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Oct. 5, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Ten-year-old Marissa Mabanag said that she’d give up all of the money in her piggy bank if she could just have her puppy back. Meeko, a Shih Tzu-Yorkie mix, had been snatched by thieves who broke into her family’s San Jose, Calif., home on Monday. Police and firefighters’ unions kicked in more cash, bringing the reward to $6,000. On Thursday, Marissa came home from school to find Meeko, who'd been located about 80 miles away, waiting for her. The woman who found the pup accepted the reward from the unions — but handed Marissa's piggy bank back to her. "I just can't believe that he's in my arms right now," said Marissa. — Read it at the San Jose Mercury News, and watch it at NBC Bay Area
Plus: There was another happy reunion on Thursday: Chase, the dog at the center of a 5-month legal battle in Oregon, was returned to his original owner, Sam Hanson-Fleming. Hanson-Fleming had lost the Husky mix more than a year ago, and the woman who found him, Jordan Biggs, had refused to give him up. That fight isn’t over just yet — Biggs has asked a court to name her as the pup’s legal owner. For now, Chase was happy to be leaving the Oregon Humane Society, where he’s lived for over two months pending a decision from a county judge over custody. — Watch it at Oregon Live
As the flu season approaches, veterinary health experts are becoming increasingly concerned about humans passing the virus — particularly the H1N1 strain — to their pets. Researchers at Oregon State University have identified 13 cats and one dog who appeared to have contracted the H1N1 infection in 2011 and 2012 from humans. (Some pet ferrets were also affected.) All of the animals showed symptoms similar to those in people, including severe respiratory disease, and some of the cases were fatal. — Read it at Discovery News
Seventy fox squirrels who live on the campus of the University of California Berkeley have a long-term strategy for hoarding nuts during the winter months, when many campus trees stop producing them. Researchers found that, in addition to acorns, the critters also hoard and retrieve pine nuts, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts — diversifying their investments. "Think of them as little bankers depositing money and spreading it out in different funds, and doing some management of those funds," said Mikel Delgado, a doctoral psychology student affiliated with the study. The researchers are also investigating how the squirrels use spatial cues to find their buried treasures. — Read it at Live Science
The satirical host of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report often appears in character, but when this furry fan wanted to hug it out at an event to mark the debut of his new book, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't, Colbert was quite genuine. After reading from his new book, and taking questions at a New York City Barnes and Noble, the comedian picked up the leash-wearing orange cat, who was sitting with an audience member, for a cuddle. — Read it at People Pets
The chicken jerky treats, made by Kasel Associated Industries, are being recalled due to a risk of salmonella. The treats were distributed to 57 Sam’s Club locations in Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. — Read it at DVM 360
All Petco stores will host events to help find loving homes for shelter pets on Saturday and Sunday. As part of its Think Adoption First philosophy, the retailer works with more than 8,000 local animal welfare groups across the country. — Find out more on Petco’s Facebook page
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