Pet Scoop: Ex-Marine Battles to Adopt Service Dog, Young Musher Makes Iditarod History

March 14, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Rex the military dog
Sergeant Rex worked alongside former Marine corporal Leavey in Iraq.

Marine Faces Red Tape While Adopting Former K9 Partner

Megan Leavey, a former Marine corporal, and her service dog, Sergeant Rex, were injured when an IED exploded near them in Iraq. Since Leavey was discharged in 2007, she has been campaigning to adopt the bomb-sniffing canine. "He's done his duty. It's time for him to relax," said Leavey. New York Senator Charles Schumer has been working to expedite the reunion, saying, “It’s just a slow bureaucracy.” On Tuesday, he announced a petition drive to reunite the two. — Read it at Fox News

Youngest Iditarod Champ Crowned

Dallas Seavey became the youngest musher to win the Iditarod, beating both his father and his grandfather to the finish line in Nome, Alaska. The 25 year old and his team of nine dogs completed the 40th annual race in nine days, four hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds. — Read it at Reuters

Test-Tube Cat Born in the U.S.

Crystal, a black-footed cat, was born from an embryo that was fertilized in a lab dish, frozen and later implanted in a house cat’s womb. The endangered species from southern Africa is one of the smallest cats in the world — even smaller than a domestic feline. — Read it at

Cairn Terrier

Move to Make the Cairn Terrier Kansas' State Dog Fizzles

Sorry, Dorothy. An effort to make the Cairn Terrier (shown right), the breed who played Toto in The Wizard of Oz, the official state dog of Kansas has failed — for now, anyway. The House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources declined to hear the bill, effectively killing it for the current session. 

Study Shows That Mammals Can Lose Their Sweet Tooth

Scientists found that seven out of 12 related species, including the sea lion and the harbor seal, had lost the sweet taste receptor. The inability to taste sweetness seemed to be closely related to the animals’ diet — all of those who had lost the sweet receptor were exclusive meat eaters, while those who did have the receptor, including raccoons and red wolves, also ate other things. — Read it at Newswise

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