Pet Scoop: Drama Over Pup in Ellen DeGeneres Costume, TV Anchor Bitten by Dog Speaks Out

February 24, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Dog Dressed as Ellen DeGeneres in Ad Yanked From Billboard

Madalyn Ruggiero, an Ohio photographer who puts her Golden Retriever in funny costumes and then sells the pictures for greeting cards, really wanted to get Denali on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. So she dressed up the dog to look like Ellen, and paid $6,000 to put Denali's photo on a Los Angeles billboard with the message, “Ellen, Denali the dog wants to meet you!” Seems like the kind of thing that would get Ellen’s attention, right?

“She says she likes dogs, so I thought she’d love my dog,” Ruggiero told the LA Times. But after the ad had been up for just five days, she got a call from the billboard company. The image had to come down because lawyers were afraid that it was trading on DeGeneres’ image. — Read it at the LA Times

Lovebird Chicks Hatch at a U.K. Zoo on Valentine’s Day

Four black-cheeked lovebirds were born at the Drusillas Park in the U.K. on February 14. A zookeeper called the Valentine's Day arrival a “very fitting tribute to lovebirds everywhere.” — See the photos at Zooborns

Bird Flu May Be Less Deadly Than Previously Thought

In other avian news, a study has found that the bird flu, which typically infects farmworkers, is more widespread than scientists formerly believed — but less deadly. "The bottom line is that it looks like a whole lot of people become infected and don't die," said a virologist. — Read it at USA Today

Denver TV Anchor Attacked by Dog Talks About Incident

“I really lucked out," said Kyle Dyer, who suffered a severe bite two weeks ago after she got too close to an Argentine Mastiff during a live interview with Max's owner and the firefighter who rescued the dog from an icy lake. “We’ve all learned a lot in the past two weeks," added the anchor, who underwent two surgeries to repair the damage to her face. — Watch it at the Denver Post

Plus: Read Dr. Marty Becker's piece on lessons in reading canine behavior

Sea Turtle Could Become California’s Official Marine Reptile

Legislation introduced in the California state assembly last week would make the endangered Pacific leatherback — the world’s largest sea turtle — the state’s official marine reptile. The symbolic move is meant to raise awareness about the plight of the turtles. — Read it at the LA Times

Celebrity Puppy Sightings

It’s been a big week for the royal puppy: Duchess Kate finally revealed that the black Cocker Spaniel’s name was Lupo. Then the duo were spotted going for a walk outside Kensington Palace in London. — See the photo at Animal Tracks

Jennifer Aniston also unveiled pictures of her Pit Bull-mix puppy, Sophie, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “Oh, look at her! She’s so sweet,” the actress said as the audience reacted to photos of the adorable dog. — Watch it at People Pets

Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!