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May 18, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Star the Pit Bull was only 11 months old when she disappeared from Crystal Sullenger's fenced yard in Portland, Oregon, four years ago. She searched all over for Star but finally gave up after two years. Sullenger moved to Pendleton, Oregon, where she’s been managing an animal shelter. Last week, she got an email from a shelter in Portland, telling her Star had been found during a drug raid on a local house, and was still wearing her collar. The next day, Star was transported the 3 ½ hours to Pendleton. Star was uncertain at first, but then ran right to her owner. "I was in tears," said Sullenger. "It was amazing." The dog doesn’t want to let Sullenger out of her sight, and has been happily bonding with her family’s two other rescue Pit Bulls. — Read it from the AP via Seattle’s KOMO News
Seven members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and six search and rescue dogs returned home Sunday after three weeks in Nepal, where they worked to find victims of a massive earthquake. While they were there, Capt. Andy Olvera and his Labrador Retriever Stetson made headlines when they helped pull a 15-year-old boy from the rubble of a 7-story building, five days after the quake. “As rescuers, where there is a live person to be removed, we will risk almost everything to get these people out,” Olvera said. — Watch it at CBS Los Angeles
A 1-year-old Burmese cat named Vanilla Bean has another chance at life after groundbreaking surgery to fix a congenital heart defect. Dr. Josh Stern, a veterinarian with the University of California, Davis, worked with a team of cardiologists — whose patients are usually humans — to correct a problem that would have lead to congestive heart failure. The technique had only been used once before, in a procedure also done by Stern. It has also been used for children born with the same problem. "I needed a human cardiology team to help guide me on this case," said Stern. "It's so uncommon in cats. It's uncommon in children also, but they've certainly seen more cases of this than I have." Vanilla Bean was able to go home about a week after the surgery. After four months of recuperation, an exam showed he was no longer in congestive heart failure. Stern expects the cat to make a complete recovery. — Read it from the AP via ABC News
Clearly too young for the bar scene, this little guy was bounced from the Beach Ball Bar in Newport Beach, California, last week. The wayward sea lion pup was safely rescued by the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, where he’s being rehabilitated. “Cutest bar patron ever!” the rescue posted on Facebook with the pup’s photo. Named Beach Ball, the pup is one of thousands who’ve stranded along the California coast this year. Experts believe it’s because warm waters have resulted in a shortage of the marine life that sea lions eat. Nursing moms have to go further out to sea to find prey, leaving their pups for longer periods of time. — Find out what to do if you find a stranded sea lion
Six 3-week-old kittens are getting some love from an unusual source: Henry, an 8-month-old male cat in Alaska. The kittens were left in a box and found on a roadside by a group of children walking home from school. They were taken in by Heather Muench, a volunteer with the Ketchikan Humane Society, who named them after the kids on the Brady Bunch — and cast Henry in the role of Alice. Henry has a neurological disorder that affects his coordination, but it hasn’t stopped him from being a loving surrogate dad. "He is very, very sweet and gentle, and he has taken a shine to these kittens," Muenchsaid. — Read it from the AP via Albany, New York’s Times Union
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