Please Support “Talking Animals” (& Me!) During WMNF’s Summer Fund Drive June 26

I’m asking that you support “Talking Animals,” and me, in our Fund Drive show Wednesday, June 26, 10am-11am ET–but, ideally,  BEFORE then! 

As always, we have Exclusive Thank You Gifts for those who donate on  behalf of “Talking Animals”…

For example, fantastic tickets to see Queen + Adam Lambert on the North American leg of The Rhapsody Tour, featuring a Tampa stop at Amalie Arena on Aug. 18. We have two of the best seats in the house for this concert, which appears to be all but sold-out!

 Other nifty Exclusive Thank You Gifts, or “Premiums,” include:

* DVD copies of “Blackfish,” the acclaimed 2013 documentary investigating the disturbing impact of captivity on orcas at Sea World and other marine parks.            

* Three SIGNED copies of “A Dog’s Way Home,” the novel by W. Bruce Cameron made into a successful film, with the story revolving around Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), specifically Denver’s ban on pit bull-type dogs. 

* One copy of “How To Be A Good Creature,” the recent book by Sy Montgomery–it’d only been out two weeks, and made The New York Times bestseller list.

Special clippers that can safely trim the nails of cats & other small animals  

* Back By Popular Demand! The Pocket Monkey!

 * The new, royal blue TALKING ANIMALS T-SHIRT, with a fantastic front design by artist extraordinaire Ramin Nazer. You can see the shirt, front and back, below.

* Colorful, Animal-Shaped Smart PHONE STANDS…Phone (or tablet) stands in the shape of cats, birds, dinosaurs and gators, and in fab colors: Green bird and dinosaurs…Navy blue dinosaurs…Yellow gators. You can see these below. 

 * One SIGNED copy of  “Your Robot Dog Will Die ” the acclaimed novel–propelled by animal welfare themes–by journalist-author ARIN GREENWOOD, a periodic guest on “Talking Animals”  

 That hour of our fund drive show on June 26–from 10-11am ET that morning–is the only time our show will be “credited” with your donation.

If a pledge comes in afterward, it’s credited to another show, but you can give beforehand… how ’bout now?

I’m typically assigned an incredibly towering fundraising goal–usually, around $3000 or more! In an HOUR! (Well, actually, less than an hour–it’s 55 minutes!)

Realisticallythe only prospect of achieving that kind of goal is to get several pledges BEFORE June 26.

There are four different–fast, easy–ways to support “Talking Animals”/me:

  • E-mail me [email protected] PRIOR to June 26, with your contact information (e-mail & /or phone), amount you’d like to pledge, & I’ll be in touch to complete a pledge card for you.
  • Donate to our “Tip Jar,” also PRIOR to June 26, by clicking here
  • Call 813-238-8001 on June 26, from 10am-11am ET  The process takes 2-3 minutes
  • Visit on June 26, 10am-11am  ET, and pledge online. It’s secure, & takes 2-3 minutes.

Here are some of the exclusive “premiums”–thank you gifts–I’ll be offering for those who donate at various financial levels. You can ONLY get these by supporting “Talking Animals”–e-mail me at [email protected] for more details, including pledge prices–and they include:


One pair of fantastic tickets to see QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT at Amalie Arena on Aug. 18, part of the U.S. leg of The Rhapsody Tour, so-named, it would seem, as a pretty explicit nod to the sweeping success of “Bohemian Rhapsody,”  last year’s biographical film about Freddie Mercury, the late, great lead singer of Queen, starring Rami Malek. There have been a few incarnations of the band since Mercury died, but the most recent version, fronted by Adam Lambert, whose singing and performance style brought him to the band’s attention, has been enormously successful–selling out nearly every show on every leg of every tour. That’s certainly holding true for this Amalie Arena concert. This show is essentially sold out, and in a recent check of the Ticketmaster site, it appeared that even the re-sellers’ tickets were just about gone, and that the lowest price–for single tickets only; that’s all that’s left–is $972 per ticket. Nonetheless, we made arrangements to secure tickets from the promoter of this concert, so these tickets represent two of the best seats in the house–Section 117, Row K. Why not pledge for our amazing tickets, and support “Talking Animals” and WMNF in the process?



ONE WEEK’S STAY at a condo in Kauai—with my family & I having stayed in that condo a few years ago, I have renewed enthusiasm for this! It’s awesome! First, some basic details: One BalconyRainbowBedroom, One bathroom ocean-view condo in Poipu Beach, 3rd Floor Unit on the South shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauai, sleeps 4, incredible view (this rainbow-laden photo was shot from the balcony; depending on time of year, you can see whales, dolphin, turtles, etc from this balcony). On our trip, we had an amazing adventure full of exciting activities—including “Snuba,” paddling an outrigger canoe, and a boat ride exploring the MonkSealShoreremote and gorgeous NaPali Coast, wildlife encounters (just the first day, snorkeling with my son, two sea turtles came up to us, and a Monk Seal, pictured to the left, swam right past us, etc) and profound beauty. Booking the condo is SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY—though for more than the decade I’ve offered the condo, I’ve never had the slightest problem accommodating pledgers on the dates they’d like to stay there—and is NOT TRANSFERABLE. We offer a pledge price that’s about half the going rate–an incredible deal. We also offer a further discount for those who pledge for the condo before the fund drive show on Feb 6. More info about the condo here.


We have a handful of DVD copies of “Blackfish,” the acclaimed 2013 documentary investigating the disturbing impact of captivity on orcas at SeaWorld and other Marine parks. Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite (a guest on “Talking Animals” when the film was first released), “Blackfish” focuses in part on Tilikum, an orca who killed SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau at the Orlando park in 2010, the third human death that Tilikum had caused. While it tracked Tilikum’s story, from even before he arrived at SeaWorld and in the aftermath of Brancheau’s death, the film widens out to look more broadly at the complex nature of these animals, including how in the wild, they stay with their families and pods for years, for decades. Yet in captivity, they’re randomly paired or grouped, frequently bred (or used to be), and forced to perform in shows, often underfed so they’d be more motivated to do the requisite tricks that would earn them their food rewards. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film earned a score of 98%, with the critical consensus stating “‘Blackfish” is an aggressive, impassioned documentary that will change the way you look at performing killer whales.



Back by popular demand! (Well, I was the one demanding it, but still….) Let me quickly remind you that we are not, of course, trafficking in small primates here. Not at all. The Pocket Monkey is a multifaceted tool with all the utility of a Swiss Army knife, but it’s flat enough, and small enough–about the size of a credit card, in fact–to fit into your wallet. And did I mention it’s TSA-compliant! The Pocket Market offers at least 12 functions, including bottle opener, flat screwdriver, micro screwdriver, letter opener, hex wrenches, Phillips screwdriver, phone kickstand, and straight edge.



One copy remaining of “How to Be A Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals,” the new book by Sy Montgomery, the author of numerous acclaimed books about animals, including “The Good Good Pig” and “The Soul of An Octopus.” The latter was a National Book Award nominee, and a bestseller, and the new one–“How to Be A Good Creature,” out less than two weeks–has already made it to The New York Times bestseller list. Montgomery has twice been a guest on “Talking Animals,” including last week.  This copy is signed by Sy Montgomery.  





The Zen Clipper is “a revolutionary new pet nail clipper that is designed to clip just the tip of the nail.” We’ve done countless show documenting the downsides (and horrors, really) of the declaw procedure, chiefly because that procedure actually involves amputation–the equivalent of removing the tip of each of the cat’s fingers. But some cats (and other animals: birds, ferrets, smaller reptiles, guinea pigs, etc) still need their nails trimmed periodically. The Zen Clipper has a conical blade that only allows the tip of the pet’s nail into the cutting area, “like putting the tip of the pet’s nail into a funnel”–then you safely clip the nail, and completely avoid the quick.


Two copies of “Your Robot Dog Will Die,” the latest novel by Arin Greenwood, who, for many years, has been an accomplished journalist, covering animals and animal issues for The Washington Post, The Today Show website, and The Dodo, among others. (She’s the former animal welfare editor at The Huffington Post.) The acclaimed “Your Robot Dog Will Die”  is a coming-of-age tale set in the not-too-distant future, and against a backdrop of major animal welfare themes. Indeed, as one reviewer noted, if you’re conversant with the world of animal welfare–including a large, polarizing animal rights organization, and its idiosyncratic leader–it’s hard not to see the book as a gripping allegory.   We have two copies of the book, signed by Arin Greenwood, with an inscription for “Talking Animals” listeners. 



Last fund drive, we unveiled our brand new TALKING ANIMALS T-SHIRT!  Designed by artist extraordinaire Ramin Nazer, this shirt presents a huge group of assorted animals, “anchored” by an elephant who’s holding a microphone in his trunk, above a likeness of…me? On the back of this royal blue shirt, there’s the Talking Animals logo, our longtime tagline  (“If you can’t hear them, you’re not listening”), and, much smaller, a WMNF logo, and Sizes range from Small to 2XL. By pledging for one of these shirts, and wearing it proudly (we hope) you’ll be supporting “Talking Animals” in multiple ways, very much including our effort to reach our staggering fundraising goal.



Written by the enormously prolific W. Bruce Cameron, and made into a successful film starring Bryce Dallas Howard (as the voice of Bella), Ashley Judd, and Edward James Olmos, “A Dog’s Way Home” revolves around BSL, or Breed Specific Legislation. Specifically, the story is tied to Denver’s ban on pit bull-type dogs, as it pertains to the book’s narrator, the aforementioned pit mix, Bella. This element drives the narrative, including Bella’s 400-mile journey.   We have three copies of the book, signed by Bruce Cameron, with an inscription for “Talking Animals” listeners.



yellowgatoriPhoneWMNFWould you like to watch a video on your phone in style? Or how about binge-watch a Netflix series on your tablet, with a colorful animal companion directly invloved? Of course you would! Well, you’ve come to the right place, my friend. Anyone can prop upBlackCatiphone their phone with a bottle of orange juice, or whatever. Or position your tablet in comfortable viewing position using its cover or some other object. But wouldn’t it be a lot more fun—and maybe enhance the viewing experience—to use a phone stand that was a navy blue dinosaur…or a yellow gator…or a green bird????? Again, the answer is: Of course! And we can fix you up with these for a modest pledge in support of Talking Animals and WMNF.

We’re offering additional exclusive premiums, including other books, DVDs, passes for a tour of Big Cat Rescue, and more. Please feel free to inquire about pledge prices and other details. Thanks!

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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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