Jodie Wiederkehr, campaign director of Chicago Alliance for Animals

Jodie Wiederkehr—campaign director for Chicago Alliance For Animals (CAA), she’s spearheading CAA’s campaign to ban horse carriages in Chicago—recalls how her earliest professional animal advocacy work began in 1997, but that she grew up in a politically-engaged household that was forever taking in sick or injured animals, including a baby lamb! horse with slumped back & distended tummyShe describes other campaigns she’s worked on in different parts of the country, including the successful effort a few years back to ban greyhound racing in Massachusetts. Wiederkuhr discusses the key things learned from the greyhound effort that she’s applying to the campaign seeking the ban of horse carriages—Walk for Horse Carriagesthe core of that campaign is CAA’s contention that the horse carriage companies are regularly violating ordinances that dictate that these horses may not be worked more than six hours in any 24-hour period, often working the horses far longer than that, sometimes twice that limit…and the city’s often ineffectual  policing and enforcement of that law. Other concerns include the impact on the horses’ hooves of walking on streets and pavement for all those hours—often doing so in extreme heat or cold. Wiederkuhr outlines the underpinnings of the endeavor, including sending Daily Action Alerts—a notice requesting a specific action be undertaken–to CAA members and others participating in the campaign, which often involves communicating with the 50 aldermen (Chicago’s counterparts to city council members). She also notes that living in Chicago is not required to assist in this campaign. (

COMEDY CORNER: Nick DiPaolo’s “Animal Activists” (
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Matthew Sweet’s version of “Flipper”


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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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