Pet Scoop: Boy Battles School Over Service Dog, Trio of Lions Born at Sacramento Zoo

November 25, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Boy battles school for service dog
A first grader in Franklin, Massachusetts, who suffers from brain seizures, cannot attend school because the district won't accommodate his needs for a service dog.

Mom Hopes for Compromise

Austin Flateau, a first-grader in Franklin, Massachusetts, who suffers from brain seizures has been unable to attend school because his district won’t accommodate his needs for a service dog. Ericha Flateau, the boy’s mother, says the dog, named Paris, needs to be by her son’s side 24/7 in order to alert others to the boy's seizures before they occur, but the school won’t allow any staff to handle the dog. “I cannot afford to hire a third-party dog handler, and I also can’t afford not to go to work myself,” she said. “So [Paris] has been home with him since we returned from training.” Flateau says she hopes they can reach a compromise or she and her son will have to move to another town. — Read it at Fox News

Stray Dog Follows Athletes on 430-Mile Adventure

A four-person team of Swedish extreme athletes competing in a race in the Ecuadorian rain forest picked up an unorthodox fifth team member during their journey: A stray dog. When they were preparing to embark on the bike ride portion of the 6-day race, the dog approached them. One of the athletes fed the pup a meatball— and earned his loyalty. The dog, nicknamed King Arthur, followed the Swedes on their 24-mile hike and then, undeterred, jumped in the water during the 41-mile leg of the kayaking journey. The team quickly pulled him aboard a kayak. "Maybe he felt that he wanted an adventure," team captain captain Mikael Lindnord mused. The stray's adventure ended happily: After the race, Lindnord adopted Arthur and flew him home to Sweden.  — Read it at Today

New Bird Species Discovered in Indonesia

A bird spotted in an Indonesian forest in 1997 was thought to be a gray-streaked flycatcher, but after years of research, it’s been determined that it was actually a previously undiscovered species of flycatcher. "Considering that 98 percent of the world's birds have been described, finding a new species is quite rare," said co-author J. Berton C. Harris, a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton's Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy. — Read it at Discovery News

Lion cubs at Sacramento Zoo
A littler of three 4-week-old lion cubs is thriving at the Sacramento Zoo.

Lion Cubs Thriving in Sacramento

Yesterday the Sacramento Zoo announced the birth of three lion cubs last month. The cubs, who are now four weeks old, are all thriving and their first-time mother is doing an excellent job of caregiving. “So far, we are pleased with the progress of the female and her cubs,” said Dr. Adrian Fowler, Acting Director of the Sacramento Zoo. “Females would naturally take some ‘maternity leave’ from the rest of the pride for the first 4-8 weeks. Our own female will be off-exhibit for a while to allow her the same kind of mother-cub bonding. If all goes well, we are hopeful that the cubs will be ready to explore their exhibit in the weeks running up to Christmas.” — Read it at Zooborns

Name This “New” Dog Breed

 They may be mutts, but the SPCA for Monterey County says hundreds of similar-looking scruffy terrier mixes flood their shelters each year — and it’s time they had a name. “They are all kind of the same, maybe 15 pounds or so, all different colors, but 100 percent adorable," said Dawn Fenton, education and outreach manager. “We thought it would be a really fun idea to give them their own unique breed name.” Want to help name this new breed? Submit your suggestions to or post your ideas on their   Facebook page by Dec. 1. — Read it at KSBW News

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