Pet Scoop: Dog Survives Plunge Into 35-Foot Well, Bonobos May Communicate Like Babies

August 5, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Firefighters from around Norfolk County, Massachusetts, came to the rescue of a dog who fell down a 35-foot well.
Firefighters from around Norfolk County, Massachusetts, came to the rescue of a dog who fell down a 35-foot well.

Dog Unscathed After Rescue

A rescue team saved the life of a 3-year-old dog who fell 35 feet into an unused well outside his home in Medfield, Massachusetts, Tuesday afternoon. Neighbors say the dog, Vedder, was chasing a squirrel when he ran over a piece of rotted wood covering the well and fell through, reported My Fox Boston. The Norfolk County Technical Rescue Team responded to a 911 call. They lowered a fan down the shaft to ensure Vedder kept cool and had fresh air, then lowered a firefighter down by rope to save him. “When we got down there, the dog was just like, ‘Come on human, get me out of here,’ ” said Firefighter Keith Darling. The two were hoisted back up, and the whole ordeal took about an hour. The rescuers said they were surprised that Vedder didn’t appear to have any injuries, but his owner took him to an emergency veterinary clinic to be checked out. — Read it at the Boston Globe and watch it on Facebook

Study: Dogs Process Faces in Specialized Area of the Brain

Researchers at Emory University found that like humans and other primates, dogs have an innate way of processing faces in their brains. Having neural machinery that’s dedicated to processing faces may help explain dogs’ extreme sensitivity to human social cues, said study author Gregory Berns, who’s a neuroscientist at Emory. The study involved dogs viewing static images and video images on a screen while undergoing an fMRI. Because dogs don’t normally interact with two-dimensional images, they first had to undergo training to learn to pay attention to the screen. The study was published in the journal PeerJ. — Read it at Science Daily

Bonobos Echo Human Speech Development, Study Finds

Endangered bonobos have the ability to use a single sound with a meaning that varies based on context, a new study finds. This form of flexible communication was previously thought to be specific to humans. The bonobo call identified by researchers from the University of Birmingham and the University of Neuchatel is a short, high-pitched peep that the animals make with a closed mouth. They found that the call’s acoustic structure didn’t change between neutral and positive circumstances, which suggests that bonobos receiving the call would have to weigh contextual information to understand its meaning. Human babies have a similar practice. They use sounds called protophones that are independent of how they feel emotionally. “We felt that it was premature to conclude that this ability is uniquely human, especially as no one had really looked for it in the great apes. It appears that the more we look, the more similarity we find between animals and humans," said study leader Dr. Zanna Clay. This study was also published in the journal PeerJ. — Read it at Discovery News

Taurean made a miraculous recovery after been rescued from a dumpster in Virginia.
Taurean made a miraculous recovery after been rescued from a dumpster in Virginia.

“Miracle” Puppy Found in Dumpster

A puppy who was callously left in a dumpster in Virginia is recovering thanks to a Good Samaritan who brought him to a local humane society for help last week. The puppy was in dire condition, so shelter workers rushed him to the Pet Clinic of Rocky Mount. There, they brought his body temperature up with warm towels and gave him IVs. He also got a blood transfusion from resident dog Thumper. “And it was like almost at once, his eyes opened and he was alive again. We cannot describe this feeling, it really did our hearts good,” said the Franklin County Humane Society on their Facebook page. The puppy was suffering from hookworms and has been treated. Humane Society members called his recovery a "miracle." He’s been named Taurean, and is now headed to a foster-to-adopt home. — Watch it at Tennessee’s WJHL

Kitten Found Stuck in Ventilation System

Fort Lauderdale Firefighter Eric Fillyaw came to the rescue of a crying 1-month-old kitten trapped in a home ventilation system Tuesday. The homeowners had been hearing meows for days but couldn’t tell where it was coming from, and called firefighters for help. After checking air conditioning vents, Fillyaw finally found the little guy after climbing into the attack. Firefighters think the kitten was on the roof of the home and fell into a vent. The kitten was taken to Broward County Animal Care adoption center, where he’s getting medical care and nourishment. The kitten is too young to be adopted yet. — Read it at Florida’s Local 10 and watch it on Facebook


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