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July 5, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Patch the Jack Russell Terrier quickly made friends after he hopped the 6:49 A.M. commuter train in Kilcock, Ireland, for an hour-long ride to Dublin. Rail workers dubbed him Checkers, joking that he was on board to check tickets. But as the train neared its destination, they realized that the dog didn't have an owner, so they sent out a "Lost dog!" Tweet, with a photo of Patch.
It was retweeted more than 500 times — and, in just 32 minutes, it reached the dog's owner, Deirdre Anglin, who'd taken to the social network to find him. The pair was reunited, and on the return trip to Kilcock, Anglin was peppered with one question from fellow riders: Was her pup the "dog from Twitter?" — Read it at MSNBC
When trust officers at the Fifth Third Bank in Chicago read in an animal lover's will that she wanted any pets who survived her to be put down, the bank employees went to court to see if they could make more humane arrangements for the kitty, Boots. A judge allowed it, and Boots was sent to a rescue, Cats Are Purrsons Too. There's a happy ending for Boots: She's been adopted by a relative of one of the bank's officers — and spent Independence Day at her new home in Missouri. — Read it at the Chicago Tribune
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the markhor, an endangered goat with corkscrew horns that's a national symbol in Pakistan, is enjoying a population boost. The animals' numbers in the Kargah region of the country had dropped to about 50 animals in 1991. Thanks to conservation efforts led by WCS, the group counted about 300 goats in the area this year. In a larger region where WCS works, helping rangers enforce laws that protect the species, the markhor's population has increased from about 1,000 to 1,500 animals in 13 years. — Read it at Live Science
At the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs — a region that has been ravaged by wildfires — giraffes, porcupines, bears and other residents were photographed posing with "Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Hearts Firefighters" signs. — See the images on Facebook
Max, a 10-year-old Rottweiler in England, thought that a strawberry looked so good that he swallowed it — along with a spoon. Thankfully, Max has fully recovered from emergency surgery to remove the 5-inch teaspoon from his stomach. "He doesn't seem to be too interested in strawberries lately," said his owner. — Read it at People Pets
Scott Smith says that his ex-girlfriend, Anna Camara, stole the website that they created together, "Sammy and the City," which features their Pomeranian's adventures in Manhattan. Even after the couple broke up, Smith says that they continued to work on the popular site together — until Camara locked him out. Smith is now suing his ex for $500,000. — Watch it at Today
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