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Dec. 15, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A Calico kitty who’d become “part of the family” at the Boston Police Department’s SWAT team base went missing three weeks ago. The stray cat began prowling around the team’s base two years ago, rolling over for belly rubs from the officers — and joining them for meals. The unit adopted her and took care of her, getting her spayed, vaccinated and microchipped. Now, the team is asking the public to help them find “SWAT Cat.” “It’s sad, she’s not there. It’s like going to work and not seeing a well-liked coworker,” said one SWAT officer in a news release. — Read it at ABC News
Heidi, a black Shepherd and Lab mix, is trained to search out missing dogs for her owner Anne Wills’ Dogs Finding Dogs tracking service in Maryland. But in February, she started burying her head in Wills’ chest, pawing at her anxiously and insistently, as if she’d found something important. Wills, concerned for Heidi’s health, brought her to the vet to be checked out, but she was fine. So, she went to her own doctor, and a CT scan revealed cancerous tumors in her lungs. Wills was treated with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and is now in remission, thanks to Heidi. — Read it from the Baltimore Sun via Wisconsin’s GazetteXtra
By filming 19 dogs lapping up water, scientists at Virginia Tech say they’ve determined why they’re such sloppy drinkers. Because dogs can’t suck up liquids, so they lap them up by reaching out with their tongue and retracting it quickly, creating a column of water underneath. As the column of water is about to fall back into the water bowl, the dog snaps his jaw closed, capturing the liquid. The researchers also found that they splash a lot more water than cats do because they plunge much more of the surface area of their tongues into the liquid. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Read it at Science News
Utility workers came to the rescue of a raccoon who’d spent several days trapped at the top of a power pole in Massachusetts. The animal was first spotted by Karen Blakeney last Thursday, and residents have been calling the police and the power company to try to help it. They even placed bales of hay around the bottom of the pole to soften the raccoon’s landing in case it fell. Finally, on Monday, National Grid workers shut off the power and used their bucket truck to reach the raccoon, with the help of the Animal Rescue League of Boston. The raccoon will be examined before being released in a safer spot. “It seems to be a happy ending,” said Blakeney. — Watch it at NBC News
The youngest member of the Beckham family now has her own Instagram account, and quickly picked up 54,000 followers. It’s the latest splash on social media for the adorable Olive Beckham. David and Victoria’s son Brooklyn announced the pup’s arrival on Twitter in August, and a picture of her wearing a Christmas sweater posted to David Beckham’s account a week ago got more than 500,000 likes. The cute canine’s first post was a photo of herself with Brooklyn with the caption, “This is my owner I'm just helping him with his Christmas homework.” — Read it at People Pets
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