Pet Scoop: Dog Plays Mom to Stray Kitten, Sheep Storm a Shop in Austria

Sept. 25, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Mittens the Pekingese nurses a stray kitten.

Minnesota Dog Adopts a Tiny Kitten

When Pat Weber’s grandson came running into her home with a tiny, ice-cold kitten he’d found in the barn, she was afraid it wouldn’t survive. But then it started meowing, and Weber’s 4-year-old Pekingese, Mittens, came over to see what it was. Mittens started to lick the kitten, “just mothering it like crazy,” said Weber. In a few days, the dog started to produce milk for the kitten, even though it had been two years since she'd had her own litter of puppies. “I thought . . . what a miracle,” said Weber. “As far as she’s concerned, it’s hers, and as far as the kitten is concerned, this is her mother.” — Watch it from the AP

Preliminary Report Finds National Zoo Panda Cub Had Liver Issues

Although officials at the National Zoo haven’t yet determined a definitive cause of death for giant panda Mei Xiang’s cub, they said on Monday that a preliminary necropsy has found that the female cub had uneven coloring and hardness in her liver. The zoo’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Suzan Murray, DVM, also said that there were small amounts of liquid in the cub’s abdomen, which could be a sign of liver malfunction. Mei Xiang was seen cradling a rubber toy following her cub’s death, which she had also done before her baby’s birth and during her pseudopregnancies. — Read it at The New York Times

New Animal Care Facility Is Coming to JFK Airport

A development group is planning to turn an empty building and 14 acres of land at JFK International Airport in New York City into a $32 million complex that will offer kenneling, grooming and other services for about 70,000 animals each year. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, approved the plans last week. "While most of our airport passengers walk on two legs, this new center will serve the important travel needs of our four-legged and winged friends, while helping to create regional jobs and significant revenue for the Port Authority," said Pat Foye, executive director of the Port Authority. — Read it at the AP via the Wall Street Journal

Video of Austrian Sheep Shopping Goes Viral

A flock of 80 sheep were caught on video rampaging through a shop in St. Anton, Austria. "We think one of them saw its reflection in a mirror and came in to investigate," a store spokesman told local media. "And being sheep, of course, the rest of them decided to follow." It took two shepherds to get the animals to file out of the store. — Watch it at ABC News via Yahoo

Clifford the Big Red Dog Celebrates His 50th Birthday

The much-loved book and TV character was feted on Monday in New York. Norman Bridwell, who created Clifford, and his now 51-year-old daughter, Emily Elizabeth, who appears in the books as Clifford’s owner and pal, were on hand to answer questions from first and second graders. Bridwell said that the dog was red because that happened to be the color of the paint he had nearby. So what does Bridwell make of the dog's popularity? "I don't really understand it," he admitted. "Whether it's his color, or if it's the fact that he's clumsy, like a lot of kids are clumsy. And a lot of kids would like to be forgiven for their mistakes, and Emily always forgives him when he makes a mistake." There are more than 126 million copies of Scholastic’s Clifford books in print — in 13 languages. — Read it at the AP via the Houston Chronicle

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