Pet Scoop: Bo Marks Three Years at the White House, Ann Romney Speaks Out About Seamus

April 17, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Bo Obama
Bo marks his third anniversary as first dog this week.

Bo Obama Celebrates Three Years as First Dog

In April 2009, President Barack Obama followed through on a campaign promise — to his daughters. Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog, arrived at the White House. Since then, the first dog has really grown into his role: The pooch, who First Lady Michelle Obama calls her “son,” has even played a part in the White House Christmas decorations and the annual Easter egg roll. — See photos of Bo on the job at NBC Washington

Ann Romney Defends a Story That Has Dogged Her Husband

Obama’s presidential rival, Mitt Romney, is making headlines again. Romney’s wife, Ann, spoke out about the story that just won’t go away to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, telling her that the family's Irish Setter Seamus “loved” riding in a crate — while strapped to the roof of a station wagon. “He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy because he was going with us on vacation,” she said. “It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks.” — Read it at ABC News

Like Kids, Chimps Give In to Peer Pressure

A new study has found that toddlers and chimpanzees tend to follow the crowd, while orangutans go their own way. “One of the big differences is that chimps and humans continue to live in large social groups when they grow up,” said one of the study's researchers. “Orangutans don’t.” — Read it at The New York Times

Dirk the penguin was returned to Sea World in Australia.
After a harrowing kidnapping, Dirk the penguin is back at Sea World.

Penguin Stolen From Sea World in Australia Surfaces

Dirk, a 7-year-old penguin who was born in captivity, was rescued from shark-infested waters in Australia. Three men, who have been charged with stealing the penguin from Sea World, were caught after they bragged about releasing the protected bird into the wild on Facebook. Dirk was saved after a couple spotted him under a pier. — Watch it at Today

Scientists Debunk a Popular Flight Theory About Birds

Researchers had believed that the cells on pigeons’ beaks were magnetoreceptors, which detected the Earth’s magnetic fields and helped with navigation. But a new study undermines that theory, concluding that the cells fight off infection instead. — Read it at the LA Times

Hours-Old Kitten Plucked From a Pipe

Kids playing in a backyard in West Park, Fl., reported hearing some meowing echoing from a 12-foot pipe. Firefighters carefully cut through the pipe to free a kitten who was just a few hours old. — Read it at Local 10

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