Pet Scoop: Cat Camp Opens in New York City, Actress Confronted After Leaving Dog in Car

July 31, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

An adoptable kitten plays at the Purina One Cat Camp in New York.
Purina One
An adoptable kitten plays at the Purina One Cat Camp in New York.

First Cat Camp Kicks Off

Camp isn’t just for the kids anymore. A free camp custom-made for cat lovers will be open for two days in Manhattan, today and Saturday. Purina One’s Cat Camp includes a climbing wall that allows humans to get a cat’s eye view of the world, as well as entertainment for the 20 adoptable kitties who will roam the space. They’ll check out a pond with projections of animated fish and a “campfire” made from kibble. Meanwhile, cat owners will get the chance to do some cat-friendly yoga, make a puzzle feeder for their pet at the arts and crafts station and talk with a guest veterinarian and cat behaviorist about their feline friends. Camp counselors are on hand to watch the kitty campers — and help with any adoptions. Last year, Purina One’s Cat Café was a hit in the city, so they’re expecting lots of interest in cat camp, too. — Read it and see photos at the New York Daily News

Jennifer Beals Confronted Over Dog in Car

Best known for her role in “Flashdance,” Hollywood actress Jennifer Beals, 51, is in Vancouver filming a TV series. Now, she’s facing criticism after leaving her German Shepherd in her SUV while she stopped to pick up her dry cleaning. "The morning was a cool 73 degrees. I, and others, were wearing jackets. I rolled all four windows down and left the car for five minutes to pick up my laundry with my car visible to me the entire time,” she said. She returned to find "two people congregated around my car taking pictures of my ( dog). Proud mama thought it was because she's so gorgeous. While I appreciate their vigilance and what must have felt like courage on their part, they were barking up the wrong tree." One of the people at the car confronted her, and their exchange was caught on video. Beals defended her decision, but the man reported her to the local SPCA. The group said it’s not investigating the incident, but agreed that leaving the windows cracked “isn’t sufficient … when temperatures rise, animal owners need to change their activities,” said Marcie Moriarty, SPCA's chief prevention and enforcement officer. “What can be a five-minute stop to get your dry cleaning can become longer than that and dogs can potentially die or experience significant distress in a short period of time.” — Read it at USA Today and find out what to do if you see a dog in a hot car

New Wolf Species Identified

The canine group has its first new species in 150 years. Scientists have found that the golden jackal, which lives in East Africa and Eurasia, is actually two distinct species that aren’t even very closely related. Study leader Klaus-Peter Koepfli of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute says he was “very surprised," to find that DNA from the African golden wolf and the Eurasian golden jackal show that they’ve evolved separately for millennia. The two are distant cousins that last shared an ancestor about a million years ago. The study was published in the journal Current Biology. — Read it from Reuters via Yahoo

Empire State Building

Endangered Species to Light Up Empire State Building

Wild animals have had a high profile week in the news, including the outrage over Cecil the lion, who was killed in Africa by an American hunter, and President Obama’s announcement about new restrictions on the sale of African elephant ivory. The week will culminate in an unprecedented light show projected onto the side of the Empire State Building in New York Saturday. Despite its timing, the show has been in the works for years. It will feature pictures of endangered animals, including a snow leopard, a golden lion tamarin and other mammals along with snakes, birds and sea creatures. The images will cover 33 floors of the landmark building. The event is meant to draw attention to the animals’ plight. — Read it at The New York Times

Vet Saves Puppy With Rare Birth Defect

Genesis, a 3-month-old puppy, has a chance at a new beginning thanks to the San Diego Humane Society and a veterinarian who donated his services. The puppy was born with a defect in her esophagus that difficult for her to keep her food down. She wasn’t getting the calories and nutrients she needed — and the problem was getting worse. Two to three times a day, staff at the Humane Society had to help her eat. Now, all of that should change because of the life-saving three-hour surgery performed by Dr. Gregory Jackson of VCA Animal Specialty Group on Wednesday. Jackson offered to do the surgery, which would cost at least $6,000, for free. Genesis is recovering, but will still require special feeding instructions for some time. The Humane Society is now looking for a home for the pup. — Watch it at KGTV San Diego


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