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Feb. 6, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
It was the game a divided America needed: Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XIII. Adorable, adoptable puppies took the field on Sunday, as Team Fluff defeated Team Ruff, 93-38, after having lost the championship for two consecutive years. Rory, a 17-week-old Poodle mix, scored three touchdowns for Team Fluff in the first quarter alone — and went home with the Most Valuable Pup award. Nikita, a Cocker Spaniel and Bichon Frise mix, also scored three touchdowns (plus a field goal), and won the much sought-after Lombarki Trophy. But the biggest breakout star may have been Alexander Hamilpup, who caught the attention of his namesake, Lin-Manuel Miranda, on Twitter. “Haha! It's my dream to be retweeted by @Lin_Manuel. Well that and a room full of puppy treats,” Tweeted @AHamilpup. “MY DOG SPEAKS MORE ELOQUENTLY THAN THEE. Go GET 'EM PUP!” the creator and star of the Broadway hit Hamilton responded. — Read it at the Bleacher Report and see photos of the lineup
A new report released by American Humane, the group that oversees movie set safety for animals, finds that a disturbing video of a dog being forced into churning water during the filming of “A Dog’s Purpose” was misleadingly edited. A third-party report by an animal cruelty expert found that safety measures were in place to protect the German Shepherd, Hercules, and that he suffered no lasting ill effects from the incident. The leaked video came out days before the movie’s premiere. “The video was deliberately edited for the purpose of misleading the public and stoking outrage. In fact, the two scenes shown in the edited video were filmed at different times,” the group said in reporting the findings. The report was based on viewing unedited footage and eyewitness accounts, said American Humane. — Read it at ABC News
A new study finds that volunteers who’d interacted with dogs in some significant way generally read dogs about as well as they read other humans. Those who scored high on empathy tests also tended to rate both dog and human faces as more positive or negative, more highly emotional or more emotionally arousing, and to reach their decisions more quickly. “The results imply that humans perceive human and dog facial expression in a similar manner, and the perception of both species is influenced by psychological factors of the evaluators,” the study authors wrote. “Especially empathy affects both the speed and intensity of rating dogs’ emotional facial expressions.” The study was published in the journal PLOS One. — Read it at New York Magazine
A pair of fishermen in Waterloo, Iowa, came to the rescue of a dog swimming in a frigid river on Sunday morning. A resident had reported seeing the female Bull Mastiff in the water and fire rescue officials responding to the scene when the fishermen, Chad and Jason Conkling, were preparing to launch their boat. They broke through ice and motored over to the dog. They were able to scoop the huge dog up from underneath and pull her aboard the boat. They brought her to animal control, and officers warmed her up. As of Sunday, animal control was looking for the dog’s owner. — Read it and watch it at Iowa’s Courier
Tori Takayesu was shocked to get a call last month from the Maui Humane Society saying they’d found her cat. It had been so long since James disappeared that Takayesu said her first reaction to the call was, “What cat?” But she quickly clued in when the staffer described a “senior” tortoiseshell cat. “I couldn’t believe it. I just never thought, after all these years, that she would come back to me,” she said. The cat was lost 15 years ago, shortly after the family moved. A tattoo in her ear helped the shelter find the Takayesu family. “We were just so happy,” Takayesu said. “It’s just like having one of our children come back home.” — Read it at the Maui News
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