DOG TALK® (and Kitties Too!) on

icon of side silhouette of dog and cat drawn inside the dog Tracie Hotchner the Radio Pet Lady

DOG TALK® Interviews with authors, pet experts and animal welfare advocates from around the world, discussing far-ranging topics involving practical and philosophical issues regarding our relationships with dogs, cats and wildlife.

The show broadcasts from the East End and reaches all across Long Island, into Southern Connecticut and Westchester.

The show’s theme song is “Mmm My Best Friend” by Sophie B. Hawkins from her album TIMBRE.

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Next Gen Vet Promotes Inclusion and Diversity in the Veterinary Community

#824B: Dr. Niccole Bruno founded BLEND as a way to nurture a more welcoming environment for non-whites in the veterinary space, explaining that it’s like “taking a breath” for people of color to see someone who looks like them in the exam room.

Is the Veterinary Field America’s Most Segregated Profession?

#824A: Lisa Greenhill, Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity at the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, has worked there for over 18 years to overcome “medical racism.” She discusses the demographics of veterinary schools and the profession itself and the continuing need to encourage people of all backgrounds to enter the profession.

Your Pet’s Wellness Starts in Their Mouth

#823C: Dr. Emily Stein is a microbiologist — her “patients” are microbes, which live in our mouths and guts and “make the world go around.” She created TEEF — a water additive for pets because overall health starts in the mouth — which won the best new product award at both the big pet industry convention Global Pet Expo in 2022 and then top spot in the VMX veterinary conference in January 2023.

Compassion Please for Shelter Workers and Volunteers

#823B: Victoria Wells spent decades working in animal shelters, especially as a dog trainer for years at the ASPCA in NYC. She asks the question: Who should be responsible for lifting the burden of emotional trauma from people doing the hard work in shelters?

Basepaws Wants to Use Cat DNA to Improve Their Health

#823A: Dr. Ernie Ward sings the praises of the DNA test Basepaws — what it means for cats now, and how in the near future it will be able to identify genetic markers for disease and improve feline health long term.

Wiggle-Butt Cuddle-Bug Ex-Puppy Mill Breeder

#822C: At 76-years-old, Margaret in Virginia was mourning the death of her beloved companion Cocker Spaniel, Oliver. Then her nephew Matt Cox (yes, Peter Pan’s Search & Rescue handler, who I interviewed about his trip to Turkey after the earthquake) told her that the local Oldies But Goodies Cocker Rescue had taken in discarded breeding moms from puppy mills. Here’s a story of Kylie Rae, a dog transformed by love — from fearful to adoring.

How a Vet in Crisis Was Saved by the Homeless & Their Pets

#822A: Dr Kwane Stewart created Project Street Vet [eventually backed by Fetch by the Dodo] when he was at a personal low, euthanizing dozens of pets every day at a municipal shelter. Now he tends to the needs of the people living on the streets in Los Angeles — and their pets — and is inspiring other veterinarians to follow his lead and become Project Street Vet doctors themselves.

Helping the Homeless Even Before She Became a Vet

#822B: As a young student, Kristin Schmidt used to bring food to people living in Philadelphia alleyways. So it was only natural that once she became a veterinarian in Georgia, Dr. Kristin would minister to the needs of the pets of the unhomed population as a Project Street Vet in Atlanta with her husband by her side.

Veterinarian to Those That Slither & Fly

#821B: Dr. Doug Mader wrote the surprising story of how he started out as a vet by opening a clinic in a dodgy neighborhood in “The Vet at Noah’s Ark: Stories of Survival from an Inner-City Animal Hospital” — as an exotic pet specialist, with the rollicking tales of his challenging patients, the human as well as animal ones!

Peter Pan to the Rescue from Fairfax VA to Earthquake in Turkey

#821A: After the Turkish earthquake, Matt Cox [Battalion Chief of the Fairfax (VA) Fire Department & Canine Specialist] was deployed with his brilliant Labrador Peter Pan to help with Search & Rescue in Turkey. Matt explains the very specific talents of his dog Peter Pan — a “live find” “concrete specialist” in “confined spaces” — and describes the process of how he and the team of 80 Americans got to Turkey and spent two weeks helping in the rescue effort.