Pet Scoop: Great Dane Helps 11-Year-Old Girl Walk, Firefighters Save Dog From 25-Foot Well

Nov. 12, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Bella gets around with help from her Great Dane service dog, George.
Bella gets around with help from her Great Dane service dog, George.

Great Dane Becomes Girl’s BFF

Bella, an 11-year-old girl who once relied on crutches to get around, is now walking — and even running — with the help of her Great Dane service dog, George. The Massachusetts girl was born with a rare genetic disorder that causes problems with development and growth. Two-year-old George was trained to help people with mobility issues. Bella first met him in January, and they quickly become best friends and constant companions. He now goes to school with her, walking her from class to class and sleeping at her feet, and keeps her company during her weekly 6-hour infusion of a medicine that gives her energy. "I don't remember the last time I watched my child run through the yard," said Rachel Burton, Bella's mom. "Seeing her just run was amazing to us." Next month, Bella and her family will travel to Florida, where George will be honored by the American Kennel Club for his impact on the family. — Read it at Today and watch it from WABG’s Tanya Carter in Massachusetts

Study: Chimps Found Caring for Disabled Infant

Japanese researchers discovered a chimpanzee mom caring for a “severely disabled” infant chimpanzee in the wild in Tanzania in 2011. They recorded the troop’s behavior for two years, observing how the mother and the infant’s sister helped her survive for 23 months in the wild. The mother and sister were observed supporting the baby’s body while she nursed. "Usually, a chimpanzee baby can hang onto their care-giver by itself, but this infant's legs were not powerful enough," said Michio Nakamura, associate professor at Kyoto University's Wildlife Research Center. "It is the first time it was observed in the wild that a disabled chimpanzee was receiving social care." The young chimp then disappeared, and sadly, researchers believe she died. Researchers hope the study, which was published in the journal Primates, will help in understanding the evolution of social care in humans. — Read it from Agence France Presse via Yahoo

Dog Unscathed After 25-Foot Fall Into Well

Firefighters in Taunton, Massachusetts, used a system of harnesses with ropes and an extension ladder to lift a scared Goldendoodle from the bottom of a 25-foot well in his yard. Owner Lorienn Higgins called for help when she realized Buddy had tumbled into the unused well Tuesday morning. "Thank God there was only a foot of water in that well," said Taunton Fire Lt. Tom Bernier. Amazingly, Buddy wasn’t injured in the incident. "I was just so happy that he was OK," Higgins said. The fire department recommends homeowners check for unused wells on their property and make sure they are secured. — Read it at Boston’s WCVB

Seven-week-old Uma, who was nursed back to health at the ASPCA's Kitten Nursery, plays with the tassel on his caregiver's mortarboard.
Seven-week-old Uma, who was nursed back to health at the ASPCA's Kitten Nursery, plays with the tassel on his caregiver's mortarboard.

1,500 ASPCA Kittens Graduate

With two dozen caretakers wearing orange mortarboards and carrying adorable kittens, the ASPCA celebrated the graduation of 1,500 kittens from its Kitten Nursery Tuesday. All of the babies had made their way through the nursery since it opened for kitten season in May. More than 50 members of the ASPCA’s staff worked 24/7 in 9-hour shifts to care for kittens who were too young to survive on their own. “The road you faced was one of uncertainty, but now you are ready for the next phase of your life — adoption,” Gail Buchwald, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Adoption Center, told the feline graduates. “We can’t give these kittens diplomas, but we can get them into safe and loving homes.” — Read it from the ASPCA

Retired Military Dog Gets New Home on Veterans Day

Bullet, a retired mine detection dog who served with the military in Afghanistan, had some “emotional challenges” to overcome when he was returned to the U.S. and taken in by the non-profit group Mission K9 Rescue. They gave him some time to “decompress” while searching for the right home for him. On Veterans Day, he happily went home with his new owner, Dave Scott, a former canine handler. “Happy Veterans Day sweet Bullet!!! Enjoy your retirement! You deserve it!” Mission K9 Rescue posted on Facebook Wednesday. — See photos from Mission K9 Rescue on Facebook


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