Pet Scoop: Hurricane Sandy Pets Still Displaced, Kittens Rescued at Miami Airport

Oct. 29, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Junior and Papi were surrendered by their New Jersey owner and are still in need of a new home together.
Junior and Papi were surrendered by their New Jersey owner and are still in need of a new home together.
Sandy Pets Still Waiting for Homes

On the one-year anniversary of the massive Superstorm Sandy, hundreds of pets who were lost or abandoned a year ago when the storm hit the Northeast are still waiting to be found or adopted. While hundreds of pets have been reunited with their owners, some families who lost their homes had no choice but to surrender their pets to shelters, while others, unfortunately, left their cats and dogs on their own. Some of the animals are now strays, and many others are waiting for homes in rescues and shelters all over the country. The Facebook page Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets “hasn’t lost any of its steam” a year later, said Caitlin Stewart, who has a flyer posted on Facebook to thank them for her reunion with her cat at Christmas time. — Read it at NBC News

Algorithm Identifies Dolphin Whistles

A new study finds that a computer algorithm can distinguish the signature whistles of bottlenose dolphins with more accuracy than a spectrograph, which has been used in the past. Researchers from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis used Parsons code, an algorithm developed in 1975, to analyze 400 whistles made by 20 dolphins. The algorithm accounts for more variation in the dolphins’ whistles than the spectrograph analysis. “Sometimes the dolphin sings a little longer, sometimes a little higher,” said lead author Dr. Arik Kershenbaum. “And there’s all sorts of acoustic variation underwater.” The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at The New York Times

Climate Change Helps Some Grizzly Bears

For many species, climate change can be devastating. But it may actually have a silver lining for threatened grizzly bears in Alberta, Canada. A 10-year study of 112 bears in Alberta's Rocky Mountain region finds that the warmer temperatures and easier access to food linked to forest disturbances helped the bears build more body fat, which improves the chances for successful reproduction for grizzly moms. "We hypothesize that warmer temperatures in this ecosystem, especially during late winter and spring, may not be such a bad thing for grizzlies," said University of Alberta biologist Scott Nielsen. The study was published in the journal BMC Ecology. — Read it at Science Daily

Miami Dade firefighters rescued three kittens from the ceiling at Miami International Airport, and are now looking for homes for them.
Miami Dade firefighters rescued three kittens from the ceiling at Miami International Airport, and are now looking for homes for them.

Firefighters Save Three Kittens

When a traveler complained of noise in the ceiling at Terminal J in Miami International Airport on Saturday, the authorities were called in. The culprit? Three tiny kittens, who were apparently making a ruckus. The trio was rescued by the Miami Dade fire department, but their mom was nowhere to be found, and it’s unclear how they wound up in the ceiling. The kittens were given food and medical care — and posed for photos with the firefighters. They’re currently in the care of the fire department, while the firefighters look for good homes for them. — Read it at Paw Nation

Giraffe Pictures Take Over Facebook

Have the last couple of days left you wondering why so many of your friends have become such fans of giraffes that they changed their Facebook profile pictures to images of the long-necked animals? While giraffes are certainly beautiful, it turns out that the reason for the change is that those people answered a riddle incorrectly. This week’s trend on Facebook has been for someone to post a riddle, and tell their friends to send them a private message with their answer. If the person gets it wrong, he or she has to change their profile picture to a giraffe. — Read it at the Huffington Post

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