Pet Scoop: Dog Art Fetches Big Money, Tortoise Has Two Heads and Two Hearts

March 7, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

William Secord Gallery in Manhattan
The William Secord Gallery in Manhattan specializes in dog art.

Dog Painting Sells for Over $200,000

Canine fine art is gaining prestige. At the annual “dogs only” art auction following the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, one painting broke a record when it went for $194,500 — and that record was shattered only an hour later when a piece called “Hounds in a Kennel” sold for $212,500. Meanwhile, the only gallery in the country to sell dog art exclusively, New York’s William Secord Gallery, says it has seen an increase in both visitors and sales recently. — Read it at the AP via MSNBC

More Owners Buy Pet Insurance

The thought of a furry loved one needing expensive veterinary treatment has led more dog and cat owners to invest in pet insurance. The increased interest has produced more options: The number of pet insurance providers in the U.S. has grown 10 times in the last decade. — Read it at USA Today

Plus: Read a recent Vetstreet piece by Dr. Marty Becker about why pet insurance is a smart idea

Brown Bear Uses Rocks to Take Care of an Itch

A brown bear in Alaska was spotted picking up three different barnacle-covered rocks to scratch his face — the first known use of a tool by the species. "That's something that we just didn't know about bears," said Volker Deecke, a researcher who happened to witness the moment while he was in Alaska for an unrelated project. — See the photo at Discovery News

conjoined tortoises
MyFoxDC via Huffington Post

Conjoined Tortoises Turn Heads in the Ukraine

"Strictly speaking it isn't a tortoise with two heads, but rather two conjoined tortoises," said zoologist Yuri Yuravliov of a tortoise on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Kiev, Ukraine. The critter has two hearts and six legs, and shares one intestine. According to the LA Times, Dmitry Tkachev, who organized the Kiev exhibition, said the two heads can’t see each other — and they often want to crawl in different directions. — Read it and see the video at the Huffington Post

Actress Lea Michele Loves Date Nights — With Her Cat

You might not expect Glee actress Lea Michele to spend her evenings parked on the couch, watching TV with her cat, Sheila. But that’s exactly how the star, who has “such a passion” for animals, likes to unwind after a long day on the set. — Read it at People Pets

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