Pet Scoop: “Happiest Dog in America” Needs a Home, Cat Video Film Festival Debuts

August 30, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Batman, the "Happiest Dog in America," needs a forever home.
Batman, the "Happiest Dog in America," needs a forever home.

America’s “Happiest Dog” Doesn’t Let Trials Get Him Down

Meet Batman the Superdog. Even after being hit by a car in Taiwan a year ago and left to suffer in an alley for days, he still had such spirit that veterinarians couldn’t bear to put him down. Instead, they sent him to the University of California, Davis, where a second-year veterinary student has been fostering him. Now, Batman, who gets around with the help of rear wheels and sometimes sports a cape, has won the title of “Happiest Dog in America” from the HUB TV network. “He’s just a happy-go-lucky, fun guy,” says Batman’s foster mom. “He has no idea that he’s technically handicapped in any way.” She’s hoping the attention from his new title will win him what he really needs: a permanent home. — Watch it at CBS Sacramento

Shelter Animals Evacuated From Isaac’s Path

The SPCA of Texas has taken in 181 cats and dogs who were living in shelters that were in Hurricane Isaac’s path. The animals were evacuated from the New Orleans and Gulfport, Miss., facilities ahead of the storm so the staff there would be able respond to animals in crisis. A group of shelters in the region put a transfer system in place after Hurricane Katrina to make sure animals were taken care of. — See photos at ABC News

Study Finds Black Bears Can “Count”

New research published in the journal Animal Behaviour finds black bears are as smart as primates — but their cognitive abilities haven’t been studied as much. Experiments involving black bears at the Mobile Zoo in Alabama found that at least one of the bears could discriminate between numbers when he was tested using touch screens. It suggested he could “count” the dots in two different images to determine which would earn him a treat. — Read it at National Geographic

Cat Film Festival Shows Best “Meow-vies”

The highly regarded Walker Art Center in Minneapolis presents its first “Internet Cat Video Film Festival" tonight. Around 70 of the cat videos you might normally watch from the privacy of your own computer will be shown on an outdoor screen at the museum. The videos, which add up to an hour’s worth of indulgence, were selected from 10,000 submissions, and programmers from the Walker will present the “Golden Kitty Award” at the end of the night. — Read it at AP via the Huffington Post

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire Team Up for Anti-Poaching Movie

The stars are joining actor Tom Hardy to produce a drama about animal trafficking. DiCaprio, a long-time animal rights activist, is the spokesman for a campaign to protect elephants. It’s unclear whether the three will act in the Warner Bros. film. — Read it at the Hollywood Reporter

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