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 February 8, 2014

Mutts at Westminster?

Dog and handler running an agility course
Credit Dave Hamster (David Merrett) [Flickr]

Westminster Kennel Club has a tradition that goes back more then 130 years, but in 2014 it's not the purebred dogs that are capturing news headlines but the mutts that are making a showing in the WKC's   first time ever agility competition.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Pet Dental Health Month

My teeth are so pretty it makes me smile!
Credit marinetank0 (Tom Williams) [Flickr]

When we think of a smiling cat, we might think of the Cheshire Cat, whose beautiful smile was the only thing visible when he disappeared.  Sadly, for the majority of both cats and dogs kept as pets, their teeth are not so healthy.  It's up to you to make sure your pet's smile is bright and clean!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Cold Weather Protection for Pets

Sung and cozy!
Credit CelloPics [Flickr]

Smart idea, even for a cat, to have a shelter that is raised up off the ground.  The animal is protected from bitterly cold winds, too, in a well-build dog (or cat) house!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Pet-friendly Home

Hanging out on the nice smooth floor!
Credit Jennie Faber (Flickr)

Having pets may mean you have to work a little harder to keep the house clean, but smart some choices will make things easier.  And less cleaning may mean more time with your furry friend!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Entertaining Your Indoor Cat

Just couldn't resist!
Credit Wendy Moody / smkybear [Flickr]

A cat's nature is to hunt, stalk, mark territory, but living indoors can limit its opportunities follow its instincts.  You can help your cat live a happier and healthier life if you find ways to make your home more "friendly" for your feline resident.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Shaping Up for the New Year

I am not out of shape. ROUND is a shape!
Credit Mindy Norton

Fitness programs are better when you do it with a friend.  And what better friend that that furry one who would love to spend a little more quality time with you?

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat December 28, 2013

End-of-year Giving Opportunities

At the Adoption Center
Credit Sonia Su (Flickr)

Although Christmas might be over for this year, we can still keep that spirit of giving alive by making a contribution to one or more of our favorite charitable organizations.  And if we do it before the end of the year, we get to take a tax deduction when we file our tax returns in the next few months!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat December 21, 2013

The Animals at the Manger

The Animals at the Manger

Sharing this holiday with all members of our family, including the four-footed ones, is not a new idea.  In fact, when we think back to how it all began it seems only natural that they should be a part of our Christmas celebration.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Pets as Christmas Gifts - Pros and Cons

Surprise!

Giving a pet as a gift can be a wonderful idea, even better if you adopt it from a shelter.  But as a surprise for the recipient?  It just might backfire on you and on the poor animal, too.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Home for the Holidays

Can I please go home with you?
Credit Ian M. Phillips

This Christmas, you can add some joy to your life by adopting a homeless pet from your local animal shelter.  You get the companionship only a pet can offer, and in return your pet will enjoy the comfort and security only a loving home can bring.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Looking a Lot Like Christmas

Peek-a-boo Kitty at Christmas
Credit Aranami

'Tis the season to deck the halls, but do it carefully - make sure your holiday decorations don't pose unnecessary risks for your furry friends!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving with Our Pets

Pilgrim cat?
Credit theogeo (Lindsey Turner)

Including our pets in our holiday celebrations is something many of us like to do. Whether you're staying home or hitting the road, a little planning can help to make the holiday safe and happy for everyone!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Adopt a Senior Pet

Ivy, age 17, at the beach
Credit Mindy Norton

Some folks may be hesitant to adopt an older pet, but the advantages usually outweigh the disadvantages.  Often the adoption fee is reduced for senior pets, making them a smart choice for adoption.  In return, the human gets a healthy, loving pet, a companion and a new best friend!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat November 9, 2013

Appreciating Your Animal Shelter

Just hoping someone will take me home with them!
Credit Dave Parker

Someone must have a special heart to work at an animal shelter.  The work is hard, sometimes heart-breaking, but adoptions and reunions make it all worthwhile.  So make some time to let a shelter worker know you appreciate all their efforts and their dedication for the pets and people of their community!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Dogfighting

Elle, the AHA 2013 Hero Dog of the Year
Credit American Humane Association

Elle is the American Humane Association's 2013 Hero Dog of the year.  She is a Therapy Dog and has her AKC Canine Good Citizen certification.  She is also an American Bull Terrier, often called a Pit Bull.  Breeders say they are friendly, intelligent and make great family pets.  Unfortunately there are those who misuse members of the breed for dogfighting because of their muscular build and strength.

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