“Animal lovers with a message drive our stories,” Joe and Robbin Everett say about their website, blog, and weekly radio show The Pet Podcast Channel (TPPC.tv). But until now, very few knew the backstory of Joe, the man behind the microphone, but Dogster is here to tell you about this pet-loving warrior. He’s a hero and gentle-animal advocate, who has overcome adversity and given back time and again.
Joe is a true life advocate for all creatures, great and small. You might not know him yet, but give it time: The pet world has begun rolling out a long overdue welcome mat.
July 1, 1988, was a warm day. A New Jersey firefighter, Joe was detailed to Engine 302 to fill in for folks on summer vacation. Shortly after lunch and drills, crews were ordered to a fire at the Hackensack Ford dealership.
Upon arrival, Joe and the others gained attic access in an attempt to find the fire, but there was difficulty locating it. After a few minutes, all firefighters were ordered out of the building. With fire blazing and time standing still, the roof collapsed.
“Everything went dark. Men were trapped, screaming and crying out for help. I was able to crawl out of the wreckage with two other firefighters,” Joe recalls. He tried to continue rescuing the trapped members with additional crews. One of his last memories that day was the accountability firefighter approaching him with a list of six names. Joe watched as a firefighter drew a line though his name because he was still alive. Five firefighters died that day, which included Joe’s entire crew in the Ford Fire.
Joe was forever changed by the experience. There were additional occurrences in Joe’s life after that, including responding with his ambulance into Manhattan for mutual aid for the first World Trade Center terrorist attack in 1993. On September 11, 2001, Joe and his entire off-duty crew grabbed their gear and equipment, got on a bus, and rode into the city to assist their fellow firefighters.
So how did he make the leap from firefighter to pet-related business owner? “Robbin and I always wanted a business that could help people and pets and continue to give back to those with no voice,” he says. Joe also realized that humans do such horrible things to themselves and others, and he decided that animals were always unbiased toward humans.
Robbin worked in a veterinary practice in college. Joe says he always felt a kinship with animals through his Native American ancestry and through saving so many animals from fires. “We love cohosting on the radio and, yes, what you hear is real,” he says. “Having a chat room open during our broadcast makes us feel like we have our best friends in our living room with us.”
With a busy show all about animals, naturally some pets share the lives of Joe and Robbin. Chachala Rose is an 8-year-old Chihuahua and Philomena Acela is the couple’s 4-year-old Miniature Pinscher; both reside at the Jersey Shore as family members. “Sunny, our horse, is currently working with special-needs children. We donated him to a program where he can help children heal. He is doing great and the kids love him,” Joe says.
TPPC.tv started as a Web-based television show, website, and blog for pet and animal lovers and has grown to include a weekly radio show, Pets Teach Us So Much, which is then available as a podcast via the TPPC.tv website or iTunes. The radio show airs live on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. EST. Their television show is currently on hiatus.
Making the transition to a pet-based career is something others undoubtedly wonder about. You might be reading this, thinking, “How can I get involved in something like this?” Though they admit the rough economy has been trying, Joe and Robbin say do your research and never give up. “Reach out to your tribe and keep on swimming, like Nemo the fish would say,” Robbin muses.
So what next for the couple and their dogs? They plan to travel the country to bring much-needed publicity to rescues and pet events. Their dream is to travel in an RV for mobile broadcasts.
“Our favorite aspect of working with other pet people is just that: meeting beautiful, like-minded pet lovers from all over the world. No matter how hurt, hungry, or sick an animal is, an animal will always show their love,” Joe says.
We raise our sparkling water bowls to you, Joe and Robbin.
Learn more at TPPC.tv, on Twitter at @TPPCtv, and on Facebook.