Pet Scoop: Doxie Takes on “Biggest Loser” Challenge, Zoo Launches Presidential Race

Sept. 10, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Obie, a Dachshund who weighs 70 pounds, is working to shed pounds in his new home.

One Dachshund's Mission: Slim Down From 70 Pounds

Nora Vanatta of Portland, Ore., knew that Obie, a Dachshund who she agreed to foster through the Oregon Dachshund Rescue, was overweight. But she didn’t realize that the 5-year-old dog tipped the scales at more than double what he should have weighed when he arrived at her home in mid-August — 77 pounds!

Luckily for Obie, Vanatta has experience as a veterinary technician — and she has a black Lab and a healthy Dachshund who can act as role models. As of last week, Obie was down to 70 pounds. Vanatta and her vet hope that he can lose a total of 30 to 40 pounds — and they plan to add exercise once he’s down to a safer weight. “He is extremely sweet and loving,” writes Vanatta on Obie’s "Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition” Facebook page. “He was obviously loved and is a joy to work with . . . My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight.” — Read it at Oregon Live

Presidential Race Gets Wild at the Alaska Zoo

Things are getting political at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, where Ahpun the polar bear and Denali the wolf are facing off in a mock "presidential race" as part of a fundraiser for the zoo. But unlike the human presidential election, voters have to pay $1 for a ballot — and they can buy as many as they'd like. On her campaign site, Ahpun describes herself as a “large and in charge natural born leader,” while her opponent argues that he’s “very adaptable in a variety of habitats.” As of Sunday, the polar bear held the lead — but it’s still early. Voting will close on Nov. 6 — election day, of course — and the money raised will help to support the non-profit zoo’s operations. — Read it at ABC News

Migrating Birds May Pass Over 9/11 Tribute

If the weather forecast holds, flocks of migrating birds could pass through New York City on Sept. 11 — and the Tribute in Light, when the city commemorates the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center by projecting two columns of light several miles into the sky. Bright light can disorient migrating birds, causing them to collide with structures in their path and even one another. "It looks likely there will be some substantial numbers of birds passing through the New York City area while the tribute is happening," Andrew Farnsworth, a research associate at Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology, told Live Science. "But thankfully, it looks like it will be very clear, so the effects of the bright lights will not be as extreme." — Read it at Live Science

Belgian Kitties Play Catroulette

Cat adoption agencies in Belgium are trying to capitalize on the popularity of Chatroulette — a site that allows users to peer into the lives of strangers through random webcams — with a feline version called Catroulette that features live streams of cats in need of homes. In addition to a “nexting” feature that allows you to skip over a webcam, Catroulette also has an “adopt” button that offers more details about the profiled kitty. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Two of the Queen’s Dogs Pass Away

Monty, one of Queen Elizabeth's beloved Corgis who appeared in the James Bond sketch that aired during the London Olympic Games, has died. In an official statement, Buckingham Palace announced that Cider, a Dachshund-Corgi mix, had also passed away. The queen now has two Corgis, Willow and Holly. — Read it at the AP via the Washington Post

Kelly Osbourne's Pup Tags Along to a Photo Shoot

The Fashion Police host brought an unexpected sidekick to a photo shoot for the September/October issue of Maniac Magazine: her Pomeranian, Sid. Photographer April Hubal, who’s also the magazine’s editor and a “huge animal lover,” didn’t want Sid to sit on the sidelines, so she posed him with Osbourne. "She had a hat for herself that she put on the dog — she was just so cute with him," said Hubal. — See the photo at People Pets

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