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Dec. 15, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Amanda Egan was moving her family from Utah to Washington on Nov. 28, when a tire on her van blew out, causing it to roll over and land on top. Thankfully, Egan and her three young daughters were not injured, but her pets didn’t fare as well. Their dog, a Chihuahua and Pug mix, was tragically killed when she ran into traffic, and their 7-month-old kitten, Cleo, ran off. The devastated family stayed in Oregon for three days to regroup and search for Cleo before continuing on their way to their new home. Now, they’ve finally had some good news. It turns out that Cleo had taken shelter in a hay barn about a mile from the crash site. The barn’s owner spotted the kitten scampering into the rafters, and called the phone number on her tag. “They were so excited when I told them Cleo had shown up,” Egan said of her daughters, who are ages 5, 3 and 1. “Their mouths were wide open.” The Pendleton, Oregon, Animal Welfare Shelter is working on finding a way to get Cleo back to her family. — Read it at ABC News
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Police Officer Peter Neal is retiring next month after 30 years of service, and wants to take his explosives detection dog with him. The problem is that Rumba, a highly trained yellow Labrador Retriever, is only 4 years old, so the department says he has lots of working years ahead of him and wants to reassign him to a new partner. Neal’s family has taken their request to allow Rumba to retire public with a Change.org petition that so far has nearly 2,000 supporters. “It is understandable that this may be a difficult transition for an officer, who likely has formed a unique relationship and bond on and off the job with their assigned explosive detection canine,” said Jeremy Warnick, a spokesman for the department. — Read it at the Boston Globe
A healthy female giraffe calf was born to 19-year-old mom Uzuri at the Blank Park Zoo in Iowa on Dec. 6. Uzuri’s pregnancy was considered high risk because she’s on the older side for giraffe moms. The baby girl, who was named Lizzy after a longtime zoo supporter, already stands at 6 feet tall and weighs in at 136 pounds. Uzuri gave birth to her first calf in 2001, but the baby didn’t survive, and she hadn’t conceived since. Her keepers were surprised by this pregnancy and are happy to report that mother and calf are doing well. — Read it at the Des Moines Register
Public works employees in Miami Shores saved the life of a cat who they found tossed on the side of the road in a garbage bag this week. The cat is recovering at a local animal hospital while Miami Shores Police investigate the case. Animal cruelty is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The cat’s rescuers have named him Kringle, and he’s being treated for dehydration and heat exhaustion. He will soon be put up for adoption, and the rescue is hoping he’ll have a loving new home in time for the holidays. — Read it at NBC Miami
Decked out in festive pajamas, children volunteered to come to the Humane Society of Missouri to read bedtime stories to the shelter dogs. The shelter is caring for a large group of animals over the holiday season, and the staff appreciates the help in giving its residents the attention they deserve. The reading program is helpful in socializing the dogs while giving kids the opportunity to practice reading, and to learn how to treat animals kindly. The kids who visited the shelter also decorated dog-safe cookies, and played with the kittens. — Watch it at People Pets
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