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2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal
stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Roofus, a 10-year-old
Weimaraner mix, has spent the last six years waiting for the right person to give him a forever home. Last week, a heartbreaking letter that his family had written when they gave him up at the
Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton, Florida, was found tucked away in his file. “My Daddy lost his job a year ago and can't find a new one,” reads the letter, written from Roofus’ perspective in 2010. “I will miss my two-legged siblings so much, they keep crying and hugging me, begging mommy and daddy not to take me back to the shelter … My family is very sad to give me back to Bishop but they know you'll find me a new family that will love me just as much.” Roofus’ story was featured on
WFLA 8 News, and the perfect new owner saw it. Karen Duffy immediately fell in love with Roofus and drove two hours with her husband to adopt him on Saturday. He’s now happily settling in at the Duffys’ home. “I’m the lucky one,” Duffy said. — Watch it at
Now at least 65 years old, Laysan albatross Wisdom is a mom yet again. The healthy chick, who wildlife researchers have named Kukini or “messenger” in Hawaiian, hatched on Feb. 1 in Wisdom’s nest at the
Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, a
Fish and Wildlife Service facility in the northern Pacific Ocean. The refuge is home to millions of seabirds, including the largest albatross colony. Wisdom was first banded in 1956, and has raised as many as 40 chicks. “Wisdom is an iconic symbol of inspiration and hope,” said Refuge Manager Robert Peyton. “She is breaking longevity records of previously banded
birds by at least a decade.” — Read it at
The Massachusetts State Police shut down part of busy Route 495 north of Boston on Wednesday as a lost
German Shepherd darted in and out of traffic. Officers from the Lawrence and Methuen Police Departments worked with the state police to try to lure the
dog to safety. State Trooper Malachy Higgins ultimately won her attention — with a granola bar. She hopped into Higgins’ cruiser, and parked herself behind the wheel. "Trooper Higgins got into the cruiser and got the tired pooch to move over into the passenger seat," the
state police wrote in a Facebook post. Lexi has been returned to her very relieved family. — See photos from
A three-month-old Linnaeus's two-toed sloth is settling in to his new home in Pennsylvania. The 2-pound sloth was born in captivity to a breeder in Florida, and an anonymous donor paid to have him flown by private jet to the
National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, reported the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He was greeted by a crowd of reporters and photographers at the airport on Monday, before heading to the aviary. There, he was hand-fed rice and potatoes for dinner and drifted off to sleep while wrapped in towels to stay warm. — Read it at
Ace, a yellow
Labrador Retriever, formally started his guide
dog training last month. As part of his socialization, his volunteer trainer for
Guide Dogs of America took him to Disneyland in California, where he had an encounter with one big
dog: Goofy. The character got down on all fours and gamely played with Ace, who gave him kisses. His trainer can be heard saying, “stay” and “down” in the background, and the excited pup did follow directions — eventually. “This was a training outing and I was too far back to do a proper correction,” Sandy Steinblums, the volunteer, said on
the Disney Dorks Facebook page where the video was posted. “But golly-be .... he responded anyway. Yep! That is my boy and I am proud of him and love the Disney characters for being so kind and helpful!” — Watch it at the
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Freeway Frida, who was rescued from a
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