Ana Zorrilla

Host of Animal Life

As a compassionate animal lover, Ana Zorrilla was drawn to the Louisiana SPCA for the opportunity to make an impact in the animal and human community of New Orleans. She joined the team in February 2006, and was selected by the Board of Directors to lead the organization as Chief Executive Officer in November 2007.

Through her tenure as CEO, Ana has led the organization through Hurricane Gustav and the first evacuation of companion animals from an American city. In 2012, Ana became the first person in Louisiana (and one of less than 100 professionals in the country) to successfully complete the Certification of Animal Welfare Administrators (CAWA). 

Ana has also received accolades within her community as a recipient of New Orleans Magazine’s People to Watch, Person of Fashion, and as one of 50 honorees for New Orleans’ City Business’ Women of the Year. She has served on the Board of the Directors of New Orleans Outreach, The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Camp Fire USA and Summerbridge/Breakthrough National Program.

Ana graduated from Loyola University with an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Secondary Education and went on to receive her Masters in Educational Administration from the University of New Orleans. A New Orleans native, Ana’s family includes three Jack Russell Terriers — Mila, Pepper and Sparky — and several box turtles.

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Animal Life
10:50 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Animal Life: Caring For Pets With Special Needs

Credit Annette Shaff / Shutterstock

My friend Shelly has a blind cat named Stevie. You might think that Stevie has a it bad, but in fact, he's just as active as any other cat.

The important thing to remember about disabled pets is that they adapt well to their limitations. They learn to rely on other senses and usually go on to lead normal lives. 

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Animal Life: Reading Your Pet's Body Language

Listen to what your pet is trying to tell you.
Credit dwphotos / Shutterstock

We don't speak the same language as our pets. But it's amazing what they can communicate with their actions if we really observe them.

Recently, a Great Dane/Shepherd mix kept running from his owner's home. He showed up at our shelter several times over the course of a few months. He desperately wanted exercise and wasn't neutered. Running away was the only way he could express his frustration. Ultimately, his owner grew weary of paying fines to redeem him, and this lucky dog ended up neutered and placed in a new home with an attentive owner.

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Animal Life: The Advantages Of Adopting An Older Pet

Older pets make excellent companions.
Credit mythja / Shutterstock

Older animals are often overlooked in shelters across the country. This a huge loss for animals and humans. Older pets make excellent companions.

Pets are defined as "older" when they've reached approximately two-thirds of their life expectancy. A standard poodle, for example, has an average lifespan of 12 years. So at 8, he or she is ready to become a card-carrying member of the AARP — that's the American Association of Retired Pets. 

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Animal Life: Keeping Your Pet Hydrated

Remember to keep your pet hydrated during the hot summer months.
Kate Richardson

We all know that hydration is a key to good health. The same goes for our pets.

Like humans, an adult dog's body is comprised of about 60 percent water. For cats it's about 67 percent. When a dog loses just 10 percent of its body's fluids, bodily functions shut down; a 15 percent loss can be fatal. Cats tolerate dehydration a little better than dogs, but a loss of 20 percent can be fatal.

There's no set amount of water that your pet should drink in one day. But a good rule of thumb is that animals should take in about two and a half times more water than food per day.

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Animal Life: What's In A (Pet) Name?

Is that Rudy? Or maybe it's Bridget.
Credit Kate Richardson

Adopting a new pet is easy. But naming it can be a real challenge.

You'll be using the name several times a day to socialize and train your pet, so there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Studies have found that our pets respond better to one or two syllable names. So it's safe to say that Ditto Dippin' Dots may not work.

Avoid names like Joe, for example, which sound very close to "no." The same goes for Sid, which has the same sound as "sit."

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Animal Life: The Benefits Of Ear-Tipped Feral Cats

Ear-tipped cats have been sterilized and released to help stabilize wild cat populations.
Credit Robert Lowe / Flickr

When I step out my front door, the first thing I usually see is a feral cat soaking up the sun. Some may view community cats as a nuisance, but these unique felines actually play an important role in the city.

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Animal Life: Turtle Or Tortoise?

Credit NagyDodo / Shutterstock

My friend Cynthia was driving home one evening when she saw what she thought was a helmet in the middle of the road. But when the helmet began to move she quickly hit the brakes. It was a turtle — a box turtle to be exact.

She wanted to release the turtle into a body of water, but a friend informed her that they can’t swim and if completely submerged in water they’ll drown.

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Animal Life: Traveling Abroad With Your Pet

Joe and Karli's cats enjoy all that life in Spain has to offer.
Karli Young

My friends Joe and Karli recently relocated to Spain with their three cats in tow. As they prepared for the move, they quickly discovered that transporting pets internationally can be quite a production.

There are a few basic requirements for traveling abroad with companion animals. Your vet can provide health certificates and proof of rabies vaccinations. Some countries also require mandatory quarantine periods for animals before allowing them in.

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Animal Life: Hopping Into The World Of Pet Rabbits

Bounce with me... Animal Life: Hopping Into The World Of Pet Rabbits
Credit kosmos111 / Shutterstock

Let's play Jeopardy!. These four-legged animals need daily interaction with humans, lack survival instincts to live in the wild, are easily frightened by children, and love to chew on electric cords.

What are... rabbits!

A large number of rabbits end up in animal shelters every year because owners underestimate the time and care required to maintain them. But it's not all work and responsibility. One upside to rabbits is that they can actually be litter box trained, just like cats!

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Animal Life
7:00 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Animal Life: Dogs Get Into Mardi Gras Spirit At The Barkus Parade

Mark Gstohl Flickr

For years, Mardi Gras was a human-only event. But in 1992 New Orleans dog lovers formed the Krewe of Barkus, and every year since they've held the city's only dog-centric Mardi Gras parade.

Each year's parade has a theme. Past favorites include "Jurassic Bark" and "Titanic: Dogs and Children First." Owners dress their dogs accordingly and construct miniature floats to haul the canine royalty around the French Quarter parade route. 

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