Pet Scoop: Dogs Rescued From Alleged Fighting Ring, National Zoo's Tiger Cubs Get First Exam

August 27, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

AP
An official carries puppies who were rescued from a home in Alabama.

367 Dogs Saved in Bust

After a three-year investigation into an alleged dog-fighting ring, authorities arrested 12 people in a multi-state raid in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia and seized more than $500,000 in cash that they believe is from gambling on the dogs. The defendants face dog-fighting and illegal gambling charges, authorities said on Monday. "I believe if Dante were alive today and rewriting the 'Inferno' that the lowest places in hell would be reserved for those who commit cruelty to our animals and to our children," said U.S. Attorney George Beck. The Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, assisted in seizing the 367 Pit Bulls and are caring for them at undisclosed locations while the case progresses. They hope to eventually retrain the dogs and get them into loving homes. — Read it from the AP via USA Today

Dolphin Deaths Linked to Measles-Like Virus

Experts are continuing to investigate the mass deaths of at least 300 bottlenose dolphins on the East Coast. So far, the leading cause seems to be morbillivirus. The virus is related to human measles and canine distemper, and has been known to cause sporadic epidemics among dolphins. The last morbillivirus epidemic hit off the East Coast in the winter of 1987-88, killing more than 740 dolphins. “It’s no secret at this point,” said Perry Habecker, a large animal pathologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. “Morbillivirus is accounting for some of these deaths.” There hasn’t been an official announcement of the cause of dolphin deaths. — Read it at Discovery News

Big Cat on the Loose in Detroit

A very large, stray cat is putting some residents of this bankrupt city on edge. Over the last several weeks, there have been several sightings of a cat described to be up to four feet tall and as long as a Doberman. One expert tells Detroit’s WJBK-TV that it could be a Savannah cat, which is a cross between an African serval cat and a house cat. The Michigan Humane Society has said it would investigate, and a feral cat rescue group has set up traps for it. Financially strapped Detroit is trying to cope with a big problem with abandoned animals. — Read it at the Huffington Post

National Zoo
One of the tiger cubs lets out a little roar at its first exam.

Tiger Cubs’ Gender Determined

It’s been a big week at the National Zoo, where a panda cub was born on Friday night. On Monday, the zoo’s 3-week-old Sumatran tiger cubs got their first veterinary exam, where vets determined that Damai is mom to a boy and a girl. The male cub weighed just over 8 pounds, and the female was 7.5 pounds. This is the first litter for Damai, and vets report that the cubs are healthy and plump. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, with only an estimated 400 to 500 living in the wild. — Read it at the National Zoo

Britain Goes on Panda Watch

After spending the first part of the summer anxiously awaiting the birth of the royal baby, the U.K. has turned its attention to a new baby watch — at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. Zookeepers there have giant panda Tian Tian under 24-hour surveillance after hormone tests confirmed that she may be expecting a cub. If she gives birth, it would likely be in the next two weeks. Tian Tian was inseminated with sperm from both her partner at the zoo, Yang Guang, and Bao Bao, a male panda who lives at the Berlin Zoo, in April. “If indeed she is pregnant, this is an extremely risky time for panda pregnancies,” said Iain Valentine, Director of Giant Pandas for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, on Monday. “Although there are no certainties we must err on the side of caution and be on red alert from today.” — Read it at Today

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