Pet Scoop: Family Reunited With Dog After Two Years, Kittens Rescued From Dump

June 24, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Murphy the Golden Retriever has been reunited with the Braun family nearly two years after going missing at a campground.
Murphy the Golden Retriever has been reunited with the Braun family nearly two years after going missing at a campground.

Dog Survived in Wilderness

A California family has confirmed a dog found at a campground in the Tahoe National Forest is their missing dog, Murphy, after finding an identifying scar. The Golden Retriever disappeared while camping with the Braun family in October 2012, when she was 5 years old. The family never gave up hope of finding her, continuing to search the forest and put up fliers with her photo. Then, earlier this month, they got a call saying a Golden had been spotted about 11 miles from where Murphy had been lost. They brought her blanket and Nathan Braun’s hat to the campground’s manager, Jason Smith, who set it out on the ground. When he looked outside in the morning, he saw the dog curled up on the blanket. “Right then I knew, that’s their dog,” Smith said. Murphy’s appearance had changed after two years on her own in the forest, and the family was worried that it might not be the same dog. But they brought her home, and are now confident it’s really their Murphy, after finding a distinctive scar on her elbow and seeing her comfort level with them. “It’s truly her, I mean, it’s just an unbelievable story,” said Erin Braun. — Watch it at ABC News

Poop Stains Show Penguins Migrate With Changing Climate

Researchers are tracking the movement of emperor penguins in Antarctica by studying the dark droppings they leave behind on white ice in satellite images. The penguins return to the same place every year to breed, but they’ve been forced to find new breeding grounds because of rising temperatures and receding ice. "They are the only species living on the very white ice and they leave a very brown stain — it's pretty obvious," said Michelle LaRue, a researcher at the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The study suggests that the penguins may be adapting to climate change better than previously thought. The findings will be published in the journal Ecography. — Read it at Live Science

Shark Attacks Expected to Rise

Experts are predicting there will be more shark attacks this summer than there were last summer. "Each year, more people are going into the water," making the chances of a shark encounter greater, said George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research. "We're also seeing a rise in numbers of sharks on both coasts." In addition, "global climate change has resulted in warmer waters to the north, prompting humans to enter waters earlier in the season, staying in them later," he said. He advises beach goers to stay in groups, stay out of the water between dusk and dawn, avoid areas like lagoons where sharks congregate and avoid wearing shiny jewelry. — Read it at Discovery News


Six kittens have a surrogate mom after being found at a dump in Maine.
Six kittens have a surrogate mom after being found at a dump in Maine.

Kittens Rescued From Dump

Steven Gregoire, a transfer station worker in Maine, found six kittens behind an electrical panel at the garbage facility last week. He handed them off to a local resident, who brought them to Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County. There, they were taken in by Mittens, a resident who’d recently had her own kittens and was happy to be their surrogate mom. They’re staying in foster care with Mittens until they’re ready to be adopted in about six weeks. Gregoire said he’s first on the list to adopt one of the kittens he saved. — Read it at Life With Cats

Obie the Dachshund Sheds 54 Pounds

Thanks to a low-carb, high-fiber diet and regular exercise, a Dachshund from Oregon who became a media sensation in 2012 because he weighed 77 pounds is now down to a healthy weight. "He was eating only people food before, so it took a little bit of a transition to get him on dog food," his owner, Nora Vanatta said on a Today show appearance Monday. Obie previously belonged to an elderly couple who overfed him. "He is perfect at this weight. I got him down to 21 pounds, but he looks better at 23,” Vanatta said. — Read it at Today


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