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 June 1, 2013

Car Safety for Your Pet

Lots of fun, but not good for your pet!
Credit waterboard (flickr)

The wind in your face, your ears blowing back, all those smells coming at once - riding in a car with its head out the window is so much fun for your dog, but such a BAD idea! 

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Tornado Aftermath

Relieved owner cried happy tears to have her dog back; Sadie was found stuck in a tree after the tornado. The Central Oklahoma Humane Society posted her picture online to find her owner.
Credit Moore Oklahoma Tornado Lost and Found Animals Facebook page

Stories of loss and sadness and devastation mix with stories of happiness and relief as loved ones are reunited in the aftermath of the tornado.  That includes reunions between humans and their animal companions, many thanks to online postings by organizations and individuals helping to make happy endings possible.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Socrates, pre-surgery (After surgery, he moves too fast to get a good picture!)
Credit Susan Snowden

May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, a time for  pet owners to be aware of the threat of cancer in their furry friends and ways they can minimize the risk.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Happy (?) Mother's Day

Mama and Her Litter of Pups
Credit tikicat90 (Rachel Larson)

Being kind to animals is more than just an idea.  It's a way of treating them with respect and encouraging others to do the same.  That would include making sure that our own pets are spayed or neutered to help prevent the problem of pet overpopulation.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 4, 2013

K-9 Comfort Dogs

K-9 Comfort Dog in Waco, Texas
Credit Lutheran Church Charities

Have you ever hugged your pet, buried your face in its fur, and found comfort and acceptance there?  If so, then you can appreciate the mission of these special dogs - trained to be hugged and petted, to comfort and console humans who are struggling to cope with their emotional reactions in the aftermath of a disaster.


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Pets
8:45 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Rescuing Animals After the Explosion

Fire and Devastation in West, TX
Credit The Bay Area's News Station

In many disasters, there are both human and animal victims.  After the fertilizer plant exploded in the town of West, Texas, people and organizations came from near and far to help those who were affected, whether they walked on two legs or four.


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Pets
8:45 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Faithful Companions

on Alabama Public Radio
Credit Jason Norris

Who wouldn't like a faithful companion who will be attentive and loyal and follow you anywhere?   All you have to do it tune in!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Tax Deductions for Pets

Are you sure I am not deductible?
Credit KNorton

Most folks know that expenses related to the care and well-being of a pet are not deductible on an individual's income tax return.  Or are they? 

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With the deadline coming up for filing personal income tax returns, a lot of us are looking for deductions wherever we can find them.

More than one pet owner has thought about deducting a few extra medical expenses for those veterinary bills last year. After all, the vet is a “doctor” and your pet is a member of the family – a dependent, really, in the truest sense of the word.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Pet Allergies (Not Yours - Theirs)

Allergies? What allergies??
Credit Elsie esq. (Les Chatfield)

If your pet is biting at its feet or fur, or scratching its ears, this time of year the problem may be a seasonal allergy.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Danger in a Basket

A-Tisket, A-Tasket - Danger in that basket!
Credit AlishaV (Alisha Vargas)

Easter baskets make us smile, with all the pretty colors and yummy goodies and treats.  The sweet-smelling candies and chocolate are tantalizing to a pet's sensitive nose and that Easter grass wiggling in the breeze entices a curious pet.  Plan now to keep your four-footed friend safe from the dangers that lurk inside (and outside) that basket this Easter.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Easter Chicks (and Bunnies, Too)

Cute Easter Chick (fake, but cute)!
Credit Erkka P (Erkka Piirainen)

Seasonal pets are rarely a good idea for either the humans or the animals.  That includes the baby chicks and bunnies that are so popular at Easter.   They may be cute and fuzzy but they come with certain requirements for basic care, and a commitment for years, not just days or weeks!

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Pets Can Be Irish, Too

Are you Irish, too?
Credit typeocats.blogspot.com

DNA tests are now available to find out what your pet's breed heritage really is, but on St. Patrick's Day that doesn't really matter.  What's important is that you are Irish in spirit!



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Pets
8:45 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Pit Bull Hero

Such a friendly Pit Bull!
Credit Steph Skardal

The Pit Bull is really not a separate breed but one of several, or even a combination of two or more.  Because they have been used and abused as fighting animals, some communities have banned them.  But people who really know these dogs will tell you what wonderful pets they can be. 

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Safe At Home

Safe inside the fence!
Credit TexasDarkHorse

Keeping an animal as a pet brings with it certain responsibilities.  One of those is to make sure your furry family member is safe and protected.



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Pets
8:45 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Pet Arithmetic

World Spay Day 2013
Credit Humane Society of the United States

Early in life we learn  to count and to do simple arithmetic, but there's nothing simple about counting the animals - dogs, cats, and even rabbits - who are victims of the pet overpopulation problem.


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