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Jan. 4, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Joe R. wasn’t expecting to go home with a cat after bringing his car in for an oil change four days before Christmas. But while he was waiting for mechanics to finish with his own car, another car pulled in — and technicians opened the hood to find a 6-month-old cat trapped near the engine block. Joe rushed out to help. “I started working to get her out, and a mechanic helped me. She was meowing and meowing,” Joe said. “After a little work, I removed her.” He called his girlfriend, who arrived with a cat carrier and food for the hungry kitten. They brought her to the ASPCA, where veterinarians found Baby was suffering from a broken jaw and teeth, and an infection in her uterus. She was stabilized and treated. Joe and his girlfriend, Teri, officially adopted her on Christmas Eve. Baby is kicking of 2016 recovering at her new home. — Read it from the ASPCA
Thirty years after he was captured by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a rare California condor was released last week at the same spot where he was found. The 35-year-old bird was one of only 23 of his species left in the world in the 1980s. Dubbed AC-4, he sired 30 condor chicks who have been released into the wild. This year, biologists found 19 wild condor nests in central and Southern California — more than at any point this century. When he was released, AC-4 took a few minutes to get his bearings and then soared out over the canyon at Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Biologists are hopeful that he’ll find a mate before courting season ends this winter. — Read it from the AP via ABC News
A Minnesota man was driving past an icy river when he spotted a young deer struggling to survive. Although authorities always recommend calling 911 if an animal needs help on the ice, Steven Peterson decided to step in himself because he is deaf and thought the process of trying to communicate with the police would take “time that the deer did not have.” In a video posted to YouTube, he uses sign language to describe the rescue. "I felt obligated to help her, so I pulled over, trekked through the woods, and crawled out onto the ice," he signs. "I used a rope to pull her out. I am so glad she is safe." He said he named the deer “Miss Ice River,” and that he thought she was in good condition when he left. — Read it at NBC Washington
A rescue dog became a rescuer herself in Suffolk, Virginia, last week. Rebecca Burley was headed out to volunteer at her local animal shelter Tuesday when her Labrador Retriever mix, Roxanne, begged for a walk. They headed out on their usual route, and Burley noticed a heavy police presence in the area. A police officer pulled up and asked her if she’d seen a woman walking around in a nightgown. Burley hadn’t, but said she’d keep an eye out for the missing woman. Minutes later, it was Roxanne who found the elderly woman. "She pulled me towards a ditch, and there was a woman laying down in a nightgown, it turns out she was in some kind of distress," said Burley. Burley alerted the authorities, who transported the woman to the hospital. And Roxanne was rewarded with an extra cookie after her walk. — Read it at Virginia’s 13 News Now
Feline forever friends Max, 16, and Mojo, 11, grew up in the same home together, but they had to be placed in separate cages when they entered the Anne Arundel County Animal Control shelter in Maryland in November. After only a few weeks, Mojo was adopted. But his new human had met Max, too, and just couldn’t get him out of her mind. So, on the day after Christmas, she went back to the shelter and brought Max home to join Mojo. "The idea of him living out his life in a cage just broke my heart," she said. Now, Max has been happily reunited with his pal Mojo. — See photo at the Huffington Post
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