I Wish There Were More Weekends Than Weekdays.

By now, many of you have noticed: We didn’t have much of a Winter here in Florida. And, as a Floridian who truly loves tropical weather, I am certainly not complaining. But an unseasonably warm Winter in Florida does present other problems, mainly a proliferation of bugs. So, as we prepare to put out the Spring issue of The New Barker, we are gearing up to tackle fleas, ticks and other critters that will just plain bug us and our companion pets if we are not prepared. In our Dog HomeFront section, we’ll have tips and ‘todes on dog friendly landscaping.

The Spring issue of The New Barker will feature some amazing dogs at play and at work. And, thanks to our contributing rover reporters from all over the state, we’re featuring dog friendly events and stories from the Panhandle to the Palm Coast, Miami and the Florida Keys, Dunedin to DeLand.  Our dog social calendar was pretty full this first quarter of 2012. And the next few months are shaping up to be ultra busy with dog events across the state. While we print a three month calendar in each issue, our online calendar is updated at least once a  week. Be sure to sign up for Weekend PupDates, The New Barker email blast that goes out about two times a month, letting you know about the hottest dog friendly events, and venues in Florida.

The Spring issue will also feature opportunities to win dog friendly getaways, some pretty impressive gift items, and gift certificates at some of Florida’s favorite places to dine. As a lifestyle magazine, we will be featuring unique perspectives on the AKC Eukanuba National Championships, the Florida Classic Clusters in Brooksville, and of course our annual trek to New York City for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Oh, and find out how your dog could become our bikini-clad, pull out centerfold in the Summer issue.

One of our favorite feature pieces in the Spring issue involves Manatee County Animal Services, and their promise to be a No Kill community by the end of 2012. Thanks to their county commissioners, the public and folks like Chris Weiskopf, they are well on their way. Some other towns in Florida are working on following suit with Manatee County, while others are taking a wait-and-see attitude. Meanwhile, dogs continue to die in shelters across the state, despite the number of rescue groups willing to step up and help out. And while you might expect many of the deaths to be Pit Bull-related, count Yorkies, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Dalmatians and Boxers among the statistics. In this issue we welcome a contributing original feature from Nathan Winograd.

Thanks to the  Humane Society of Manatee County and Realize Bradenton, we are bringing the creative team behind An Act of Dog to Florida. Meet Mark Barone and his partner Marina Dervan, and come see some of the poignant work Mark is painting. He has committed the next two years of his life to painting the portraits of 5500 dogs euthanized in shelters across the country. Why 5500? That is the average number of dogs euthanized – every single day in this country. The couple will be in Bradenton during The New Barker co-hosted The Artful Purpose Art Show, March 24. The show coincides with the Annual Paws in Motion walk on the riverfront for the Humane Society of Manatee County. And, both events take place in the same vicinity and general timeframe (8a-2p) as Downtown Bradenton’s Saturday Morning Farmer’s Market.

One last piece of business before I sign off and jump back on production. Since July of 2011, I have had the extreme pleasure of being part of a radio program produced by CMA award-winning radio personality, Skip Mahaffey. While I still get flummoxed and tongue-tied (thank goodness for Skip’s uncanny ability to recognize my deer-in-the-headlights look) we are having a lot of fun. Our live interviews have included Elvin Bishop, Nathan Winograd, Guy Gilchrist, Dr. Marty Becker, Victoria Stilwell and Aaron Tippin to name but just a few. Recently, we had a young man who was inspired by his Jack Russell to help raise money and awareness for Canine Cancer. When Spiro Cromwell’s dog, Jack was diagnosed with cancer, he was sad, but wanted to do something for all of the other dogs living with cancer. He became involved with the National Canine Cancer Foundation, and has raised a little more than $2,000 over the last two years.

Spiro, his mother Emerald and their new puppy Murphy visited with us in the studio for a live interview. At one point, we lost contact with the production booth and with Skip who was on Skype. Our producer came into the booth trying to figure out why our computers were not receiving a connection. Turns out, Murphy, the puppy that he is, chewed through the wires. Live radio – you just never know what’s going to happen next.

Tune in to The SkipShow this Monday, March 19 between 1p and 2p EST as we interview Mark Barone and Marina Dervan with An Act of Dog. We’ll also have a volunteer from Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida and most likely a few guest surprises as well. We always feature songs that are dog-themed in content like Man of the Hour by Nora Jones,  and Like My Dog by Billy Currington. Enjoy.

Spiro, upon discovering that his dog, Murphy chewed through the wires in the studio during the airing of The SkipShow with The New Barker.
Spiro, Emerald and Murphy recently visited with The New Barker during the airing of The SkipShow radio program.

Pet-A-Palooza is This Sunday, March 11 at Coachman Park, Clearwater

CBS RADIO Tampa Bay (WSJT-FM, WYUU-FM, WRBQ-FM, WQYK-FM and WQYK-AM), brings Pet-A-Palooza back to Coachman Park in Clearwater on Sunday, March 11th. The day is filled with pets, food, vendors, interactive booths, live music and more.

The goal of Pet-A-Palooza is to adopt animals and increase the awareness of the rescue causes in the Tampa Bay Area. This year, the Animal Based Charities’ Adopt-A-Thon Alley will be filled with over 30 rescues and shelters, see the fill list of shelters and rescues on below. We have also received a generous donation of 36,000 meals of Halo Spot’s Stew through Free Kibble, for the rescue groups involved in the event. Information on this donation can be found at play987.com/freekibble.

Entertainment and activities will include Twig the Skateboarding Sheltie and Puppy-in-Training Chili, The Upper Suncoast Dog Training Club, the Tampa Bay Lightning Rolling Thunder and the Tampa Bay Rays Street Team and Raymond. Plus, multiple performances from The Canine Stars, a world famous, world class group of dogs working who have been featured on Animal Planet.

Live music will fill the park all day long. There will also be an acoustic performance from American Idol Season 10 fan favorite, James Durbin, closing out the day at 4pm. James Durbin was known for “bringing heavy metal to the ‘American Idol’ stage” last season by performing Queen and Muse songs and then by singing onstage with metal legends Judas Priest during the final episodes. Durbin ultimately placed fourth on Season 10 of the ratings juggernaut, going that far due to his “rawk” edge, his unbridled emotion, his undeniable swagger, his powerhouse voice and his God-given talent, all of which meshed into a potent cocktail that allowed him to stand head and shoulders above a sea of pop singers.

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at Coachman Park on the day of show for $5, tickets can also be purchased, service charge-free at area business, a full list is available at CBSTampa.com/PetAPalooza. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Animal Based Charities to support their efforts to find every one of our furry friends a happy home.

Further information on Pet-A-Palooza can be found at CBSTampa.com/PetAPalooza.

The History of Pet-A-Palooza:
The inaugural “Pet-a-Palooza” premiered on Saturday, April 15th, 2000 in Las Vegas and attracted over 4,000 pet lovers and 1,500 dogs. It has since grown to attract over 15,000 pet lovers and 3,000-4,000 dogs. Additionally, CBS RADIO Tampa Bay has worked with over 40 different animal rescue groups and non-profit organizations to adopt animals and increase the awareness of the rescue causes. Pet-a-Palooza has grown into a national platform across multiple CBS RADIO markets.

About Animal Based Charities:
Animal Based Charities, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that supports Tampa Bay animal rescue groups. ABC’s mission is to support animal rescue groups with their fundraising efforts, media awareness and adoption event exposure. ABC provides the groups with these tools so they can concentrate on what they do best — rescue and adoption. You can find more information on Animal Based Charities, Inc. at www.animalbasedcharities.org/

Rescues Involved in Pet-A-Palooza 2012

ABC Animal Based Charities
All Dog Rescue of Florida
Animal Friends Society
Akita Rescue / A New Leash on Life
Boston Terrier Rescue of FL
CARES Brooksville Rescue
Cat Crusaders
Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay
DARE To Rescue
Dunedin Doggie Rescue (Dog-eden)
English Springer Rescue America
Feral Fanciers of Polk County
Florida Big Dog Rescue
Florida Parrot Rescue
Friends of Strays Foster
Humane Society of Florida – Citrus County
Husky Haven of Florida
Internet Miniature Pinscher Service
League of Humane Voters-FL
Limbo Chihuahuas-Chi Mix-Small Dog Rescue
Manatee Doberman Rescue
PAWS Rescue Group
Pibbles To The Rescue
Pinellas County Animal Services
Pit Bull Happenings.com
Pet Pal Animal Shelter
Pug Rescue of Florida
RUFF; Rescued Unwanted Furry Friends
Rugaz Rescue
S.A.F.E. Saving Animals From Euthanasia Society of Florida
Save Our Strays
Siberian Husky Rescue of FL
Southeast Beagle Rescue
Suncoast Basset Rescue
Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary
We Care For Paws Foundation

Read more about Animal Based Charities at animalbasedcharities.org.

Pet-A-Palooza 2012 is sponsored by Mastro Subaru and Halo: Purely for Pets. The New Barker is the official Dog Magazine of Pet-A-Palooza.

CBS RADIO, is one of the largest major-market radio operators in the United States.  A division of CBS Corporation, CBS RADIO operates 130 radio stations, the majority of which are in the nation’s top 50 markets. CBS RADIO owns and operates WSJT, WLLD, WYUU, WRBQ, WQYK FM/AM in Tampa.



Media Contacts:

Amanda Allwood – 727.563.8839 amanda.allwood@cbsradio.com