Pet Scoop: Dog Re-Elected Minnesota Town Mayor, Officer Saves Dog From Burning Car

August 24, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Duke was easily re-elected as mayor of the tiny town of Cormorant, Minnesota.
Duke was easily re-elected as mayor of the tiny town of Cormorant, Minnesota.

Dog Wins Near-Unanimous Vote

For this candidate, likeability and trustworthiness are no problem. Duke, a handsome 9-year-old Great Pyrenees, was handily elected to a third term as mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota, last weekend. He only lost one vote — and that was to his girlfriend, Lassie. The election takes place at the village’s annual festival, Cormorant Daze. Duke’s followers in the village, which has a population of just over 1,000 humans, are clearly loyal. “I don’t know who would run against him, because he’s done such great things for the community,” said resident Karen Nelson, reported the New York Post. — Watch it at St. Louis’ Fox 2 Now

Maine Puffin Chicks Die at Record Rates

Machias Seal Island in the Gulf of Maine, which is the residence of a colony of 6,000 puffins, is seeing the worst die-off of chicks that’s been recorded. The dismal news is being blamed on a decreased supply of fish in the waters where the parents forage for food for their chicks. Normally, about 60 percent of the island’s puffin nests produce healthy chicks, but this year that number is only 12 percent. The decline in the fish supply could be due to warming waters, scientists said. — Read it at Discovery News

Study: Hereditary Disorders in Dogs Are More Common Than Thought

A new study from Finland’s University of Helsinki finds that genetic disorders in dogs are more widespread than scientists had believed. In tests of 7,000 dogs from 230 breeds for 100 different genetic disorders, the team found that one in six of the dogs had at least one of the predisposing genetic variants in their genome. “The challenge is to harness that potential for practical use in improved veterinary disease diagnostics, sustainable breeding selections, personalized pet care, and canine genetics research,” said lead author Dr. Jonas Donner. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Nature World News

Hero officer Dan Murchek reunited Bella with her owner after saving her from a burning vehicle.
Hero officer Dan Murchek reunited Bella with her owner after saving her from a burning vehicle.

Officer Pulls Dog From Car Blaze

A law enforcement officer in Indiana didn’t hesitate to rush to the rescue of a dog trapped inside a burning car this week. Two men standing nearby the scene of the fire told Lake County Sheriff Deputy Chief Dan Murchek that a dog who belonged to one of them might still be in the vehicle and they couldn’t get to her. “I ran up to the car,” Murchek said. “I looked in the backseat and I could see the dog. It was in the backseat on the floor obviously scared.” On his second attempt, Murchek was able to battle the heat and smoke and pull Bella out safely to reunite her with her owner. “I was at the right place at the right time,” Murchek said. — Read it at CBS Chicago

Bittersweet Cat Photo Goes Viral

A heartbreaking final image of a beloved cat has gone viral after it was shared on Reddit by user abherna3. “He held our hands on his last trip to the vet. Little Andrew was much stronger than his mom and I,” abherna3 wrote in the caption that showed the 15-½-year-old cat with his paw in between the hands of his owners. There was an outpouring of sympathy for Little Andrew’s owners from animal lovers who were touched by the photo. — See photo at Today

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