Helping Pets and People: Top 7 Links

helping pets

Labor Day

Helping pets and their people is a goal of ours here at Animal Cafe.  What better time than today to take a look back at what we’ve done. It’s the outer edge of Labor Day, the barbecue is over, and everyone has gone home.  The change of seasons and a farewell to summer is upon us – it’s been cool and breezy all day.  Where did the time go? Animal Café will be six months young on the 7th – time to look back and review shared lessons learned with our listeners and readers.
1.  Most Beautiful

Mary Haight’s interview with Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director of Found Animals Foundation, “$75 Million Dollar Race: End Euthanasia” takes this spot. The mission of Found Animals Foundation goes well beyond the ordinary in helping pets, and through it’s Michaelson Grant program engages the best of the best in reproductive science and research in the race to find a single dose solution to surgical spay/neuter.  Without the 50 million dollars in grants for research and development, there would be no race. Money changes everything. Think of it – helping pets in a way that begins to change the lives of 600,000,000 stray dogs and cats worldwide, without pain, infection, or impossible odds. The fact that they also have an adoption center and partner with others in California to support adoption and maximize the number of animals who find homes is another reason this group enjoys the spotlight. But the story that started it all? Well, that is most beautiful!

 Helping Pets…


2. Most Hot-Topic, Most Inclusive, and Heralding of the Future

Okay, so it’s a long category and yes I made it up, but Edie Jarolim offered a great interview with Kelly Gorman Dunbar “Nosework: Letting Your Dog Do What Comes Naturally” which was an instant hit. She stepped into Eric’s shoes for a moment (big shoes, which he took to his new job at IAABC:) so our listeners would get the details. Nose work is the most inclusive activity – anyone can do this with their dog, even indoors – and dogs get to exercise that powerful sense of smell that doesn’t get nearly enough of a workout. Q-tips dipped in essential oils and a container are all you need, so this doesn’t even cost a lot of money to enjoy. No more bored dogs! Even couch potatoes can participate. And this month we welcome Kelly Gorman Dunbar, co-founder and executive editor of, and certified nose work trainer, to the Animal Cafe team. Enjoy getting all the details and start sharing more quality time with your dog today.


3.  Most Popular

Eric Goebelbecker snagged this spot with his first effort here on Animal Café’s debut show with Marjie Alonso, then President and Executive Director of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a professional certifying organization for behaviorists. His “Interview with Marjie Alonso, President of IAABC”  IAABC works to “minimize the use of aversive stimuli and maximize effective use of reinforcers to modify animal behavior.” Who knew?  We learned how they accomplish their goals, and about the excellent annual conference with internationally recognized speakers. The IAABC are available to help the public find a qualified behaviorist, helping pets and their people avoid costly mistakes.  They have a handy locator available on their website.  There are some great organizations we never heard of out there!


4.  Most Controversial – Tie!

Dr. Lorie Huston’s interview with Iams/P&G Science Relations Manager, Marcie Campion, PhD, presents the view of pet food as seen from a major pet food company.  In “Pet Food Quandry: What’s Best for Dogs and Cats“,  Campion talks about the use and purpose of grains in pet food, what by-products are, and how personal food philosophies have created markets for products without grains, or by-products. Helping pets with new formulations serves this trend. She has been in the industry for 20 years. This is book-ended by Mary Haight’s “Pet Food, Can You Handle the Truth?” interview with Susan Thixton of, helping pets as an intrepid unofficial investigator of pet food, it’s processing and ingredients for nearly 20 years who advises there are no standardized quality controls for the use and disposition of by-products in pet food, offering facts from the FDA as support. She was invited and welcomed at the recent Western Veterinary Conference to speak to vet school students on pet food. Conclusion: Our food chain needs help!


5.  Most Helpful

Dr Lorie Huston’s wonderful interview with Jillian Myers “Pet First Aid and CPR: Would You Know How To Save Your Pet in An Emergency?” says it all.  How can you get more helpful than saving lives?  Knowing how to act in an emergency and when CPR is appropriate will prepare you – and there is nothing like helping pets by being prepared in an emergency. This is a important discussion to follow, which also shares how to do a nose to tail assessment and spot indicators that something is not quite right. Prevention is what we all want, not the emergency situation where it is easy to be shocked into inaction if not prepared. If you haven’t taken that class on pet CPR, when you listen to this podcast you may find yourself searching the net for what’s available locally.


6.  Did not get enough love

Edie Jarolim’s interview with the Irish cowboy, Michael McCormick, “Running a Pet-Friendly B&B” found her delighted by the skill and panache demonstrated at the Lazy Dog Ranch. But it needs more love! Michael and Catherine McCormick are charming hosts who have 35 years in the hospitality business. With three residents dogs who work helping pets get to know the lay of the land, two horses and many canine guests who can explore in the safety of a fully fenced property, there’s always plenty to do.  Located in Southern Arizona, this is the only Inn in the famous birding conservation area there. There are no weight limits for dogs and each room is allowed three!  Now *that* is what I call pet-friendly.  We thought this deserved another listen.


7. Post Most Proud of

Eric Goebelbecker’s Pet Play Therapy with Dr Rise VanFleet talks about her program helping pets help at risk children.  Dogs who are not only suited to but happy working with these children are integrated into play therapy to help the emotionally troubled open up and better communicate with the therapist. This therapy is useful for many issues, some of which are discussed in the podcast.  Rise VanFleet gave generously of her time and helped us see another aspect of all that dogs do for us. More lessons learned. Dr. VanFleet is an internationally known, award winning psychologist and we were pleased and proud to have her as our guest.


So, tell us, what were some of your favorites? Which one stuck in your mind as maybe helping pets the most?  What would you like to hear about? If you are new, you may want to hit the itunes button to the right and download our playlist to your device.  As we look forward, September will see a branching out at Animal Cafe to include animals and the environment.  Stay tuned!


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