Pet Scoop: Dog Survives a Week in Bitter Cold, Australian Heat Kills Thousands of Bats

Jan. 10, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Rottweiler Hooch was found by city workers in Wisconsin after spending a week lost in bitter cold temperatures.

Wisconsin Workers Find Lost Dog

A Rottweiler named Hooch is back home after spending a week in the Wisconsin cold. When the big, sweet dog ran off on New Year’s Eve, and his owner, Joe Bellehumeur, launched a search for him on social media and posted fliers with the help of volunteers from Lost Dogs of Wisconsin. Shortly after 6-year-old Hooch disappeared, the arctic air that has gripped much of the nation settled in and worried Bellehumeur. Luckily, city workers checking for water main breaks in the cold on Tuesday morning spotted a dog they recognized from the flier and called Bellehumeur, who rushed to the scene. "He looked like he had come from the North Pole," Bellehumeur said. “He ran up to me and I just busted out crying." Hooch had lost several pounds and was tired and weak, but is now recovering. — Watch it at Wisconsin’s Radio News WTMJ

Dog Pulled From Icy Boston Harbor

This week’s tough temperatures have also resulted in some dog rescues from frigid waters. On Thursday, a firefighter pulled a 13-year-old Husky from the 20-degree waters of Boston Harbor. The dog, Sylvie, was walking with her owner when she ran across some ice and fell through. “As I got closer, I could see the ice was encapsulating [her],” said Boston firefighter Sean Coyle. “[She] was frozen and real scared.” Coyle pulled Sylvie out but fell into the water himself. Thankfully, he was wearing a survival suit and a safety rope, and his fellow firefighters were able to pull him out quickly from their position on land. Sylvie was happily reunited with her owner once she reached the shore. — Read it from the Boston Herald, and see more photos

100,000 Bats Killed in Australian Heat

On the other side of the world, it’s the extreme summer heat that’s causing problems. An estimated 100,000 bats have died in Queensland due to a record heat wave. "The heat wave was basically a catastrophe for all the bat colonies in south-east Queensland," said Michael Beatty, a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "That's obviously going to have a pretty disturbing impact on those colonies and those colonies are vital to our ecosystem."— Read it at Discovery News

J. Sparks, D. Gruber, and V. Pieribone
Above is a green biofluorescent chain catshark.

Boring-Looking Fish Secretly Glow

A new study suggests that a lot of marine animals who appear dull or neutral colored glow in colors that are visible to the human eye using bioluminescence. They also produce bright colors that are not visible to the human eye using another process, called biofluorescence. Researchers from the American Museum of Natural History in New York were surprised to find that more than 180 fish species used biofluorescence. "I never expected it to be so widespread,” said study co-author John Sparks. Closely related fish who looked almost identical in normal light had a wide variation in the pattern, color and intensity of fluorescence. In fact, the fish with the dullest coloration in white light produced the brightest, showiest glow. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Live Science

Brother Cats Are Criminals in Britain

We’ve heard stories about cats who steal from their neighbors before. But this one is different. It’s not one rogue cat burglar, but a team of two kitty brothers who are working together. Ernie and Eric have brought more than 100 items home to owners Margaret and Eddie Boddy in the U.K. They say their cats have a special penchant for children’s shoes, but their loot also includes slippers, socks, hats, gloves and more. The couple has tried to find the owners of some items, and donated others to local charities. The 4-year-old brothers were rescued from a roadside when they were kittens. — Read it at BBC News

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