Pet Scoop: Dog Scouts Have Troops Across the Country, Lost Cat Found After 16 Years

April 4, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Jasper the Dog Scout
Jasper, a 3-year-old Collie-Lab mix, has earned 18 Dog Scouts badges.

A New Breed of Do-Gooders: Dog Scouts of America

Hundreds of dogs (and their owners) in 22 states are part of the Dog Scouts of America, an organization of canines doing good deeds, complete with campouts, vests and badges that are specific to certain breeds. "These are not 'gimme' badges, not a walk in the park," said the group’s president. "A dog with a lot of badges has put a lot of time and training into it." — Read it at AP via CBS News

German Woman’s Cat Found in a Forest — 16 Years Later

A tattoo behind his ear confirmed that a cat spotted in a German forest was indeed the same one who'd gone missing 16 years ago. Poldi and his owner will be reunited this week. — Read it at the Daily Mail

Pets Live in the Lap of Luxury

A garage-sized aquarium, a “Kittyloft” playground and a $50,000 custom doghouse are just some of the amazing amenities that Forbes highlights in a story about some seriously spoiled pets. — Read it at Forbes

Plus: Obese dogs can now benefit from a special elevator. It’s currently a prototype, but the manufacturer says that two companies are interested in selling the chair lift for $8,000. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Horse rescued from sinkhole

Horse Escapes From a Sinkhole — With Some Help

While a veterinarian and animal control kept the horse calm, rescue crews worked to free the animal whose rear half was submerged in a sinkhole in North Carolina. — Read it at WAVY

Hunters Face Rare Antelope Restrictions

Starting Wednesday, the U.S. government will require ranchers to obtain permits allowing people to hunt the dama gazelle and two other antelopes that are native to Africa on their properties. The move gives the animals full protection under the Endangered Species Act. Ranchers are upset by the requirement, saying the government's efforts have led to a rise in the antelopes’ population. — Read it at AP via

Dog Beach Is Too Popular for Its Own Good

After less than two months, officials pulled the plug on what was supposed to be a yearlong trial for a dog beach in Southern California. Opponents said the beach was “out of control,” while supporters argued that it was cleaner than the beach had ever been. — Read it at the Contra Costa Times

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