Pet Scoop: Death Row Dog Prada Could Be Reality TV Star, Penguin Bites Newt Gingrich

April 18, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Prada the Pit Bull
Prada had been behind bars for a year, while her owner tried to save her.

Prada the Pit Bull Gets a Reprieve

An owner’s yearlong battle to keep Prada, a 4-year-old Pit Bull mix, alive finally ended when a Tennessee judge signed an order to release her from death row on the condition that she spend the rest of her life at the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans. The facility, which pairs ex-prisoners with dogs who need rehab, is featured on the Animal Planet show, Pit Bulls and Parolees. Prada was supposed to be euthanized after being declared a public safety threat following an attack on other dogs, but owner Nicole Andree organized a social media campaign to save her. “It’s a bittersweet win. She was my kid,” said Andree. — Read it at ABC News

Penguin Bites GOP Hopeful Newt Gingrich

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich got more than he bargained for on a trip to the St. Louis Zoo. During a private tour, the former speaker of the House, who has a campaign site called Pets With Newt, was nipped on the finger by a Magellanic penguin. — Read it at People Pets, and see more odd animal encounters with politicians at Politico

Deadly Disease Afflicts Kit Foxes in the Mojave Desert

Canine distemper, which had its first outbreak among kit foxes at a construction site in Genesis, Calif., has now been detected in foxes as far as 11 miles from the site. Officials are worried that it could have a devastating effect on the species in the region. — Read it at the LA Times

Maggie, the black Lab who stood by her dead pal, was reunited with her family.
Maggie, a fearless Lab who made headlines this week, was reunited with her family.

Dog Who Braved Traffic to Stay by Buddy Reunites With Family

Maggie, the Lab who sat by a fellow dog who’d been fatally struck by a car, has been claimed by her family. “When the owners came in and were calling her ‘Maggie, Maggie,’ she lit up and her tail started wagging,” said Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control spokeswoman Evelina Villa. Her owners, who will be cited for not having a dog license and for allowing Maggie to roam off leash, were relieved to have her back. — Watch the video at Today

Unlike Leopards, Male Giraffes Change Their Spots With Age

People may go gray as they age, but male giraffe spots actually turn darker as the animals get older. According to new research, the change takes about 1.8 years to complete, and male giraffes are likely to be completely covered in jet-black spots by the time they’re just over 9 years old. — Read it at Discovery News

Singer Jewel Rescues a Hummingbird

Jewel took to Twitter to share how she’s helping an injured hummingbird at her ranch in Texas. “I gave him sugar water, and made him a comfy little nest out of old gloves — hope he feels better!” she Tweeted. — Read it at People Pets

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