There are tens of thousands of "satos" or stray dogs roaming the tiny U.S. commonwealth. We examine the causes and effects of this troublesome predicament. We also follow the tireless efforts of volunteers who rescue and prepare animals for eventual adoption in the United States.
Animal Control On Call: Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, officers of the Washington Humane Society's Animal Care and Control Field Services Division handle the mostly unpredictable and often dangerous responsibility of rescuing injured, threatened or abandoned animals in the nation’s capital. As the only rescue organization charted by the U.S. Congress, it has a unique place among animal welfare agencies by coming to the aid of both pets and wildlife since 1870. To learn more about the work of these dedicated individuals, we sent WAMU’s Metro Connection reporter Lauren Landau to ride along with them.
Grassy Toll: In Charlotte, North Carolina, an 11-year-old chocolate lab appears to have severe allergies to grass, which causes him to chew at his paws because of the irritation. Dr. Gary Weitzman of the San Diego Humane Society offers advice.
Treating a Tabby’s Teeth: A cat named Abby has been diagnosed with feline tooth resorption. What can be done to slow the progression or prevent it?
They are the master builders of the animal kingdom and their handy work has great importance to life on earth for many other species, including humans. A new PBS documentary examines the remarkable lives of beavers and their surprising contributions to our geology and ecology. We asked the film’s award winning director, Jari Osborne, to give us a preview.
The miraculous work of beavers isn’t just a North American phenomenon. In the 16th century, the animals were remaking the English countryside. But then they gradually disappeared, hunted into extinction. Now, 500 years later, the beaver has suddenly and mysteriously returned to the United Kingdom. Reporter Christopher Worth from PRI’s The World tells us more.
A Neutering Nightmare: In Ocean City, Maryland, a 5-year-old golden retriever was on the receiving end of an inadequate neuter procedure, resulting in a $1,200 surgery bill. Dr. Weitzman helps the dog's companion with the next step.
Trouble For a Not-So-Picky Eater: A Washington, D.C. cat named Reginald eats string and other things off the ground, causing him to have uncomfortable intestinal issues. What's the best way to help Reg be more selective about his diet?
Vet Phobia: In Kensington, Maryland, a cat named Beren has to be anesthetized before any veterinarian examination. Is this normal? Is it time to change doctors?
Music: “Purus River” by Uakti; “El Condor Pasa” by Los Jaivas
We know less about what’s in our oceans than we do about outer space; only about 5 percent of the ocean floor—and about a half a percent of the ocean itself—has been explored. Much of the knowledge we have about the pelagic universe can be found with oceanographer Sylvia Earle, affectionately known as “Her Deepness." Earle shares more than 60 years of unlocking the mysteries of the sea in a new documentary, Mission Blue. We have a preview of the film with a little help from Ms. Earle and celebrated director Robert Nixon.
Saving Chesapeake Oysters From Impending DOOM:The Chesapeake Bay is the largest oyster-producing body of water in the United States but the future for the bay’s ancient mollusks is dim; one estimate puts their population at less than 1 percent of historical levels. One of the suspected causes is a rapid depletion of oxygen, referred to as Dissolved Oxygen Oyster Mortality. The laboratory where researchers are working to understand the problem is known as The Room of DOOM. We sent WAMU reporter Jonathan Wilson to have a look at the groundbreaking science that takes place there.
Winding Up When the Sun Goes Down: In Vienna, Virginia, a rescue dog named Missy becomes anxious and fidgety, but only at night. Dr. Gary Weitzman of the San Diego Humane Society has suggestions for winding Missy down.
A Surprise Visitor to the Bird Feeder: A wild turkey is regularly eating the food a Virginia woman puts in her garden feeder. We asked The Nature Conservancy’s Greg Meade to offer advice. Music: “Purus River” by Uakti. Special Thanks to Natalie Yuravlivker
Recently a Cooper’s Hawk collided with the building that houses WAMU 88.5's new media center in Washington, D.C., where we produce The Animal House. We immediately checked on the condition of the hawk and the person who witnessed the hawk, our web designer Carrie Moskal; both survived, briefly stunned. After watching the bird fly away a few minutes later, we began looking into how often this happens in other places. The numbers are astronomical. Tens of millions, possibly billions, of birds die every year after accidentally flying into homes and offices across North America. Producer Natalie Yuravlivker spoke with three researchers who are studying the causes of, and possible solutions to, this growing problem. For information about what you can do to minimize bird collisions, click here.
State of the Birds: An extensive scientific study describing the status quo of North American birds was recently completed, combining the work of america’s top avian scientists and more than 20 agencies. The end result is the 2014 State of the Birds report and it’s authors are calling their findings unsettling. To get a clearer understanding of that assessment, we asked producer Kathy Goldgeier to speak with two of the study’s contributors, Peter Marra, director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and Ken Rosenberg, a conservation scientist with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
All Wet In Washington, D.C.: A foster cat named Little Man is spraying all over the bathroom. His caretakers have tried many types of litter but the problem persists.
A Tipping Point? Sabrina, a 15-year-old cat in La Mesa, California is experiencing severe pain due to arthritis and has become ill-tempered. Her caretaker is seriously considering pet acupuncture. Music: “Purus River” by Uakti; “Wild Horses” by Tim Reis
If you take a moment to look through the window right now, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to see a bird, a squirrel or some other example of the vast number of species outside, living among us. But you may not know that living inside your house or apartment right now are also hundreds of rarely seen creatures, collectively called arthropods. We learn more from Dr. Michelle Trautwein, one several entomologists who recently completed a study of the crowded landscape of indoor life forms. Here's a quiz to find out which ones may be living in your home.
Psychotherapy For Pets And Wildlife: Science historian and TED fellow Laurel Braitman describes herself as someone who “spends a lot of time thinking about humans thinking about other animals thinking about us.” Dr. Braitman’s work has, among other things, revealed a singular perspective on the subject of animals and mental illness. And her new book, Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs,Compulsive Parrots and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves, is a best seller. Dr. Braitman tells us how to identify psychological disorders in non-human species and she suggests several therapeutic options.