A persistent pooch named Sissy snuck out of her Cedar Rapids home on Friday morning, in a quest to find her owner.

Sarah Boden / Iowa Public Radio

Many Iowans find the common pigeon, or rock dove, a pest and call them "winged rats." However, this bird's brain is deceptively clever.

Ed Wasserman runs the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at the University of Iowa. Wasserman is world renowned for his work in animal intelligence, including proving that pigeons recognize individual human faces.

Evan Long

In this News Buzz show we talk with state maintenance engineer for the Iowa DOT Bob Younie about the winter driving conditions for today and the weekend, State Certified Sign Language Interpreter Lindsey Kang about what makes for good sign language, Captain Jim Steffen from the Iowa City Police Department about protecting police dogs, Dennis Lee and Daren Schumaker from Team 99 Counties, and The Des Moines Register's Kyle Munson about his coverage of odd stories about animals this year.

Charity Nebbe / IPR

Host Charity Nebbe speaks with Peter Trachtenberg, who is teaching this summer at the University of Iowa, about his latest book, Another Insane Devotion: On the Love of Cats and Persons.  It explores the fierce and tender bonds of love between people and cats.  Also, we get an update on this summer’s kitten explosion in Iowa, from the directors of two Iowa animal shelters.


A business in Sigourney Iowa could be one of the first the nation to slaughter horses after a previous ban was allowed to expire.  Join Host Ben Kieffer to hear from the CEO of the company given approval by the USDA, and hear from two people with opposing views on the matter.  Also hear a little about the politics of this issue and the horse-meat labeling scandal that came to light earlier this year in Europe.

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

Last summer many wild animals suffered because of a lack of water, this year nests have been washed out and wild babies have been separated from their mothers through floods and storms. Host Charity Nebbe talks with wildlife biologist Jim Pease about how natural disasters affect the boom and bust cycles of Iowa's wildlife populations.

Tim Pierce / Flickr

Have you ever been snuggled up with a kid, reading a cute book and run across a glaring factual error? It was just that experience that inspired  two moms to create scientifically accurate books for kids. Charity Nebbe talks with the women behind the “Budding Biologist” series, and about fact checking books for kids.

This hour on River to River, we get an update on the Iowa City Landfill fire which currently covers 7 acres of land and is producing a toxic, tar-like liquid that is highly flammable. In the second half of the hour, we'll talk about the record number of animals in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and what can be done about the problem.