Pet Scoop: Italian Pooches Get Their Own Gelato, Director Searches for the Next Benji

June 20, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Lara the dog laps up canine-friendly gelato at a pet supply store in Rome.
Lara the dog laps up gelato at a pet supply store in Rome.

Italian Treat of Choice This Summer: Doggie Gelato

It’s the first day of summer and it’s hot, hot, hot across much of the U.S. — and Italy, too. What’s a dog to do? In Rome, they’re following in the footsteps of their human companions and cooling off with some tasty gelato on offer at a pet supply store in town. The special doggie version of the icy treat leaves out ingredients that aren’t safe for canines, like milk, eggs and sugar. Despite the missing ingredients, one owner who gave it a try said the canine gelato was “fantastic.” (Note from Vetstreet: When it comes to dealing with hot summer temps, water is still best for cooling down dogs, but if you do want to treat your pet to a dog-safe icy snack, just talk to your vet first.) — Read it at the AP via the Washington Post, and check out our coverage of doggie treat trends

Does Your Dog Have What it Takes to Be the Next Benji?

The hunt is on for just the right dog to star in a sequel to Benji, the 1974 flick about a stray dog who saves two kidnapped kids. Brandon Camp, whose father created Benji, is working with a veteran movie trainer to scour shelters and rescues in order to find a mischievous mutt who’s a fast learner. Camp says that he’ll know instantly that he's got his dog when he looks into the pup's eyes. Think your dog could be the next Benji? Upload photos of your star to the film’s Facebook page. — Read it at AP via Yahoo, and see how shelter dogs got a second chance in Steve Carell’s new movie

Man Finds a Kitty Surprise Inside His Clothes Dryer

When Patrick Ambrose returned home from work in Birmingham, England, he was shocked to discover that a stray cat who he’d just taken in had given birth to five kittens inside his dryer. “It was warm and dark in there and she had made herself comfortable on a towel,” said Ambrose. “I am so glad I have been able to help because they would not have survived if they were left as strays.” — Read it at the Daily Mail

Kevin Nealon in a PSA for No-Kill Los Angeles
Kevin Nealon speaks out in a PSA for the No-Kill Los Angeles campaign.

Comedian Kevin Nealon Stars in a PSA for Shelter Animals

Former Saturday Night Live star Kevin Nealon ticks off a bunch of fake problems in America — like “skateboarding in hospitals” and "backwards baseball hats" — before mentioning a real problem: the euthanization of homeless pets. "Here's one you can do something about: homeless pets," he says in the PSA for the No-Kill Los Angeles campaign, which wants to end the euthanization of shelter animals by 2017. "Spay or neuter your dog or cat, or adopt them from a shelter. It's that easy." — Watch it at People Pets

Prince William Calls Attention to Rhino Poaching

The Duke of Cambridge, who made headlines earlier this week when he was photographed snuggling with his adorable puppy, spoke out about a different animal on Monday. The rhinoceros is one of “the most heavily poached animals in the world, and if we don’t do something about them, it will be a tragic loss for everyone,” he told the BBC in an interview. Illegal poaching is an ongoing threat to African rhinos, whose horns are in high demand in China and other parts of Asia. — Read it at Today

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