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Talkin' Pets News

November 12, 2022

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Karen Vance - Certified Dog Trainer and Agility Trainer, Tampa, FL

Producer - Matt Matera

Network Producer - Ben Boquist / Jayla Green

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest - Michael Mehta Webster author of The Rescue Effect will join Talkin' Pets 11/12/22 at 5pm ET to discuss and give away his book

Major glaciers across the world, including those in the Dolomites in Italy, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Yosemite and Yellowstone parks in the U.S., will be gone by 2050 even if global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said.

Even if global temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), an increasingly unlikely scenario, at least one-third of the roughly 18,000 glaciers across the 50 World Heritage sites will disappear by mid-century.

“This report is a call to action. Only a rapid reduction in our CO2 emissions levels can save glaciers and the exceptional biodiversity that depends on them,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a statement.

The other glaciers can be saved only if emissions are reduced dramatically and global temperatures do not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, UNESCO warned in its report. Half of humanity depends directly or indirectly on glaciers as a water source for domestic use, agriculture and power, according to the report.

Glaciers in Africa will likely be affected the most by climate change. According to the UNESCO data, glaciers in all World Heritage sites on the continent will “very likely” be gone by 2050, including Kilimanjaro National Park and Mount Kenya.

World Heritage glaciers, which represent about 10% of the world’s glacier areas, lose about 58 billion tons of ice each year — the equivalent to the combined annual water use of France and Spain. The melting is responsible for nearly 5% of observed global sea-level rise, the report said.

“When glaciers melt rapidly, millions of people face water scarcity and the increased risk of natural disasters such as flooding, and millions more may be displaced by the resulting rise in sea levels,” said Bruno Oberle, director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The findings come ahead of the U.N.’s COP27 climate conference, which authors of the report said will play a crucial role in finding solutions for accelerating ice melt.


While the average person has probably never thought, “I think I want to put this in my mouth” when they see a toad, the National Park Service is warning anyone who might, they shouldn’t.

The park service warns explicitly against the licking of one of the largest toads found in North America, the Sonoran Desert Toad, also known as the Colorado River Toad. When threatened, these toads secrete a potent toxin, including a psychedelic substance known as 5-MeO-DMT that can be dried and smoked.

Intended as a defense mechanism, the toxin excreted by the toad can make people and animals sick if the poison is handled or gets in the mouth, according to the National Park Service. The toxin can even be deadly. Although one study done by John Hopkins found the substance found in the toxin, 5-MeO-DMT, could improve symptoms of “depression and anxiety when given in a ceremonial group setting.”

In a study of 362 adults, John Hopkins researchers found around 80% of respondents reported their anxiety and depression symptoms had improved after using 5-MeO-DMT, which typically lasts from 30 to 90 minutes. It is also classified as a Schedule I drug of the Controlled Substances Act, and is illegal in the United States.

In any event, licking the toad with the hopes of being taken on a psychedelic journey is not recommended, as the National Park Service emphasized in its post.

“As we say with most things you come across in a national park, whether it be a banana slug, unfamiliar mushroom, or a large toad with glowing eyes in the dead of night, please refrain from licking,” the National Park Service said in its recent PSA.


A movement aimed at protecting domestic abuse survivors and their pets, and preserving the human-animal bond has received a helping hand in the form of celebrity support. Journalist and talk show host, Tamron Hall, and National Football League (NFL) athlete, James Smith-Williams, are lending their voices as advocates for the Purple Leash Project. Founded in part by RedRover, the national initiative aims to provide more resources and support for domestic violence survivors with pets.

While 70 percent of domestic violence survivors report their abuser threatened, injured, or killed a pet as a means of control, only 15 percent of shelters in the U.S. allow pets. As such, nearly half of victims (approximately 48 percent) will delay leaving an abuser if they cannot take their pet with them into a shelter.

Funds raised through the Purple Leash Project will go toward transforming shelters into pet-friendly spaces, allowing humans and animals to heal together, the company says. One in three American women and one in four men experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetimes. This can range from physical violence to emotional or financial abuse.

Hall, a lifelong pet lover whose own sister was killed by an abuser, has supported the Purple Leash Project for the past three years. Hall says. “The work they are doing to ensure safe places for domestic violence survivors and their pets is crucial to the survivor’s personal journey. I can’t imagine having to leave my Bernedoodle, Exodus, in an unsafe environment. It is truly a heartbreaking decision for someone to make, on top of the abuse they have already endured.” Smith-Williams will be promoting the project as part of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats program, which will see his custom-designed, Purple Leash Project-inspired cleats auctioned in support of the project.

“As a life-long pet lover, pet owner, and domestic violence advocate, I’m proud to represent the Purple Leash Project,” the athlete says. “It’s an honor to use my platform on and off the field to draw attention to the critical importance pets play in the lives of survivors as companions, healers, and four-legged members of the family—especially during times of crisis.”

“We’re honored to have James Smith-Williams join us this year as a partner, and to have Tamron Hall back with us for a third year,” adds RedRover’s president and CEO, Nicole Forsyth. “Together, their voices will help to drive change and highlight all that’s already been done to support survivors and their pets. Our collective voices and actions will help bring much-needed awareness to this issue.”

Since its founding in 2019, the Purple Leash Project has provided more than $1 million in funding to renovating shelters nationwide. RedRover and their partners hope to transform 25 percent of domestic violence shelters into pet-friendly facilities by 2025. In 2022 alone, nine Purple Leash Project grants have been given to domestic violence shelters in need of pet-friendly renovations. Most recently, shelters in Missouri, Rhode Island, California, and Florida received funding for upgrades, including converting existing indoor and outdoor spaces to accommodate pets, as well as the installation of pet-friendly flooring and a ‘catio.’


After braving a 45-foot drop down a water-filled drainpipe, a Siberian-mix cat has taken the top honor at this year’s Hambone Awards.

When Seattle-native Rafa did not come home for dinner one night, his owners knew something was wrong. Following a search of the neighborhood, Rafa’s family heard meows coming from a sewer grate and soon realized the cat was trapped in a drainpipe. With a storm approaching, they knew the situation was critical and called for back-up.

Soon enough, with the help of the fire department, animal rescue, Seattle Public Utilities, plumbers, and several neighbors, Rafa was extracted from the pipe, where he had been stuck sitting in neck-high icy water. The cat was examined by a veterinarian and treated for severe hypothermia and other complications before spending a week in the ICU.

Fortunately, Rafa made a full recovery.

Rafa and his family have received a Hambone trophy, a $1,000 gift card, and a $1,000 donation in their name to a pet charity of their choice.

Two other finalists have also received $500 gift cards a $500 donation in their names. They are:

  • Russell, a mixed-breed dog from Granada Hills, Calif., who cracked several front teeth after running into a concrete patio step while enroute to greet his human sister; and
  • Rex, a Shih Tzu from Livonia, Mich., who swallowed a wishbone.

All nominated pets made full recoveries.

Established in 2009, the Hambone Awards were named in honor of a dog that once ate an entire Thanksgiving ham. Past winners include Ellie, a Labrador retriever who gobbled up a beehive and its thousands of inhabitants; Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap, and a piece of a basketball; and Ziva and Zeus, two German shepherds who went missing for 22 days in an abandoned missile silo.


The benefits of canine therapy may be widely understood, but how do our feline friends fit into the equation? While cats are often not included in on-site animal therapy programs aimed at reducing human stress, a new study suggests feline interactions are particularly beneficial for those with strong and highly reactive emotions.

To investigate the overall interest level in including cats in these programs, researchers at Washington State University (WSU) surveyed more than 1,400 students and staff at over 20 universities. The findings point to several factors which shape a positive response to a cat visitation program, and ultimately reveal the personality trait of emotionality plays an important role in this preference.

Emotionality, which is part of a well-established psychology model called the “Big Five personality traits,” indicates a person has strong emotions and is highly reactive to them, WSU reports.

“Emotionality is a pretty stable trait—it doesn’t fluctuate and is a quite consistent feature of our personalities,” says the study’s co-author, Patricia Pendry, PhD, a professor in the university’s department of human development. “We found people on the higher end of that scale were significantly more interested in interacting with cats on campus. Given prior research has shown such individuals may be more open to forming strong attachments to animals, it makes sense they would want cats to be included in these programs.”

The connection between an individual’s personality and their coinciding openness to interacting with cats prevailed even when researchers accounted for contributing factors, such as openness to a dog visitation program and being a cat owner, WSU reports. Negative influences, such as having a cat allergy or phobia, which logically reduced participants’ interest in interacting with felines, were also considered.

“Anecdotally, we’ve always been told cat people are different from dog people, and that most students are not interested in interacting with cats,” Dr. Pendry says. “Our results revealed students are interested in interacting with cats and this interest may be driven by personality traits.” More than 85 percent of animal therapy programs held at universities only include dogs, WSU reports. This could be attributed to several factors, researchers say, including the high availability of canine therapy animals and the commonly held view that cats are unsuitable for therapy roles.

Offering program participants the option of interacting with a cat, dog, or both may increase the number of people interested in partaking in animal-assisted intervention. “Our study shows we may be able to reach a larger audience by offering interventions that include dogs and cats,” Pendry says. “People who are on the higher end of the emotionality trait may be more likely to participate and benefit from these interactions. We’re looking for ways to help more people reduce their stress levels. Adding cats may be another way to reach a broader audience.”

The findings have been published in Anthrozoös.


You’ve done all the right things during your mare’s pregnancy—satisfied the mare’s nutritional needs while avoiding excessive weight gain, supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids, and arranged for preventive veterinary care. But given the serious complications often associated with dystocia in mares, attendance at foaling is paramount. Being on foal watch, however, can be exhausting. Any tool that could consistently and reliably predict foaling would be a tremendous asset to the industry. Despite great effort, a satisfactory tool remains elusive. New research indicates, however, that monitoring changes in skin temperature may provide valuable information to help predict foaling but only when used in conjunction with other techniques.* Various foaling alert systems are commercially available, each with their own quirks or limitations. Examples of current methods of evaluating readiness for parturition include:

  • Waxing of the udder;
  • Relaxation of pelvic ligaments;
  • Increased vulvar length;
  • Evaluation of mammary secretions;
  • Identifying behavior changes such as restlessness, signs of abdominal pain, tail switching, and showing the flehmen response;
  • Foaling alarm systems based on behavioral changes, pedometer, accelerometer, or electrodes that detect humidity as the mare begins to sweat, or probes that identify lateral recumbency; and
  • Transponder units sutured to the vulva that identify when the foal enters the birth canal.

In some farm animal species, an increase in body surface temperature occurs shortly before parturition. To determine if this happens in horses, 56 broodmares were fitted with a commercial, high-precision digital temperature sensor held directly against the skin on the left side of the thorax by a belt. These units were placed on the mares each evening after returning from turnout. Mares were maintained overnight in foaling stalls from day 335 of gestation based on the calculated foaling date. Data collected from five days prior to foaling until time of foaling were included in data analysis. Skin temperature followed a distinct circadian rhythm, with peak average temperatures of (90.72 °F) at 7 p.m. and a nadir of (87.42 °F) at 6 a.m. “Compared to the steady decline in skin temperature observed in pregnant mares on a nightly basis, a distinct surge in skin temperature began approximately 90 minutes prior to foaling, with a peak increase in skin temperature five minutes before birth,” explained Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a Kentucky Equine Research nutrition advisor. That increase in skin temperature was statistically significant but still quite subtle. “These findings support the old wives’ tale in which ‘heating up’ occurs prior to parturition,” Whitehouse said. The researchers concluded that “this finding could lead to further improvements in tools available for detection of impending parturition. However, skin temperature cannot be used as the only predictive diagnostic of impending parturition in the absence of other parameters.” Once the foal has all four on the floor, be sure it consumes the mare’s first milk, called colostrum, to ensure passive transfer of immunity.

“Supplementing the broodmare with the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA during gestation and lactation can transfer the many health benefits of these fatty acids to the foal via the placenta, colostrum, and milk,” Whitehouse said.


The Leonid meteor shower is active between today and Dec. 2 and this year will peak on Nov. 18. 

The shower is produced when Earth passes through the debris left behind by comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle during its highly elliptical orbit around the sun every 33 years.

The Leonids are considered some of the fastest meteors, zipping through the sky at 44 miles (71 kilometers) per second, according to NASA (opens in new tab). They can also result in impressive fireballs producing long, bright and colorful meteor streaks. 

Meteor showers are named after the constellation from which the meteors appear to emanate, known as the radiant. From Earth's perspective, the Leonids appear to originate from the direction of the Northern Hemisphere constellation Leo. 

The Leo constellation can be seen at latitudes between 90 and minus 65 degrees. To find Leo, first look for the bright star Regulus and then trace the distinctive backward question mark known as "The sickle" which represents the lion's mane. 

Don't look directly at Leo to find meteors, as the shooting stars will be visible throughout the sky. Make sure to look around and move your gaze to nearby constellations as meteors further from the radiant tend to have longer trains (glowing trails of debris) and are easier to spot. 

To best see the Leonids, go to the darkest possible location, lean back and relax. You don't need any telescopes or binoculars as the secret to a good meteor viewing experience is to take in as much sky as possible. Make sure to allow about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. 


Boo Thang is a kitty with feline leukemia. That's a scary name, and the diagnosis is a death

sentence in animal shelters across the country—largely due to the misconception that adopters

wouldn't be interested in giving cats with FeLV a home.

Austin Pets Alive!'s innovative feline leukemia program proves that misconception wrong.

APA!’s feline leukemia program, which formally launched in 2016, is now the most robust

FeLV program in the world. The first full year, APA! adopted out 100 cats with the virus. Last

year, 584 cats with FeLV were adopted from APA!. APA!'s FeLV innovations have the potential

to save approximately 60,000 cats per year in the United States.

FeLV is not a cancer, but a virus that affects a cat's immune system, similar to a person with a

weakened immune system.

Cats with FeLV are happy, playful, and not in pain. They are "absolutely adoptable," says Kelly

Garlock, APA!'s Feline Leukemia Program Coordinator.

The program began with a common-sense approach: simply allowing healthy-seeming cats

diagnosed with FeLV to stay alive, instead of euthanizing them. The cats who were "supposed"

to die quickly, instead lived 8 or 9 years. Some adopters even seek out cats with FeLV. Because so many shelters euthanize cats with feline

leukemia without giving them a chance to be adopted, there is a scarcity of available cats, which

leads people all over the country to adopt from APA!.

That's what happened with Boo Thang. His adopters were so eager to bring him home they flew

him from Texas to Massachusetts. He even sat shotgun next to the pilot, on a transport flight that

was otherwise filled with dogs. Boo Thang consented to wearing a tiny aviator costume, too


As Kelly Garlock puts it: "Cats like Boo Thang would typically be euthanized when they arrive

at a shelter, but he was able to find a loving home. At Austin Pets Alive!, we believe every cat is an individual and equally deserving of a happy life and home."


A senior executive of a designated crime syndicate based in Osaka, Japan and four other men were taken into custody on Nov. 8 for allegedly making bizarre threats using pig heads to a mediator of the group's internal conflict.

Police arrested 60-year-old Junichi Kimura, a senior member of Osaka's Azuma-gumi gang and resident of Sennan, Osaka Prefecture, and four other men. They were taken in on suspicion of charges including intimidation and destruction of property. Police have not disclosed whether the suspects are denying the charges.

Police claim that between June 13 and 14, the accused left pig heads that were covered in a red liquid and had knives inserted into their eyes on two vehicles owned by the 70-year-old mediator. One vehicle's windshield was also smashed. The vehicles were parked at lots in the city of Izumisano and the town of Kumatori, both in the same prefecture.

According to the Osaka Prefectural Police, trouble within the Azuma-gumi began in February of this year, when a senior leader left the group. The victim was reportedly involved in mediation.


Officials on Kauai in Hawaii are imploring the public to check their properties as one of the world’s top invasive species has been detected in the island’s biggest infestation to date.

Following the discovery of millions of little fire ants at Wailua River State Park, located in eastern Kauai about 6 miles north of Lihue, the Kauai Invasive Species Committee has led a big media push, with radio spots alerting residents of free at-home test kits. The colony marks Kauai’s largest infestation since the invasive species was first detected on the island in 1999.

Officials had not come across another infestation on Kauai until about two years ago in Moloaa. This latest one — estimated at anywhere between 13 and 35 acres — originated on a private property and has now spilled over a cliffside into a lush valley, dangerously close to the Wailua River, where little fire ants "can easily float down and create multiple colonies," general outreach specialist Haylin Chock, of the Kauai Invasive Species Committee, told SFGATE. "That’s really the concerning part." It's not yet clear if the infestation has reached the water.

"That would infest the entire state park," Chock explained. "If they are at that point, they can start climbing trees. It’s like a paradise for them. If that happens, how are we supposed to know where they are?" The spread of little fire ants isn’t new to Hawaii as a whole. Each island, including Hawaii, Maui and Oahu, has "a varying degree of infestation," according to Hawaii Ant Lab’s Heather Forester, who described the Big Island’s infestation as "the worst."

Aside from presenting health risks for pets and challenges to the state’s vital agriculture industry, little fire ants pose a serious threat to Hawaii residents and tourists alike. "They’re changing the way of life for our residents here in Hawaii," Forester said. "You used to be able to go out hiking and go to the beach. They can rain down on people and sting them. The stings are different for different people. In heavily infested areas, the ants can actually move into people’s homes. We have a lot of reports of them stinging people while they sleep in their beds."

Sting welts can "last for weeks," per the Kauai Invasive Species Committee. The ants, native to Central and South America and half the size of a sesame seed, are thought to have first come to the Hawaiian Islands more than two decades ago, either flown in or shipped on an object. They thrive in habitats with shade, tree canopies and water. Treatment doesn’t involve a typical spray solution.

Once the ants have been detected at a private residence or on a cliffside, surveys must be completed to determine the size of the infestation. That’s when crews lure the little fire ants with poisonous food to take back to their colony. As for the infestation at Wailua River State Park, officials remain hopeful they’ve caught it in time to stem the tide of a Kauai-wide takeover. 

"At the phase we’re at right now, it’s too early to call," Chock said. "Our team is really good at what they do. I’m going to say that we’re hopeful that it hasn’t spread that far. I’m confident that we can keep it contained."


The Republican Senate nominee in New Hampshire shared at an event the hoax claim that children are being told they can identify as anthropomorphic cats and use litter boxes in schools." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-analytics-observe="off">Don Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general during his campaign made the comments while speaking to supporters in North Hampton, according to audio obtained by CNN’s KFile from an attendee. The claim, which has occasionally been cited by some Republican politicians, has been repeatedly debunked.

“Guess what? We have furries and fuzzies in classrooms,” Bolduc told the crowd. “They lick themselves, they’re cats. When they don’t like something, they hiss – people walk down the hallway and jump out,” he said, as a hissing sound could be heard." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-analytics-observe="off">“And get this, get this,” he continued. “They’re putting litter boxes, right? Litter boxes for that. … These are the same people that are concerned about spreading germs. Yet they let children lick themselves and then touch everything. And they’re starting to lick each other.”" data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-analytics-observe="off">“I wish I was making it up,” concluded Bolduc. “I honestly wish it was a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit.”" data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-analytics-observe="off">Furries are a subculture that sometimes involves people dressing up as anthropomorphic animal characters and attending conventions. The unfounded internet rumor has been repeatedly denied by various school officials who have had to continuously dispute the false claims." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-analytics-observe="on">A handful of Republican officials across the country have continued to cite the false claims about children identifying as cats or using litter boxes in schools, including gubernatorial nominees Scott Jensen of Minnesota and Heidi Ganahl of Colorado recently." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-analytics-observe="on">The claim reportedly originated from a community member at a local school board meeting last year and has since spread across the internet. It has been repeatedly shot down by fact-checkers from major news outlets as false. The bizarre conspiracy has spread so much that it even has its own dedicated Wikipedia page.


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