Pet Scoop: Boy Pays For Dog’s Wheelchair, Dolphins' Memory Surprises Scientists

August 7, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

$300 Helps Dog Get Around

When 8-year-old Ryder McConathy saw his dog Cacious, 9, struggling to move around his Kentucky house, he knew something was wrong. “He fell down the whole set of stairs and the next day his feet were sort of dragging and we realized [what] had happened to him,” said McConathy. Cacious was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy and Ryder decided to do something to help him. By selling key chains and magnets, Ryder raised $315 in just a few days — and used the money to buy a wheelchair for his beloved pet. Now Cacious is getting around a lot easier. “Hopefully this will give him a lot more freedom and mobility and he’ll be with us a lot longer,” mom Lyssa told KSN. — Read it at NY Daily News

Fruit Fly Invasion Could Cost California Billions

A new study founds that for the last few decades, several species of fruit flies have been infiltrating California — and could cost the state $1.2 billion in lost revenue if they’re not properly dealt with. Unlike some types of fruit flies that just hover around rotten fruit, these species devour growing fruit, devastating crops. Researchers are calling for better eradication efforts and more long-term research on the pests. "They're just so entrenched and widespread," Carey said. "They're here, and we have to plan accordingly.” — Read it at Live Science


Study: Dolphins May Have Best Memory

Scientists have found that dolphins can remember the signature whistles of tankmates after being separated for more than 20 years — the longest-lasting social memory ever recorded for a non-human. “This shows us an animal operating cognitively at a level that’s very consistent with human social memory,” said Jason Bruck, who conducted the study and is a University of Chicago Comparative Human Development program postdoc. Researchers say a dolphin’s memory could even be equal to or better than that of a human, but more studies are needed in the future. — Read it at Discovery

Cat Raises $1,000 for Charity

When Refurb the cat made it to Reddit’s front page, his owner, user Akslfak, posted about his success on an Internet message board. Someone on the forum asked for Refurb’s autograph and Akslfak, as a joke, said sure — if you give $10 to a local animal shelter. Much to Akslfak’s surprise, the forum member made the donation, so Akslfak sent the requested paw print — and then more requests started flooding in. To date, more than $1,000 has been donated to animal shelters and rescues. And while Refurb is no longer handing out “paw”-tographs, Akslfak is still encouraging people to give to animal shelters. — Read it at Buzzfeed

Stray Cat Changes Drug Addict's Life

A few years ago James Bowen was a desperate drug addict, barely surviving by playing his guitar on the streets of London — until he spotted an injured stray cat under a stairwell. Bowen named the cat Bob and took him to a vet. As Bowen nursed Bob back to health, he began recovering, too. And when Bob was well, the cat started following Bowen everywhere, and stuck by his side while he played gigs on the street. "I have to be honest, my earnings did increase a lot!" Bowen said. One day, a literary agent noticed the inseparable duo — and the two inked a book deal. Writing has also helped James’ recovery, but not as much as Bob did. "I can never repay what he's done for me, he's paid back my kindness a million billion fold." —Read it at Today

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