Pet Scoop: Lovable Labs Interrupt Soccer Match, Betty White Gets a Boa Constrictor

Jan. 18, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Two playful Labs delayed a pro soccer match.
Two playful Labs delayed a pro soccer match.

Dogs Try to Join Pro Soccer Game

Maybe they had an idea for a play? Last weekend, two wayward Labrador Retrievers ran out onto the field during a professional soccer match between Turkish team Galatasaray and Germany’s VfR Aalen. The pair was playing tug-of-war, and while they delayed the game momentarily, the players laughed and some even stopped to pet and play with the dogs before they were carried off the field by officials. — Watch it at Today

Striking New Blue Lizard Identified

Found in Vietnam, the Calotes bachae, was thought to be the same as another blue lizard found in Myanmar and Thailand. But a new genetic analysis and further study of the reptiles revealed that the Vietnam lizard belongs to a new species, according to an article published in the journal Zootaxa. The lizard has been found in two of the country’s national parks, and even in parks right in Ho Chi Minh City. "In many cases two different species of frogs or lizards may look really similar but have profound genetic divergence," said study co-author Nick A. Poyarkov of Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia. — See the photo at National Geographic News

Study Suggests Shellfish Feel Pain

A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology suggests that shellfish — including crabs, lobster and shrimp — do indeed feel pain. In the experiment, crabs learned to avoid shelter where they experienced mild electric shocks. “We conclude that there is a strong probability of pain and the need to consider the welfare of these animals,” said researcher Bob Elwood of the Queen’s School of Biological Sciences. — Read it at Discovery News

Oscar was caught swiping dog treats from a grocery store.
Oscar was caught swiping dog treats from a grocery store.

Three-Legged Dog Caught on Camera Stealing Treats

You've heard of a cat burglar, but what about a dog thief? A German Shorthaired Pointer has become a sensation in New Zealand, where surveillance video shows him grab a treat from the pet food aisle in a local grocery store and quickly leave the store. The bandit got away with it the first time, but was caught after he tried to come back for more treats two more times in the same day. Authorities believe the three-legged dog, Oscar, was being cared for by relatives while his family was on vacation and escaped. They’re holding the resourceful dog at a local pound until his registered owner returns. If they don’t come for him, people are lining up to give Oscar a new home. — Watch it at Gawker

It’s a Boa for Betty’s Birthday

What do you give 91-year-old animal lover Betty White for her birthday? A red-tailed boa constrictor, of course. The Lifeline Program, a life-settlements company White is a spokesperson for, adopted the snake, who lives at the Los Angeles Zoo, in White’s honor as a birthday gift. "Jacob the boa constrictor is good as gold and cuddles in my arms," White says in a statement, "and around my neck." White has been a longtime supporter of the LA Zoo. — Read it at People Pets

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