Pet Scoop: Girl Gets Stolen Dog Back, Comfort Dogs Will Return to Newtown

Dec. 27, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Mia Bendray was happily reunited with Marley in Christmas Day.
Mia Bendray was happily reunited with Marley in Christmas Day.

“Christmas Miracle” for 7-Year-Old

When a thief unhooked her dog’s leash from outside a Manhattan shop and took off with him on the day before Christmas, little Mia Bendray was devastated. But on Christmas Day, her wish came true, and she was reunited with her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Marley — thanks to a Good Samaritan. Tina Cohen, a high school teacher, saw a man in a park trying to sell a dog on Christmas Day. "I said that's not right,” she said. So, she bought the dog for $220, and took him straight to a veterinarian to have him scanned for a microchip, which showed that he belonged to Mia. The two were happily reunited two hours later. "The Grinch didn't win today," said Mia’s mom, Angie Estrada. The alleged culprit has been taken into custody. — Watch it at ABC News

Tigers Make a Comeback in Key Areas

The number of tigers worldwide continues to hover at an all-time low, but the Wildlife Conservation Society says significant progress has been made in southwestern India, Thailand and Russia. The improvement is thanks to better law enforcement to protect the big cats from poaching, habitat conservation efforts and strong cooperation from the countries’ governments, according to the WCS. “These recent developments clearly show how smart strategies and strong partnerships are ensuring tigers are saved for centuries to come," said Cristián Samper, WCS president and CEO.— Read it at Science Daily

Cat Found in Cactus Gets a New Home

Prickly Pete earned his name. The orange and white cat was rescued by the Arizona Humane Society last week, when he was found trapped in a cactus, with dozens of cactus spines stuck all over his body. It took the animal care team two hours to remove all of the spines. But now he has happy news. Jean Mann, who went to the shelter to pick out a cat as a Christmas gift for her granddaughter, fell in love with Pete and said she wanted to give him a loving home after all that he’d been through. “I can’t imagine that he survived, and he’s such a nice kitty,” Mann said. “He’s gonna get a lot of loving.”— Read it at the New York Daily News

Two orphaned cubs are being cared for by a forester in Russia.
Two orphaned cubs are being cared for by a forester in Russia.

Man Adopts Orphaned Bear Cubs

Found in the Sakhalin region of Russia, two 3-month-old bear cubs, whose mother was apparently killed by hunters, have been taken in by the area’s chief forester. Moshka and Mishka, who are too young to survive on their own, will stay with the ranger until they’re big enough to send to a rehabilitation center for wild animals. — Watch it at Today

Therapy Dogs Return to Sandy Hook

Ten Golden Retrievers from the Chicago-based Lutheran Church Charities’ K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs team, who brought much-needed smiles to children in Newtown, Conn., in the immediate aftermath of the school shooting there, will make the 900-mile trip again next week. The dogs and their handlers plan to leave Chicago early on New Year’s Day to be there when schools open on Tuesday. If you’d like to help cover the cost of the dogs’ travel expenses, you can do so at Razoo. — Watch it at Chicago’s ABC 7

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