Susan Weber, founder of Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay

Susan Weber—founder of Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay (DRTB)—addresses, in the wake of playing “Cruella DeVille,” the diminishing influence of the film “101 Dalmatians” on the Dalmatian world, including the much smaller number of pure-bred Dals these days. Speaking by phone from her Tucson home (while her DRTB colleagues Pat Hose, Tony Wyatt and Mary Ellen Woska joined me in studio, as did two Dalmatians seeking homes, Chip and Snoopy), TonyinStudioWeber recalls getting severely hooked on Dalmatians many years ago, which at one point meant she and her then-husband were living with 30 of them! So, informally, she was pursuing rescue, fostering and adoption of Dals for some time, before making things official by launching Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay in 2003. EvenPat&MaryEllen in the beginning, Weber explains, two important aspects of DRTB were plucking Dalmatians from shelters that were facing euthanasia and finding foster homes for Dals that entered the picture through any number of means—both things remain high priorities, including traveling into other states to liberate Dalmatians on death row. Tony Wyatt relates his history of adopting Dals from Weber well before she founded Chip1DRTB, and how for the better part of 30 years, he’s tended to adopt deaf Dalmatians. Pat Hose and Mary Ellen Woska describe the two Dalmatians in SnoopyinStudiothe studio, Chip and Snoopy (who’d been pulled from Orange County Animal Service only the day before). Woska, who’s currently fostering Chip and has fostered upwards of 20 Dals over the last four years, speaks to the virtues of fostering—and its importance for gleaning the traits of a given dog when making a match for its adoptive, forever home. Noting they’re making a concerted effort right now to generate new foster homes, Weber, Hose, Wyatt and Woska each cite the characteristics of Dalmatians they love the most. (



ALSO: I spoke briefly with Detective Roxanne Hunt, of the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, who explained the organization and its mission, then descried its  Bark In The Park in Pinellas Park fundraiser, which has been postponed and will now take place April 23. (


COMEDY CORNER: Sean Donnelly’s “I Love My Building” (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” The Replacements’ version of “Cruella DeVille,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Bill Lee’s “Cruella De Vil”


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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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