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Feb. 7, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Last month, during the bone-chilling cold of the polar vortex and the onslaught of a major snowstorm, a 2-year-old black cat was found wandering in Fort Wayne, Ind. A Good Samaritan called Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control to report seeing her on the city streets as wind chills dropped to 45 degrees below zero. The cat, whose rescuers named her Circe after a Greek goddess, lost tissue on parts of both of her ears as a result of frostbite, which can be “extremely painful,” said the shelter’s Peggy Bender. Circe was treated using donated funds, and not long after, started showing her sweet and friendly personality. “Sometimes you wonder how animals go through something like this and come out so loving and gentle,” Bender said. The shelter has had lots of applications from people interested in giving Circe a good home, and will hold a lottery to select one for her. — Read it at Indiana’s Journal-Gazette
A new study by Mayo Clinic researchers warns that cat bites — which are often overlooked because they don’t appear to be serious — can be prone to infection. The researchers looked at records from patients who visited a doctor or emergency room for cat bite injuries to the hand or wrist, and found that almost one third of them were admitted to the hospital for issues and infections related to the bite. A cat’s sharp teeth can puncture the skin and introduce bacteria from the cat’s mouth to the person’s body. In the study, the average amount of time between when the incident occurred and when the person received treatment was 27 hours. “Cat bites look very benign, but as we know and as the study shows, they are not. They can be very serious,” said the clinic’s Dr. Brian Carlsen. The results were published in the Journal of Hand Surgery. — Read it from Daily RX
The Taliban in Afghanistan claims that a dog it captured belonged to U.S. military forces. A U.S. military official now says that the dog actually belongs to British forces. The Taliban distributed a disturbing video of their hostage in an elaborate harness and bragged about seizing it during a December firefight between the NATO forces and the Taliban. — Read it at CNN
Wally Conron was working as the puppy-breeding manager at the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia in the 1980s when he got a request for a couple in Hawaii. The woman was vision impaired but her husband was allergic to dogs. Conron bred a standard Poodle with a Labrador Retriever, in the hopes of providing them with a dog who would suit both of their needs. When people on the waiting list only wanted purebreds, he and his colleagues “had to come up with a gimmick,” and dubbed the dog the Labradoodle. But Conron regrets that now, saying it’s led to a designer dog craze and irresponsible breeding. "I've done a lot of damage," Conron told The Associated Press this week. "I've created a lot of problems … There are a lot of unhealthy and abandoned dogs out there." Conron has expressed his unhappiness about the breed in the past. His latest comments come as other mixed breeds are welcomed in the Westminster agility competition this weekend. — Read it from the AP via Yahoo
Thomas Kokta has been traveling from his home in Washington to Canada for the last few years to photograph polar bear families in the wild. He captured stunningly cute pictures of a mama polar bear taking her triplet cubs out for a romp in the snow in Manitoba, Canada. Without them noticing, he caught sweet moments of the three baby bears kissing, cuddling and playing with their mom. — See the photos at Today
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