limited Royal Goode Productions’ use of the footage of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue to the single, initial documentary motion picture, the Baskins believed that any sequel – though odious – would not include any of their footage,” the document reads, also stating that the Baskins were surprised to see that footage of them was used in the trailer for “Tiger King 2.”

“The Appearance Releases limited Royal Goode Productions’ right to use film footage of the Baskins to ‘a documentary motion picture.’ Throughout the Appearance Releases there is only reference to and mention of ‘the Picture.’ No mention is made of granting Royal Goode Production sequel rights, rights to create derivative works from ‘the Picture’ or additional seasons or episodes,” the lawsuit states. “By utilizing the film footage of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue secured by Royal Goode Productions under the Appearance Releases in ‘sizzle reels’ and promotional trailers for the sequel entitled ‘Tiger King 2,’ the Defendants are in breach of the terms of the Appearance Releases.”

Therefore, according to the documents, the Baskins are demanding that Netflix and Royal Goode Productions remove any and all footage of them from “Tiger King 2,” and seek to take the case in front of a jury. Baskin has been vocal about her disdain for “Tiger King 2,” telling Variety shortly after the sequel series was announced: “I wouldn’t call Eric Goode or Rebecca Chaiklin true documentarians. I mean that was just a reality show dumpster fire.” In the lawsuit, Baskin also lists out her qualms about the docuseries, alleging that the project was originally described to her as being “an exposé of the big cat breeding and cub petting trade akin to the documentary feature film entitled ‘Blackfish,'” instead of centering on Joe Exotic and his animal park.

“‘Tiger King 1’ was particularly harsh and unfair in its depiction of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue. The ‘Tiger King 1’ series wrongly attempted to suggest that Big Cat Rescue abused its animals by keeping them in very small cages while not making clear that the animals actually reside in expansive enclosures,” the lawsuit continues. “Also, ‘Tiger King 1’ incorrectly suggests an equivalency between Big Cat Rescue and Joe Exotic’s roadside zoo, and more broadly that there is no difference between roadside zoos that exploit and mistreat animals and accredited sanctuaries that rescue and provide excellent lifetime care to the animals. Perhaps most pernicious is the overarching implication in ‘Tiger King 1’ that Carole Baskin was involved in the disappearance of her first husband in 1997.” Baskin has repeatedly denied any involvement in the disappearance of her first husband, Don Lewis. “Tiger King 2” is set to premiere on Netflix on Nov. 17


A groomer shared a video on TikTok of a mix you don’t see every day.

His name is Goblin, and he’s a pug and German shepherd, according to the clip from Vanessa De Prophetis.

As footage from a grooming session plays, the narrator explains: “While I assume that this was an ‘oopsie,’ out there somewhere, there is a very determined pug daddy who must be held accountable for making every owner from this litter laugh for the next 15 years.”

In body the dog seems to have taken after his mother. But his face is unmistakably pug. De Prophetis notes that Goblin is extremely cute and has an outstanding personality.

So far the video has been viewed more than 26 million times. Check it out at


Some starfish stand out more than others.

This became apparent when fisherman Lee LeFever caught an ultra-rare sunflower sea star during a recent crab fishing excursion, according to a report from South West News Service (SWNS).

The striking fluorescent orange starfish reportedly ended up in one of LeFever’s crab traps when he went fishing off the shores of Orcas Island, a relatively remote island in the northwestern corner of San Juan County, Washington.

LeFever told SWNS he was surprised to see a sunflower sea star in his crab trap since the species has experienced a drastic population decline in the Pacific Northwest.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), sunflower sea stars are critically endangered. The IUCN estimated that the starfish’s population has declined by more than 90% due to an "outbreak of sea star wasting syndrome in 2013," which is a disease that causes lesions and tissue decay.

The sunflower sea star LeFever caught appears healthy, according to the photo he captured. The sea star’s coloring remained vibrant and it had 19 arms in total.

Other sunflower sea stars can reportedly grow up to 24 arms, according to the IUCN – making it no wonder how the species got its names.

LeFever, of Orcas, Washington, told SWNS he released the sea star into The Salish Sea and found the marine creature to be a "beautiful" sight.

"Catching a sunflower sea star was potential evidence that they are making a comeback," he told the British news agency. "Sea stars are an important part of the ocean ecology and any evidence that they are still around is potentially good news."

Sunflower sea stars can grow up to 24 inches in length and can be found in salty waters between Alaska and California, according to Britannica. The species also come in various colors.


An alligator that spent days trapped at the bottom of a storm drain in West Miami Florida was freed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers.

Residents in the area claimed to have spotted the gator and said they tried several times to contact different agencies, but they never reached anyone.

FWC said they didn’t learn of the creature until being contacted by WSVN on Tuesday. That same day, crews pumped roughly 1,500 gallons of water into the drain, freeing the gator.

"When we attempted to move the gator, it backed away," FWC spokesperson Ronald Washington told WSVN. "It went to the positive outflow into the canal, and eventually, the gator did swim back into the canal, and we were not able to capture the gator."

The exact length of the gator was not determined, but a trapper estimated it was almost 11 feet long, based on the size of its snout.

Once the alligator was freed, a welder sealed the tunnel in case it returned.

Washington said conflicts between humans and alligators are rare and people can minimize their risk by not feeding the reptiles. Florida has made such an action a misdemeanor.

Even though they failed to capture the gator, FWC considers the mission a success.

"Any day where nobody is hurt and no animals are hurt, then our mission has been fulfilled," Washington said. "We’re the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and protecting our natural resources is No. 1 and public safety, also."


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