Pet Scoop: Afghani Puppy Reunites With Solider, Kellie Pickler Gives Up Cat for Hubby

January 26, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Soldier reunited with dog Smoke
Smoke Pup met soldier Donny Eslinger in Afghanistan.

Smoke the Puppy Reunited With Wounded Soldier

U.S. soldier Donny Eslinger traded three cigarettes for a puppy while he was on a tour of duty in Afghanistan. But when Eslinger was critically wounded by a mortar attack in September, he had to leave the dog he called Smoke Pup behind.

The soldier’s squad leader contacted a group called The Puppy Rescue Mission for help. “Many of us in his Platoon would love nothing more than to see Smoke reunited with Donny. It would be the only decent thing we would see come from this place," he wrote to the organization, which reunited Smoke Pup with Eslinger on Tuesday. — Read it at Today

"American Idol" Crooner Kellie Pickler Gives Away Her Cat

While unveiling a Kitty Crooner sweater she designed to benefit the ASPCA, singer Kellie Pickler told People that she had to find a new home for her beloved cat, Pickles, after she got married because of her husband’s allergies. "I cried, I was devastated," she said. — Read it at People Pets

Polar Bears to Star Again in Soda Super Bowl Ads

Coca-Cola’s computer-generated polar bears are back for the big game. They will appear in an online video stream that will run during the game — and respond to plays just like everyone else. — Read it at USA Today

Dogs at hockey game

Dogs Pack the House at Hockey Game

Who let the dogs in? At the San Antonio Rampage’s “Paws and Pucks” night, 842 dogs joined their owners to watch the game — and team officials think that they may have snagged the Guinness Book of World Records title for the most pups to attend a game. — Read it at Yahoo Sports

It's Messy Work For One National Geographic Photographer

"I'm the only studio portrait photographer I know whose subjects routinely poop and pee on the background right in front of me," said National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, whose goal is to capture images of as many zoo animals as possible. — Read it at NPR

Lamb Born With Six Limbs

The piebald lamb, who lives on a farm in the country of Georgia, has four front legs and two limbs in the back. — Watch the AP video via YouTube

Hero Dog Duo Saves Family Members From House Fire

“They are my hero dogs, because if it wasn't for them, my uncle and I wouldn't be here,” Cheryl Washington told KCRA. The canines, Gizzy and Honey, alerted Washington to the fire in her California home by barking. A volunteer firefighter who lived nearby was able to rescue the woman’s disabled uncle from the home. The dogs also made it out safely. — Read it at KCRA

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