Pet Scoop: Tourist Catches Shark Sighting on Video, Rescuers Mistakenly Free a Fake Feline

December 1, 2011: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Great white shark

Great White Shark Encounter at Sea Caught on Video A group of friends fishing 25 miles off the coast of North Carolina had a rare sighting of an 18-foot great white shark, who circled their boat and even slapped the vessel with its tail. Over Thanksgiving weekend, Matt Garrett was visiting from Boston and recorded the encounter on his iPhone. “I felt like I was at SeaWorld,” he said. He and his friends were thankful that the only thing that came of the experience was some great video. — Watch it at CNN

Rescuers Mistakenly Work to Free a Toy Cat

Residents, firefighters and engineers scrambled to free what they thought was a meowing cat trapped in a recycling bin in Wales — even dropping in food for the kitty, and cutting into the bin with a steel saw when the locks couldn’t be opened. When they got to the root of the meowing, they found a squeaky stuffed toy feline. — Read it at Fox News

Seal Pups Bask on a British Beach

In the U.K., thousands of grey seals hang out on a stretch of beach in Lincolnshire every November and December, raising their young until the adorable pups are ready to enter the sea for the first time. — See the photos at Today

Ban on Horse Slaughtering Is Lifted in the U.S.

Congress lifted a 5-year-old ban on slaughtering horses for meat after some farmers and policymakers said it caused more harm than good, resulting in the abandonment and neglect of older horses. Animal rights activists are outraged, calling for a prohibition against slaughtering in the U.S. — Read it at USA Today

Petting Away the Stress of Finals

Therapy dogs often visit hospitals, but a group of them were on hand this week at Cal State San Bernardino’s campus to help students handle the stress of final exams. "It's hard to be sad and stressed when there's a bunch of cute puppies around," said one student. — Read it at the San Bernardino County Sun

Plus: Read our story on 9/11 therapy dog, Eli

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