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August 26, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Fans of FC Barcelona are hoping a black cat’s appearance at the professional team’s season opener against Elche isn’t a bad omen for the year. The feisty feline interrupted play at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, for several minutes as it darted around the field Sunday. Eventually, the kitty was ushered from the pitch by a steward. And he didn’t prove to be bad luck for the home team in this game — Barca defeated Elche 3-0. — Watch it at U.K.’s Metro
When Texas Tech University scientist John McGlone wanted to get his Cairn Terrier, Toto, to stop barking, he found a spritz of androstenone, a pig steroid and pheromone, did the trick. “It was completely serendipitous,” McGlone, who works in the university’s Animal and Food Sciences department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, said of his discovery. He found the smell curbs behaviors like incessant barking and jumping without harming the dog. The pheromone is produced by male pigs and released in their saliva and fat, and attracts female pigs. He did say the pungent smell isn’t very appealing to humans. “It’s best used as a training tool rather than a circus act to stop animals from doing what they’re doing,” he said. — Read it at Discovery News
Public health officials in El Paso County, Colorado, are warning residents to take precautions after a rabbit tested positive for the plague. Health specialists started investigating after responding to reports of dead prairie dogs in the area. The rabbit was found near a prairie dog burrow on private property. Officials told residents that avoiding flea exposure is key to stopping the spread of the disease. They recommended treating pets with flea powder and staying away from areas inhabited by wild rodents. — Read it at Colorado’s KRDO
Selene Ortega, 12, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, could tell something was wrong when she finished giving her Poodle, Morita, a bath recently. “I tried picking her up and she kind of like, screamed,” Ortega said. “I checked what was going on and her foot was stuck in there.” Morita’s small paw was wedged in the bathtub drain. With her family unable to free the dog, they started calling for help. “I had to call several places because I called the vet and they told me to call the plumber and the plumber told me to call housing and housing told me to call 911,” Ortega said. In the end, firefighters responded to the scene and cut the tub around the drain. That allowed the family to bring Morita to the vet, with part of the tub still around her foot. The vet was able to safely free Morita’s foot. The pooch is recovering from the swelling and is doing well. Animal Welfare officials said pet owners can prevent similar situations by using drain covers. — Watch it at New Mexico’s KRQE
A young male elk thought to be an immigrant from Poland or the Czech Republic found himself in an unusual place Monday — in the German offices of the engineering giant Siemens. While a crowd looked on, the 1,800-pound animal waited “largely calmly” in the glass-enclosed foyer while police and staff from a local zoo tried to coax him into a large trailer. When that didn’t work, they had to tranquilize the elk to get him out safely. — Read it from Agence France Presse via Yahoo News and watch it from AP via Washington Post
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