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May 5, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A lucky Jack Russell Terrier was reunited with his owner on Sunday, thanks to two couples celebrating birthdays on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico. They were about five miles offshore when Bruce Knecht spotted something in the water. At first he thought it was a buoy, but when they got closer, they realized it was a dog wearing an animal life vest. The little dog swam right toward the boat after they got closer, and Michael Sahr pulled him on board. "It's like a needle in a haystack and the waves were pretty choppy," he said. The boaters radioed the Coast Guard and discovered that someone had reported a dog overboard three hours earlier. The owner had apparently gone down to the ship’s hull to check something, and when he came back up, the dog was missing. The Sahrs and Knechts brought the pooch to the Coast Guard station, and witnessed the emotional reunion between Jagermeister and his owner. "He had tears. He said, 'I had given up. I had searched as long as I could and we just couldn't see him, and we just thought we lost him,'" said Shawn Sahr. The boaters agreed the life vest had saved the dog’s life. — Watch it at Tampa’s Fox 13
A new study suggests that leopards have lost up to 75 percent of their historical range since 1750. The research, in part, prompted the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to recommend they be reclassified as “vulnerable” because stronger conservation efforts are needed. Many wildlife experts previously thought they were relatively abundant in the wild because they’re reclusive and adapt well. Humans pose the primary threat to leopards, because of their destruction of the animals’ habitat, hunting of animals the leopards prey on and revenge killings by farmers, among other threats. The study was published in the journal PeerJ. — Read it at The New York Times
It’s common for people to call friends by other friends’ names, or family members by other family members’ names — including the name of the family dog. Why? “It’s a cognitive mistake we make, which reveals something about who we consider to be in our group,” says Duke University psychology and neuroscience professor David Rubin, one of the study authors. “It’s not just random.” Lead author and PhD student Samantha Deffler said the study “does seem to add to evidence about the special relationship between people and dogs.” The slip of the tongue didn’t happen with other pets. “The dog’s name seems to become more integrated with people’s conceptions of their families,” Deffler said. The study was published in the journal Memory and Cognition. — Read it at Futurity
A Good Samaritan in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, called the police for help on Saturday when a lost puppy got trapped in the culvert she ran into when she was frightened by a passing car. Police Officer Joseph Brazil didn’t waste any time. He took off his shoes and rolled up his pants to wade inside the tunnel and save the 5-month-old Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu mix, who was “clinging to the side and just shaking,” Brazil said. The woman who called for help, Peggy Edwards, caught a sweet photo of Brazil holding the puppy as they emerged from the tunnel, and shared it on Facebook to thank him. “He went in without hesitation and came out with a very wet, scared little dog. Great guy, Lucky dog. We are very happy he was able to save the little gal,” Edwards wrote. Cece was later happily reunited with her relieved owner, who said she’d just gotten the puppy and she escaped from a back door. — Read it at Rhode Island’s Turn to 10
Connecticut State Trooper Kerry Halligan and her 2-year-old Bloodhound, Texas, were called in to help locate an 89-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease who went missing from her home on Sunday night. Thankfully, Texas and Halligan located the woman in thick brush about a quarter mile from her home, after about 40 minutes of searching. She was transported to a local hospital by ambulance to be evaluated. — Read it at NBC Connecticut
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