Pet Scoop: Children Get Cat After Facebook Plea, Baby Birds Use Password to Get Food

Nov. 13, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

The Urbano family welcomed a shelter cat after their kids made a plea for one on Facebook.

Kids Score 110,000 Likes, New Kitty 

Clearly underestimating social media’s love of cats and kids, a Newton, Mass., couple told their son, Remi, 7, and daughter, Evelyn, 1, they could get a cat if a picture of them with a sign pleading for one got 1,000 likes on Facebook. “We figured our friends and maybe their friends would be nice and kind and share [the photo] with each other,” mom Marisa Urbano told ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday. But they got a lot more than they bargained for. The picture got more than 110,000 likes, and 100,000 shares in a matter of days. And the Urbanos delivered on their promise, adopting a kitty they named Hairietta L. Pawturr from a local shelter over the weekend. The name is a play on Harry Potter — and the middle initial stands for “like.” — Watch it at ABC News

Climate Change Threatens Pandas’ Food Source

A new study finds that projected temperature increases in China could have a serious impact on the growth of bamboo, which is the main food source for the country’s beloved giant pandas. Researchers warn that the situation can be turned around — if conservation programs act quickly to protect the areas capable of growing bamboo for the endangered species. "It is tough, but I think there's still hope, if we take action now," said research team member Jianguo Liu of Michigan State University. The study was published on Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.— Read it at Live Science

Baby Wrens Must Hit the Right Note to Eat

What's the secret password? Just ask these fairy-wren chicks. A study published in the journal Current Biology finds that the mother fairy-wrens teach their babies a single unique note as a password before they’ve even hatched. The chicks will only get food from their mom or other caregivers if they use that password in their begging calls. The birds use the password system to be sure they’re feeding their own young, rather than the parasitic cuckoos who sometimes invade their nests. — Read it at Science Daily

A koala suffering from burns was rescued and treated at an Australian animal hospital.

Koala Saved From Fire’s Aftermath

A Port Lincoln, Australia, resident found a koala suffering from burned paws and singed fur sitting in a tree after a massive fire destroyed its habitat. After giving the marsupial some water, the koala was taken to an animal hospital, where it was treated and is recovering. — Watch it at Today

Rachel Ray Donates Thousands for Hurricane Sandy Pets

The animal lover and TV chef is giving $500,000 to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help pets and their families recover from Sandy, the storm that devastated parts of the northeast. On top of the money, Ray’s pet food brand, Nutrish, is sending four tons of dog food to help victims of the storm. — Read it from AP

Plus: Actress Denise Richards went to New York to talk about hurricane relief and help to encourage shelter pet adoptions — and ended up with a puppy of her own. Richards adopted a black Labrador Retriever mix, who she named Tara, from a Long Island, N.Y., shelter. — See photo at People Pets

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