Steve Mornelli, founder and CEO of Waggle

Steve Mornelli—the founder and CEO of Waggle, a crowdfunding website dedicated to helping animals in need of veterinary care whose families cannot afford their bills—recalls being an animal lover since he was a kid, living with pets at all phases of his life, including while he was in college and grad school. Still, he notes, he didn’t imagine doing anything professionally  tied to his passion for pets, until he experienced a “transformative moment,” which ultimately led to the launch of Waggle. Acknowledging that it hasn’t been uncommon over the years to see crowdfunding campaigns for sick or injured pet, Mornelli outlines some key differences in the way Waggle operates, including removing the possibility of fraud or abuse by ensuring that monies raised go directly to the veterinarian or animal hospital that is associated with that Waggle campaign. In addition to devising a system with those protections in place, Waggle has further distinguished itself, Mornelli explains, by aligning itself with sponsors such as Maddie’s Fund and Greater Good, and assembling a board of advisors. Mornelli walks us through the mechanics of how someone would seek Waggle’s help, noting that currently there is a $2000 cap on the organization’s assistance for a given campaign, and he recounts his favorite case thus far of helping defray the cost of a vet bill. (https://waggle.orghttps://wagglefoundation.org)

COMEDY CORNER:  Daniel Sloss’ “Gay Penguins” (https://danielsloss.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme, instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play Name That Animal Tune today.

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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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