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Doctor shares passion for pets

Got a cat that can't find its litter box or a puppy that makes dinner out of the dining room furniture?

Next week is your chance to seek advice from Dr. Michael Fox.

Fox, the author of more than 40 books on animal behavior, including bestsellers Understanding Your Cat, and Understanding Your Dog, will speak to animal lovers and others Tuesday at the Countryside branch of the Clearwater Library.

The library is sponsoring the visit to celebrate National Pet Week, said Jan Nickols, community services librarian. The program is free.

Fox, who believes that all animals have feelings and souls, said recently that one of the greatest disorders of our time is "our increasing disconnection between ourselves and the rest of the animal kingdom."

"I'm one of those radicals who believes that every creature is a work of God," Fox said. "God is in all of us."

In his most recent books, Eating With Conscience: The Bioethics of Food and The Boundless Circle: Caring For Creatures and Creation, Fox, 60, writes of a need to redefine the term "community" to include all members of the animal kingdom.

"We need to get away from seeing ourselves as the center of the world," Fox said in a telephone interview last week. "If we do this, we will become more fulfilled as human beings."

Fox, who lives in Washington, D.C., works extensively in animal reform. He spends part of each year in India treating diseased cattle and other animals. His wife, Deanna Krantz, works there full time, he said.

"It's a country where there is no care for animals," Fox said. "You can imagine the impact when you cure a dog with mange or cattle eaten up with maggots."

In addition to his many books, Fox has a nationwide syndicated newspaper column, "Ask Your Animal Doctor," and lectures extensively on animal welfare and behavior. His veterinary degree is from London's Royal Veterinary College. He also has a Ph.D. in medicine and a doctorate of science in animal behavior, both from London University.

Nickols said the program Tuesday will last about an hour and will include a question-and-answer session.