Pet Scoop: Donations Pour in for Dog Reunited With Owner, Elephant Deaths Jump in Africa

August 19, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Fatcat was reunited with her owner last week after being stolen eight years ago.
Fatcat was reunited with her owner last week after being stolen eight years ago.

Missing Bulldog Used for Breeding

LaShena Harris was living in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2006 when her white English Bulldog, named Fatcat, was stolen. (Harris explains that she’d named her dog Cashmere, but her mother came up with Fatcat after her son had trouble saying the dog’s name.) Two weeks ago, Harris got a call from an Arkansas shelter saying someone had dropped Fatcat off, and they’d found Harris using her microchip. A friend of the shelter’s director was moving to Arizona and offered to drive Fatcat there. Harris was reunited with her Bulldog Thursday, but her story doesn’t end there. Fatcat had been excessively bred while she was gone and has significant medical and dental problems. Harris set up a GoFundMe page last week to raise money for Fatcat’s estimated $5,000 in medical bills, and she was shocked by the result: more than $5,500 has been donated in just five days. — Read it at Arizona Central

Spike in Number of Elephants Killed

A study by the world’s leading elephant experts has found a huge jump in the number of elephants killed by poachers for ivory in Africa. An estimated 100,000 of the mammals were slaughtered between 2010 and 2012. They found the proportion of elephants that were illegally killed increased from 25 percent of all elephant deaths 10 years ago to 65 percent of all elephant deaths today. If the deaths continue at that rate, it will lead to extinction, the scientists said. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Read it from AP via Yahoo News

Turtle Moms “Talk” to Babies

Researchers used microphones to record more than 250 sounds made by river turtles on the Rio Trombetas in Brazil. The team’s analysis of the recordings found six different types of sounds the turtles made during the nesting season, depending on the situation they were in. The turtles made a certain type of chatter when their hatchlings were taking their first steps on the beach, which the researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the National Institute of Amazonian Research thought might be their first parental guidance. "Without these sounds, [the hatchlings] might not know where to go," said researcher Dr. Camila Ferrara. The study was published in the journal Herpetologica. — Read it at Discovery News

River happily rolls through Albany, Minnesota, greeting everyone he sees.
River happily rolls through Albany, Minnesota, greeting everyone he sees.

Town Loves Dog in Wheelchair

River rolls through Albany, Minnesota, bringing smiles to everyone he sees. The 11-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer has no use of his hind legs after being attacked by two larger unleashed dogs while he was out for a walk with owner Carol Mader. But neither River nor his owners wanted to give up. He’s learned to walk with a set of back wheels and takes long walks through town with Carol and Herby Mader four or five times a day, happily greeting everyone he sees. "River touches everybody's heart," says resident LuAnn Jopp. "Everybody has to come by and pet the dog." — Watch it at USA Today

Taylor Swift’s “Sneaky Cat” Keds Revealed

During a live video stream Monday, the star announced her new album, “1989,” will hit store shelves in October — and she’ll have sneakers to go with it. The “Sneaky Cat” sneaker is the latest addition to the Taylor Swift x Keds collection. It features a mischievous cat peering over the side, and the singer’s birthdate, 12-13-1989, written on the heel. Swift is known for being quite the cat lady. In addition to frequently wearing clothing and shoes featuring felines, she often Tweets about her Scottish Fold Meredith, and shared a photo of her new kitten, Olivia Benson, on Instagram in June. The $55 sneakers won’t be available until October, but they can be preordered now. — Read it at E! Online


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