Sneak Peek: Discovery’s Wild Animal Repo

Hi there!

Though I’ve been married to a veterinarian for the last ten years, I was an animal lover and pet owner long before that. And I’ve always had a soft spot for abused animals. But far too often we find ourselves not hearing about the most serious cases until it’s too late. However, when you go visit places such as the Serenity Springs Wildlife Center in Calhan, CO, which focuses on rescuing big cats such as lions and tigers, or places such as the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide, CO, which focuses on giving a good home to wolves and other animals who can’t survive in the wild, you hear some of the stories of how these animals came to be in their care… and it breaks your heart to think of wild animals abused in such a way.

The trick is that you have to go to these places to hear these tales of abuse and neglect. Far too often we don’t hear about them until conditions reach tragic levels and we never hear about the positive stories of rescues that might not have survived otherwise. So I’m very excited about the new show on the Discovery Channel that’s airing a sneak peak on Sunday, January 16 at 9pm ET/PT – Wild Animal Repo.

“Repo” is a strange concept when applied to something other than a car or house, but whatever you call these people, they deserve our respect and admiration for going into tough conditions and saving these critters.

Here’s some info from a recent press release:

“Scott Lope is one of America’s premier exotic animal reposessors. He rescues extraordinary and endangered creatures from unfit owners, illegal trade and harmful environments. No animal is too dangerous or too insignificant for Scott, as he and his team recover tigers, bears, monkeys, wolves and many more, all with the goal of finding them a worthy home.

On Sunday, January 16 at 9PM ET/PT, Discovery Channel fans will get a sneak peek of WILD ANIMAL REPO as Scott heads to Texas to rescue 22 bears from a suspected illegal bear breeding facility. The bears resist the process, as do the animals’ disgruntled owners. Then, zookeepers are packing up before the small roadside zoo is demolished. But first, they need to relocate 25 Capuchin monkeys. Scott takes on the job, but the monkeys quickly learn his tactics, making the rescue even more challenging. Later, Scott is tasked with saving six tigers from a facility that is not properly protected, and risks the safety of the tigers and local citizens. He enlists the help of tiger experts, but can they move the giant cats that are multiple times their size and strength?”

And here are three clips from the show that illustrate some of the places Scott and his team have to go into…

Be sure and watch Wild Animal Repo on Sunday, January 16 at 9PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel!


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PC Game Review: Pet Pals: New Leash on Life


Being married to a veterinarian and having two young girls fascinated by animals of all types, I decided to check out Legacy Interactive‘s Pet Pals: New Leash on Life a couple of months ago. Aimed squarely at the teenage crowd looking to become vets themselves, I thought the game was more than a little tedious. My daughters on the other hand were fascinated and wanted to play.

When you start out, you are a new veterinarian at the Pet Pals Animal Shelter. The goal is to work through 35 different cases based on real animals and nurse the critters back to health. Everything from rabbits and kitties to rabbits and iguanas. Strictly small animals here, which is great to get kids to play who have their own pets at home.

What is immediately apparent is the level of detail in this game. I worked a few nights as an “emergency vet tech” with my wife and have to admit I think they made this game about as real as it can get. The tutorial walks you through a checkup for a stray kitten and you have to check its ears, draw blood, and so on.

The graphics are simplified, but work in the context of a virtual veterinarian’s office for kids I think. But the gameplay would become very boring and repetitive quickly. Where the game really succeeds however is to provide practical knowledge of some of the tests and procedures that happen at your local vet or animal shelter. At the end of case, you’ve made sure that each pet is healthy and has a new home. You just have to hope you don’t get buried in the details as you work through each case…

If you’re looking for a taste of what it’s like to be a real vet, minus the blood and other bodily excretions, I think this is probably a great introduction. It removes the fantasy of being a small animal vet and adds some reality back into the mix. I would caution parents not to let their children base their career choices totally on this game, but it’s a great way to see how interested they actually are. Once they’re old enough, have them volunteer in the local animal shelter or at a local vet clinic to get some hands-on experience.

Though I didn’t really enjoy the game, my daughters did and I can appreciate the care and work that went into it. If you have a pre-teen or teen child interested in becoming a veterinarian or who wants to learn more about pet care, Pet Pals: New Leash on Life would provide a great introduction to those topics.


p.s. Pick this and other Pet Pals titles up at Amazon:

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