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 October 11, 2014

(Too) Playful Dog

Poodles can be high-energy dogs.
Credit Greg Westfall [Flickr]

One of the most common reasons given for surrendering a dog to an animal shelter is behavior problems.  Training a pet can make it a better companion and give it the best chance for a happy life in a forever home.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat October 4, 2014

When a Pet Owner Dies

What will happen to your pet if something happens to you?
Credit NatalieMaynor [Flickr]

As responsible pet owners, we try to take good care of our pets, but if you're not there anymore who will look after your best friend?

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat September 27, 2014

Targeted T-N-R Works!

Feral cat is wary of humans.
Credit Nakae [Flickr]

Targeted Trap-Neuter-Return helps reduce and stabilize the feral cat population.

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Pets
10:10 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Dog Splash 2014

Dog Splash 2014
Credit University Recreation, University of Alabama

Dog Splash or Pooch Pool Party - whatever you call it, people and pets alike can have lots of fun.  Bring a toy, bring a life vest for your dog if needed, and have a great time with your best friend!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat September 13, 2014

What's in a Name?

Rufus, relaxing at home
Credit Mindy Norton

We named our big red tabby "Rufus" because that means "red".  Plus, it sounded like a substantial name for what was definitely a substantial cat!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Friendliest Cities for Pets

This seems like a pretty friendly place!
Credit wheany (Jan-Erik Finnberg) [Flickr]

Where would you choose to live with your pet - small town or big city?  Wherever you go, you want your pet to be as happy there as you are!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Pets on Campus

Sometimes you just need a hug from your best friend.
Credit K-Lovera (Kristine Dhillon) [Flickr]

Many schools, like the University of Alabama, have a pet policy that allows only fish in campus housing.  Others, like Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, have more liberal pets-in-residence programs that permit small dogs, cats rabbits, ferrets, even ducks.  For some students, the option to take their best friend with them to school can influence their decision about where they decide to study.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Hero Dog Awards 2014, Part 4

Hero Dog Awards 2014
Credit American Humane Association

The 2014 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, Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs.

In the world of Search and Rescue operations, dogs have a very special place. their keen sense of smell, excellent night vision, extremely sensitive hearing and endurance have made them crucial in efforts to locate people who are missing or trapped.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat August 16, 2014

Hero Dog Awards 2014, Part 3

Hero Dog Awards 2014
Credit American Humane Association

The 2014 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, Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Hero Dog Awards 2014, Part 2

Hero Dog Awards 2014
Credit American Humane Association

The 2014 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, Guide/Hearing Dogs. 

The Law Enforcement Dog category includes what we often think of as police dogs, animals specially trained to patrol, search buildings, track criminals, and to detect drugs, narcotics and explosive devices. 

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Hero Dog Awards 2014, Part 1

Hero Dog Awards
Credit American Humane Association

The 2014 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.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Retired Military Dogs Go To Washington

Military Dogs Go to Washington, DC
Credit American Humane Association [Facebook]

When American service men and women finish their tours of duty overseas they return home, often to a hero's welcome.  For their canine comrades on the front lines, it's a different story. 

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Pet Resorts

A lovely day at the spa!
Credit buchsammy (Ralf Bitzer) [Flickr]

Gone are the days when your pet had to spend its "vacation" in a cramped cage.  Pet resorts have become very popular - with both owners and their furry friends!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act

Not all veterinarians work out of a traditional office!
Credit Paymentmax [Flickr]

Generally, the DEA does not approve of storing or transporting controlled substances in vehicles, but for those in the veterinary profession that can be a necessity if they are going to effectively treat their animal patients.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Hot Spots

Whew - it's hot!
Credit ransomtech [Flickr]

Hot spots are more than just a nuisance; they can cause your dog some real discomfort.  Some owners of long-haired dogs get their pets clipped for the summer just to make sure the dog's heavy coat can't trap and hold moisture in the hot weather.

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