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Oct. 9, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A yellow Labrador Retriever from Indianapolis has won Veterinary Pet Insurance's 6th annual Hambone Award for the most unusual medical claim of the year. Charlie survived a near-fatal accident when she slid off owner Jessica Parson’s tractor on their family farm and was hit by a large piece of farm equipment being towed by the tractor. She suffered a fractured spine and lacerated kidney, and was saved with two surgeries at Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Charlie topped 11 other nominees in online voting; as part of the award, which is named for a dog named Hambone who ate an entire holiday ham while stuck in the refrigerator, the hospital will get $10,000 from VPI to help pet owners who cannot afford treatment. Charlie's prize included a bag of treats, toys — and a pet emergency kit. — Read it at Today
Despite an international outcry, authorities in Madrid euthanized Excalibur, the dog belonging to a nurse infected with the deadly Ebola virus. The officials’ plans had been met with outrage online, where nearly 400,000 people from all over the world signed an online petition to save the 12-year-old rescue dog’s life. There was no evidence Excalibur had been infected with the virus. Thomas Skinner, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S., said studies have shown that dogs can have an immune response to Ebola, meaning that they can become infected. But there have been no reports of dogs or cats showing symptoms of the disease or transmitting it to other animals or humans. — Read it at The New York Times
BrightSource Energy has dropped a proposal to build a 75-story solar tower near Joshua Tree National Park in California using technology that has been found to scorch birds in mid-air. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had said in August that a Nevada tower that uses the same technology had been unexpectedly deadly to birds. Federal officials called that tower a “mega-trap” for wildlife. Insects are drawn to the light, which in turn draws birds and bats, who are burned in the air by the powerful solar beams. Temperatures around the towers can reach 800 degrees. The new plant was planned to be even larger than the one in Nevada. Some conservation groups had opposed the plant, which was set along a route for migratory birds. — Read it at NBC News
Teddy proved he was one heroic houseguest Monday. William Vanzandt and his family were taking care of the 8-year-old Golden Retriever for his mother, who’d rescued Teddy from a park where she found him near starving. She dropped him off at the Vanzandts’ Livonia, New York, home Sunday night before leaving on a trip out of the country. Teddy always sleeps downstairs, so Vanzandt’s fiancé, Kelly Sewert, knew something was wrong when he came upstairs at 2:30 a.m. Monday and woke her up. She smelled smoke and woke Vanzandt, who ran downstairs to find the living room engulfed in flames. They got their two boys and Teddy and escaped the house just in time. The house was a total loss, but the couple was grateful to Teddy for saving the lives of their family. "He's a Godsend," Vanzandt said. — Read it at ABC News
Keepers at the Oregon Zoo say Juno, an 8-month-old rescued sea otter pup, is keeping their 16-year-old residents, Thelma and Eddie, on their toes. Juno has spent time with Thelma for several months, but she met Eddie for the first time last week. "There's been a lot of wrestling, which is what you expect when sea otters first meet," said keeper Jenny DeGroot. "By the end of their first day together, Juno was actually initiating the wrestling with Eddie, and she's definitely holding her own. She is one confident little otter." Juno was found orphaned on a California beach in January. She was rescued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There were no experienced adult otters available to rear her, so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided she was non-releasable and approved her transfer to the Oregon Zoo. Thelma and Eddie were rescued from the California coast when they were pups themselves, in 1998. — Read it at the Oregon Zoo website
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