Changing Planet

The Wiseguy “Gets” Animals: Interview with Ken Wahl

Contributing Editor Dr. Jordan Schaul and legendary celebrity animal activists the Barbi Twins interview Ken Wahl—the Wiseguy.

Ken Wahl is an award winning actor, writer, and director most known for winning a Golden Globe for the series Wiseguy. Wahl has starred in many movies, including, THE WANDERERS, PURPLE HEARTS, FORT APACHE THE BRONX with Paul Newman,  JINXED with Bette Midler, THE SOLDIER, THE FAVOR with Brad Pitt, DIRTY DOZEN II.

After leaving WISEGUY to fulfill his movie commitments, he was forced to retire abruptly, due to a severe spinal injury in 1992 and continues to live with chronic pain.Ken found that rescued pets as companions are very therapeutic for his pain, and saving these rescued pets was even more rewarding. January 9, 2010 Ken agreed to help find a cat killer who glued a kitten to a highway. He generously offered his Golden Globe as a reward to help find the cat killer. The news went viral! http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2010/01/exclusive-ken-wahl-offers-golden-globe-catch-cat-killer

As a patriot, Ken’s main priority now is to help US veterans and rescued pets help each other.

The Barbi Twins sat down with Ken Wahl to talk about his animal charities and causes.

Barbi Twins:
Have you always loved animals? What was your first pet?
Ken Wahl:
Yes, I always loved animals. I’ve never lived without animals. As long as I can remember, I was bringing home strays. When I was five years old I brought home a stray kitten that I named Tiger. This was my first pet.
Barbi Twins:
As a kid did you want to have a career with animals or be an actor?
Ken Wahl:
Neither. I wanted to be a baseball player originally, and sort of fell into acting. But I always loved animals. Then, I discovered when I injured my spine, that these animals were actually very therapeutic and helped me to cope with my chronic pain.
Barbi Twins:
So why this crusade you want to do to help US veterans with saving rescued pets?
Ken Wahl:
I’m determined to help decrease the astonishing rate of suicide among our military, through what I’ve learned help me.  People have asked me to do a lot of things, but this is one area that I know worked for me and helped me to cope with my injuries. I’ve always respected the military and I’m grateful they give us our freedom. So I feel this obligation to help disabled vets with rescued pets, since the pets were always so helpful to me. And by them saving an innocent pet from being destroyed at a kill shelter, this also will make them feel better.
Barbi Twins:
I see you participated in a wild horse documentary, tell us about that and will you do more?
Ken Wahl:
I’m retired and unable to work due to my injuries. But, I made this exception to narrate AMERICA’S SAVING HORSES when I learned that horses were being slaughtered for an overseas profit, with our tax money. This is outrageous when most Americans don’t want this. And what is more American than our horses, which helped build our nation? Even if you don’t support animal rights, you must hate having your tax dollars wasted, when it doesn’t help anything.
Barbi Twins:
How can people help the horses or endangered wolves?
Ken Wahl:
Call your representatives in Congress and tell them you don’t want your tax dollars spent on slaughtering horses or wolves. This is our constitutional right to demand this.

With training in wildlife ecology, conservation medicine and comparative psychology, Dr. Schaul’s contributions to Nat Geo Voices have covered a range of environmental and social topics. He draws particular attention to the plight of imperiled species highlighting issues at the juncture or nexus of sorta situ wildlife conservation and applied animal welfare.

Sorta situ conservation practices are comprised of scientific management and stewardship of animal populations ex situ (in captivity / ‘in human care’) and in situ (free-ranging / ‘in nature’). He also has a background in behavior management and training of companion animals and captive wildlife, as well as conservation marketing and digital publicity.

Jordan has shared interviews with colleagues and public figures, as well as editorial news content. In addition, he has posted narratives describing his own work, which include the following examples:

• Restoration of wood bison to the Interior of Alaska while (While Animal Curator at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and courtesy professor at the University of Alaska)

• Rehabilitation of orphaned sloth bears exploited for tourists in South Asia (While executive consultant ‘in-residence’ at the Agra Bear Rescue Center managed by Wildlife SOS)

• Censusing small wild cat (e.g. ocelot and margay) populations in the montane cloud forests of Costa Rica for popular publications with ‘The Cat Whisperer’ Mieshelle Nagelschneider

• Evaluating the impact of ecotourism on marine mammal population stability and welfare off the coast of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez (With Boston University’s marine science program)

Jordan was a director on boards of non-profit wildlife conservation organizations serving nations in Africa, North and South America and Southeast Asia. He is also a consultant to a human-wildlife conflict mitigation organization in the Pacific Northwest.

Following animal curatorships in Alaska and California, he served as a charter board member of a zoo advocacy and outreach organization and later as its executive director.

Jordan was a member of the Communication and Education Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (CEC-IUCN) and the Bear Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (BSG-SSC-IUCN).

He has served on the advisory council of the National Wildlife Humane Society and in service to the Bear Taxon Advisory Group of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA Bear TAG). In addition he was an ex officio member of council of the International Association for Bear Research and Management.

Contact Email: jordan@jordanschaul.com

http://www.facebook.com/jordan.schaul
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordanschaul/
www.jordanschaul.com
www.bicoastalreputationmanagement.com

  • Snowfox Moonstar Walkingshaw

    WELL HE DEFINITELY HAS MY SUPPORT IF AT ALL HE REALLY DESERVES IT ,I MY SELF AM PHYSICAL DISABLED KNOWING WHAT IT IS TO HAVE SEVER PAIN AND SUFFERING AND NOT WANTING TO BELIEVE THAT I CANNOT DO A JOB i AM QUALIFIED TO DO BECAUSE i CANNOT WORK THE JOB. I SUFFER WITH PAIN THEN CRY AND OTHER DOCTORS THEY SAY WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AND WALKING KID i SAID MY FAITH IN JESUS AND COUNTRY LIVING WHAT DO YOU THINK I DID ALL THESE YEARS WHY BIG VOLUNTEERING YES THAT’S WHAT i DID AND MORE CONCERNING MY FAMILY HAVING TO PUT UP WITH LIVING ON FOOD STAMPS AND WELFARE PAYMENTS i WAS SO IN LOVE WITH MY FAMILY I MADE BIG PLANS I AM WHITE AND RED SKIN MY TRIBE OSAGE I AM A NON DOCUMENTED NATIVE AMERICAN MEANING NOT ENOUGH BLOOD LINE TO COLLECT MONEY FROM THE FEDS OR THE GOVERNMENT TO LIVE ON AND NO EDUCATION I WAS A WONDERFUL COUNTRY MOUNTAIN WOMEN BAKED BREAD STILL DO FOR MY CHURCH PEOPLE AND MY SONS ,LOVE TO LIVE I WAS RAISED FISHING HUNTING CAMPING I LOVE IT MY DAD REST HIS SOUL MY MOTHER A STAY AT HOME MOM WE FOLLOWED IN HER COOKING STEPS SHE HAD LONG BLACK HAIR LITTLE LADDIE 10 KIDS IT WAS GREAT. I WAS RAISED IN LONG BEACH TILL 14 THEN WE MOVED TO VENTURA WE ALWAYS WENT UP THERE TO CAMP HUNT AT WHEELERS GORGE I WAS RAISED IN THAT CAMP GROUND SO WERE MY KIDS THEY WERE ALWAYS GLAD WHEN SUMMER CAME AROUND IT WAS UP IN THE MOUNTAINS HYWAY 33, ON THE BACK ROAD TO BAKERS FIELD .WELL LETS MAKE A 70 YEAR OLD STORY SHORT OK. IN 1978 I WAS EXCCEPTED INTO MOOR PARK EXOTIC ANIMAL TRAING PROGRAM A TWO YEAR PROGRAM TO TRAIN EXOTICS BUT I DID NOT WANT THAT I WANTED TO BECOME A WILDLIFE REHABBER SO I HERD ABOUT THIS TRAINING AND THE STATE REHAB WAS GOING TO FINANCIAL ASSIST ME IF THE GRADES I GET CONTINUE TO KEEP ABOVE A C AND I WAS GETING A’S A+ BACK THEN WHEN OLD BISBY WAS TRAING I DID

  • Snowfox Moonstar Walkingshaw

    WELL HE DEFINITELY HAS MY SUPPORT IF AT ALL HE REALLY DESERVES IT ,I MY SELF AM PHYSICAL DISABLED KNOWING WHAT IT IS TO HAVE SEVER PAIN AND SUFFERING AND NOT WANTING TO BELIEVE THAT I CANNOT DO A JOB i AM QUALIFIED TO DO BECAUSE i CANNOT WORK THE JOB. I SUFFER WITH PAIN THEN CRY AND OTHER DOCTORS THEY SAY WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AND WALKING KID i SAID MY FAITH IN JESUS AND COUNTRY LIVING WHAT DO YOU THINK I DID ALL THESE YEARS WHY BIG VOLUNTEERING YES THAT’S WHAT i DID AND MORE CONCERNING MY FAMILY HAVING TO PUT UP WITH LIVING ON FOOD STAMPS AND WELFARE PAYMENTS i WAS SO IN LOVE WITH MY FAMILY I MADE BIG PLANS I AM WHITE AND RED SKIN MY TRIBE OSAGE I AM A NON DOCUMENTED NATIVE AMERICAN MEANING NOT ENOUGH BLOOD LINE TO COLLECT MONEY FROM THE FEDS OR THE GOVERNMENT TO LIVE ON AND NO EDUCATION I WAS A WONDERFUL COUNTRY MOUNTAIN WOMEN BAKED BREAD STILL DO FOR MY CHURCH PEOPLE AND MY SONS ,LOVE TO LIVE I WAS RAISED FISHING HUNTING CAMPING I LOVE IT MY DAD REST HIS SOUL MY MOTHER A STAY AT HOME MOM WE FOLLOWED IN HER COOKING STEPS SHE HAD LONG BLACK HAIR LITTLE LADDIE 10 KIDS IT WAS GREAT. I WAS RAISED IN LONG BEACH TILL 14 THEN WE MOVED TO VENTURA WE ALWAYS WENT UP THERE TO CAMP HUNT AT WHEELERS GORGE I WAS RAISED IN THAT CAMP GROUND SO WERE MY KIDS THEY WERE ALWAYS GLAD WHEN SUMMER CAME AROUND IT WAS UP IN THE MOUNTAINS HYWAY 33, ON THE BACK ROAD TO BAKERS FIELD .WELL LETS MAKE A 70 YEAR OLD STORY SHORT OK. IN 1978 I WAS EXCCEPTED INTO MOOR PARK EXOTIC ANIMAL TRAING PROGRAM A TWO YEAR PROGRAM TO TRAIN EXOTICS BUT I DID NOT WANT THAT I WANTED TO BECOME A WILDLIFE REHABBER SO I HERD ABOUT THIS TRAINING AND THE STATE REHAB WAS GOING TO FINANCIAL ASSIST ME IF THE GRADES I GET CONTINUE TO KEEP ABOVE A C AND I WAS GETING A’S A+ BACK THEN WHEN OLD BISBY WAS TRAING I DID

  • Steven Stapp

    A perfect match for the Wounded Warrior campaign and the use of therapy horses!

  • Steven Stapp

    A perfect match for the Wounded Warrior campaign and the use of therapy horses!

  • Jenny

    Why can’t the government do something logical and work with Ken Wahl to help match unwanted pets and horses with our Wounded Warriors? Both would benefit from the mutual therapy. Thank you, Mr. Wahl – I hope this idea takes off! And thanks, NatGeo, for the documentary. I will check it out and write my Senators to ask for their help to stop the taxpayer-supported slaughtering of horses. Ugh!

  • Jenny

    Why can’t the government do something logical and work with Ken Wahl to help match unwanted pets and horses with our Wounded Warriors? Both would benefit from the mutual therapy. Thank you, Mr. Wahl – I hope this idea takes off! And thanks, NatGeo, for the documentary. I will check it out and write my Senators to ask for their help to stop the taxpayer-supported slaughtering of horses. Ugh!

  • Kathy Lahmeyer

    Two GREAT LADIES and one GREAT MAN!!! Thank you for ALL you do!!!

  • Kathy Lahmeyer

    Two GREAT LADIES and one GREAT MAN!!! Thank you for ALL you do!!!

  • louis rosenberg

    i grew up in NY watching wiseguy,and all the other great movies,ken did.ive always wondered what ever happened to him.his co host,in wiseguy,i think his name is evan.he s still plugging away.whatever has happened, its a great shame.he s one of the greats.

  • louis rosenberg

    i grew up in NY watching wiseguy,and all the other great movies,ken did.ive always wondered what ever happened to him.his co host,in wiseguy,i think his name is evan.he s still plugging away.whatever has happened, its a great shame.he s one of the greats.

  • louis rosenberg

    im also an animal lover.i own three rotties.all are trained,working dogs.

  • louis rosenberg

    im also an animal lover.i own three rotties.all are trained,working dogs.

  • Mark Tule

    Snowfox, does your disability affect your typing too? Last time I saw something written in All CAPS it was from a 4 year old.

  • Mark Tule

    Snowfox, does your disability affect your typing too? Last time I saw something written in All CAPS it was from a 4 year old.

  • Vinny

    I won’t support him. His deceipt of SONNY was unacceptable. Yes he tried to offer him the best deal possible but look how it turned out!

    Also, Susan was mentally handicapped. He played with her. He should have known not to cross the line!

  • Vinny

    I won’t support him. His deceipt of SONNY was unacceptable. Yes he tried to offer him the best deal possible but look how it turned out!

    Also, Susan was mentally handicapped. He played with her. He should have known not to cross the line!

  • Laina

    Thank you for your empathy for animals and the connection with pets. I saw a very distraught looking fellow at a VA office on a visit over my late father’s records.
    Seeing that fellow with his Service/ Comfort Pet ….well, I barely held back tears.
    It’s a fantastic cause to promote.
    Thank you to Ken for his portrayals on film….and to the two great ladies. All 3 with huge hearts. I think of them often.

  • Laina

    Thank you for your empathy for animals and the connection with pets. I saw a very distraught looking fellow at a VA office on a visit over my late father’s records.
    Seeing that fellow with his Service/ Comfort Pet ….well, I barely held back tears.
    It’s a fantastic cause to promote.
    Thank you to Ken for his portrayals on film….and to the two great ladies. All 3 with huge hearts. I think of them often.

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