Pet Scoop: Dog Saved From Creek in Dramatic Rescue, L.A. Shelter Sells Kitty iPad Art

April 13, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Wichita Fire Department Capt. Michael Wells gets a kiss from Taz after he was rescued by firefighters.
Travis Heying, The Wichita Eagle / AP
Wichita Fire Department Captain Michael Wells gets a kiss from Taz.

Firefighters Save Kansas Dog in Sensational Fashion

Firefighters were beginning a news conference in Wichita, Kansas, to announce that the attempted rescue of a Lab and Pit Bull mix named Taz had failed. Then a bystander noticed something — the dog was trying to breathe through a hole in a concrete embankment on the side of a rain-swollen creek.

The news conference broke up, the crew jumped back into action and cut through the concrete, saving Taz after 30 minutes of coaxing the frightened dog from the tight space. “We understand that pets are very, very important to people’s lives,” said Captain Michael Wells. “We’re glad to be here. It’s been a good day.” — Read it at The Wichita Eagle and see the amazing rescue photos

Los Angeles Shelter Uses Kitty iPad Art to Raise Money

A shelter is selling notecards crafted from digital art made by cats on iPads. The April 14 episode of Animal Planet’s “Must Love Cats” will show the feline artists at work. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Baby Gibbon Gets VIP Care at a Zoo in Germany

Knuppy — a 3-month-old, white-handed gibbon who was rejected by his mother — is being bottle-fed at a zoo in Bremen. Knuppy, who belongs to an endangered species, drinks milk for now, but he'll move on to fruit, insects and more as he grows. — Read it at People Pets

Georgia Aquarium Awaits Rare Beluga Whale Birth

In other zoo baby news, Maris, one of the Georgia Aquarium’s beluga whales, is due in June, making her the first mammal to conceive at the Atlanta aquarium. — Read it at Animal Tracks

Utah Bulldog Has Mad Skateboard Skills

At just 18 months old, Dexter the Bulldog is a master skateboarder who puts on a show almost every day in his Salt Lake City neighborhood. “He loves doing that more than about anything,” said his owner. — Watch it at MSNBC

Baboons Can Recognize Written Words

In a discovery that could help researchers understand how reading evolved in humans, a study has found that baboons are able to identify which letter combinations are words and which aren't — even though the animals don’t know the meaning of the words. — Read it at the LA Times

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