Pets

Flickr / reader of the pack

If it’s not safe for people to be at home due to flooding, then it’s also not safe for pets. That’s why Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control is sheltering four-legged companions who can’t accompany the humans who are evacuating their homes.

Animal Care and Control Program Manager Diane Webber says the agency’s old building was completely flooded in 2008. The city agency's new facility is designed to accommodate more animals during times of crisis.

Flickr / Peter & Joyce Grace

The Friday after Thanksgiving can be a busy day for many of Iowa’s roughly 100 choose-and-harvest Christmas farms, as many growers sell their first trees of the season.

A number of Iowans still prefer buying a real tree, as opposed to an artificial one, though these trees require additional maintenance. One of the most important parts of Christmas tree maintenance is keeping the tree hydrated. 

Flickr / Coen Dijkman

If you've ever wanted your own horse, you can adoption one Saturday in Decorah for $125. About 40 animals will be available for adoption.

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management says there are approximately 58,150 horses and burros roaming the western U.S. But to maintain a healthy wild population and a healthy habitat, the agency says those numbers need to drop by more than half. 

Courtesy of Lauren Hanna

When Solon resident Lauren Hanna first saw her dog Clifford taking care of a blind rooster named Hedwig, she didn't believe it; but the two became fast friends.

"Hedwig will get lost out in the yard," Hanna says. "After a night when an animal attacked Hedwig and pulled some of his tail feathers out, Clifford took him under his wing."

"To see it be this ongoing relationship is amazing."

Julie Englander / Iowa Public Radio

Local animal shelters and rescues are filled with unwanted pets, and for a long time vets and shelters discouraged people from giving animals as gifts. 

maplegirlie / flickr

In Des Moines, Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire terriers are defined as vicious breeds, even if they have no aggressive history.

Mehul Gala

Iowa has the second largest number of large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities in the country. This hour, concerns about what are commonly known as puppy mills.

The U.S. Humane Society's 2014 report includes six problem puppy breeders in Iowa. Today, we talk about concerns over large-scale dog breeders with Mary LaHay, President of Iowa Friends of Companion Animals. She says that Iowa has "over 15,000 adult dogs in Iowa puppy mills, and we can do better than this."

Host Ben Kieffer examines several cases before the Iowa Supreme Court this term dealing with a wide breadth of issues including HIV criminalize, solar energy, defamation in campaign ads, and the

Pat Blank

The domestication of dogs started around 30,000 years ago when wolves started to self-select to live on the edges of human society in Eurasian. It wasn’t until about 14,000 years ago that we had the animal of dog as we know it.

Charity Nebbe

Host Charity Nebbe celebrates acts of kindness by interviewing the people whose lives have been positively affected by others.

Dog Training

Sep 4, 2013
bullcitydogs / flickr

Dr. Ian Dunbar revolutionized dog training with a few deceptively simple ideas: Dog training should be fun for dogs as well as people, you do not have to wait to train your puppy.  Join host Charity Nebbe for a talk with world renowned dog-trainer, veterinarian, and animal-behaviorist Ian Dunbar.  

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.

Eric Anderson / flickr

Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach and a military service dog, a golden lab named Casey, faced more than 150 missions together in Afghanistan, sweeping roads for bombs in the south Helmand Province. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Sgt. Gundlach about his experience and reunification with Casey in Iowa earlier this month. Also, anthropologist Matt Hill of the University of Iowa, on what makes our relationship with dogs so unique.

Nicole Shumate

Thousands of veterans have returned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Nightmares or flashbacks, angry outbursts, and hyper vigilance are common symptoms. In addition, many veterans also have to learn to live with physical injuries. A Des Moines-based not-for-profit called Paws & Effect is helping some Iowa veterans live better lives by training and placing psychiatric service and mobility dogs.

Retrieving Freedom

Feb 21, 2013
Pat Blank

A unique project in Northeast Iowa combines Wartburg College students with service dogs-in-training who will eventually be paired with military veterans or children with special needs.  The dogs can profoundly assist physically and emotionally wounded soldiers and give hope to families who need a boost to help cope with a child with challenges. The non-profit organization Retrieving Freedom is supplying the dogs. Their website is retrievingfreedom.org.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

                  

To honor the memory of Porterhouse, who died at the age of 8, IPR presents a feature story broadcast during his heyday as Drake's top dog, when he was the only live-animal mascot prowling the sidelines of Iowa's major university sporting events.

Douglas Porter / Flickr

When you adopt a puppy or a kitten, a dog or a cat, from an animal shelter the goals are not only to find a good home for that pet but to make sure that pet is a good fit for you and that the home is forever. Charity Nebbe talks with representatives of the Animal Rescue League in Des Moines who co-authored two new books to help families with the adoption process and to help owners solve issues that may provoke them to turn in their pets to a shelter.

Nicole Shumate

Thousands of veterans have returned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.  Nightmares or flashbacks, angry outbursts, and hyper vigilance are common symptoms. In addition, many veterans also have to learn to live with physical injuries.  A Des Moines-based not-for-profit called Paws and Effect is helping some Iowa veterans live better lives.

Sgt. Wade Baker’s solid physique and square jaw contrast nicely with the dark, lithe form of Honor, the young psychiatric service dog at his side.