Pet Scoop: Hunting Hound Finds Missing Toddler, Dog Saved in Swift Water Rescue

March 1, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Three-year-old Eli Alcock is now buddies with Honey, the hunting dog who found him in the woods.
Three-year-old Eli Alcock is now buddies with Honey, the hunting dog who found him in the woods.

Dog Tracks Down Missing Boy

Last week, 3-year-old Eli Alcock went missing in Florien, Louisiana. His panicked mom, Lindsy, called the sheriff’s department and area friends, and a search began. Soon, local pastor Doug Downs got a call to see if he could help — with a partner who’s known for his powerful nose. Honey, his Bloodhound, has been tracking deer with Downs for three years, but had never before searched for a person. Still, Downs was willing to try anything. “The pressure was on, because you’re asked to come perform something that you’ve never done before,” he said. Hours later Honey found the little boy safe in the woods. “Of course I was ecstatic, thanking God … it was amazing,” said Lindsy Alcock. Now, Eli and Honey have become good buddies. “The good Lord was watching over us that night … he showed up through a 4-legged dog,” Downs said. — Watch it at NBC News

Monarch Butterfly Numbers Surge in Mexico

After years of declines, a survey of monarch butterfly wintering grounds in Mexico’s forests found their population was nearly three and a half times greater than it was last winter. The World Wildlife Fund Mexico said the butterflies covered nearly 10 acres of the forests. Still, there aren’t nearly as many of them as there were 20 years ago, when they covered as many as 44 acres. The butterflies are known for migrating up to 2,800 miles from the U.S. and Canada each year but they’ve suffered due to a decline in milkweed, which they use to lay their eggs. The plant has been hurt by pesticides and destroyed by land development. — Read it at CBS News

Study: Chimps’ Stone Throwing Is a Mystery

In a behavior that hasn’t been seen before, chimps in West Africa have been observed throwing stones at trees, with the stones accumulating next to or in the hollows of trees. The behavior was caught on video by camera traps. It was exhibited mostly by adult male chimps, who made hooting noises while throwing the stones. “This represents the first record of repeated observations of individual chimpanzees exhibiting stone tool use for a purpose other than extractive foraging at what appear to be targeted trees,” the authors of the study wrote. It’s not clear why the chimps throw the stones, but the researchers theorized that the animals could be creating a pathway or territory signpost. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Discovery News

A dog stranded on the other side of a rushing river in Washington was rescued by two volunteer teams on Saturday.
A dog stranded on the other side of a rushing river in Washington was rescued by two volunteer teams on Saturday.

Dog Stranded Across River Rescued

Two volunteer teams came to the rescue of a mixed breed dog who was stranded across a Washington state river with fast-moving rapids on Saturday. A woman who had rented a cabin along the Nooksack River could hear the dog barking for her attention, but because of the rushing river, she couldn’t get to him to help. The Washington State Animal Response Team (WSART) responded but needed help with the swift water rescue from the Summit to Sound Search & Rescue. In a complicated effort, the teams worked to get Marcia, one of the rescuers, across the river, where she had to battle steep hills with thorny plants to get to the scared dog and win his trust. Eventually, she was able to secure him by the collar and worked with another rescuer to get him back to the other side of the river, where he was fed and taken to an emergency vet. He was a bit underweight but otherwise healthy. Although he was wearing a collar, the dog did not have tags or a microchip. The Whatcom Humane Society is trying to find his owner, but if one isn’t found, he’ll be put up for adoption. — Read it and see photos from WSART via Facebook

Subway Cat Needs a Home

Subway Dunford was scared when police rescued him from the New York City subway in the Bronx last week, but now he’s revealed himself to be a “delight.” Magnificat Cat Rescue said in a Facebook post that he gets along with other cats and is “utterly relaxed around cameras and dogs.” The rescue calls Dunford the “nicest cat that ever came out of the New York City subway.” He's being fostered now and they’re still looking for the perfect home for him. — Read it at the Huffington Post


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