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Dec. 29, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Toot the cat is back home in Texas thanks to the “guardian angel” who heard his cries, says his owner, Joyce Placek. Earlier this month, the Placeks had a moving company come to pack up some furniture to put in storage while they renovated their home after the flooding that hit the area in October. But, when no one was looking, the 6-year-old Siamese cat apparently hopped into the moving crate as well. Toot’s owners feared the cat had disappeared into the woods and had a run-in with a coyote or a hawk. Six days later, they got a call from the moving company, asking if they were missing a cat. "I almost started crying. I was so ecstatic when they asked me," said Joyce Placek. A few hours later, Toot was returned to his home, in time for Christmas. He appeared to be healthy, despite spending six days without food or water. "This really for us, this really is our Christmas miracle," George Placek said. — Watch it at Texas’ KVUE
Diesel, the 7-year-old Belgian Malinois who was killed in a French police raid on a terrorist cell in November, is being honored with a prestigious British award. Diesel will be given the Dickin Medal for gallantry by the British veterinary charity PDSA. The award was instituted in 1943 to honor animals who fought for the British Empire during World War II. “The extreme circumstances in Paris and the way that Diesel led from the front when the French authorities were trying to uncover the terror cell following the attacks: This was a prime example of an animal — albeit trained for this task — who was put into harm’s way and in doing so paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Deryck Wilson, a spokesperson for PDSA. “According to the French authorities, he was instrumental in preventing further loss of life.” The bronze medallion will officially be presented to Diesel posthumously in 2016. — Read it at Yahoo News
The California Highway Patrol and wildlife experts are working together to keep a 500-pound elephant seal off of a stretch of highway in Northern California that she has repeatedly tried to cross. The police first got calls from motorists who spotted the seal trying to climb a divider on Highway 37 near Sonoma on Monday. Rescuers managed to usher her back into the San Francisco Bay, but she got back on land at least twice instead of swimming away. “She's very adamant she's going to cross this stretch of roadway," said CHP Officer Andrew Barclay. Late Monday night, the officers said they hoped low tide had helped the seal return to open water, and that they’d continue to monitor the area. — Read it at San Francisco’s ABC 7
A 9-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever was reunited with his owners on Christmas Eve, after being brought to BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Kansas by two Good Samaritans. Rodney Stean and Judy Purcell had first spotted Brodie running near their home two weeks ago, but couldn’t get him to come to them. Then, on Christmas Eve, they found him in their yard, hungry and with wounds on his paws. They brought him to BluePearl, where he was treated and scanned for a microchip. It turned out that the Petersen family had been searching for their beloved dog for more than a year, since he escaped from his fenced-in yard, 25 miles away in Liberty, Missouri. They got the perfect Christmas gift when they got the call that their dog had been found safe.“It was like a little miracle,” said Troy Petersen. — Read it at BluePearl Veterinary Partners
The singer and her boyfriend, Wilmer Valderrama, both took to Instagram to remember their dog Spawn, who passed away. "I miss you so much already beautiful boy ... When I first met you 6 years ago, I was intimidated by your size and your strong presence," Lovato wrote with a photo of her pooch. "But as I got to know you, I learned you were just one big teddy bear." Valderrama posted two photos of Spawn and wrote about how much he’ll miss him. Sadly, the couple lost another dog, Buddy, in a “tragic accident” last summer. — Read it at People Pets
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