Pet Scoop: Excited Police Dog Reunited With Owner, Firefighters Save Cat From Well

May 12, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Thames was clearly happy to see his handler when he was found on a New Zealand mountain.
Thames was clearly happy to see his handler when he was found on a New Zealand mountain.

Video Captures Touching Reunion

A New Zealand police officer and his search and rescue dog, Thames, had a heartwarming reunion on a mountain Sunday — seven days after the German Shepherd disappeared during a training exercise. The 4-year-old dog’s handler, Constable Mike Wakefield of the Masterton Police, was part of a search team looking for Thames. On Sunday, they found the dog safe in a bush. Wakefield describes the rescue in a video, where he’s adorably smothered with love from his excited and relieved dog. “As you can see, he’s really happy to see me, and I’m really happy to see him,” Wakefield says in the video. "He wolfed down half of my salami, which is a treat for him, I gave him a cuddle and we had a big play," he said in a police statement. "I was just lost for words." Thames was described as "hungry, and a bit skinnier in the haunches after a week of foraging," but he was well enough to walk out to the road with the team. He and Wakefield are now resting at home. — Watch it at ABC News

Cat Pulled From 10-Foot Dry Well

Firefighters in Long Island, New York, came to the rescue of a cat who was stranded at the bottom of a dry, 10-foot well Sunday night. Roscoe had been missing for two weeks when neighbors heard his faint meows coming from the hole. Residents called the fire department for help and gathered around the well with Roscoe’s owner, Sandy Valenti. “He just started meowing like crazy as soon as he heard my voice,’’ Valenti said. The waiting crowd cheered when firefighters brought Roscoe to the surface. “It feels good when you bring them back to their owners,” said fire chief John Madden. “Considering that’s all I said I wanted for Mother’s Day, it was the perfect gift,” said Valenti, who cried as she clutched her cat. — See photos at the New York Post

Study: Distant Light Can Confuse Sea Turtle Hatchlings

Researchers in Australia found that the sky glow from Gladstone, a large port and city, can disrupt the sea-finding ability of flatback turtle hatchlings off the Queensland coast — even though it’s nine miles away. Female marine turtles lay their eggs on the beach and then leave them there. The turtles usually hatch at night and rely on environmental cues to help them find their way to the ocean. “This is the first study to find that flatback turtle hatchlings are affected by light glow a fair distance away,” said lead author Dr. Ruth Kamrowski, who did the research while at James Cook University. The light on the horizon can disorient the hatchlings. “They either wander around in circles for hours because they can’t figure out which direction to go in or they actually head very decidedly in the wrong direction and end up on roads or getting eaten,” she said. The study was published in the journal Wildlife Research. — Read it at Discovery News

A Tennessee sheriff's deputy brought Abby the dog back to life after finding her unconscious in a house fire.
A Tennessee sheriff's deputy brought Abby the dog back to life after finding her unconscious in a house fire.

Sheriff’s Deputy Resuscitates Dog

Sgt. Jon Levi was the first to arrive at the scene of an electrical fire at Pam Curray’s home in Lascassas, Tennessee, Wednesday. When a family member asked if the dog, a 5-year-old Bichon Frise named Abby, had gotten out safe, he entered the smoke-filled home to look for her. He found Abby unconscious and brought her outside, where he gave her mouth-to-snout resuscitation. After a few breaths, Abby started breathing on her own again. “To be honest with you, my first reaction was, ‘Wow. It worked,’” Levi said. The deputy had a reunion with Abby and her owner Monday. Abby is expected to make a full recovery. — Read it at Tennessee’s WKRN and find out about getting certified in pet CPR

Cats Take Up Residence at Disneyland

There's one mouse stray cats apparently don't mind being around — Mickey Mouse. A Disneyland spokesman wouldn’t comment on the feline residents, except to acknowledge they exist. But Disney has been known to take care of the cats, who keep rodents away. Disney cats have a cult following, with their own Twitter handle, @disneylandcats and an Instagram account that features photos of felines in the park. — Read it at the Los Angeles Times


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