NEW YORK— The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the American Red Cross issued the following statements in response to California Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto of AB 317, an important bill that would have enabled emergency responders to establish temporary animal shelters to assist animals in need during disasters. Sponsored by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego), AB 317 overwhelmingly passed the state legislature in September.

“The ASPCA is frequently called upon to assist law enforcement and local agencies during disasters like the recent wildfire in Lake County, so we have seen firsthand how the ability to respond quickly and effectively during these devastating events is critical to saving lives and reuniting lost pets with their families,” said Kevin O’Neill, senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Western region. “We thank Assembly Member Maienschein for his support on this legislation and we will continue working to improve California’s emergency response capabilities.”

“We are looking forward to bringing this very important issue back next year,” said Christy Woods, Director of Government Relations of the American Red Cross. “There are always missing or injured animals during disasters as we saw in the Butte and Valley wildfires recently, so we want to ensure they are safe as well.”

The ASPCA and Red Cross are grateful that the Governor included in his veto message a directive to his agencies to work with the author to resolve their issues and bring the bill back next year. The groups look forward to working with the Governor and his agencies to clarify the language of this bill to ensure relief organizations are able to move swiftly to prevent the suffering of animals.

The ASPCA expressed thanks to Gov. Brown for signing another animal protection bill, AB 316, to assist local animal care agencies across the state who step up to care for animals seized during large-scale cruelty investigations. Animal cruelty investigations dealing with issues such as animal fighting, hoarding and puppy mills can result in large numbers of animals suddenly needing intensive veterinary care and sheltering. Since most animal care agencies in California operate at or near full capacity, these temporary shelters are critically important.

For more information about the ASPCA, or to join the Advocacy Brigade, please visit

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


DES MOINES, IA – The Drake University community met its new live bulldog mascot on Thursday. Griff, a retired show dog, is ready for the limelight as the University’s furry ambassador for athletics events, student celebrations, and community festivities. (Follow him on Twitter: @DrakeUGriff)

Drake University President Marty Martin, Student Body President Kevin Maisto, Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb, and Live Mascot Director Erin Bell introduced Griff to a large crowd of Drake students, faculty, and staff members during a campus celebration in Drake’s Helmick Commons.

“Our new live mascot will embody the virtues of a Bulldog, unite our campus community, and inspire new levels of school spirit,” President Martin said. “He is a great addition to our family."

Drake officials announced in April that the University would begin its search for a new live mascot to walk in the pawprints of Porterhouse, a 2009 Beautiful Bulldog Contest winner who served as Drake’s official live mascot until he passed away in December 2013.

After months of searching, Bell—who owned Porterhouse along with her husband, Kevin—locked eyes with Griff. Immediately they knew he had the right combination of looks, charm, confidence, and kindness to represent the university.

“It was love at first sight,” Bell said. “He loves people and can’t get enough attention. He’s a sweet and gentle guy—all the stars aligned when we saw him."

Bell shuttled Griff into Thursday’s celebration in a custom-designed car donated for the live mascot by Mercedes-Benz of Des Moines; a stylish flourish that complements the personality of a dog that cherishes the spotlight. Griff was born in Canada and moved to Iowa when he was 3 months old. He wowed the competition on the American Kennel Club dog show circuit under the supervision of his former owner, who prefers to remain anonymous, before recently retiring from competition. Now, at age 3, he still loves the spotlight—and he has plenty of it ahead.

A committee of representatives from across the Drake campus selected the name Griff in honor of John L. Griffith, who served as the university’s athletic director from 1908 to 1918. Among Griffith’s contributions to the university: He organized a track-and-field meet in 1910, in a blizzard, that became the first-ever Drake Relays. Today the meet is one of the nation’s pre-eminent high school, collegiate, and elite meets, and draws leading athletes from around the world.

But another of Griffith’s legacies is even more central to Drake’s identity and reputation. When Griffith arrived at Drake, the sports teams were known as “The Drakes.” Griffith, who coached football and track, owned two English bulldogs and brought them with him to football practices and games. The bulldogs were so popular among students and fans that a writer from The Des Moines Register began referring to Drake as the Bulldogs, and the name stuck.

“You could safely say that without John L. Griffith, we would not be the Bulldogs,” said Clubb. "A century later, we know that the bulldog is the perfect mascot for Drake University—it might be small, but it’s fearless, and it’s perfectly aligned with the personality of this institution. That’s why we’re so excited to have named the mascot Griff."

Just as John L. Griffith showed Drake University its true identity— and the late live mascot Porterhouse showed the campus a new level of unity and school spirit— Griff is ready to show Drake what he’s made of, said Maisto, the student body president.

"If you met Porterhouse, you know the impact that a live mascot can have on school spirit,” said Maisto. "I remember how the crowds in the Knapp Center cheered when Porterhouse stepped onto the court. When he was on campus, students crowded around him like a celebrity—or a presidential candidate. Porterhouse radiated that pride, excitement, loyalty, and kindness that unites all Bulldogs. I know that Griff will bring that same excitement to campus."

Photo of Griff courtesy of Drake University

Drake University is a midsize, private university in Des Moines, Iowa, enrolling more than 3,300 undergraduate and 1,700 graduate students from 40 states and approximately 40 countries. Students choose from over 70 majors, minors, and concentrations and 20 graduate degrees offered through six colleges and schools. Drake students, faculty, and staff take advantage of the wealth of cultural, recreational, and business opportunities found in Iowa's capital city. In return, Drake enriches the city through its own cultural offerings, considerable economic impact, and many service-learning endeavors, which channel the talent and energy of the Drake students toward meeting the needs of the community.

Pets in the Classroom invites teachers to submit pictures of the habitats of their classroom pets.

The Pets in the Classroom grant program invites pre-kindergarten through 8th grade teachers with classroom pets to enter the Pets in the Classroom Habitat Contest. Now through December 15th, teachers can submit pictures of their classroom pet’s habitat.  All entries are being featured on the Pets in the Classroom website, and people are invited to vote for their favorite habitat.  The teacher whose entry receives the most votes when the contest ends will be selected as one of the contest winners and two additional teachers will also be selected as winners based on random selection.  Each winner will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

“Teachers are endlessly creative in incorporating pets into their classroom environment,” noted Steve King, Pet Care Trust executive director. “We wanted to give teachers an opportunity to share their creativity with their peers. The Habitat Contest is a fun way to inspire others.”

The Pets in the Classroom grant program provides grants to Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade teachers in both private and public schools for the purpose of purchasing and maintaining classroom pets.  Classroom animals are wonderful resources for teachers that, when incorporated into lesson plans, can have a profound impact.  Classroom pets not only provide excitement in the classroom, but they also benefit students by teaching them responsible, long-term pet care at an early age and providing the psychological and developmental benefits associated with the human-animal bond.  Studies have shown that caring for pets has a positive effect on children, improving school attendance and teaching children responsibility, as well as encouraging nurturing and building self-esteem. 

For more information on the Pets in the Classroom grant program or the Habitat Contest, visit

Saturday, Oct. 3, the 276th day of 2015.
There are 89 days left in the year.Crew:
Jon Patch - Host
Dr. Jarrod - Vet/Co Host
Amanda Page - Producer
Bob Page - Executive Producer
Ben - Network Producer
Special Guest:  
Author Carl Safina will join Jon and Talkin' Pets Saturday 10/3/15 at 5 PM EST to discuss and give away his book, BEYOND WORDS, What Animals Think and Feel

Jerry Grymek the Doggie Concierge at Hotel Penn will check in with Talkin' Pets at 630 PM EST to discuss next years show for Westminster

BEYOND WORDS What Animals Think and Feel  
 By Carl Safina    
Advance Praise for Beyond Words  
“Captivating…A profound, scientifically based appeal for recognition of the kinship of all living things.”—Kirkus Reviews, *STARRED REVIEW*  
“In this mind-bending book, Safina takes the reader along with him on his adventures, enlightening and educating at each of his stops.”—Publishers Weekly  
“Well-researched…fascinating and thought-provoking.”—Library Journal  
“A beautifully written, provocative case for seeing animals through their eyes.” —Discover Magazine  
“Carl Safina shows there is indeed intelligent life in the universe, and it's all around us. At once moving and surprising, Beyond Words asks us to reexamine our relationship to other species—and to ourselves.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Sixth Extinction  
“This book breathes love of and respect for animals and is rich with observations and extraordinary travel experiences. It is a delightful and enlightening account of both how we relate to them and how they relate to each other.”—Frans de Waal, author of The Bonobo and the Atheist  
Prize-winning author and MacArthur Fellow Carl Safina weaves decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries in brain science that delivers enlightening insight into animal cognition in his landmark new book BEYOND WORDS: What Animals Think and Feel (Henry Holt/A John Macrae Book; on sale: July 14, 2015).  
In BEYOND WORDS, readers witness elephant families navigate the pervasive drought and incidents of poaching in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, see a free-living wolf pack sort out the aftermath of tragedy in Yellowstone National Park and finally plunge into an astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the waters of the Pacific Northwest. These animals are treated as the individual characters they are, with distinct personalities and unique roles within social structures not unlike our own. Taking us into the animals’ lives and minds, Safina reports on the surprising similarities between our minds and theirs while thoughtfully tackling issues that affect us all, including habitat conservation and extinction.   
BEYOND WORDS offers powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger and love. Ultimately a graceful examination of humanity’s place in the world, Safina calls on us to re-evaluate our relationship to the other species around us.
Carl Safina is author of seven books, including Song for the Blue Ocean, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Eye of the Albatross, Voyage of the Turtle, and The View From Lazy Point. Safina is founding president of The Safina Center at Stony Brook University, where he also co-chairs the University's Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. A winner of the 2012 Orion Award and a MacArthur Prize, among others, his work has been featured in outlets such as The New York Times, National Geographic, and The Huffington Post, and he hosts “Saving the Ocean” on PBS.   
BEYOND WORDS: What Animals Think and Feel By Carl Safina  On sale: July 14, 2015  Henry Holt and Company · 480 pages · ISBN: 978-0-8050-9888-4 · $32.00 Available as an e-Book · ISBN: 978-0-8050-9889-1 · $16.99 

Having an emergency evacuation plan for your pets protects them during disasters

NEW YORK, N.Y.—In anticipation of Hurricane Joaquin, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) urges pet owners to develop emergency evacuation plans to keep their families and pets safe before the storm makes landfall along the East Coast.

“The best thing you can do for you and your pet is to plan ahead before the storm makes landfall,” said Dr. Dick Green, senior director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. “Don’t wait until the last minute, act now and closely monitor the hurricane’s path. There are actions you can take, including arranging a safe haven for your pets and making sure your pets have up-to-date identification. And please take your pets with you if you need to evacuate.”

According to the ASPCA’s national study on disaster preparedness, more than one-third (35 percent) of dog and cat owners don’t have a disaster preparedness plan in place. Further, only about a quarter of dog owners (28 percent) and cat owners (24 percent) say their animals are micro-chipped. The ASPCA urges pet owners to develop emergency plans that accounts for the safety of their animals and to stay informed about potential evacuations in their area.

The following tips will help pet owners prepare for a disaster:

  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis. Nearly one-in-five lost pets goes missing after being scared by the sound of fireworks, thunderstorms or other loud noises, according to ASPCA survey findings.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. 
  • Download ASPCA’s disaster preparedness mobile app. The ASPCA created a free mobile app that informs pet owners what to do before, during, and after a disaster, even without Internet connectivity. The app also gives personalized instructions on how to search for and recover a lost animal in a variety of circumstances. You can also store your pets’ medical records, microchip number, veterinarian contact info, and other information you may need easy access to after you evacuate. Visit to download on iTunes or Google Play.
  • Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet, identify pet-friendly hotels, or contact your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
  • Keep a pet emergency kit and supplies handy with items such as medical records, water, pet food and medications, and pet first aid supplies.
  • Obtain a rescue alert sticker, which will let rescuers know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible and that it includes: 1) the types and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your veterinarian; and 3) your veterinarian's phone number.

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team frequently responds to natural disasters, including recent wildfires in Lake County, Calif., Hurricanes Sandy and Irene in 2012, the Joplin, Mo. tornado in 2011, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, in addition to being called upon by state and municipal governments and other animal welfare partners to lend expertise during large-scale animal rescue operations.

For more information on disaster preparedness and safety tips from the ASPCA, please visit

About the ASPCA
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Saturday, Sept. 26, the 269th day of 2015.
There are 96 days left in the year.Host – Jon Patch
Co-Host – Dr. Anne Lampru
Executive Producer – Bob Page
Network Producer – Sonar Greene
Studio Producer – Lexi Lapp
Special Guests – Hour 1 - Author Laura T. Coffey will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 9/26/2015 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away her book MY OLD DOG
Hour 2 - Chris Ruben of Eurocan Pet Products will join Jon and Talkin' Pets Saturday 9/26/15 at 630pm EST to discuss and give away Bullwrinkles - The ultimate treats for dogs

My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts

Written by Laura T. Coffey Photographs by Lori Fusaro

Foreword by Neko Case

Afterwords by Dr. Marty Becker and Mikkel Becker


Photographer Lori Fusaro is crazy about dogs. She’s lived with them for as long as she can remember, and she photographs them for a living. But until a few years ago, the idea of adopting an older dog made her squirm with uneasiness.

“I thought it would just be too sad,” Fusaro said. “I didn’t think my heart could take it, so I wasn’t willing to open myself up.” That is, until she welcomed a sweet-natured 16-year-old dog named Sunny into her family.


Sunny rewired Fusaro’s view of older dogs so completely that she decided to launch a photography project to show just how much senior shelter pets have to offer. She never guessed that her efforts would spark a media frenzy and draw the attention of hundreds of thousands of supportive readers throughout North America and in places as far away as Malaysia, Germany, Brazil and the Philippines — but that’s exactly what happened.


That outpouring began when Laura T. Coffey wrote a feature story about Fusaro’s work with senior shelter pets for, the website of NBC’s TODAY show. “No Dog Should Die Alone” was the attention-grabbing — and heart-stirring — headline on Coffey’s story, and it generated so much passionate feedback that Coffey and Fusaro decided to team up to work together on My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts.

Their book reveals that even though dogs over the age of 7 tend to be calm, easy, and already house-trained, they often represent the highest-risk population at shelters. With gorgeous, joyful photographs and sweet, funny, true tales of “old dogs learning new tricks,” Coffey and Fusaro show that adopting a senior can be even more rewarding than choosing a younger dog.

My Old Dog introduces readers to endearing elders like Marnie, the irresistible shih tzu who has posed for selfies with Tina Fey, James Franco, and Betty White; Remy, a soulful 9-year-old dog adopted by elderly nuns; George Clooney’s cocker spaniel, Einstein; and Bretagne, the last known surviving search dog from Ground Zero. They may be slower moving and a tad less exuberant than puppies, but these pooches prove that adopting a senior brings immeasurable joy, earnest devotion, and unconditional love.


Of special interest are the book’s stories about retired working dogs — such as military dogs, law-enforcement dogs, and racing dogs — who can find themselves languishing in kennels or left in overcrowded shelters after they age out of their vocations. My Old Dog also includes a comprehensive resource guide to help readers take action and help senior pets themselves in all sorts of ways. (continued)


Laura T. Coffey is a longtime writer, editor, and producer for, the website of NBC’s TODAY show. An award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience, Laura has written and edited hundreds of high-profile human-interest stories. She lives in Seattle, Washington.


Lori Fusaro is staff photographer at Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles and owner of Fusaro Photography, whose clients include BAD RAP, Guide Dogs for the Blind, k9 connection, Angel City Pit Bulls, and other animal rescue organizations. She lives in Los Angeles.

Their website is

My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts

Written by Laura T. Coffey / Photographs by Lori Fusaro

Foreword by Neko Case / Afterwords by Dr. Marty Becker & Mikkel Becker

Pets · October 6, 2015

$24.95 · 256 pages

Paper-over-board hardcover · Full color throughout

ISBN: 978-1-60868-340-6


In the heart of Ontario, Canada farm country you’ll find the charming hamlet of New Hamburg and Barnsdale Farms®.  It is here that Bullwrinkles® and our many other all natural dog treats have been produced since 1989.  The same U.S. and Canadian farmers, ranchers and CFIA / FDA inspected and approved butchers that supply our local grocery stores also supply the raw materials we process in our food-grade plant.  We ovenroast and slow-smoke our chews and treats to perfection.
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SMITHTOWN, NY – (September 21, 2015) – Pairing service dogs with military veterans suffering from PTSD has proven to help the healing process. According to the National Center for Health Research, studies have shown that a dog’s presence, loyalty and love are known to improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and regulating the heart rate during stressful situations. Paws of War, was founded to help those military veterans by training rescued dogs to be service dogs. Now, their mission is expanding to incorporate a Paws of War Therapy program, in honor and memory of US Air Force Veteran Duane Franzone.

“A few years ago, we saved a pitbull mix, Jada. She’d been living under a dirt crawlspace with a broken jaw. Jada was trained to become Duane’s service dog and she meant the world to him,” says Dori Scofield, executive director of Paws of War. “After Duane passed away, his family wanted to carry out his legacy of helping other veterans. That is what inspired us to start a therapy program.”

The Paws of War Therapy Program will train rescued dogs to become the best therapy dogs they can be before visiting any facilities that help veterans. Therapy dogs’ responsibilities include:

  • Provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals other than their handlers/owners
  • Maintain stable temperaments and friendly, easy-going personalities
  • Visit various institutions like hospitals, schools, hospices, psychotherapy offices, nursing homes and more

Many veterans at medical facilities also miss the love and companionship of their own family pets while they are away from home. Bringing in canine therapy does wonders for them. The animals draw out even the most isolated personality, and having to praise the animals helps traumatized veterans overcome emotional numbness.

We anticipate getting many dogs and veterans involved with this program so that we can continue our work of helping both ends of the leash,” states Scofield. “We are both honored to provide this service in Duane’s memory and to expand our work with canines and veterans through our Paws of War program.”

Paws of War is an all volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members with their pets, and provides service and therapy dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. To learn more, get involved, or to make a donation to support Paws of War please visit the website:

About Paws of War

Based in New York and founded by Guardians of Rescue, Paws of War is a 501c3 organization devoted to helping both animals and veterans. The Paws of War goal is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD. In turn each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To learn more about Paws of War, visit the site at

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