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.

What the Dog Ate

May 16, 2015
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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Pet Moms

May 9, 2015
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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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!

First Aid for Pets

Apr 25, 2015
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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Dog Flu Epidemic

Apr 18, 2015
NightRStar (Roman Soto) [Flickr]

Dogs are naturally social animals, but during the dog flu epidemic it might be up to you to keep it company.  After all, that's what best friends are for!

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Bark in the Park

Apr 11, 2015
Tuscaloosa Bark in the Park [Facebook]

Free admission, free dog wash, fun, games, contests, all in a great dog park created for humans and their canine friends to enjoy.  Just be sure your pet is at least four months old and on a leash (for your best friend's safety).

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The Easter Bunny Quiz

Apr 4, 2015
Mike Procario [Flickr]

How much do you know about caring for rabbits?  Take this little quiz to see if you really might want a rabbit as a pet because, like it or not, that cute baby Easter bunny will be a full-grown rabbit before you know it!

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Taro the Shiba Inu [Flickr]

How a pet fits into your household and into your life is often an evolving relationship, much like most of the other personalities that fill our lives!

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Springtime Pet Babies

Mar 21, 2015
Jessica Favaro [Flickr]

Puppies and kittens are so cute, and so plentiful in the Spring - too plentiful. in fact.  If you are considering adopting a new pet, this is the perfect time of year because so many are available and looking for a home!

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The Irish Cat

Mar 14, 2015
Sister72 {Flickr]

On the Isle of Man, the home of origin for the Manx cat, some folks still use the term "stubbin" to refer to the felines without a tail.  Throughout their history they have been valued as rodent hunters, but today they are prized as great pets!

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Sleeping Cats

Mar 7, 2015
Mindy Norton

Finding the perfect bed for your cat can sometimes be a challenge.  Often a cat will choose it's own place to sleep, and that may change from one day to the next, or even one hour to the next.  Still, providing your feline friend with a comfortable bed of its own may provide a feeling of security for your furry buddy.

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World Spay Day 2015

Feb 28, 2015
WorldSpayDay.Org

If you want to help reduce the problem of pet overpopulation, begin by having your own pet spayed or neutered . Once you have done that, perhaps you might be willing to support efforts in your community to spay and neuter strays and feral animals.

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Dental Health for Pets

Feb 21, 2015
Helena Jacoba [Flickr]

Pet breath may never smell particularly fresh to us humans, but it should not be really odorous.  But good dental health for pets is about more than the smell; it's about making sure your best friend is healthy from nose to tail.

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Valentine Pets

Feb 14, 2015
DianaDesignsNY and the Gs [Flickr}

The bond that develops between human and pet has been the subject of study and even research.  It's real, on both sides, and most of us call it love because English does not have a different word to describe the special feelings we develop for our furry friends - and they for us!

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Israel Cats

Feb 7, 2015
Mindy Norton

Stray or feral cats pose a number of problems for their human neighbors, including unpleasant odors and noisy encounters between the animals.  TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) has proven effective in reducing the problems, but one organization in Israel has an enhanced approach to improving the situation for both humans and cats.

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