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August 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.
Grab the tissues. When Cole Hein, 11, learned that his Jack Russell Terrier, Bingo, had just weeks to live, he set up a “Lick It List" of all the things that he wanted Bingo to experience before he dies. It’s a way to thank the service dog who has saved Cole’s life several times because the boy has a condition in which he stops breathing. "I want to take her on one last public outing to Ruckers [recreation center]. I want to walk her around the block twice,” says Cole. “And I want to get her treats from around the world.” A Facebook page set up by the family already has over 3,000 fans. — Read it at People
A bottlenose dolphin stranded in Sarasota, FL, in June has been rehabilitated and released. When volunteers from the Mote Marine Laboratory Sea Turtle Patrol found Edna, she was severely underweight and suffering from pneumonia, gastritis and other health problems. Experts cared for her around the clock, brought her weight up to a healthy 240 pounds and released her back into the ocean on Tuesday. “It was excellent to see her return home,” says Lynne Byrd, a medical care and rehabilitation coordinator at Mote. “We watched her get her bearings and then she seemed to be showing some fishing behaviors — that's a good sign.” — See the photos of the release at Live Science
While hiking with his wife on Mount Bierstadt in Colorado, Scott Washburn came across a severely dehydrated dog on one of the mountain’s highest peaks. The couple was unable to lift the German Shepherd Dog, so the duo headed down the mountain, and rallied a group of hikers on 14ers.com to help rescue the dog. Eight hikers took turns carrying Missy in a backpack to safety. The dog is now recovering in a vet’s care, while a custody battle brews with the owner, who admitted to abandoning Missy eight days earlier due to an injury he suffered while climbing. — Read it at Denver CBS
Twelve years after scientists declared the rocksnail extinct, Nathan Whelan, a graduate student in biology at the University of Alabama, spotted the snail on a stretch of the Cahaba River in Alabama. But the discovery doesn’t mean that the species is safe. “Right now a single pollution event could cause the extinction of the whole species,” says Whelan. He hopes that the snails can be bred in captivity, and reintroduced in one or two other places along the river. — Read it at The New York Times
Often overlooked due to long-standing superstitions, black cats tend to stay in shelters longer than fairer felines — but Black Cat Appreciation Day is hoping to help change that today. If you can’t adopt a black cat yourself, you can still join the event on Facebook to spread the word among friends. — Read more at Catster
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