Pet Scoop: Baby Animal Photos Can Boost Concentration, Stolen Puppy Back at Shelter

Oct. 1, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Believe it or not, a new study finds that looking at this cute puppy might help you focus.
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This cute puppy may actually help you to better focus at work today.

Cute Pictures of Baby Critters Could Help You Focus

Here’s some news that will make your Monday: A new study conducted at the University of Hiroshima in Japan reports that those adorable baby animal pics that are likely distracting you from your job may actually help to improve concentration and focus. Participants in the study were asked to perform three separate tasks that included taking a test designed to see how focused they were. In each experiment, people who looked at pictures of baby animals did a better job than those who viewed adult animal photos or neutral objects. “Results show that participants performed tasks requiring focused attention more carefully after viewing cute images,” said the researchers. — Read it at Forbes

Investigation Faults Racing Officials and Veterinarians in Horse Deaths

A report ordered by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has found that more than half of the 21 horses who had fatal breakdowns at the state’s Aqueduct Racetrack this year might have been saved if race officials had kept a closer watch on their health and the amount of prescription drugs that were given to the animals. People familiar with the investigation said that racing authorities and regulatory veterinarians often ignored signs that the horses were suffering. — Read it at The New York Times

New California Law Sides With Tenants Whose Pets Aren't Declawed

Over on the west coast, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill last week that prohibits landlords from refusing occupancy to tenants whose pets aren’t declawed or devocalized. The legislation, which was backed by animal rights advocates, also makes it illegal to advertise a property in a way that discourages people with such pets from applying. — Read it at DVM 360

Nursing Puppy Stolen From Maryland Shelter Is Returned

The caretakers of a 7-week-old puppy at the Animal Resource Foundation were relieved to have Mango (shown left) back two days after he disappeared. Shelter workers believe that a couple who'd looked at the Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua mix snatched him, but he was returned by someone else, who turned down a $1,000 reward. Once Mango was back, “he just ran over to his mom and wanted to nurse,” said shelter manager Patty Bowers. — Watch it at Maryland's ABC 2 News

Pet Cemetery Added to Register of Historic Places

The 116-year-old Hartsdale Pet Cemetery is the first animal burial ground to receive National Register of Historic Places designation. There are about 75,000 pets and 700 people buried at the cemetery in New York state. A historian for the register, Kevin Moriarty, said that Hartsdale was being honored because it marked a shift in the way people viewed animals: "It was in the early 20th century that pets began to be considered family members rather than livestock." — Read it from the AP via Yahoo

Thousands Turn Out for National Family Pack Walk

An estimated 10,000 people and dogs convened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., over the weekend in a “pack walk” led by Cesar Millan, whose Dog Whisperer TV series recently ended. The goal of the event was to bring attention to the rescue and rehab of abused and abandoned dogs. "We want politicians to care and understand that there's a law to be made about animal rights," said Millan. — Read it from AFP

Carrie Underwood Rescues a Chipmunk

The country crooner saved a chipmunk after Underwood's dog caught the little critter in the singer's backyard. Luckily, the chipmunk, who Underwood named Dale, survived. "Good news: the vet does take care of chipmunks and Dale is doing fine!" she tweeted. Once Dale recovers, Underwood plans to release him into a different yard — where there's no dog to chase him. — Read it at People Pets

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