Pet Scoop: Kitten Saved Thanks to 4-Year-Old, SeaWorld to End Orca Shows in San Diego

Nov. 10, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A preschool-aged boy heard the cries of this tiny kitten in a storm drain.
A preschool-aged boy heard the cries of this tiny kitten in a storm drain.

Boy Hears Kitten in Storm Drain

A tiny kitten has a pint-sized hero to thank for saving her life. Camden Tolley, 4, was walking to preschool with his mom Monday morning when he heard the kitten’s cries coming from a storm drain in front of the library in Clayton, North Carolina. When they got to school, they asked Camden’s teacher to call for help. An animal control officer arrived on the scene and quickly called the fire department. Two firefighters climbed into separate storm drains and worked together to coax the kitten out. Firefighter Daryle Harris was finally able to get the kitten and hand her to animal control officer Angela Lee, who got her dried off and warmed up. “I think you need a hero sticker for saving this kitty,” Lee told Camden once the kitten was in her arms. “We wouldn’t have known she was down there if it wasn’t for you!” Lee will work on finding a home for the kitten. — Read it and watch it at North Carolina’s WNCN

SeaWorld San Diego to Drop Killer Whale Shows

The amusement park SeaWorld plans to end its controversial killer whale shows at its San Diego location, although the shows will continue in Orlando and San Antonio. The announcement comes after the California Coastal Commission refused to give SeaWorld permission to breed its orcas, which would have threatened the shows. "We are listening to our guests; we're evolving as a company; we're always changing,” SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby told investors Monday. The company is planning a “more natural” experience in San Diego. SeaWorld has suffered financially since the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which raised questions about the park’s treatment of killer whales. — Read it at USA Today

Study: Hair Helps Animals Keep Clean

A new study from Georgia Tech looks at how 27 mammals and insects — from dogs to fruit flies — use their hair to keep themselves clean. “With hair, animals become a doormat to particles. But on the positive side, it lets an animal clean itself,” said study author David Hu. The animals use their hair in different ways. Dogs, for example, shake themselves to loosen dirt, while bees use bristles to brush off pollen. The study was published in The Journal of Experimental Biology. — Read it at The New York Times

Willow is recovering after swallowing a 14-inch stick whole.
Willow is recovering after swallowing a 14-inch stick whole.

Puppy Swallows 14-Inch Stick

When Willow, a large puppy from Montana, started yelping when she ate, her owner brought her to the veterinarian. But X-rays, tests and medications from two different clinics weren’t helping. Finally, a vet using an endoscope discovered the problem: Willow had swallowed a 14-inch stick, whole. It was more than half the length of her body. Luckily, they were able to remove it last week and save her life. "(It was) wild, crazy, shocking. I have never seen anything quite like this," said Dr. Darleen Miller, a veterinarian at the Animal Clinic of Billings. The puppy is now recovering at home, but she still has some healing to do because the little branches that came off the stick injured her throat. — Watch it at Montana’s KTVQ

Stranger Helps Return Stolen Puppy to Owner

An act of kindness by a stranger helped reunite a stolen Maltese puppy and his family. Owner Kris Villasenor said Ziggy was taken from his crate in his family’s front yard in Fresno, California, Friday. Jeremiah Lee happened to see a Facebook post about Ziggy that his aunt had shared, and realized the dog was stolen from his neighborhood. After another commenter shared a link to an ad for a dog that fit Ziggy’s description on Craigslist, Lee took it upon himself to text the number in the ad and tell the Craigslist seller they’d broken a little girl’s heart by taking the puppy and “to do the right thing.” He was shocked when he got a response from the seller, who claimed she’d bought the pup from a homeless person and didn’t know he’d been stolen. He met her at a public place Saturday night and paid $40 for Ziggy, who he’d never met before. Lee then got in touch with Villasenor and reunited her with the puppy. “I wanted to help because I would hope that someone would do the same for me,” Lee said. Ziggy is now happy to be back at home, Villasenor said. — Read it at ABC News


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