Pet Scoop: Girl and Cat Reunite Almost Exactly a Year Later, Mice Could Help Blind Humans

July 31, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Carlie Sheridan is reunited with her cat, Splash.
Courtesy Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Carlie Sheridan with her cat, Splash.

Cat Returns to Her Family Almost a Year to the Day She Went MIA

When Carlie Sheridan's family moved from California to Nevada, her orange tabby, Splash, wandered off. “There was no sign of Splash anywhere,” said the 8-year-old’s mother, Mandie. The family was heartbroken, until they got a call last week from a local animal control officer informing them that their cat had been found, thanks to a microchip — almost exactly a year after he disappeared. According to mom, “Carlie was so excited that we couldn’t get into the car fast enough.” — Read it at Fox Reno

Scientists Investigate the Bonds Between Bovines

Researchers in the U.K. are working on a three-year study to unlock the secrets of cows’ social structures by using collars with radio signals to determine just how close the ties are among bovines. “Cows are social animals that form important group structures, and the addition or removal of animals from an established group can significantly alter its dynamics,” said the study’s head researcher. The hope is that farmers can utilize the information to improve the health and welfare of herds, as well as produce more milk. — Read it at the Belfast Telegraph

Blind Mice Could Be a Boon to Blind Humans

In a study at the University of Washington and the University of California, researchers found that when they injected a compound called AAQ into the eyes of a blind mouse, the animal behaved as if it could see. The pupils would dilate and shrink, and the animal tried to flee from light. It will take years to determine how much AAQ could improve human sight. — Read it at NPR

One of the sea turtles heads for the water in Florida.

Sea Turtles Head to Open Waters in a “Tour de Turtle”

The Sea Turtle Conservancy outfitted 13 loggerhead sea turtles with transponders before releasing them in Florida. The group plans to track how far the animals will migrate over the next three months. Despite its name, this isn't really a competition — conservationists hope to learn more about where the turtles go and why. — Watch it at CNN

High Design for London Olympics Equestrian Course

Capitalizing on the opportunity to get the attention of a wider audience, the equestrian eventing grounds at this year's Olympics feature a fanciful layout that a team worked on conceiving for five years. The design for the cross-country fences includes a diamond-shaped hedge to represent the queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as well as a chess table and a crescent moon. — Read it at The New York Times

Cat Passes Time By Watching a Puppy Cam

Baba the cat has a new hobby: watching a live feed of Golden Retriever puppies on his owner’s laptop — and even taking a nap along with the litter of future service dogs. — See the photos at the Huffington Post

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