Pet Scoop: Dog Saves Girl From Drowning in Icy River, High School Art Show Honors Cat

April 3, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Rocky is being hailed as a hero for helping pull a young girl from an icy river.
Rocky is being hailed as a hero for helping pull a young girl from an icy river.

Lab Mix Pulls 9-Year-Old to Safety

An 8-year-old Labrador Retriever-Husky mix and his owner came to the rescue of a 9-year-old girl who fell into the icy North Saskatchewan River in Alberta, Canada, on Easter Sunday. Adam Shaw was walking with his family and dog, Rocky, on a bridge over the river when he heard screams. Below, Krymzen Sunshine fell into the water while trying to reach her sister, Samara, who had gotten too close to the river’s edge while tobogganing. Shaw quickly pulled Krymzen, 10, back onto the ice, but Samara was being carried downstream. After several tries to reach her failed, Shaw had Rocky jump into the water and told the girl to grab his leash. "He jumped in right beside her," Shaw said, and Samara was able to hold on to the leash. "I called him back and he swam toward the ice," Shaw said. Shaw was then able to drag Rocky and the girl out of the water. "If that man and dog weren't there — I just try not to think of it," said Miranda Wagner, the girls’ mother. The girls were treated at a local hospital and firefighters later rewarded Rocky with a giant rawhide bone. — Read it at CNN

Dragonflies Are Among Nature’s Best Hunters

They may look harmless, but new research shows that those dainty dragonflies are brutally effective predators. Several new studies look at what makes these insects such good hunters, including one that shows its ability to focus on a single prey with near humanlike selective attention. “Here we have a simple brain of less than a million neurons behaving like our own brain of 100 billion neurons,” said Steven Wiederman of the University of Adelaide in Australia. They also have some of the best vision in the insect world, and impressive flying techniques. The New York Times rounds up the results of the new papers. — Read it at The New York Times

Students Create Custom Boots for Penguins

Aging penguins often get sore feet, much like aging people. So, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium turned to engineering students at Northwestern University for help. The students created custom-made bandage-like boots to ease the penguins’ discomfort, and it worked. It’s part of an 8-year-old partnership between the aquarium and the school, where freshmen solve challenges that help the aquarium’s staff and residents. — Watch it at Today

Simba spends his days at a Maine high school.
Simba spends his days at a Maine high school.

Cat Stars in School’s Art Show

Simba has been attending Westbrook High School in Maine for 13 years, but the 15-year-old cat isn’t in a hurry to move on. He arrives at the school’s front doors each morning at 7 to greet the students, then visits the classrooms, often plopping himself down on the students’ textbooks. But they don’t mind. In fact, the cuddly cat, who lives nearby, is being honored with an art show that features portraits of him. "I just see such an emotional connection and real care about this creature,” said Carol Conner, the school art director. “He has such a calming effect on all of us." — Watch it at Yahoo News

Dog Keeps Recovering Kevin Ware Company

The Louisville basketball player who suffered a horrifying leg injury on Sunday now has a companion to help him through his long recovery. "Welcome Scar to the Ware Family! We named him Scar to represent my struggle, and the ‘scar’ that will be left on my leg after the healing process," Kevin Ware wrote as he shared a picture of the pup wearing a No. 5 Cardinals jersey on Tuesday. — Read it at USA Today


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