Callers As Guests

About once a year, I jettison the chief component of the “Talking Animals” format—a long form interview with a single guest—to offer a debate or some other multi-guest panel discussion. As part of that periodic cat-on-phoneeffort to rejigger the program, and a parallel desire to give voice to a broader array of animal organizations and leaders, as well as provide airtime to listeners who also may have important animal-oriented information to announce or comments to offer on the news, etc.—I invite people to call into “Talking Animals” and, briefly, become the show’s guest. We placed the better part of 10 callers on the air (two called back, with additional information). This segment—in which I took the calls randomly and unscreened–elicited a wonderful array of responses: From Suzanne, of Florida Voices for Animals, describing the organization and its outreach efforts, protests, and some of the events it produces, including the forthcoming Tampa Bay Veg Fest ( She also sung the praises of “Talking Animals” and WMNF. 10899115_768449086536957_1650471890_n(…to Neil, who weighed in on Inghram’s Sit ‘N Stay Dog Academy—revelations and undercover footage captured by PETA of horrible treatment of dogs at the Tampa training and boarding facility, which I had mentioned in the opening moments of the show—noting his family has three dogs and two cats, and how they selected the boarding facility they use in Valrico (,… to Marilyn, Executive Director of the League of Humane Voters in Florida, outlining a bit about that organization and responding to an emailer’s question about where to find information about legislators’ track record voting on animal and animal welfare issues (,…to dog-at-computerDavid, who spoke about the disturbing phenomenon that’s surfaced in the Florida Keys of the screw-worm, the larvae of the screw fly—which, according to the USDA, is the only insect known to eat the living flesh of warm-blooded animals. If not contained, the screw-worm infestation has serious implications for the population of the endangered Key deer, and other species….to Ed, who voiced his concern about penned geese he regularly saw in an area of Pasco County, in the course of his work for a landscaping company, wondering why people would keep geese that way…There were other callers, as well as some emailers and texters (plus we wove in various pieces of animal news—my thanks to all who participated.

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” EELS’ “I Like Birds,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Echo & The Bunnymen’s “Crocodiles”


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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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