Donna Cheek

Co-host of Issues and Ideas

Donna Cheek hosts a monthly segment about animals on Issues and Ideas.  Donna has long been an animal trainer and activist.  She is an award-winning equestrian who made history when she became the first black rider to ever represent the United States in international competition.  Her accomplishments led to an induction into the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, and as a teen she starred in an NBC made-for-television movie about her life. Donna was born in Philadelphia and raised on the Central Coast, where she began her 43 year career riding horses and competing with Hunter/Jumpers and received a degree in journalism from Cal Poly.

Pets & Animals
4:21 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Central Coast animal lover saves senior and special needs dogs

The plight of many senior dogs in California is growing old and having decisions about life expectancy determined by someone else. Central Coast animal lover, Charlotte Meade, is doing something about it. Donna Cheek has a lively discussion with Charlotte Meade, founder of Meade Canine Rescue Foundation about her passion to save senior and special needs dogs.

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Mental Health
3:30 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Broadcast date: 8/27/14

Veterans can get help from an unlikely source by spending time with horses.  Donna Cheek learns about the process from equine assisted psychotherapist Patrice Wichmann and a veteran who shares a heartfelt experience with this form of therapy that changed her life forever.

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3:47 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Mission Animal Hospital

Broadcast date: 7/30/2014

There’s a local veterinary hospital that offers a new community outreach program for the pets of housebound seniors and people in eldercare, including free house calls and services.  Donna Cheek learns about the program and the cutting edge holistic approach Mission Animal Hospital takes to animal wellness.

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Pets and Mental Health
3:58 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Losing Beloved Pets

It's traumatic to lose a beloved pet, but planning ahead can help ease the pain during that difficult time.  Donna Cheek learns how during her conversation with Christine Johnson, co-owner of Eden Memorial Pet Care in Paso Robles.

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Pets & Animals
1:42 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

The Slaughter of Innocence

Donna Cheek and her guest Susan Schwartz, founder and president of Heaven Can Wait Equine Sanctuary, tackle the often controversial subject of horse slaughter in the United States, and how new laws affect nonprofits that are committed to saving the lives of these abandoned horses.

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Pets & Animals
12:54 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Therapy Dogs

Who is "Reno" and what makes his brand of love so special to patients at a local hospital?  Donna Cheek will find out when she talks to therapy dog owner Cheryl Rempe and Nurse Lorene Campbell of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

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6:23 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Pacific Wildlife Care

Spring is here, and with it come new babies born in the wild.  Donna Cheek gathers tips from Melinda Alvarado and Claudia Duckworth, of Pacific Wildlife Care, about what you should do if you encounter one of these babies.  Also, we will learn all the ways that Pacific Wildlife Care serves the community in preserving the local wildlife that we all enjoy.

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Pets & Animals
4:41 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Swimming with Canines

Swimming is as helpful in many ways for dogs as it is for humans.  Canine swim coach Chris Barrett shares with Donna Cheek her passion for helping dogs gain confidence, recover from injury and just plain have a fun splashing good time.

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Pets & Animals
12:00 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Pet Hygiene & Overpopulation

Donna Cheek has an informative conversation with Dr. Timothy Bell about his love for animals, pet dental hygiene, and Bell's specific efforts to win the war on pet overpopulation.

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Olive Oil , Parrots, Local Bookstores
12:00 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Issues & Ideas: air date 11-27-2013

This is Kiwi, a rescued parrot. Her dad, Marty Johnson, talks with Donna Cheek today on Issues and Ideas about the millions of parrots living in the U.S. as pets.
Credit Marisa Waddell
  • Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with the owners of Olea Farm in Templeton, to learn about California's distinctive olive oils.  We'll learn what the term "extra-virgin, first press" really means, and what some of the differences are between European and California olive oils.
  • Also, it is estimated that 10 to 40 million parrots live in the United States as pets.
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Partners in Equestrian Therapy, Day of the Dead
12:00 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Issues & Ideas: air date 10-30-2013

  • Donna Cheek talks with the program coordinator of Partners in Equestrian therapy -- a unique riding program located in San Luis Obispo, for children and adults with special needs.
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Pet Peace of Mind, Santa Maria history
12:00 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Issues & Ideas: air date 09-25-2013

  • Many people who are terminally ill have pets. But what happens to those pets when a patient enters hospice care?
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Catch Shares, Spay/Neuter, California Surf Project
12:00 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Issues & Ideas: air date 08-28-2013

  • There's a new federally-mandated fishery management system on the west coast called Catch Shares -- and it's making both fishermen and environmentalists happy.
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Egologistics, Shark Sightings, Equine Therapy
12:00 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Issues and Ideas: air date 07-24-2013

  • On the next Issues and Ideas, Brian Reynolds talks with Stacey Hunt and Michael Jencks of Ecologistics, a non-profit set up to create a resilient and healthy community for the residents of San Luis Obispo County that strives for sustainability, both economically and environmentally.
  • Reporter, Jake Blair, asks shark and conservation experts about the increase in shark sightings and interactions off the Central Coast.
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