The Animal House was a weekly radio show produced by WAMU. For five years, it explored the latest in animal science, pet behavior, and wildlife conservation. The show ended production in November 2014.


Sam Litzinger

photo of Sam Litinger

Sam has been the co-host of The Animal House since its inception in 2009. He is also an anchor and reporter on the CBS Radio Network where he occasionally fills in for Charles Osgood on The Osgood File. He also hosts This Just in!, a series of radio shows on major issues in journalism. He was host and producer of Sound Sessions from Smithsonian Folkways, audio explorations of the Folkways archives. Among his most recent honors: a national Edward R. Murrow award for best radio network newscast. Sam is the personal assistant to an Afghan rescue cat named Nimruz, whom he adores. .

Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA

photo of Dr. Gary Weitzman

Each week, co-host Gary Weitzman uses his two decades of veterinary experience to aid listeners who call in from around the world with questions about pets and wildlife. Dr. Weitzman is president of the San Diego Humane Society and the former CEO of the Washington Animal Rescue League. During Dr. Weitzman's tenure at WARL, it became a recognized leader in physical and behavioral rehabilitation and a national resource for helping animals after natural disasters and puppy mill rescues. Dr. Weitzman is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and an expert in non-profit sector work and international public health. Weitzman is the author of several books including "How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language." Find out more about the book.

Steven Williams, Managing Producer

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Steven has worked as a radio producer for The United Nations as well as for broadcasting operations in New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Steven's work in The Animal House includes writing, editing, reporting and maintaining the flow of information on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Over the years, Steven has been the proud companion of a wide variety of pets, among them several dogs and cats, freshwater and salt water tropical fish and various species of reptiles. Steven welcomes listener suggestions and story ideas – please email him at stevenw@wamu.org.

Natalie Yuravlivker, Production Assistant

Natalie is a native of Potomac, MD and a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she studied architecture. She joined WAMU in 2011 as a volunteer and worked her way up to her current position in less than a year. In addition to handling the editing and sound design of the call-in segments with Dr. Gary, she is also assists in the daily production of The Diane Rehm Show and The Kojo Nnamdi Show. Natalie is the proud companion of a delightful polydactyl feline named Columbo.

Training and Behavior Resources

All About Dogs - 703-497-7878

Commonwealth Humane Society - 703-385-5700

Humane Society of Fairfax County (VA) - 703-385-7387

The Humane Society of the United States - 202-452-1100 or 866-720-2676

Montgomery County Humane Society - 240-773-5960

Washington Animal Rescue League - 202-375-7744

Washington Humane Society - 202-723-5730

Your Dog's Friend - 301-983-5913

San Diego Humane Society and SPCA offers affordable classes and workshops to address a variety of training needs for companion animals. Our training philosophy is based on the behavioral science concepts of positive reinforcement. Training your pet using these concepts will not only help them learn new behaviors more quickly, but will also strengthen the bond you share.

Puppy Training Classes: Puppy Fun Class

Dog Training Classes: Head Start (introductory-level), Canine Good Citizen, Leash Walking, Really Reliable Recall

Private Consultation: Phone consults and in-person consults

Contact Us: For more information or class registration, (619) 299-7012 ext. 2334. Sign up online (full calendar of events & classes) www.sdhumane.org

Other Recommended San Diego Training Resources

•Jaime Bozzi, Smart Dog, 619-246-5634

•Jessica Wheatcraft, Synergy Dog Training, 619-994-9191

•Hiromi Suzuki, Canine to Five, 619-684-5959

•Atsuko Greenwood, 619-207-7661

•Kyle Rayon, Let’s Train, 619-925-9310

•Madeline Gabriel, Dogs and Babies, 619-275-3647

•Nan Arthur, Whole Dog Training, 619-561-2602

The Animal House is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.