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Talkin' Pets News

December 30, 2023.

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Suzanne Topor - Livingston Animal and Avian Hospital - Lutz, Florida

Producer - Lexi Adams

Network Producer - Paul Campos

Social Media - Bob Page

The 18th annual AKC® Agility Invitational Presented by YuMOVE® took place December 16-17, 2023 in Orlando, FL in conjunction with the AKC® National Championship Presented by Royal Canin, demonstrating the highest level of training and teamwork between dog and handler. The top five dogs in each breed received an invitation to compete in this prestigious event. Agility competition for junior handlers was held for the 13th consecutive year.

Coverage of agility is available at

The winners:


AKC Agility Invitational

Five agility dogs and their owners – one dog/handler team in each of the five height categories – were crowned as the 2023 winners of the AKC Agility Invitational, which brought together 701 dogs from across the country.

Placing first in their height division (8", 12", 16", 20" and 24" respectively) were:

  • 8" - AGCH MACH29 Kayangee Dorothy Parker MXS8 PDS MJC9 PJS MFG TQX T2B5 CGC, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel known as Dot, handled by Antonia Rotelle of Dover, PA
  • 12" - AGCH MACH6 Taylormade Inspired Adventure MXG2 PDS MJG2 PJS MFG TQX T2B5, a Shetland Sheepdog known as Venture, handled by Jean Lavalley of Murfreesboro, TN
  • 16" - CH MACH11 Tenja's First Atomic Dog MXC3 PAD MJC3 PJD OF, a Border Collie known as Trinity, handled by Roger O'Sullivan of Gahanna, OH
  • 20" - MACH3 Ehrenvogel Wings Of Hope's Wanderin' Free CD RN JH MXC MJB2 MXF T2B BCAT DM DS, a German Shorthaired Pointer known as Mia, handled by beth janos of Mason, OH
  • 24" - MACH3 Cogshalls Wylie Rake Of Lanruvi MXC MJS2, a Whippet known as Rake, handled by Jennifer Smith of Milwaukee, WI

The junior results:

AKC Juniors Agility Competition

Juniors who participated in the AKC Juniors Agility Competition competed in either the Junior Excellent or Superior Classes, depending on their age. Handlers who were under the age of 14 on the day of the show competed in the Junior Superior class division, and handlers who were at least 14 years old on the day of the show competed in the Junior Excellent class division.

The overall winners of the Junior Agility Competition were:

  • 8”- PNAC GCH CH MACH3 PACH4 Starstruck Predict My Future MXG MJG PJD MXP13 MXPB2 MJP14 MJPB2 PAX4 BCAT (Fortune), a Papillon handled by Jada Sawhney
  • 12”- AKSELA AX AXJ CGC TKN (Aksel), a Miniature Schnauzer handled by Ava Rawlings
  • 16”- Tbc Dera CA DCAT CGC (Dera), a Border Collie handled by Mia Feferico
  • 20”- MACH2 Yaya’s Voulez Vues Q Cher? (Voulez), a Golden Retriever handled by Katie WIliamson
  • 24”- PACH2 Monark Run for the Roses Tallee CD BN RA MXP5 MXPS MJP6 MJPS PAX2 XFP CGC TKA (Tallee), a Golden Retriever handled by Jada Sawhney


A dog who spent months at an Indiana animal shelter has been adopted in time to enjoy Christmas in a real home. Adam was the longest resident at the Warwick Humane Society – spending 135 days at the facility.

But everything changed for the homeless dog when the Weigel family decided to make him their own. Last week, his owner posted a heartwarming photo of their newly adopted dog’s first day at home:

The shelter acknowledged that Adam was starting to lose hope after being bypassed for so long:

This sweet boy was starting to lose faith that he would ever find a home of his own. We saw the light draining from his eyes as each day, he got passed over.

And expressed joy for the good days he can expect now that he is no longer homeless:

But now, he has a family and a wild 4-legged sister to romp with! We are so excited for this handsome boy and wish him a lifetime full of love! Congrats, big guy! ?

Enjoy your wonderful new life Adam!!


Erie County, NY – A coyote who was stranded on a log near the US Coast Guard’s Fuhrmann Blvd. station received a helping hand from the Erie County SPCA’s Wildlife Department.

According to the SPCA Serving Erie County, the Department of Environmental Conservation called about a stranded coyote seen swimming, then stranded and shivering on a log. After the call came in, PCA Chief Lindsey Wood and Officer Melina Homsi, along with Agents Molly McLaughlin and Meghan Giles, headed out to the docks with the appropriate level of rescue equipment and determination necessary to get the job done.

When the team arrived they could see that the coyote was soaked, and exhausted.

US Coast Guard Metalsmith Petty Officer 1st Class Taylor Foran told Wood via text that the coyote was in the water and/or stranded at least three hours, probably longer, and said the coyote was violently shivering and was so exhausted from swimming when first seen that she couldn’t lift her head.

Wood, assisted by Homsi, Giles, and McLaughlin, was able to snare the coyote and pull her up to safety. The coyote was immediately transported to the SPCA’s West Seneca location where she was examined and cared for overnight. After being warmed up, the coyote was released.


A feline stowaway was rescued and spared an unthinkable fate thanks to the efforts of the crew aboard the Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean Cruises president and CEO Michael Bayley publicly recounted the situation in a Facebook post on December 22, writing:

Meet Ovie ! The cat smuggled onboard Ovation of the Seas by a guest! We believe that it was in the guest’s sweatshirt and we assume he must have been sedated or something and he wouldn’t beep, since Ovie isn’t metal.

Explaining the danger Ovie was in:

When discovered the cat was not allowed off the ship in Australia or New Zealand by authorities and was supposed to be euthanized!

But the cruise ship crew stepped up to save Ovie. Bayley explains:

after several weeks and much back and forth safely brought Ovie halfway around the world to be adopted by one of the guest service team members in Miami.

And best of all, Ovie is now happily living in Miami!

Great job crew!!


Pierce County, WA – A family in Pierce County is mourning the tragic, senseless death of their beloved horse, LeMon, who was fatally shot at point-blank range on December 17. The friendly horse belonged to the Greer family, and he was adored by their neighbors, who frequently stopped to say hello.

On a GoFundMe set up for a reward fund, his owner said:

On December 17th between midnight and 12:30 a white car pulled up next to Delanie’s horse’s paddock and shot LeMon in the head. LeMon was very friendly and used to people stopping and talking to him.

LeMon probably came right up to the person and was shot right on the side of the nose a couple inches below his eye.

Nobody knows who is responsible for the cruel shooting, or what the motive may have been. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.


THAI NGUYEN , Vietnam – A restaurant responsible for drowning hundreds of cats and kittens each month has closed its doors. According to Humane Society International (HSI), the owner of the cat meat restaurant asked for the animal welfare agency’s help to close the business “for good.” In a press release, HSI said:

Thirty-seven-year-old Mr. Pham Quoc Doanh had run his cat meat restaurant and slaughterhouse for five years, drowning up to 300 cats a month to serve to customers as a dish called ‘thịt mèo’ (cat meat) and ‘tiểu hổ’ or ‘little tiger’. Regret at killing the animals, and particularly the knowledge that many were stolen pets, led him to resolve to get out of the trade for good.

The closure is part of HSI’s Viet Nam Models for Change program, launched in the country last year after successfully operating in South Korea since 2015. So far, two dog slaughterhouses/restaurants and one cat slaughterhouse have been closed. With the use of an HSI grant, Mr. Pham Quoc Doanh will open a grocery store.

Mr. Doanh said:

“For a while now I have felt a genuine desire to leave the cruel cat meat business and switch to something else as soon as possible. When I think of all the thousands of cats I’ve slaughtered and served up here over the years, it’s upsetting. Cat theft is so common in Viet Nam that I know many of the cats sold here were someone’s loved family companion, and I feel very sorry about that. It makes me happy to know that thanks to HSI, my wife and I can now put the cat meat trade behind us and start afresh, still serving my local community but no longer as part of this brutal and crime-fuelled trade. I want to see a ban on the dog and cat meat trade in Viet Nam.”

Twenty cats and kittens that would have been sacrificed for restaurant “food” were turned over to HSI and they will be made available for adoption.

Quang Nguyen, Humane Society International’s Viet Nam companion animals and engagement program manager, said:

“We are thrilled to be closing down our first cat meat trade business in Viet Nam, and hope it will be the first of many as more people like Mr. Doanh turn away from this cruel trade. Although most Vietnamese people don’t eat cat meat, the belief still persists that consumption can cure bad luck, and the scale of the suffering is astonishing. These 20 lucky cats and kittens have escaped a terrible fate and will be found loving homes, but our work continues to see a nationwide ban on the cat meat trade that brings such pain and distress to so many.”

According to HSI, one million cats a year are killed for meat in Vietnam, all stolen pets and strays snatched from the streets. The cats saved from Mr. Doanh’s restaurant have been taken to a special shelter, vaccinated for rabies, and they will receive veterinary care until they are placed in permanent homes.


Orange County, FL – A gorgeous Rottweiler is sitting, once again, behind the bars of a kennel run at a Florida animal shelter. The three-year-old dog’s eyes exude sadness…she has been repeatedly let down by people and it shows.

According to Orange County Animal Services, Lena was surrendered by her original family with other dogs. The dogs were all adopted, but Lena’s adopter decided they did not like her, so they brought her back.

Lena was adopted again, but her new family moved and she was not part of their plans so they gave her to a homeless person who was later arrested.

Once again, Lena was let down – winding back at the animal shelter. The shelter said:

This is Lena’s third time at the shelter inside of one year. And though she remains the calm and gentle dog we’ve always known, there’s a resignation in her eyes now. A tired sadness that wasn’t there before.

Describing Lena’s despair:

It was bittersweet for a lot of staff seeing her again, and Lena definitely remembered a lot of the caring faces. But she isn’t the goofy, clumsy and affectionate dog we met earlier this year. Lena has been let down one too many times. Watching her walk back inside her kennel, head hung low, sigh after heavy sigh; it’s heartbreaking.

The shelter staff wants Lena to know what it means to be loved – truly loved by people who will not let her down.

Please share Lena’s story. She is described as “sweet and calm.” She needs a real home, with people who will love her for the rest of her life.


Shelter address: 2769 Conroy Road, Orlando, FL, United States, Florida

Phone: (407) 836-3111

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Baytown, TX – A dog named Zeke died in his family’s home after the neighbor’s dog entered through a dog door and killed him. As reported by Fox Houston, the horrifying incident happened on Dec. 6.

Enjoli Richardson describes the gutwrenching scene:

“My house looks like a crime scene. There’s blood from one end of the house to the other.”

The neighbor’s dog was still in the house when the family came home – the dog was lying in the corner not far from Zeke’s body.

The family’s other two dogs were in crates during the fatal ordeal…watching the bloodbath that took place right in front of them.

According to Richardson, the neighbors came to retrieve their dog; the dog was not seized by animal control and remains at home.

The Harris County Animal Control investigated and determined that no laws were broken.

The neighbors claim that it was Zeke who broke through a fence board, allowing their dog to enter the yard. Harris County Public Health issued a statement to the news agency, which reads in part:

Unfortunately, there is no current state or local law that penalizes an owner of a dog that attacks or kills another animal. The Dangerous Dog Law applies to humans who have been attacked by a dog or to a dog whose unprovoked behavior may reasonably be deemed dangerous. A victim will need to file a Dangerous Dog affidavit through a Justice of the Peace in unincorporated Harris County to initiate the legal process, if they wish to do so.


The internet saw more than its share of viral videos featuring animals of all stripes in 2023. 

A Ring camera captured what a Georgia sheriff’s office jokingly called a "ding-dong ditch" suspect that happened to be a deer. 

The four-legged joker was seen on Nov. 5 ringing a doorbell on a Cherokee Sheriff Office deputy’s porch before darting away.

"Be on the lookout for this 4-legged ‘ding-dong ditch’ suspect captured on video at one of our deputy's homes in Canton the other day," the sheriff’s office posted on its Facebook page.

A video out of Utah captured two horses being dragged behind a pickup truck down a residential street.

"It was just horrible to watch! The driver didn’t stop until he was at the stop sign, even when others were yelling at him to stop," Amberly Powers, who provided the home security camera footage to Fox News Digital, said. 

The incident happened on Sept. 8 in Farmington, according to KUTV.  Powers says she is the woman in the video with the long ponytail, and the only thing the driver said to her as she got up close to take additional photos was, "This horse is stubborn!"

A family dog in California wasn't in the mood for intruders when a mountain lion came into the residential backyard. 

The homeowner told local media that a friend inadvertently told her about the large cat.  "I was having a Bible study in our rec room. My friend looked out and said, ‘Oh your dogs are playing’ and I said, ‘I only have one dog,’" the homeowner told KCRA.  

The homeowner then said she went outside and "It just, in one leap, was up in the tree so quickly." 

A Brazilian man got an unexpected surprise while playing with a claw machine. 

Rider Soares da Silva thought he won a stuffed animal when was able to grab the toy using two claws inside the machine. However, before he could reach and claim his prize, a live cat came out. 

He laughed and picked up the feline, which stretched its paws while on the ground.  A black bear found time to cool off this summer on a Florida beach.  The animal was seen taking in the waves on a crowded beach in Destin in northern Florida. The bear was also spotted running out of the waves with beachgoers. 

Animal on the Internet are always the most popular no matter what year it is…


Fourth-year Denver Nuggets player Aaron Gordon will be away from the team due to lacerations to his hand and face, according to the team. 

The injuries happened Christmas Day when Gordon was bitten by a dog. The cuts required 21 stitches, ESPN reported.

The veteran NBA forward has been ruled out indefinitely. The Nuggets said in a statement that Gordon is "in good condition." While the timeline for his return remains unclear, the team did note that updates on Gordon's condition will be provided in the future.

ESPN reported it is unlikely Gordon's absence will be lengthy.

The Nuggets will welcome Ja Morant and the Grizzlies Thursday night. Nuggets forward Zeke Nnaji is expected to play a more significant role while Gordon is away.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he spoke to Gordon and encouraged him to focus on his recovery

"We need him to heal inside and out," said Malone. "Going through something like that is not something you come back from easily. That's something where you have to heal from the physical, but you also have to heal from the mental and what you just kind of went through."

Malone added that Gordon has the team's full support.

"We have his back. We love him. We're here for him. So, whenever he's able to come back, we're going to open our arms up and embrace him. I told all the guys to make sure they're reaching out to him, to make sure he's never feeling like he's on an island."

The defending champion Nuggets have gotten off to a strong start this season. The team sits in the second spot in the Western Conference standings.

Malone later reiterated the franchise's desire to see Gordon back on the court whenever he's ready.

"We want him back," Malone said. "We know we're better off with him. But I want to support Aaron Gordon and make sure when he comes back, he's ready to come back and play at the level that we know he's capable."

Gordon missed five games earlier this season due to a heel injury.


A new study suggests getting that cute dog in one's more mature years might be a good idea after all. 

Researchers from the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, found that pet ownership can be associated with slower rates of developing dementia. 

The study, published on Tuesday in JAMA Network Open, determined that owning a pet made a difference in verbal memory and fluency among adults who lived alone.

The study's author, professor Ciyong Lu, said in the study that slower rates of declining verbal memory and fluency were seen in those who lived alone — but not in those who lived with others.

"Pet ownership offset the associations between living alone and declining rates [of] verbal memory and verbal fluency," he said. 

The research involved more than 7,900 participants over the age of 50, with roughly 35% of them owning pets and 27% of them living alone.

In the study, Lu said that those living alone with a pet showed slower rates of developing signs of dementia.

"These findings suggest that pet ownership may be associated with slower cognitive decline among older adults living alone," he said.

"Contrary to living alone," the authors also wrote, "pet ownership (for example, raising dogs and cats) is related to reduced loneliness, an important risk factor for dementia and cognitive decline."

Lu said that clinical trials will be necessary in order to confirm the study's findings.

Currently, more than 55 million people worldwide have dementia — with nearly 10 million new cases each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, which is currently the 7th leading cause of death, the WHO also notes. 

Early symptoms of dementia include forgetfulness, being confused, losing track of time, misjudging distances, feeling anxious, experiencing personality changes, engaging in inappropriate behavior and more.

There is currently no cure for dementia or for someone developing signs of dementia, but the WHO suggests that staying active and continuing to stimulate the brain may help.


An Air Force staff sergeant has been reunited with his best friend for the holidays — and they'll now be together forever. U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Mike Alcala and his former military working dog, John, had been separated for over two years. As the 10-year-old German shepherd prepares for retirement, American Humane surprised the dog and his handler with a pre-holiday reunion in San Antonio, Texas.

During the three years that Alcala was John’s handler, the two formed a strong bond. They were separated in September 2021 when Alcala was reassigned to another base.  "We worked together every day for the three years I was there, give or take a few days," Alcala told Fox News Digital.  "The bond started strong and ended stronger."

When Alcala heard that John was retiring, he reached out to the nonprofit organization American Humane for help in transporting his best friend home for adoption. When a military dog is retired from service, it can be difficult for the military to track down the animal's most recent handler for adoption and navigate the complex logistics of transporting the animal home. American Humane, based in Washington, D.C., handles the process of international and national transport — including the paperwork, red tape and associated costs — to enable retired K-9 veterans to be adopted by their former handlers.

"When I found out John was up for retirement, of course, I wanted him so bad," said Alcala in an interview with American Humane. "I heard about American Humane through a buddy of mine, so I thought I would reach out and see what they could do for me and John." "They were gracious to help go pick him up in Hawaii and transport him back to me, without me having to pay anything. It’s been a blessing for us." John served as an explosive-detection dog at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii for eight years, according to American Humane.

During his distinguished military career, John protected civilians, his fellow service members and high-profile VIPs, including American presidents, first ladies and foreign dignitaries. Last week, John was honored in a special retirement ceremony in Hawaii to celebrate his years of dedicated service.  "We owe a debt of gratitude to all American veterans, including the retired military working dogs who serve our country," Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, told Fox News Digital. "Bringing John home for the holidays was the best gift we could give to these two military heroes."

In addition to transporting John from Hawaii to San Antonio, American Humane is also covering all of the dog’s veterinary care for the rest of his life. Like humans, K-9 veterans often retire with health complications that require expensive medical care that isn’t covered by the government, according to American Humane.  During the emotional reunion on Dec. 20, Alcala and his wife, Brittany Alcala, introduced their 10-month-old daughter to John, the newest member of the family. "Avery, my daughter, was super excited to meet him," Alcala told Fox News Digital. "She was waving her arms around and everything."

"It’s exciting to be able to watch her grow up with him in the house and see how the relationship blooms." Alcala added, "I’m just so happy that John is doing well and that he now gets to live out his life relaxing in retirement." +++++++++++++++++++++++

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