Pet Scoop: Cat Helps Police End Standoff, Victim’s Dog Survives Oregon Shooting

Oct. 12, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Police in San Francisco say a man's cat helped them convince him not to jump from a third-story window.
Police in San Francisco say a man's cat helped them convince him not to jump from a third-story window.

Kitten Helps Save Owner

San Francisco Police are crediting an unlikely negotiator with helping to end a standoff with a car theft suspect who was threatening to jump from a building: the man’s cat. Police had pulled the man over Wednesday afternoon while he was driving a Toyota Highlander with no license plates. Once they determined that the vehicle had been stolen, police said the driver took off on foot and ran into a nearby building. He then came out a third-story window, saying he was going to jump. Police officers had been trying to talk him down for nearly three hours when the man’s family, who they’d called for help, arrived on the scene. They brought the man’s cat with them, and officers brought the feline to the negotiators who were talking to the man from the fire escape. “I don’t remember ever using a cat before, but it worked,” said police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza. “The guy voluntarily came out of the window and opened the door and was taken into custody without incident ... Never underestimate the power of the love between people and their pets.” — Read it at SF Gate

Study: Cuddled Shelter Cats Are Healthier

New research finds shelter cats benefit from positive interactions with people. In the study, 96 cats were divided into two groups. For one group, the same person would visit the cats for 10 minutes at a time, four times a day, for 10 days. They would interact with the cats by petting, brushing or playing with them. For the other group of cats, a researcher would stand in front of their cage with their eyes averted for 10 minutes. All 96 of the cats were considered healthy and content at the start of the study. By the end of the study, the cats in the group who got the attention and interaction were found to have maintained their content dispositions and were less likely to have developed an upper respiratory disorder. The cats who didn’t get that attention were less content and more likely to be sick. The findings were published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Horse Rescued From Ravine by Helicopter

Los Angeles fire officials saved a horse from a ravine in the Hollywood Hills in a dramatic rescue late Sunday night. An equine veterinarian calmed and then sedated the horse, who’d fallen 60 feet into a ravine but suffered only minor injuries. Authorities believe the horse may have lost his footing on a narrow trail, reported L.A.’s KABC. After covering the horse’s eyes and ears to avoid spooking him and to make sure debris wouldn’t fly into his eyes, the rescue crew hoisted the horse using a helicopter and brought him safely back into a pasture. — Read it at CBS Los Angeles

A dog who was trained to help one of the victims of the Oregon college shooting is now comforting her fiance.
A dog who was trained to help one of the victims of the Oregon college shooting is now comforting her fiance.

Loyal Dog Survives Oregon Shooting

Sarena Moore, who used a wheelchair to get around, brought Bullet everywhere with her. Moore, 44, had trained the adopted dog herself to assist her and give her comfort. The dog had been allowed into the classroom with her at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, and was lying by her side when a gunman opened fire on Oct. 1, killing Moore and eight other people. Witnesses say Bullet, who was named by his previous owner, never left Moore’s side. "That's what he is trained to do," said Moore’s fiancé, Travis Dow. "He's trained to stay right next to her no matter what." Luckily, the dog wasn’t hurt in the ordeal. The day after the shooting, police arrived at Dow’s home with Bullet. Now, he’s bringing comfort to Dow after his loss. "Bullet became a piece of Sarena, and I was happy to get him back," he said. — Watch it at CNN

Tracey Stewart Shows Off Her Sanctuary

Just ahead of the release of her first book, Do Unto Animals, Tracey Stewart is opening up about her lifelong love of animals, her new farm in New Jersey — and her husband, Jon Stewart. In a New York Times profile, Stewart describes how she fell for her comedian husband when they met in 1995, in part because he’d inherited two cats from a previous relationship. But, she was highly allergic to cats. “The fact that he got custody of the cats said so much about him,” Tracey Stewart said. “This was my dream man. But I also knew that because he loved animals, if those animals didn’t like me, that might really count against me. I was like: ‘They’re going to love me. I don’t care if I have hives.’ ” With her book set to hit shelves on Oct. 20, Stewart is busy working at Farm Sanctuary in New York while planning her own sanctuary and educational center at the couple’s New Jersey farm. — Read it at The New York Times


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