Pet Scoop: Car Owner Finds Newborn Kittens in Backseat, Families Battle for Dog’s Custody

July 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.

Elise the cat was found with her kittens in the backseat of a stranger's cat in Scotland.
Elise the cat was found with her kittens in the backseat of a stranger's cat in Scotland.

Cat Gives Birth in Parked Car

A car owner in Scotland got quite a surprise Sunday night, when he found a mother cat and three newborn kittens sitting in the backseat of his car. They were taken to the Scottish SPCA, where the mom was named Elise, and her babies were given car-related names: Astra, Nova and Dodge. It turned out that earlier that day, two newborn kittens were found on the same street and brought to the shelter, where they were paired with a foster mom. The staff thinks the kittens must have belonged to Elise, and that she climbed through the car window after giving birth to the first two on the street. The shelter says Elise had been well cared for, and they’re searching for her owner. If no one comes forward, they’ll “find them all loving new owners when the time is right." — Read it at Scotland’s STV

Are Crows Smarter Than Kindergarteners?

Now this is something to crow about: A New Caledonian crow named Kitty solved a complex puzzle that stumped 5-year-old kids. She figured out that if she dropped rocks into a tube filled with water, the water would rise in another tube that didn’t look like it was connected, giving her a chance to get a floating piece of meat. Researchers say this means the bird has the ability to understand cause and effect. Out of the six birds who took the test, Kitty was the only one who passed. When children aged 4 to 10 took the test, the older kids got it but the 4 and 5 year olds didn’t. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at National Geographic

Activists Want Polar Bear Moved From Argentina Zoo

More than 500,000 supporters have signed a petition on Change.org asking that Arturo, the last captive polar bear in Argentina, be moved to a Canadian zoo. The director of the Mendoza Zoo says they want to keep the 28-year-old bear because he’s is too old to be moved. But animal rights advocates say Arturo paces nervously in his enclosure, shows signs of depression and faces a bigger risk by staying in Mendoza, where summer temperatures can reach 86 degrees Fahrenheit. — Read it from AP via Yahoo

One family calls this pooch Harley, but to another, he's Reese.
One family calls this pooch Harley, but to another, he's Reese.

Two Families Love One Dog

The Wolford family in Washington state says that when they adopted their Maltese, Harley, from a Dallas, Texas, shelter nearly seven years ago, they were told the dog had been given up by his family. But when Harley recently got loose in Tacoma and was found on the street, authorities discovered he had a microchip that traced him back to his original owners, the Miller family in Houston, Texas. The Millers, who lost the dog they called Reese in 2007, were thrilled to get a phone call that he’d been found, and were reunited with him last weekend. The Wolfords are devastated to lose their pet. “Right now I feel like there is something missing,” Desiree Wolford said. She says her family doesn’t blame the Millers but is upset with the shelter for apparently not checking for a microchip before they adopted the dog. — Watch it at ABC News

Shelter Cat Accidentally Dials 911

When Lynn Rasys, a staff member at Cat Depot in Sarasota, Florida, left for lunch on Monday, resident feline Zeke apparently called 911 without anyone realizing it. The 911 operator didn’t hear anyone on the other end of the line, so she called the number back and asked the volunteer at the rescue’s front desk if they had an emergency. When she went to investigate, she discovered Zeke sprawled across the keypad on Rasys’ phone, which was off the hook. The staff thinks the 3-year-old cat mistakenly dialed 911 while sleeping near the phone. Luckily, the attention from the call had good results for Zeke: the rescue said he was adopted on Thursday. — Watch it at Florida’s My Sun Coast


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