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Dec. 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.
Jax, a German Shepherd, went through training to be a police dog in Oklahoma, but didn’t end up becoming a K9 officer because of his fear of thunder. But on Tuesday night, he put his training to work. Police in Norman, Oklahoma, were chasing a man named Dustin Powell in an allegedly stolen car. At one point, he jumped out of the car and ran behind a nearby home to hide in their shed. It turned out to be Jax’s family’s home, and the dog sprang into action. “He’s not a barker, so if he is out there, there’s someone or something,” said his owner, David Cunningham. Jax kept Powell cornered until police arrived, and the suspect now faces several felony complaints. Now, life has returned to normal for Jax. “Even if it hadn’t been for this, he’s been a great dog,” Cunningham said.— Read it at Oklahoma City’s KOCO
A new analysis by researchers studying golden-winged warblers in Tennessee finds that the small birds detected a severe thunderstorm system that was on its way across the Great Plains in April, and took off for Florida several days in advance of the storm. They returned from their 900-mile round trip several days later. The scientists theorize the birds heard infrasound, a low-frequency noise produced by the storms. It’s an ability never before detected in birds and stunned the scientists. "We were completely blown away by this behavior,” said study co-author Gunnar Kramer of the University of Minnesota. The findings were published in the journal Current Biology. — Read it at National Geographic
Decades after being driven almost to extinction by hunting and the destruction of their habitat in Europe, researchers have found that bears, wolves, Eurasian lynx and wolverines are thriving on the continent — even in areas dominated by humans. They are crediting the shift to strong legal protections for the animals and a relatively tolerant attitude toward the animals that has emerged in recent decades. The study was published in the journal Science. — Read it from AP via Yahoo
A holiday promotional video for the pet food Freshpet is hysterical — and it’s helping animals. The spot features a dining room table with 13 dogs and one cat (who’s seated at the head of the table) dressed up like humans and feasting on a holiday dinner. All of the animals featured in the video are Utah rescue animals — and four of them were up for adoption at the Humane Society of Utah when the video was filmed. "The fact that they could go from a kennel in the shelter to [a] set with lots of distractions and people they have never met before and perform as well as they did just shows how amazing shelter dogs can be," said HSU’s Guinnevere Shuster. While two of them have found homes, Lion the cat and Bear the 7-year-old Pit Bull mix from the video are still up for adoption. The video has had more than 1.6 million views since it was released Monday, and 40 of the shelter’s other animals have been adopted since then, too. — Read it and watch it at the Huffington Post
Last month, a sanitation worker in Pueblo, Colorado, found a 5-week-old kitten in his garbage truck after hearing cries. Sarah Hubbard and Aaron Haiduk fostered the kitten they named Hermione Hope, and decided to adopt her after she developed a special bond with their other kitten. "They fell in love with each other and separating them would be heartbreaking," said Hubbard. "We brought them home and they cuddled together all the time. They were inseparable. They played all the time." — Watch it at Colorado’s KRDO
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