Friday, March 11, 2011

Check Out Pettalk 360, An Awesome New Local Online Show

Two Markham residents have teamed up to host an online talk show that answers animal-related questions.
“We tackle issues that are edgy, that not everyone wants to talk about,” Markham veterinarian Cliff Redford said. The Pettalk 360 show, hosted by Dr. Redford and Aaron Thomas, launched in January. Dr. Redford has been a veterinarian in Markham for 11 years and Mr. Thomas has a broadcasting background. Both men are in their thirties.

The inaugural show featured an interview with Bob Barker, of the Price is Right fame, who discussed his animal activism. The online show is meant to tackle tough animal-related topics such the treatment of animals in circuses, the high cost of veterinarian fees and commercial versus organic dog food.  The show also aims to cover softer topics such as how to become a veterinarian and the perils of travelling with your pet.

A bylaw officer from Toronto Animal Services calls in every week to discuss each show’s topic as well as subjects in the news.  On a past show, she discussed a dog electrocuted in Toronto after a streetcar wire touched a metal pole and became energized. Dr. Redford and Mr. Thomas hosted a call-in show about pet-related issues on Rogers TV called Your Pet, Your Vet, for a season starting in September 2009.  They left the show and turned to the online broadcasting world because they wanted to branch out and reach a larger audience, Dr. Redford said.

The online show has already surpassed the number of viewers that tuned into their Rogers show, Dr. Redford said.  About 150,000 people tune in weekly, including listeners from Europe and Japan, he said. Pettalk360 will be producing a live show where show representatives will meet fans and answer questions at the Rogers Centre during the Argos’ Pet Day.  While the date has not yet been determined, fans will be able to bring their dogs to the game, Dr. Redford said.  The game will feature dog-related entertainment during half-time. Pettalk360 will host a full one-hour show before the game and have a booth for autograph-signing and answering questions.

Upcoming show topics include: finding a vet, pet insurance, the scoop on pet food and favourite movies and TV shows starring animals.  For Halloween, the show hopes to feature pets with special abilities. You can listen to the show live Sundays on from 3 to 4 p.m. or you can check out past shows by tuning into pod-casts on the site.