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April 22, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy is learning to walk again with the help of one big friend. Hunter VanBrocklin, who lives in Maine, had surgery for hip dysplasia in January. He’s now getting around with assistance from his mobility service dog, a Great Dane named Wendy who was trained by the Service Dog Project in Massachusetts and donated to the family. “She's a buddy and she's with me all the time. She's my best friend,” said the fourth grader, who’s had Wendy since 2013. “Walking is my favorite thing in the entire world. Wendy nudges me and helps me get off the ground when I fall over.” Wendy helps Hunter maintain his balance while walking, and he puts his two hands on her to step up on curbs together. “She protects him everywhere they go. It's like having an extra parent around, she doesn't take her eyes off of him,” said Hunter’s mom, Kelly. You can follow Hunter and Wendy’s adventures on Facebook. — Read it at People Pets
Skipper was happy to see the Hoboken firefighters who came to his rescue after the dog wound up perilously perched on a ledge outside his apartment on Tuesday morning. “Skipper broke through a screen and decided to enjoy the nice weather out on the Veranda,” said the department’s spokesman, Juan Melli. Skipper’s owner, who wasn’t home at the time of the incident, told local blogger Hoboken Girl that a fire alarm in their apartment had a low battery and started beeping. “Skip hates beeping noises. They make him super anxious. He broke through the screen on the window and climbed out onto the ledge to escape the noise,” he said. The dog was on the ledge for about 30 minutes, and didn’t move a muscle until the firefighters arrived to save him. — Read it at Fox News
Three rare red-ruffed lemurs were born on April 5 to 6-year-old Molly at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The animal care staff reports that Molly has been nursing and caring for her babies in her nest, and they appear to be healthy and strong. It’s common for the critically endangered lemurs to give birth to three babies in a litter. While most primates carry their offspring with them, red-ruffed lemurs leave them in their nests when they go in search of food. The lemurs are native to Madagascar. — See photos from the National Zoo
A South Carolina family is “over the moon to have their dog back” after a fateful visit to an animal shelter. Buddy went missing two years ago when the Cromers were moving. They searched for him for a year, but finally assumed someone else had taken him in. Then, on April 13, April Cromer was waiting at a shopping center to meet a friend for lunch, and decided to wander into Greenville County Animal Care to see the pets who were up for adoption. As she was looking at the dogs, a familiar face caught her attention. “I was like 'No way,'” she said. “Then I looked again and was like, ‘Buddy Jack?’ and he just started jumping.” She brought her husband back to make sure it was really Buddy. “At first the dog was a little timid but then they started asking him to do his tricks and the dog did it, and at that point they realized it was him, and Buddy realized these were his people,” said the shelter’s community relations coordinator, Paula Church. “The way he reacted ... and the hugs and kisses from the puppy, was just all really sweet.” The dog had only been at the shelter for about a week, after he’d been found by an animal control officer running loose. — Watch it at ABC News
We have one more happy reunion to tell you about, and this time it’s for a cat. Ralph, a Persian, went missing from his home in Melbourne, Australia, five years ago. The now 9-year-old cat was scanned for a microchip when he was brought into the RSPCA in Victoria, and the staff managed to track down his owner, Amanda Handcock. Handcock had since moved, but immediately jumped into her car and made the 8-hour trek from New South Wales to pick Ralph up. “I still can’t believe he has been found, I never thought I’d see him again,” she said. “Ralph is irreplaceable.” — Read it at Australia’s Ten Eyewitness News
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