Janice Wolf, founder of The Rocky Ridge Refuge

Janice Wolf—founder of The Rocky Ridge Refuge, a rescue sanctuary in Midway, AK that’s gained notoriety on Facebook and elsewhere online for its distinctive blend of animals: cats and dogs mix with a capybara, a zebra, a tortoise, a miniature horse, among other critters—recalls her history of tending to animals that extends back to caring for a pelican in Key West at age 3.animal-friendship-at-rocky-ridge-refuge-8She also explains how Rocky Ridge began some 20 years ago, and how she began taking in exotic animals early on, starting with a llama named Noogie. Wolf notes that she never felt plagued with any doubts about looking after exotics, feeling that there’s always information available about the care and feeding of fauna, plus she has 10001316_688180521223900_1253313551_nextensive experience with animals, as a vet tech, pet therapist, etc. Along those lines, she talks about Barcode, Rocky Ridge’s resident zebra (and not their first), including how Barcode offers direct counterpoint to the often-heard observation about zebras being mean and nasty. Wolf also remembers lurchbLurch, an African Watusi steer she took in as a calf, who became a local celebrity, then an internationally-known figure when he was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest known horn circumference, and describes how Cheesecake the capybara (given to her as a condolence gift refuge9after Lurch passed away) has proven to be a great foster mother for the litters of puppies that often arrive there. Wolf outlines some of her philosophy for operating Rocky Ridge, which places a premium on all the animals peacefully coexisting (she doesn’t put any in cages) and often involves her caring for “special needs” animals.  (http://rockyridgerefuge.com, www.facebook.com/rockyridgerefuge)

ALSO: We spoke briefly with Sherry Silk, Executive Director of The Humane Society of Tampa, about their then-forthcoming event, Bark In The Park, the 27th annual iteration taking place at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park in Tampa. (http://humanesocietytampa.org, www.facebook.com/humanesocietytampa)

COMEDY CORNER: Jeremy Hotz’s “Bronx Zoo” (edit) (www.jeremyhotz.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Cliff Richard’s “The Snake And The Bookworm,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  Carl Perkins’ “Put Your Cat Clothes On”


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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