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December 12, 2011: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A cat in Italy has quite a rags-to-riches tale. Tommaso, a 4-year-old black cat who lived on the streets of Rome as a kitten, got lucky when he was taken in by Maria Assunta. Assunta, a 94-year-old widow with no children, died two weeks ago and left her entire estate — worth about $13 million U.S. — to Tommaso, through a nurse who had cared for Assunta in the last few months of her life. The kitty’s posh inheritance includes cash and property in Rome and Milan, as well as land in Calabria, Italy. — Read it at the Telegraph
Bodhi, an Airedale Terrier, may have been a little too determined to catch his owner’s Frisbee. The 2-year-old dog jumped off a Manhattan pier where he was playing with his owner into the frigid waters of the Hudson River to retrieve the disc. Fortunately, a call to 911 brought an New York Police Department harbor boat to the scene, and the officers on board were able to pull the dog out of the river to safety. — Read it at the New York Daily News
The San Diego Zoo created a Christmas scene for a 2-year-old panda named Yun Zi, complete with artificial snow and a five-foot Christmas tree made out of bamboo, his favorite food. Yun Zi happily walked across the exhibit to enjoy the fluffy white stuff underneath him in order to dig into the tree. — See photos at People Pets
Authorities believe a 78-year-old Florida man’s dog accidentally shot him with a rifle when they were headed out to hunt. Investigators said the firearm was lying in the back seat of a truck as the pair traveled down a bumpy road. Eli the dog got excited, and investigators think he may have stepped on the gun and released the safety. Just last week, another hunting dog accidentally sprayed his owner in the buttocks with birdshot. — Watch it at ABC Action News
Officials in a Massachusetts town say they’ve warned Claire Butcher, 80, to stop feeding the birds at a local pond. They say the health department in Lynn is worried about community health problems due to the increase of bird feces in the park. But even after the police pressed charges, Butcher wouldn’t stay away. "Well, look at it this way," Butcher told ABC News. "I will be the first 80-year-old woman in the worldwho was thrown in jail for feeding the animals." — Read it at ABC News
In Mira Loma, Calif., a 2-month-old kitten was discovered wedged inside a drain pipe by a good Samaritan. The man brought the kitty and pipe to a shelter, where veterinary technicians tried in vain to get the cat out by lubricating him. Finally, the fire department was called in and had to use the Jaws of Life to safely extricate the kitten. — Read it at Today
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