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Talkin' Pets News

November 25, 2023

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Suzanne Topor - Livingston Animal & Avian Hospital - Lutz, FL

Producer - Kayla Cavanaugh

Network Producer - Paul Campos

Social Media - Bob Page

Pet owners beware: An unusual respiratory illness in dogs that does not respond to antibiotics is being investigated in several states across the U.S.

Oregon, Colorado and New Hampshire are among the states that have seen cases of the illness, which has caused lasting respiratory disease and pneumonia. Symptoms of respiratory illness in dogs include coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge and lethargy. Some cases of the pneunomia progress quickly, making dogs very sick within 24 to 36 hours.

"Unfortunately, right now, nobody knows what it is," veterinarian Dr. Mike Hutchinson told CBS News Pittsburgh. "When that happens, you should see your veterinarian because we're going to treat those symptoms. And for viruses, there's really no good anti-viral on the market. However, we can support the symptoms sometimes by nebulizing them or giving them some support, fluids, things that they need," said Hutchinson.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has documented more than 200 cases of the disease since mid-August, encouraging pet owners to contact their vet if their dog is sick and told state veterinarians to report cases as soon as possible.  The agency is working with state researchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratory to find out what is causing the illnesses.

Dogs have also died, Kurt Williams, director of the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Oregon State University, told the Associated Press. But without a clear way to define the disease or test for it, he said it's hard to put a number on how many died from a severe form of the infection. As veterinarians try to pin down what's making the animals sick, they are encouraging people to take basic precautions to keep their pets healthy.

Hutchinson says he hasn't seen any cases in his practice but recommends pet owners to keep their furry friends away from other dogs if possible, as they are more likely to contract the illness in places like kennels, dog parks and groomers. "Most of the day cares, at least around us, they require that all of the vaccines are up to date, that they have a health certificate from their veterinarian. So most of the time you're putting healthy dogs into that area. But you get one dog that's sick, it's like the schoolyard cold, then the rest of them can get that cold," Hutchinson said.

Williams also says it's a good idea to make sure your pets are up-to-date on vaccines, including those that protect against various respiratory illnesses. Otherwise, "don't panic," he says.  David Needle, senior veterinary pathologist at the University of New Hampshire's New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, who has been investigating the mysterious disease for almost a year, said his team has not seen a large increase in dogs dying from the illness but also encouraged pet owners to "decrease contact with other dogs."

His lab and colleagues at the university's Hubbard Center for Genome Research have looked at samples from dogs in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts and more will be coming from Oregon, Colorado and possibly other states.


Manhattan, NY – An elderly horse named Ryder was forced to pull a carriage on a hot August day in Manhattan. The senior horse, underweight and overheated, collapsed on the pavement and could not get back to his feet for nearly an hour.

On November 15, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., announced charges against the driver who pushed Ryder to collapse on August 10, 2022. DA Bragg is charging 55-year-old Ian McKeever with one count of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals, Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, a class A misdemeanor.

District Attorney Bragg said:

“As alleged, Ryder should not have been working on this hot summer day. Despite his condition, he was out for hours and worked to the point of collapse. All animals deserve to be treated with the utmost care and the type of abuse that Ryder allegedly suffered is unacceptable.”

The press release outlines the despicable manner in which Ryder was treated after collapsing on the street:

At approximately 5:10 p.m., Ryder collapsed on the ground in the middle of the street at West 45th Street and 9th Avenue. MCKEEVER repeatedly tried to force him to stand by pulling on the reins, yelling, and using a whip. At no point did MCKEEVER provide any water to Ryder while he was on the ground, despite the 84-degree weather. MCKEEVER initially kept Ryder attached to the carriage harness while he was lying on the ground. A member of the NYPD eventually removed the harness, allowing Ryder to fully lie down. The police officer then put ice and cold water on Ryder for 45 minutes until he was finally able to stand up.

Ryder had been working in the heat since 9 a.m., collapsing from sheer exhaustion shortly after 5 p.m. A 26-year-old, underweight horse with health problems was forced to pull a carriage full of people all day long in the heat…until he literally fell on the ground in exhaustion.

McKeever lied about Ryder’s age, telling the authorities the horse was 13 years of age when he was actually twice that age – an age when he should have been retired, not forced to work in the heat.

Please add your name to the petition as Animal Victory seeks justice for this abused horse. Ryder’s health was poor and he ultimately had to be euthanized months after his collapse. Profits over animals have no place in society. We want to see Ian McKeever held accountable for his despicable treatment of this elderly horse, and we stand in support of Ryder’s Law, which would ban horse carriages in New York City. Go to




Extra greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are the main reason that Earth is getting warmer. Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, trap the Sun's heat in Earth's atmosphere. It's normal for there to be some greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. They help keep Earth warm enough to live on. But too many greenhouse gases can cause too much warming. The burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil increase the amount of CO2 in our air. This happens because the burning process combines carbon with oxygen in the air to make CO2. It's important that we monitor CO2 levels, because too much CO2 can cause too much warming on Earth. Several NASA missions have instruments that study CO2 in the atmosphere. Over millions of years, Earth's climate has warmed up and cooled down many times. However, today the planet is warming much faster than it has over human history. Global air temperatures near Earth's surface have gone up about 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. In fact, the past five years have been the warmest five years in centuries. A couple of degrees may not seem like much. However, this change can have big impacts on the health of Earth's plants and animals. We know what Earth's past climate was like by studying things that have been around for a long time. For example, scientists can study what Earth's climate was like hundreds of years ago by studying the insides of trees that have been alive since then.

But if scientists want to know what Earth's climate was like hundreds of thousands to millions of years ago, they study sediment cores and ice cores. Sediment cores come from the bottoms of lakes or the ocean floor. Ice cores are drilled from deep — sometimes miles — below the surface of the ice in places like Antarctica. A drilled ice core kind of looks like what you get if you plunge a drinking straw into a slushy drink and pull it out with your finger over the end of the straw. The layers in an ice core are frozen solid. These layers of ice give clues about every year of Earth's history back to the time the deepest layer was formed. The ice contains bubbles of the air from each year. Scientists analyze the bubbles in each layer to see how much CO2 they contain. Scientists can also use ice cores to learn about the temperatures for each year. As snow accumulates onto a growing glacier, the temperature of the air imprints onto the water molecules in the ice. Scientists who use trees, ice cores, and lake and ocean sediment to study Earth's climate are called paleoclimatologists. They look at all of these sources of information and compare their findings to see if they match up. If they do, then their findings are accepted as being most likely true. If the findings don't agree, the scientists do more studies and collect more information. In the case of Earth's climate history, the results from many different kinds of studies agree. It takes a lot of energy to warm up water. However, the oceans do absorb heat, and they do get warmer. This warmer water causes sea ice to begin to melt in the Arctic.

Information from NASA's Earth satellites shows us that every summer, some Arctic ice melts and shrinks, getting smallest by September. Then, when winter comes, the ice grows again. But since 1979, the September ice has been getting smaller and smaller and thinner and thinner. So, just a small amount of warming can have a huge effect over several years.  Glaciers are another form of melting, shrinking ice. Glaciers are like frozen rivers. They flow over land like rivers, only they move much slower. Warmer temperatures cause them to flow more quickly. Many of them flow toward the ocean, breaking into huge chunks that fall into the water. More glaciers are melting into the ocean, and the global sea level is rising. Sea level rise is another clue that tells us Earth's climate is getting warmer. But melting ice is not the only cause of rising sea levels. As the ocean gets warmer, the water actually expands! Scientists have observed that the sea level has risen 7 inches in the last 100 years.


The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for all dogs, is honored to recognize K9 Huk of Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in Jacksonville, Florida and K9 Loki of Michigan Department of State Police, in Houghton Lake, Michigan with the American Kennel Club’s DOGNY Paw of Courage Award.

The AKC DOGNY Paw of Courage demonstrates appreciation for the work that dogs do in the service of humankind. This award recognizes dogs who serve their communities, making great impacts on the lives of their human counterparts.

“The American Kennel Club is proud to present this award to these two incredibly deserving canines,” says AKC Executive Secretary, Gina DiNardo. “We honor K9 Huk and K9 Loki for their dedication and commitment to keeping their communities safe every day.”

K9 Huk, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville, FL

On July 22, 2022, Canine Officer Cheth Plaugher and his Police Service Dog Huk responded and actively engaged in a vehicle pursuit, where PSD Huk was deployed to engage the suspects and was struck several times by gunfire, critically injuring him.

Officer Plaugher provided first aid to PSD Huk while he was driven to Brentwood Animal Clinic. He was then airlifted by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Aviation unit to First Coast Veterinary Specialists in Jacksonville Beach. Huk underwent numerous surgeries and medical treatments during his nine-month recovery. Unfortunately, on March 30th PSD Huk had his front limb amputated and was subsequently retired from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

PSD Huk is a great example of the dedication, loyalty, and selflessness that police service dogs exhibit in the line of duty. He served his community honorably for nearly six years and displayed extreme courage and bravery during this incident.

K9 Loki, Michigan Department of State Police, Houghton Lake, MI

In June of 2023 A Michigan State Police K-9 found a 3-year-old lost in a remote wooded area of Roscommon County for at least a half hour. K-9 Loki and his partner from Michigan State Police were in the area when they received the call and started tracking the boy's scent through heavily wooded terrain and marshes.

Trooper Whited became a K9 handler in 2017, assigned to the Houghton Lake Post and took the responsibility of being Loki’s handler who was then a one-year-old German Shepard. Trooper Whited and Loki who is now 7 years old continue to serve out of the Houghton Lake Post.

K9 Loki is very obedient and friendly with members of the community and a favorite amongst members assigned to the post.


Less than a week ago, National Animal News reported on a deadly virus impacting dogs in multiple states. Many people asked if the virus was regional, or nationwide – the short answer is that it is nationwide.

Dr. Carly Fox, senior veterinarian at Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, told PIX11 News:

“I think people should be mildly worried.”

Dogs impacted by the virus, which has been discovered in at least 10 states so far, are not responding to antibiotics, and it seems to progress to pneumonia quickly.

Pet owners should be vigilant and watch for symptoms of the virus, which include: persistent cough, nasal discharge, discharge from the eyes, lethargy, and fever. Take your dog to a veterinarian at the first sign of sickness to help prevent the virus from progressing to a point of no return.

Pet owners are being advised to avoid taking their dogs to states on the West Coast. People on the West Coast should avoid dog parks, grooming salons, doggy daycare facilities, and other areas where a large number of dogs visit.


Police in Humble, Texas are searching for a woman caught on video leaving a dog tied to a dumpster and left to die.

According to a post on Facebook by the Humble Police Department, the woman, who is being accused of felony animal cruelty, is seen tying up a dog to a dumpster with a piece of orange cord around his neck.

Officials say the dog is then seen struggling against the woman. The video shows the rest of the gruesome abuse as the dog struggles, becomes unconscious, and is dead within two minutes.

Humble Police are searching for the suspect accused of leaving a dog to die. Police say the dog was young, anywhere between six and eight months old, a pitbull mix dog, with a tan and white coat.

Officers are describing the suspect as a Black woman, wearing gray sweatpants, a pink sweatshirt, white hat, and white slides for shoes.

Police are asking anyone with information on this suspect to contact the City of Humble Police Department about case number 23-005744.


The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is midway through its $2 million four-year study on wild turkeys in the state. Researchers said there is a decline in turkey populations.

“They’re a cool bird,” said Micah Holmes with the ODWC.

The State Wildlife Department, Oklahoma State University, US Fish and Wildlife, and several other organizations OSU Extension, the U.S. is working to determine why the wild turkey population is declining, not just in the state but across the country.

“The overall population numbers are not as strong, they’re not what they were, ten years ago,” said Holmes. “It wasn’t that long ago 60s, 70s, 80s, where we really didn’t have turkeys in the state.”

For answers, scientists are zoning in on nests in Southwest and Southwest Oklahoma.

“We have a transmitter on the hen, so we know when she starts to nest, and we can go in there and see how many nests she laid and if those eggs hatched or not,” said Holmes.

Researchers found many predators like to shop for dinner in those nests.

“Things like racoons, opossums, skunks,” said Holmes.

Holmes said wildlife officials manage one million acres of Oklahoma, which is only 2% of all the state’s land. That means the future of turkey habitats rests on private land owners.

The ODWC said private landowners need to keep an eye on their trees. Turkeys sleep up in the branches as long as it’s easy to get up and down.

“If you have a big cottonwood on your property make sure there are no trees underneath of it, especially cedar trees are very detrimental to them,” said Holmes.

Holmes said managing cedar trees can also help deer, quail, and cattle.

Researchers said other big factors in the decline include weather, changes in land use, and loss of genetic diversity.


Animal Protection Officers received more than they bargained for after assisting police on a call in Philadelphia where dozens of dogs were found inside an abandoned home. 

According to a post on Facebook, ACCT Philly said officers responded to an abandoned home on Sunday and found the home filled with trash and feces, along with puppies, believed to be less than 2 weeks old, and the mother of the puppies desperate to protect them.

ACCT added that the floor was full of broken glass and stacked rusted cages.

The shelter posted that officers were able to get the mom, her newborns, the other teenage pups, the suspected dad and the pit mix and bring them to the shelter. 

"Our kennels were already full, but as the only open intake animal shelter in Philadelphia, we can’t turn away cases like this simply due to space," ACCT posted.

The shelter added that the mom and her newborns have found a rescue, but the other dogs still need a place to call home.

Anyone interested in fostering or adopting the dogs or to volunteer at ACCT, can do so by visiting their at


Amid the buzz of adorable puppies and playful kittens in adoption centers, the charm of a senior pet beckoning for love and attention cannot be ignored. Embracing the opportunity to provide a loving home for an older companion is a uniquely rewarding experience, though vastly different than taking home a new puppy.

Adopting a senior pet might just be the beginning of a most fulfilling journey for both you and your furry friend. Reasons that adopting a senior pet is sometimes more ideal than taking home a young pup.

1. Experience and maturity
2. Gratitude and affection
3. Predictable size and behavior
4. Fulfillment of a lasting need
5. Easing into a routine
6. Saving a life and making a difference
7. Lower energy levels and exercise needs
8. Giving unconditional love


Yellowstone National Park's bison are majestic animals, standing around 6ft tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 2,000lb. It's understandable that visitors want to snap some photos of these colossal creatures, but sometimes awe gets in the way of common sense.

A group of about a dozen tourists have been caught on camera crowding around a particularly large bull grazing at the roadside. In a video shot by photographer Logan Smith and shared on infamous Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, several people can be seen sitting or standing with their backs to the animal, unable to see the changes in its body language that show its increasing agitation. The position of a bison's tail is a particular giveaway – if it's raised, you need to get out of there as soon as possible.

Eventually the animal's patience snaps and it charges its unwanted audience, hopping over a small barrier to land in the middle of the crowd. Luckily all the visitors were able to flee just in time, and avoided being gored or knocked down. Not everyone who has a close call with a bison is so lucky. Earlier this year, two women were left with serious abdominal injuries after being gored by the animals at US National Parks within the space of a week.

In fact, the National Park Service (NPS) says that bison are responsible for more injuries at Yellowstone than any other animal, including bears and wolves. "Give bison space when they are near a campsite, trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area," says the NPS in its safety guidelines for park visitors. "If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity."


FRIENDSHIP, Wis. (WMTV/Gray News) – A woman who was walking her dog in Wisconsin on the second day of the gun-deer season was shot in the abdomen, according to a Department of Natural Resources official.

The 47-year-old woman needed to be flown via MedFlight to an area hospital where she is still being treated, DNR Hunter Education Administrator Lt. Mike Weber said. According to the agency, she was shot while walking her dog on private property. The 62-year-old hunter told the DNR he thought the dog was an antlerless deer, so he fired.

DNR is still investigating the incident, Weber said. He says the man was disabled and Wisconsin has opportunities that would allow people with disabilities to hunt from their vehicles. During the news conference, Weber offered a reminder to hunters about wearing blaze orange and fluorescent pink when in the woods. He added that non-hunters should consider wearing those highly visible colors as well during gun-deer season.


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