Pet Scoop: Big Dog Fosters Small Shelter Dogs, Cat Found Alive 6 Months After Wildfire

April 1, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Despite his large size, Charlie is a big softy when it comes to small dogs.
Despite his large size, Charlie is a big softy when it comes to small dogs.

Gentle Dog Earns Pups’ Trust

Tiny, fearful dogs have found a friend in Charlie. The 100-pound Catahoula-American Bulldog mix was a foster himself from the Dumb Friends League in Denver. His family fell in love with him, and when they continued fostering, they quickly discovered that Charlie had a way with small dogs. “Charlie’s easygoing, laid-back sense of calm seemed to really influence the tiny, scared pups,” wrote his owner, Alaina Bupp, in a post on the league’s web site. “They would seek him out and lay with him on the couch, and some even seemed to fall in love with our big guy.” Charlie has now been fostering small dogs for three years. “He makes no demands of these dogs and accepts their fears and reservations,” Bupp wrote. And there’s one thing nearly all of Charlie’s fosters have learned quickly, according to Bupp: “the best seat in the house is wherever Charlie’s big belly happens to be.” — Read it at People Pets

Experts: Cats Can Get Canine Influenza

It may be April Fool’s Day, but this is no joke: cats can get canine influenza, too. Dr. Sandra Newbury of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine confirmed that the H3N2 virus, which has sickened a large number of dogs in the Midwest, has also infected a group of cats in the area. The virus was suspected in a group of cats with respiratory disease at an Indiana shelter. “While this first confirmed report of multiple cats testing positive for canine influenza in the U.S. shows the virus can affect cats, we hope that infections and illness in felines will continue to be quite rare,” Newbury said. It appears that the virus can replicate and spread from cat to cat, and the shelter where the cats were found to have it is keeping the animals quarantined. An H3N2 vaccine is now available for dogs but there is not a vaccine recommended for cats. — Read it from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Study: Frog Makes Dramatic Transformation

New research finds that a species of purple frog that spends most of its life underground goes through a drastic change from its tadpole days. Most tadpoles swim in water, but as a tadpole, this Indian frog clings to the underside of rocks with its suckerlike mouth. It then becomes an adult who burrows underground, emerging only to breed. The new study finds that the frogs keep their suckerlike mouthparts much longer than other frogs and develop strong digging arms and a wedge-shaped skull for digging. The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Live Science

Nancy found Muscat near her home, 6 months after they were separated in a wildfire.
Nancy found Muscat near her home, 6 months after they were separated in a wildfire.

Cat Found 6 Months After Fire

Nancy was separated from her cat, Muscat, when she was forced to evacuate her northern California home due to an encroaching wildfire in September. On March 23, she was driving on a street close to her home and spotted a cat who looked like Muscat. “She stopped and he came to her!” the Middletown Animal Hospital wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. He’s now been checked out by the hospital and had his vaccines updated. “She is so happy to have him back. A wonderful reminder to never give up hope!” the post continued. Many other people in the area are still looking for their pets six months after the Valley Fire, which killed four people and burned more than 76,000 acres, reported CBS San Francisco. — Read it at Time

Orphaned Mountain Lion Kitten Rescued

The 6-month-old cub is being nursed back to health at the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Facility after being found stuck in a tree outside of Tucson, Arizona, on Wednesday. The orphaned mountain lion kitten weighed only 13 pounds — less than half the average weight for a cub her age. By Thursday morning, her caregivers said the fluids she’d received overnight seemed to have made a big difference, and she was doing much better. "We've been crossing our fingers and hoping for a full recovery for this little girl," said Amy Burnett, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. "Our job is to get some food into her and try to keep her as little stressed as possible so that she can heal." They’re hopeful “she can start to be a normal mountain lion kitten again." — Read it at Arizona Central


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