Pet Scoop: Man Saves Puppy From Garbage, Aging Sea Otter Becomes Basketball Star

Feb. 20, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Garby the puppy was saved from a trashcan by a sanitation worker.
Garby the puppy was saved from a trashcan by a sanitation worker.

Sanitation Worker Finds Pup in Trash

Michael Upchurch, a garbage worker in Indiana, was emptying a trashcan last week when he heard a noise coming from one of the bags. Inside, he discovered a 6-week-old puppy. "This ole' doggy here was hollering, ‘Save me,’ I guess, in dog talk. He was frozen stiff,” said Upchurch. He took the puppy to his truck and turned on the heat “full blast” to warm the little guy up. Police say the dog’s original owner could face animal cruelty charges. But in the meantime, there’s a happy ending for the puppy: he has a new home with Upchurch and his wife, and a new name — Garby. — Read it at the New York Daily News

Nature’s Variety Recalls Batch of Pet Food

A single batch of the company’s Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula food is being voluntarily recalled due to possible contamination with pieces of clear plastic. Nature’s Variety became aware of the problem through a customer complaint, and says it has resolved the issue. There have been no reports of illness in pets. Costumers who have the affected products should discontinue use and can get a full refund. — Get the details at DVM 360

Video Shows Endangered Chicks Emerging From Nest

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology released a rare video of Spoon-billed sandpiper chicks emerging from their nest in Russia. The 6-inch bird is one of the most critically endangered species in the world, facing extinction within 10 years. The lab released the 2011 videos showing the chicks stumbling from their nest and pecking for food, in hopes of drawing attention to the species’ plight. — Watch it at Live Science

Plus: Another endangered bird is making headlines on New York’s Fire Island. There, contractor crews are racing to clean up the debris from Superstorm Sandy before the end of March, when truck access is severely restricted to protect nesting areas for piping plovers. — Read it at AP via Yahoo

Eddie the sea otter shoots hoops to help his arthritis.
Oregon Zoo
Eddie the sea otter shoots hoops to help his arthritis.

Sea Otter Shoots Hoops for Health

Eddie’s got game. When veterinarians at the Oregon Zoo discovered that the 15-year-old sea otter had arthritis in his elbows, his keepers had to come up with creative ways to give him exercise. That’s when they taught Eddie to play basketball with a plastic hoop in his training pool, which is off exhibit. "Sea otters have incredible dexterity, so it makes sense Eddie would have this hidden talent,” said Jenny DeGroot, the zoo’s lead sea otter keeper. “They're famous for using rocks as tools to crack open clams." And, it doesn’t hurt that Eddie gets rewarded with fishy treats when he scores. — Watch it from the Oregon Zoo

Hero Rabbit Scares Off Intruder

Toby the rabbit to the rescue! A family in the U.K. credits their 2-foot-long pet rabbit with stopping a burglary while they slept upstairs. Kimberley May heard Toby make five loud thumps on the floor in the early morning hours last Thursday, but she went back to sleep. When she came downstairs later that morning, she discovered that someone had been rifling through her cabinets and drawers. The burglar managed to get away with some valuables, including May’s handbag and laptop, but several of her belongings were left on the couch. That’s convinced May that Toby’s thumping scared the intruder off, possibly stopping them from taking more or from coming upstairs where she and her daughter were sleeping. — Read it at PawNation

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