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Talkin' Pets News

October 8, 2022

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Adriana Seidl - Saint Francis Pet Care Center, Tarpon Springs, Florida

Producer - Matt Matera

Network Producer - Sonar Greene

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest - Hour 1 at 521pm ET - Samantha Crowe - Manager of Science Education for PETA - Interactive Dissection Tools in Schools

A Tampa, Florida kitten may have used at least one of her nine lives trying to ride out Hurricane Ian on the streets alone.

According to the Tampa Police Department, two officers spotted the tiny animal alone and scared in the middle of Florida Avenue and Fletcher Avenue as Hurricane Ian bore down on the city. 

The officers welcomed the kitten into their patrol car and took her to the Veterinary Emergency Group. 

Within an hour, the kitten found a family willing to give her a good home. 

They wanted to name the animal Ian, but after learning she was a girl, they decided to call her Stormie.   


A Tennessee man is accused of a horrific act of cruelty that caused a young kitten unbearable pain, and ultimately, claimed his life. The five-week-old kitten was found in a vacant area of Portland. Every ounce of his little body was burned after 39-year-old Richard Russell threw him into a fire pit.

True Rescue took the severely burned kitten under its wing, naming him Phoenix with the hope that he would rise from the ashes and survive the unspeakable cruelty he had been subjected to. But the damage from the smoke and flames was too severe for the tiny kitten to overcome. After Phoenix passed away, the heartbroken rescuers said:

We are devastated to report that we lost Phoenix early this morning. His tiny body was just unable to fight off the horrible burns he was dealing with, plus the smoke inhalation. We did everything we could to keep him comfortable, but he succumbed to an easier life on the other side, where no one will ever harm him again. This would have been a tough road ahead, one that we would have taken with him, should he have continued, but his poor body had just been through too much.

According to the police investigation, Russell previously had custody of the kitten; it was determined that Phoenix suffered for two days before being found by the concerned citizen who reached out to the police. The investigation led to Russell’s arrest and a charge of aggravated animal cruelty; he was booked into the Sumner County Jail on a $25,000 bond. To learn more and sign a petition against this heartless criminal visit


A fellow pet parent issued a public warning via social media to alert dog owners about a terrible mistake she made that caused her dogs to become sick. Facebook user Tonya Campbell purchased a plug-in wall diffuser from Bath and Body Works for her home. She wanted nothing more than a house that smelled pleasant for autumn, but what she got was four “very sick” dogs.

She explains:

I bought Bath and Body Works wallflower plug-in diffusers and put them throughout my home filling it with the wonderful “Leaves” scent. Two days later I began to notice, one by one, my dogs having vomiting and diarrhea episodes. It was two more days before I realized the wallflowers were making them sick.

Her Dalmatian, Woodford, suffered the most. Not only did he have diarrhea and vomiting, but he developed oral burns and was “drooling profusely.” The dogs were rushed to an emergency veterinary hospital in the middle of the night and Campbell’s home was aired out and wiped down. She said:

The oils are sprayed out of the diffusers and stick to every surface in your home including dog toys, linens and surfaces so everything had to be cleaned. It was an ordeal! Plus the agony of seeing my dogs suffering from a mistake that I made was heart wrenching.

Thankfully, all of the dogs are expected to recover. Campbell learned that it was clove oil in the “Leaves” oil that made her dogs sick. She detailed the impact the oil has on dogs, writing:

Mild exposure causes gastric disruption and dehydration but prolonged contact causes oral & esophageal burns plus kidney & liver failure.

Campbell not only took the opportunity to warn dog owners about the dangers of the plug-in oil diffusers, but she reached out to Bath and Body Works to request that they add a sticker to the product stating “not safe for pets.” In the meantime, she hopes that people will do their research before bringing a diffuser into their home that could possibly make their pets ill.


On October 11, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a lawsuit challenging a California animal cruelty law, Proposition 12, which passed in a 2018 landslide victory, with over 60% of the vote. Animal protection organizations, including D.C.-based Animal Outlook, have intervened as parties to support California in defending the law. Fifteen State Attorneys General have also weighed in, submitting a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Prop 12. The coalition of intervening organizations say that the case–which was filed by powerful corporate interests within Big Ag in an attempt to gut an overwhelmingly popular law–is a threat to the rights of voters to protect animals from some of the worst abuses in animal agriculture.

"Voters gave pigs sold as pork in California a mere 10 square feet more space, and the industry has fought them all the way to the Supreme Court to keep some of the worst animal cruelty on California's grocery shelves–and intensive confinement is far from the only type of widespread cruelty in the industry," said Cheryl Leahy, Executive Director of Animal Outlook. "When a powerful industry will stop at nothing to make complicity in cruelty mandatory, it’s a clear sign that cruelty is the way animal agriculture operates, and the only way to refuse to be a part of it is to boycott this industry by not eating animal products altogether."


  • California voters approved Proposition 12, in a rare instance of bipartisanship, by 63% of the vote on November 6, 2018
  • Prop 12 requires that eggs, pork, and veal cannot be sold in California unless the egg-laying hens, mother pigs, and baby cows used to produce them were kept in conditions that complied with specific standards for freedom of movement, cage-free design, and minimum floor space.
  • Prop 12 also prohibited confining these animals in non-compliant cages in California
  • Standard gestation crates are cages that nearly immobilize mother pigs. Prop 12 requires just an extra 10 square feet of space (an increase from 14 to 24 square feet), which allows these animals to, at the very minimum, turn around
  • The National Pork Board sued to overturn California’s anti-cruelty law. Two  lower courts threw the case out, but the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider it
  • Recent surveys have reported that 80% of voters across party lines nationwide support the protections provided by Prop 12. Nine other states, both “blue” and “red,” have similar requirements

The case is National Pork Producers Council v. Ross.


No Dogs Left Behind (NDLB), the US-based international non-profit foundation, a leader in global emergency response and advocate for global animal welfare laws beyond borders, has established a strategic alliance with SOS Galgos. The Barcelona-based rescue organization is fighting on the front lines in Spain for the voiceless Galgo (Spanish greyhound). The alliance will help bring awareness about the Galgo in Spain to dog lovers in North America and around the world and aims to expose the atrocities to Galgos and stop a new amendment to the current animal welfare laws in Spain which would threaten to exclude Galgos as a protected animal. Thousands of Galgos, a sighthound that resembles the greyhound, used for hare coursing are abandoned or brutally killed at the end of the hunting season in February each year. For example, some estimates put the number of galgos mistreated or abandoned at over 80.000 in 2021 alone.

“Spain has no right to exclude the galgos from its animal welfare laws,” explains Jeffrey Beri, founder of No Dogs Left Behind. “We are working closely with SOS Galgos to shine a light on these voiceless dogs. No Dogs Left Behind is very excited at the prospect of our first Galgo called Aitana, arriving in New York. Aitana will act as an ambassador for this important movement. We are their voice; we will scream louder until change happens.”


“Spain has a very bad reputation for animal cruelty. Tragically, very few people outside the country are aware of the treatment and abuse that these animals endure,” states Anna Clements, Director & co-founder of SOS Galgos. “Some of the animals rescued by SOS Galgos are extremely traumatized and restoring their trust in humankind is a long process. We are proud to have found homes for thousands of galgos all over Europe, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. So many more Galgos need our help.”

A new Animal Welfare Law is currently before the Spanish Parliament. There is however public outcry about a government-backed amendment to exclude galgos and other working dogs from this law. Recently, a large gathering of protesters assembled in front of the Spanish Parliament building demonstrating against the proposed amendment. The demonstration included a protest bus blazened with the words “same law for all dogs” and a picture of a galgo being hanged, alongside an illustration of the governing Socialist Party’s logo, with their fist and roses modified to show both the cruelty to and beauty of this fragile breed. The bus has been circulating around Madrid for 7 days.

Visit for more information




The American Kennel Club (AKC®) is pleased to announce the 2022 AKC Trick Dog Competition winners. The overall winners were Muriel McMullen and her Australian Terrier, "Maddie" from Altoona, WI. In their routine, "Dogwarts School of Witchcraft," Maddie used her tricks to become a witch.

This fourth annual competition was a virtual event open to Elite Performers, AKC's highest level of trick dogs. There was also a Junior division for people ages 17 and under. In the largest AKC Trick Dog competition to date, 151 competitors from 35 states and Canada submitted videos of performances that three judges judged. 

"This performance was such a joy to watch," said Mary Burch, AKC Family Dog Director. "Maddie's routine included advanced tricks such as walking backward on a beam, and she could perform tricks with her handler at a distance. Maddie's eagerness and joy demonstrate the extraordinary bond that can result from training. AKC is so proud of the AKC Elite Performer Trick Dogs and their creative, highly skilled handlers."

The two finalists in the competition were Christina Jones and her All-American dog, Chloe, from Stafford, VA, and Tamara Shaffer and her Biewer Terrier, Olivia Nicole, from Newnan, GA.

 "Working with your dog to learn tricks is an enjoyable activity that dog owners can do at any time and place that fits with their day," said Doug Ljungren, Executive VP for Sports & Events. "It enriches your dog's life, and the bond it develops is most rewarding." 

To learn more about teaching your dog to do tricks, see:

Winner “Maddie”, handled by Muriel McMullen of Altoona, WI:

Finalist “Chloe”, handled by Christina Jones of Stafford, VA:

Finalist “Olivia Nicole”, handled by Tamara Shaffer of Newnan, GA:


A new vaccine for malaria developed by scientists at the University of Oxford was up to 80% effective at preventing disease in young children, according to trial results published in early September. Dyann Wirth, Richard Pearson Strong Professor of Infectious Diseases, says, Whether it will be world-changing, we’ll have to wait and see, because so far there has only been early testing of its efficacy. This new vaccine, called R21, is potentially an improved version of another vaccine, called RTS,S, which the World Health Organization approved last October for broad use in regions with significant malaria transmission. RTS,S was the first-ever vaccine for a human parasitic infection. RTS,S also showed high efficacy in limited samples in early testing, but once it was deployed in a more real-world setting—in Phase 3 clinical trials—both the predicted and observed efficacy were down closer to 40%-50%, and they’ve stayed that way. It turns out that when you give the vaccine, relative to the transmission season, affects its efficacy. In many countries, malaria spread typically peaks during the rainy season, when there is more stagnant water in which mosquitoes can breed. A recent study from Brian Greenwood of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and colleagues found that an RTS,S shot given directly before transmission season in West Africa had extremely high efficacy.

For R21, only 450 children aged 5-17 months, a small number, were included in the recent trial conducted in Burkina Faso, where malaria infections are seasonal. The study showed that three initial doses of the vaccine, followed by a booster a year later, was up to 80% effective at preventing infection. I would say that we need to evaluate R21 under more real-world settings, including the Phase 3 clinical trial, which began in April 2021 and runs through December 2023, and includes 4,800 children in four African countries, including two where malaria is a threat throughout the year.  The overall worldwide demand for this vaccine could be up to or over 100 million doses per year. As we now know from the experience with the coronavirus, having more than one source of vaccine is crucial to withstand potential disruptions in supply chains, problems with quality control, or other issues.

After the WHO recommended the broad use of RTS,S last October, I think it caused a paradigm shift. There’s now significant new effort in developing malaria vaccines. BioNTech, one of the developers of the mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine, wants to develop an mRNA-based vaccine for malaria, and there will be clinical trials for that soon. There’s also a very large program, funded by the Gates Foundation, to use monoclonal antibodies as a preventative tool against malaria. I think all of the excitement and development in this arena is great, given the reality that there are 280 million cases of malaria every year and nearly half a million deaths of children. In addition to vaccines, the other two main approaches we have for fighting malaria are vector control—essentially preventing the mosquito from biting the human, either by killing the mosquito or by using bed nets treated with insecticide—and diagnosis and treatment with antimalarial drugs. However, drug resistance is a problem. There’s an enormous need for new approaches to fight malaria because microorganisms like the malaria parasite have various ways of escaping being killed. Evasion is a common feature. We’ve seen a similar scenario with the coronavirus, where variation in the virus has essentially reduced the efficacy of previous immunity either induced by the vaccine or by getting the disease. I think this is also true in malaria. Data has shown that there is strain-specific protection, very much like we’re seeing with the coronavirus. With these microorganisms that are struggling for survival, such as the malaria parasite, I think we need to be less naïve about thinking there’s going to be a magic bullet. We will continue to need other tools and additional vaccines.


The Betty White Estate recently donated $150,000 to Morris Animal Foundation. The funds support the work of the Betty White Wildlife Fund, established at the Foundation in 2010 to address critical health problems in wildlife.

Betty White, who passed away on December 31, 2021, at the age of 99, devoted her life to improving the lives of animals and was a member of the Foundation family for over 50 years, serving in several key roles.

“One of my biggest passions in life is animals,” said White in 2011. “That’s why I’ve worked with Morris Animal Foundation for over 40 years. Morris Animal Foundation is a world leader in helping animals live longer, healthier lives. Like my favorite: dogs, of course. Well, maybe kitty cats are the best. But I also like horses. Some of my best friends are apes. Elephants – elephants are so wonderful! And who wouldn’t want to cuddle up with a tiger? Who am I kidding? I love them all. The point is, Morris Animal Foundation is giving animals a healthier tomorrow.”

White first joined Morris Animal Foundation in 1971. Her tenure encompassed 24 years as a Board Trustee and three years as Board President. She was an active spokesperson for the Foundation and assisted in countless fundraisers. She personally sponsored more than 30 Foundation-funded animal health research studies that have improved the lives of cats, dogs, horses and wildlife.

The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, the largest of its kind in veterinary medicine, also benefited from White’s golden touch. She made a video to help with recruitment of the 3,000 golden retrievers – and their owners and veterinarians – needed for the longitudinal study.

“This gift from the estate of the late Betty White is just another example of the kindness, thoughtfulness and love for animals she embraced every day,” said Tiffany Grunert, President/CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. “With this generous donation, we will continue to honor her legacy by improving the lives of animals everywhere.”

If you would like to make a gift in honor of Betty White, you can support wildlife health studies through the Betty White Wildlife Fund.


A Montana woman has been under fire since late September when she proudly took to social media to boast about killing a wolf. Amber Rose posted multiple photos of the skinned animal, writing that it was a great feeling to be able to text “her man,” that she had “just smoked a wolf pup.”

But Amber Rose did not “smoke a wolf pup,” she killed a dog. A Siberian husky to be exact. People who viewed the disturbing images of the skinned dog were horrified and pointed out that the “wolf pup” was clearly a husky. One person stated that “even a child” would recognize that the dead animal was a dog.

After Rose was called out by people outraged by her actions, she got defensive and changed her story from being immensely proud of killing a predator, to claiming self-defense, stating that the young dog was growling and trying to attack her.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office released a statement advising that dogs had been abandoned in the Doris Creek area of the national forest. All but two were picked up and apparently Amber Rose’s prized trophy was one of the abandoned pups.

The Sheriff’s Office and the Fish Wildlife & Parks Department have confirmed that they are investigating the incident.

Please add your name to a petition at if you believe that Amber Rose should face charges for killing this abandoned dog. At no point in her initial social media post did she claim that she felt threatened by the dog.



In Hardeman County, TN, 33 animals were rescued from a dilapidated trailer in Pocahontas. The conditions inside of the residence were described as “horrible” by members of the Animal Rescue Corps who were on site to remove the cats and dogs who were living in squalor.

In a news release, the animal welfare agency described the horror that responders were met with upon arrival:

“they found 29 dogs, including a litter of puppies, and four cats. The cats were living in small feces and maggot-filled crates; the dogs were loose both inside and outside the trailer. Because of the lack of veterinary care and the unsanitary, inhumane living conditions, the animals are suffering from a range of medical issues, including broken bones, severe anemia, high ammonia exposure, mange, severe and painful dental disease, overgrown nails, fur loss, skin inflammation, ear and eye infections and injuries, and severe internal and external parasites (including fleas and ticks).”

“We arrived just in time,” said Tim Woodward, ARC’s Executive Director. “This was a life and death situation for some of these animals; we didn’t have a minute to spare.”

All of the animals were surrendered to Animal Rescue Corps and they were immediately transported to a veterinarian for care.

When the animals have recovered from their heartbreaking conditions, they will be put up for adoption.




In Quebec, Canada – Three people associated with the Expedition Mi-Loup sled dog company in Saint-Jean-de-l’Île-d’Orléans, are facing animal cruelty charges after an investigation revealed appalling cruelty that left dozens of sled dogs dead. The deep dive into what was happening at the sled dog company began after a tip was received in April 2022.

The investigation led to the discovery of abhorrent methods to kill unwanted dogs and puppies. Officials allege that Antoine Simard, 41, Elisabeth Leclerc, 39, and 58-year-old Édouard Parent took part in horrific “euthanization” methods including a homemade gas chamber where dogs were killed with welding gas.

Other dogs were killed via methods including hanging, drowning, and being shot.

Animal rights activist Shay Lee, who visited the property, told CTV News:

“Witnessing the dog and puppies in the freezer was truly horrifying, but it was necessary for me to see to be able to expose this injustice.”

Anne Shaughnessy accompanied Lee to the sled dog business and she commented on the horror she witnessed:

“Seeing the rudimentary contraption the owners made to gas puppies was shocking. Opening a large freezer and finding young and older dogs frozen to death hit me hard. Learning that dogs at Mi-loup were shot, drowned, gassed and hanged shook me to my core.”

These dogs were bred to be exploited, and those who were unwanted were killed in despicable, cruel ways. Sled dogs are not different from other dogs. They desire love and comfort just like pet dogs. And by definition, euthanasia is “painless killing to end suffering.” The way these dogs were killed WAS NOT euthanasia and it is absolutely unacceptable!

The company is out of business and the surviving dogs were all rehomed. The three people facing animal cruelty charges are due in court on November 16, 2022.

Individuals are presumed innocent until they have been found guilty in a court of law. Animal relies upon the authorities and the court system to determine guilt or innocence.



Large, living legends dwell in the remote Alaskan wilderness.

They're the internet-famous bears of Katmai National Park and Preserve, and they grow impressively fat over the summer on the livestreamed wildlife webcams. A majority of these bears — like the singular, persevering Otis — return to feast on calorie-rich salmon in the park's Brooks River each year. Katmai celebrates the success of these wild animals by hosting an annual Fat Bear Week contest in the early fall.

In reality, every bear is a winner for surviving in the harsh northern wilderness. But the public (that means you) gets to vote online for the fattest bear in a light-hearted tournament. It's a superb way to learn about the fascinating lives of these animals, and how they thrive.

After months of chomping salmon, there are always some extremely daunting ursine competitors by October. Many of the animals eat thousands of fish over just a few months. In 2022, however, the competition is so stiff, there's no clear favorite.

"This year the tournament is pretty wide open," Mike Fitz, a former Katmai park ranger and currently a resident naturalist for, told Mashable.

"Some of the choices are going to be really hard," said Fitz, who authored a book on these animals called The Bears of Brooks Falls. "This is going to be one of the more exciting competitions."

The bears are fat because they live in an untrammeled, flourishing ecosystem. Dams, mines, and development haven't destroyed the natural bounty there — though the Trump administration attempted (and failed) to give a company the chance to construct an unprecedented mining district in the region. The foundation of this habitat — salmon — flourish in the area's rivers and streams. The fat bears thrive because the salmon thrive.

In 2022, Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed, home to a vast network of largely protected waterways, saw its largest ever historical run of salmon. Many of these fish swam up a primary river that feeds into Katmai.







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