Pet Scoop: California Highway Patrol Saves Chihuahua, Atlanta Pandas Leave for China

May 12, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A California Highway Patrol officer helps a Chihuahua on Interstate 680.
A California Highway Patrol officer helps a Chihuahua on Interstate 680.

Officers Rescue Scared Dog

Praise poured in on Twitter over the weekend for the California Highway Patrol officers who rescued a Chihuahua from Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek, California on Friday. "This little dog needed some help off I-680 freeway today. We're glad he's safe," Tweeted CHP Contra Costa, with this picture of the dog perched on a median. Police aren’t sure how the dog wound up on the busy highway. The pup was taken to Contra Costa Animal Services, which was swamped with adoption inquiries. "I would try to encourage everybody to try and rescue any dog they can," said CHP officer Alex Edmon. "Animal control has already been inundated with calls for this particular dog because of the story, but don't be discouraged if you can't get this exact dog, look for other dogs out there." Animal Services says the pooch has a home if an owner doesn’t come forward. — Read it at NBC Bay Area

Climate Change Threatens Smallest Kangaroo

A new study finds the musky rat-kangaroo can only survive in Australia’s rain forests, which are threatened by global warming. "We must carefully monitor the tropical rainforest because, if climate change does affect it, the musky rat-kangaroo, and possibly other species, will have nowhere to go," said study leader Kenny Travouillon, of The University of Queensland, Australia. Travouillon studied new fossil evidence that suggests the world’s smallest kangaroo never diversified into other environments. The findings were published in Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. — Read it at Live Science

Inmates Help Rehabilitate Animals

A pilot program with prisoners at the Norfolk County jail in Massachusetts paired the inmates with animals being rehabilitated at the New England Wildlife Center. There, the inmates went through training to care for raccoons, foxes, ducks and more. The goal of the program was to teach them about respect and discipline. One inmate who was released during the program now returns to the center regularly to volunteer on his own. Later this year, another group of inmates is scheduled to go through the program. — Watch it from  Reuters via Science Daily

Zoo Atlanta's 3- and 5-year-old pandas Xi Lan and Po leave for China today.
Zoo Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta's 3- and 5-year-old pandas Xi Lan and Po leave for China today.

Pandas to Join Brother in China

Xi Lan, 5, and Po, 3, are scheduled to leave their parents and their twin sisters at Zoo Atlanta today as they depart for a new life in China. The two are Lun Lun and Yang Yang’s second and third offspring. They’ll make their new life at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, which is also the home of their older brother, Mei Lan, who made the journey in 2010. China loans the parents out, but they and any cubs they produce must return to their homeland eventually. The pair had been scheduled to leave for China last year, but their departure was postponed because the zoo wanted them to gain more weight first. Visitors to Zoo Atlanta can still see their little sisters, Mei Lun and Mei Huan, who are the only twin panda cubs ever to survive in the U.S. — Watch it at NBC News

Man Walks to Raise Canine Cancer Awareness

Five years ago, Luke Robinson walked 2,300 miles from Austin, Texas, to Boston with his two dogs to raise money and awareness for canine cancer. Sadly, in 2011, he also lost one of the dogs who’d made the trek with him to cancer. So, he hit the road again Saturday with Pyrenees Hudson and Indiana. The three plan to walk down the West Coast about 1,800 miles from Vancouver to San Diego over the next six months. They’ll walk about 12 to 14 miles per day. Robinson, 43, founded the organization 2 Million Dogs, which is dedicated to finding links between canine and human cancers. He says his dogs are ready for the challenge. “My job is to get my boys from point A to point B safely and securely." — Read it at People Pets

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