Pet Scoop: Guide Dog Saves His Trainers, Cicadas More Localized Than Expected

June 13, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Guide dog in training O'Neil is being called a hero for alerting his trainers to an oncoming car.
Guide dog in training O'Neil is being called a hero for alerting his trainers to an oncoming car.

Hero Lab Saves Two Lives

O’Neil, an 18-month-old yellow Labrador Retriever, passed his last test as a guide dog in training with flying colors. He’s being hailed as a hero for alerting his two trainers to an out-of-control car careening down a sidewalk in San Rafael, Calif., on Monday morning. Surveillance video shows trainers Todd Jurek and Danielle Alvarado jumping out of the way as they’re narrowly missed by a car driven by a 93-year-old woman who thought she was stepping on the brakes while parking but accidentally hit the gas, reported KTVU. "So I think O’Neil heard the wheels come up on the curb, so he heard that before I did,” Jurek said. And when the dog turned his head, the trainers realized they needed to move quickly. Luckily, no one was hurt in the incident. — Watch it at NBC Bay Area

Where Are the Cicadas?

If you live in an urban area along the East Coast, you may be feeling disappointed — or relieved — that the Brood II cicadas haven’t emerged from their 17 years underground to sound off as promised (hear them here). The reason? The cicadas are abundant in some areas from North Carolina to Connecticut, but despite estimates of what we would see when they arrived, their populations have been much more localized than expected. Also, in some places, they may have spottier populations due to urban development. — Read it at Scientific American, see a map of cicada sightings and learn about cicadas in Vetstreet’s coverage

Dogs May Help Scientists Treat Human OCD

For the first time, MRI brain scans of eight Doberman Pinschers with CCD (canine compulsive disorder) found that they shared similar brain characteristics to people with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). People with OCD have repetitive rituals that are disruptive to their lives, and dogs with CCD exhibit the same kind of detrimental repetition. Researchers at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in Indiana plan to repeat the experiment with different dog breeds, and say that dogs are the “perfect model” for understanding the anxiety that both humans and canines face and how to treat it. The study was published in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.— Read it at National Geographic

Tracking collars helped researchers study cheetahs' agility.
Tracking collars helped researchers study cheetahs' impressive agility.

Study: Cheetah's Agility Key to Hunting Success

The cheetah is not only the fastest animal on land — but a new study shows that its success at hunting is based in its incredible agility. The animals have the ability to start and stop abruptly, leap sideways or quickly change directions.The cheetah is “really the all-around athlete, the all-around pursuit predator,” said Dr. Alan M. Wilson, a professor at the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London. Wilson's team built a solar-charged tracking collar that uses an accelerometer, a gyroscope and GPS technology to monitor the movements of cheetahs in Botswana. They found, for example, that the cheetah can slow down by as much as 9 mph in a single stride. Their findings were published in the journal Nature. — Read it at The New York Times

Kitten Survives 284-Mile Ride in Semi’s Engine

A little black kitten in Wisconsin managed to squeeze its way into the engine compartment of a semi truck. When the truck driver was pulled over for speeding in Sugar Grove, Ill., 284 miles into his journey, the police officer heard meowing coming from under the hood. They found the kitten and brought it to Kane County Animal Shelter, where it was found to be in good condition and in good spirits. The staff there has named the little one E.B., for engine block. — Read it at Paw Nation


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