Mindy Norton

Host: Speaking of Pets

Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.

She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from UAB. She got her first real pet at the age of 9 when her family adopted a mixed Boston Terrier pup they named “Scamp”. As an adult, a friend invited her to help with a humane society event, and that was the beginning of her involvement with group efforts to help animals. Since then, she has been on the boards of directors of three animal welfare organizations, serving as president of two of them.

For seven years, Mindy wrote and recorded a weekday spot called “Pet Patrol” for Birmingham’s WBHM Public Radio, for which she won an Obelisk Award in 1979. After she and her husband (and three cats) moved to Tuscaloosa, she talked the station manager at the time into giving her two minutes every Saturday morning to talk about pets and pet care.

Since 2006, “Speaking of Pets” has been available as a podcast, consistently one of APR’s most popular offerings. (In fact, staff members have referred to her as the “podcast queen”!) That’s no surprise to Mindy who believes the reason for its popularity is the subject matter. “After all,” she says, “I get to talk about our best friends every week!”

Her APR spot about the link between animal abuse and cruelty toward humans has been featured on the American Humane Association’s website.  As a volunteer, Mindy feels she is so blessed to have a soap box with a microphone in front of it – plus, she gets to help two causes at the same time, animal welfare and Alabama Public Radio.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat August 1, 2015

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Part 1

Credit American Humane Association

The 2015 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of eight categories: Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement Dogs, Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, and Guide/Hearing Dogs.

The Service Dog category includes animals that assist people with disabilities other than sight and hearing. Most have received special training.

The Emerging Hero category honors the partnership that often develops between human and dog. Some of these animals are trained in such areas as detection of diseases such as cancer,  others are just pets who, without any special training, instinctively assist their human companions, and some are overcomers who have triumphed over adversity in an extraordinary way.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat July 25, 2015

Red Star Rescue Team

Red Star Rescue Team at work
Credit American Humane Association - Facebook

In 1916 the American Humane Association was asked by the US War Department to rescue thousands of horses injured in Europe during World War I.  That effort became Red Star Rescue.  Ninety-nine years later, they are still rescuing animals in all types of situations, from natural disasters to human neglect and cruelty.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat July 18, 2015

Dog in a Hot Car

Even with the windows cracked, this dog is in serious danger!
Credit Donald Lee Pardue [Flickr]

You would never put your pet in an oven, but that's essentially what you are doing if you leave an animal in a closed car on a warm day.  Either leave a person with your pet or leave your pet at home.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat July 11, 2015

The Bucket List

Sweet little Chester - before and after
Credit Chester's Final Journey [Facebook]

When a woman decided to adopt a dying dog, it was an act of compassion.  But her decision to create a bucket list for Chester, and document it all on social media, has captured the imagination of pet lovers everywhere.  Her love and compassion for an animal that may have only weeks to live has focused attention on hospice care for pets.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat July 4, 2015

4th of July and Your Pet

Happy 4th of July - let's stay home together!
Credit 1RN2GSD (Christine K) [Flickr]

The Fourth of July is a day to celebrate America, but it's important to remember that the safety of our family is the most important consideration.  If your family includes a pet, it's up to you to keep them safe to enjoy all the family celebrations for years to come.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat June 27, 2015

Tama the Stationmaster Cat

Tama the Stationmaster Cat
Credit melanie_ko [Flickr]

Animals touch us in ways we can't explain or even understand.  Who would think that naming a Calico cat as stationmaster of a Japanese train station would draw not just attention but so many visitors?  Now Tama's likeness adorns souvenirs and even trains!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat June 20, 2015

Naming Your Cat

Charlotte looks a lot like Caspurr.
Credit aturkus (Alan Turkus) [Flickr]

Finding the right name for your new feline friend might be easy, or it could be a challenge.  You want something you like, something easy to remember - and nothing too embarrassing if you are calling for it in the unlikely (we hope) event it should it accidentally get out!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat June 13, 2015

Hemingway Cats

Can you see my feet - I have lots of toes!
Credit brownpau [Flickr]

Polydactyl cats have extra toes on one or more paws.  They are often called Hemingway cats.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat June 6, 2015

Adopt a Cat Month

Hi, there! Are you looking for a new friend?
Credit Clara S. [Flickr]

A cat is a relatively easy pet to keep in the house, and one that will be a good companion.  Cats are playful and funny and make great snuggle-buddies!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 30, 2015

Disaster Emergency Kit for Your Pet

Hey, the water is getting a little high here!
Credit Rob Bixby Photography

Keeping your best friend safe in a disaster is easier if you plan ahead.  Put together a kit with all the important supplies, then make sure you take your four-footed companion and get out of harm's way in plenty of time to keep you both safe.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Dog Bite Prevention Week 2015

American Bull ("Pit Bull") Terrier puppy
Credit Beverly & Pack [Flickr]

This puppy looks cute and sweet, and not at all vicious.  He is an American Bull Terrier, often called a "Pit Bull".  If he is raised with love and gentleness he will be a great family pet.  If he is taught to be mean and aggressive, people will be afraid of him.  Part of preventing dog bites is in how the animals are raised and trained.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 16, 2015

What the Dog Ate

Belgian Malinois with a durable toy in its mouth
Credit mt-sign (Marc-Andre Trage) [Flickr]

Limiting your dog's access to harmful items may not be easy, especially if your dog is intelligent or crafty.  But it's worth the effort if it keeps your best friend safe and healthy. 

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Pet Moms

Just wrapping a gift for my mom for Mother's Day!
Credit firepile (Robin Zebrowski) {Flickr]

Nowadays, we can buy pet costumes for Halloween, take our dog or cat out in a pet stroller, board them at pet daycare, even buy veterinary health insurance for them.  We can even adopt (as opposed to "buy") them from our local animal shelter.  Legally they may be considered property, but humans are treating their furry companions as part of the family!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Be Kind to Animals Week 1915-2015

Shirley Temple
Credit American Humane Association

Be Kind to Animals Week is a great time to celebrate the unique bond between humans and animals.  Whether you focus on taking proper care of pets, or compassion for the plight of animals in need, or simply the enjoyment of the beauty animals add to our world, our lives are enriched - especially so by the ones we call our best friends!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat April 25, 2015

First Aid for Pets

Injured dog with a splint on its leg
Credit theOpie [Flickr]

Pet owners should know how to recognize the signs of heat stroke in their furry friend, and how to respond.  It's also good to know the proper way to wrap and dress a wound, and maybe even how to perform CPR on an animal.  (CPR is different for dogs and cats.)  A little know-how could help your pet survive in an emergency

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