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August 18, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Curtis Young, a Florida firefighter, credits his tiny dog with saving him from cancer — twice. Young says Sabrina, a Miniature Pinscher, had an annoying habit of biting, scratching and digging at the back of his head while he sat on the couch. Finally, Young asked his doctor about it, and an MRI confirmed he had a cancerous brain tumor. After surgery and a year on light duty, Young is back at work as a firefighter. But Sabrina, 13, wasn’t done playing her role as hero. Two weeks ago, she started nipping at a spot on Young’s back. It turned out to be basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. "As far as special, she's beyond special," Young said of Sabrina. "There's nothing that comes between me and her … There's no way I could repay her for what she did.” — Watch it at Florida Today
A Belgian non-profit, APOPO, is using African giant pouched rats to identify the airborne bacterial disease tuberculosis (TB) in Tanzania and Mozambique. They’re able to find TB in human mucus much faster than humans. "What the rats are trained to do is associate the smell of TB with a reward, so it's what they call operative conditioning," said Emilio Valverde, who runs the APOPO rat program in Mozambique. The disease was blamed for 480,000 deaths in Africa in 2012. — Read it at National Geographic
On Friday, the USDA announced a new rule to prohibit dogs from foreign puppy mills from entering the country. Under the rule, dogs must be at least 6 months old and in good health to enter the U.S. for resale. The rule won’t stop people from transporting their own pets in and out of the U.S. The Humane Society says tens of thousands of puppies are shipped from poorly regulated countries to the U.S. to be sold each year. They said many are too young to be weaned and arrive sick, with some dying shortly after they’re purchased. With this announcement, “we’ve taken a major step as a nation to protect dogs from cruelty at home and abroad,” writes the Humane Society’s CEO, Wayne Pacelle. — Read it from the Humane Society
Cheeser, a 10-month-old Pit Bull mix, has had a wild week that fortunately ended with a loving new home. Officials say two men and a woman stole the puppy from the South Suburban Humane Society in Chicago Heights Wednesday night. They were caught on surveillance video taking the pup and fleeing in a black Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Cheeser, who got his name because he’s always smiling, was returned to the shelter the next day by a family member of one of the alleged thieves. On Saturday, the shelter announced that there was happy news for Cheeser: he was headed to a new life with a family with two kids and another dog. His new family reports that he’s a “great dog” who’s fitting right in at their home. The shelter plans to press charges against the thieves. — Read it at NBC Chicago
A lucky black and gray cat named Gizmo suffered only minor injuries after falling from a 12th-floor penthouse terrace at a Manhattan apartment building last week. The Egyptian Mau landed on the roof of the third floor, narrowly missing a skylight. Owner Samuel Jacobs couldn’t find his cat when he returned from a doctor’s appointment and eventually spotted him in on the third floor roof. He climbed through a neighbor’s apartment to rescue his cat. “I just looked at him and he had this look of relief,” said Jacobs. “He was crying and yelling. He was so freaked out.” Jacobs rushed Gizmo to the veterinarian. Amazingly, the cat only suffered some scratches and a broken tooth in the ordeal. — Read it at New York Daily News
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