Pet Scoop: Dog Survives 4 Days Trapped in Cave, Baby Bear Freed From Trash Bin

July 23, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Rat the Coonhound raced to his owners when he was freed from a Kentucky cave.
Rat the Coonhound raced to his owners when he was freed from a Kentucky cave.

Family Rejoices as Dog Is Freed

A Coonhound who’d been trapped inside a cave in Kentucky for four days was reunited with his family on Friday night. Rat, who’s 15 months old, chased a raccoon into the cave last Tuesday and didn’t come back out. His family tried for days to get him out with no luck. They were losing hope until they heard Rat give an urgent bark on Friday. It was an expert cave crawler with a secret lure — bologna — that helped free the dog from the small space. Rat’s elated and exhausted owners say he won’t be hunting again anytime soon, but that he’s recovering well. “He’s like one of my own,” said Rat’s owner, as she thanked everyone who helped free her pup. — Read it at Life With Dogs

Rare Persian Leopard Cubs Born

For the first time in 50 years, two Persian leopard cubs were born at a Russian national park. The endangered cubs were born at the Persian Leopard Breeding Rehabilitation Center in Sochi National Park. Staff members haven’t yet handled the newborns, but they estimate that they’re about 6 inches long and 1.5 pounds each. "They will be released into the wild after learning surviving skills, and will start a new population of leopards in the Caucasus Mountains," said Natalia Dronova, the World Wildlife Fund's Russian species coordinator, in a statement. — Read it at Live Science

Wisconsin Shelter With 26-Toed Cat Closes

Daniel, a cat who’s just two toes short of the world record, did his part to help raise funds for the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center. Rescued himself in 2011, the center’s owner, Amy Rowell, started a campaign asking for donations of $26 — $1 for each of Daniel’s toes. It was a success, bringing in $120,000 and allowing the shelter to move to a new building after discovering that the rent for its space in a local mall was about to double. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. After the shelter opened in its new space in April 2012, donations stopped coming in, and Rowell couldn’t afford to keep operating the organization. She’s adopted Daniel herself, and is looking for homes for the remaining 24 cats and 4 dogs. — Read it from the Associated Press via the Pioneer Press

A mama bear tries to open the lid of a garbage bin where her cub is trapped.
A mama bear tries to open the lid of a garbage bin where her cub is trapped.

Baby Bear Freed From Trash Bin

California Fish and Wildlife officials have reunited a bear family. A mama bear and her two cubs were feasting on garbage in a bin near Azusa, Calif., when the lid came down, trapping one of the babies inside. The mother bear tried her best open the lid, but luckily, authorities came to help her out. Game warden Adam Smith turned on his truck’s sirens to scare the mama bear and her other cub away while he opened the lid, and the stuck cub scampered out. The bin is supposed to be bear-proof — when the lid is kept closed. — Watch it at Yahoo News

Prince William and Kate’s First Baby: Lupo

As the world celebrates the arrival of a royal baby boy in London, People Pets looks back at how having black Cocker Spaniel Lupo has prepared the couple for parenthood. This “big brother” has been around lots of people — including toddlers — so he should be prepped for the little prince. — See photos at People Pets and see Vetstreet’s story on how to prepare your pet for a baby’s arrival

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