Pet Scoop: Blind Lab Triumphs in U.K. Pets Competition, Otter Baby Boom in Australia

Sept. 18, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Jack the blind Labrador was honored by judges in a water sports competition.
Jack shows off his fetching skills in a video posted on YouTube.

Blind Labrador Wins Swim Title in a U.K. Competition

A 10-year-old Labrador Retriever named Jack impressed judges in the water sports portion of the U.K. Spot On awards, a British pets competition, with his amazing ability to fetch objects in the water — even though he can’t see. Jack developed the genetic disease known as progressive retinal atrophy when he was 6, and proceeded to lose his sight over the course of a year. In addition to being named the competition's Pet Champion, Jack also won about $325 in prize money. “Jack really is the happiest dog we’ve ever had,” his owner, Margaret Simpson, told the Daily Mail. “Despite all that has happened to him, he doesn’t let any of it hold him back.” Simpson says that she’ll use his prize to treat Jack to a new collar — and a new toy to fetch. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Shrinking Arctic Snow Cover Could Threaten Safety of Seal Pups

Ringed seals in the Arctic protect their pups from freezing temperatures and predators by building snow caves atop the ice. But a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington has found that although their habitat now gets 8-inch accumulations of snow — the minimum amount needed to build the caves — the snowfall is expected to drop by nearly 70 percent over this century. — Read it at Live Science

Australian Zoo Debuts Otter Pups

After 18 years without any otter births, the Perth Zoo is celebrating the arrival of not one but two litters of Asian small-clawed otters. On Monday, 13-week-old pups from the litter born in June made their first public appearance. Australia’s environment minister, Bill Marmion, dubbed them “active and adventurous.” — See the photos at Zooborns

Jimmy Fallon's new Golden Retriever puppy
Jimmy Fallon shared this pic of his new pup.

Jimmy Fallon Shows Off His New Family Member

The Late Night host has featured Golden Retriever puppies on his show to predict the winners of the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards, so it may not come as a surprise to hear that he now has a Golden of his own. “A new member of the family,” Fallon tweeted, with a picture of the puppy. — Read it at People Pets

It's Cat vs. Bird on The Voice

The new season of The Voice premiered on Monday night — and Lady the bird has officially replaced Purrfect the fluffy feline as judge Cee Lo Green’s sidekick. How do the two stack up? The Seattle Post-Intelligencer breaks down the battle between Team Purrfect and Team Lady. — Read it at the Seattle PI

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