Canine Xylitol Poisoning and The PAWS Off Act

A canine toxin–estimated to be over 100X more dangerous than chocolate–is lurking in our homes right now.

It hides in thousands of foods and personal hygiene products–from candy, pudding, gum, and peanut butter–to mouthwash, toothpaste, and even personal lubricants. This insidious poison is killing our beloved dogs by the thousands every year.

On the very first episode of the PETestal, meet Andrew Holycross, the canine hero who has transformed a family tragedy into proposed lifesaving legislation that would require proper warnings on all products containing xylitol, and learn how you can support his mission to keep our best good girls and boys safe from harm.

Season 1, Episode 1

Meet Our Guest, Andrew Holycross!

Andrew Holycross is a canine hero with an impressive professional background. He earned his Master’s degree at the University of Nebraska–Omaha, and a Ph.D. in Zoology from Arizona State University in 2002. In 2004, he joined the faculty at Mesa Community College (MCC) and has been teaching biology there ever since. In 2014, he was named “Professor of the Year” at MCC in recognition of his teaching and community service.

In addition to herpetology and teaching, Andrew is passionate about outdoor activities–including native plant landscaping, backpacking, river running, canyoneering, and rock climbing. He is also 1 of only 3 people who have hiked the entire length of the Grand Canyon on both sides of the Colorado River-a feat in honor of his late wife, Ioana Hociota.

Andrew and Sonya Sass Holycross married in 2013, 35 years after they met in gym class in 1979! They have 5 children, Alessandra, Daniella, Canyon (†), Dylan, and Jenny.

Episode Resources

For more information on the PAWS Off Act, please visit:

Sponsored by Tony Taylor Inspires

At Tony Taylor Inspires our goal is to inspire, impact and ignite the leader from within. Tony Taylor is a Business leader, Motivational speaker, and the Host of Leaders Lead The Podcast. He served as a US Marine, worked as a Fire Captain with the Department of Defense, and as Corporate Executive. His leadership seminars mirror the many lessons Tony has garnered during his life’s endeavors. He teaches leading with compassion, obtaining set goals without compromising other people, and the importance of believing in yourself and surviving at all costs.

Tony Taylor Inspires Website

About The Podcast

The PETestal–AAPP’s brand new podcast–explores and celebrates the human-animal bond and uncovers the secrets of what makes our relationships with pets so powerful in the first place.

Our profound relationships with our pets are truly astonishing, shaping and enriching our lives in ways we are only beginning to understand and articulate. Join host Courtney Wennerstrom and her guests–including renowned veterinarians, researchers, animal-welfare professionals, and devoted pet parents, just like you–as we explore new theories and studies about how animals keep us healthy, sane, and grounded.

Contact The PETestal

Do you have a question or comment about this podcast? Would you like to share your pet story and possibly get on one of our podcasts? We would love to hear from you. Email Courtney at

Published On: March 1, 2022|Categories: New and Stories, PETestal Podcast|Tags: , |