Alison Eastwood, co-founder of Eastwood Ranch Foundation

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing Stay at Home order, I produced and recorded this show remotely from home, the sixth program prepared this way at the Talking Animals corporate headquarters in Jupiter Farms, Florida, and likely the way the broadcasts will come together until mid-June.

Alison Eastwood—co-founder of Eastwood Ranch Foundation (ERF), a Southern California-based animal welfare and rescue organization, whose efforts extend nationally—outlines what ERF is, what it does, what its mission is. Eastwood notes that the organization’s focus is plucking cats and dogs from high-kill shelters, and finding them foster or adoptive homes. She cites examples of ERF’s broader animal welfare mandate, including creating crowdfunding campaigns for fellow animal organizations, and offering them support in other ways. Eastwood also enthusiastically describes breaking ground a few days before the interview was recorded on a new facility, ERF’s first, which will include a dog room and cat room, administrative office, a swimming pool for the dogs—adding that the new building, which will sit on approximately an acre of land, will enable Eastwood Ranch Foundation to broaden its efforts to find foster and adoptive homes for those efforts. Having largely set aside her acting-directing career (she touches on making the 2018 film “The Mule” with her Dad, Clint Eastwood, as her “swan song”) and devoted herself to helping animals, I ask her what it is about her work on behalf of animals that speaks to her, and she responds. We also spend a few minutes on Foster Fur Kids, the program to cultivate foster homes for animals across the country, which Eastwood Ranch Foundation had just launched when she previously appeared on the show. As has been customary in many of my interviews in recent weeks, I asked Eastwood about the impact of COVID-19 on ERF, and she says they, too, have experienced the general phenomenon of dramatically increased adoptions and fosters, while pointing out that they had to postpone a big fundraising event. This conversation was a few days prior to her birthday, and she was encouraging ERF supporters to send her a gift by way of making a donation to Eastwood Ranch Foundation. We also talk briefly about Clint Eastwood, a longtime animal lover, and a surprising detail she revealed about him last time we spoke….(https://www.eastwoodranch.org, https://www.facebook.com/eastwoodranch/, https://www.instagram.com/eastwoodranch/)

ALSO: I aired an interview with Gary Busey, the veteran actor who’s appeared in over 150 films, picking up an Oscar nomination along the way for portraying Buddy Holly in “The Buddy Holly Story.” He has a new show “Gary Busey: Pet Judge,” which premiered May 25 on Amazon Prime. To describe the interview wouldn’t really do it justice—other than maybe suggesting it’s a doozy—it’s really a conversation that needs to be experienced, to be heard.  (https://www.garybuseypetjudge.com, https://www.facebook.com/PetJudge, https://www.instagram.com/petjudge/)

COMEDY CORNER:  Josh Gondelman’s “The Pug” (http://www.joshgondelman.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Joe Ely’s “A Man and His Dog,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Nashville Cats”

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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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