Pet Scoop: Man Spots Lost Dog on TV, Quvenzhané Wallis Sports Puppy Purse

Feb. 25, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Pifas jumped and swam between ice floes in Lake Michigan before being rescued on Friday.
Pifas jumped and swam between ice floes in Lake Michigan before being rescued on Friday.

Dog Found on Frozen Lake

Nerijus Steponavicius found his lost Golden Retriever mix on Friday — after his sister spotted the dog on the TV news. Steponavicius says Pifas escaped from his Chicago apartment nine days earlier, after his landlord opened the door to change the locks while Steponavicius was at school. On Friday afternoon, Pifas was spotted on the ice at Lake Michigan. But when a local kayaker in a wetsuit, along with firefighters with a boat and a helicopter, arrived to help, the scared dog began jumping from one ice floe to another. He eventually made it back to shore and started running between apartment complexes. Authorities were able to get him into their waiting van, and transported him to Animal Care and Control. Steponavicius went straight there when he heard the news. He was able to visit Pifas, and will take him home after he’s been neutered and microchipped. — Watch it at NBC Chicago

For Chimps, the Puzzle Is the Reward

Just solving the puzzle is enough of a reward for chimpanzees, a new study finds. Given two similar brainteasers, one of which contained dice and the other Brazil nuts, researchers found that the chimps were “keen to complete the puzzle regardless of whether or not they received a food reward," said study researcher Fay Clark of the Zoological Society of London. "This strongly suggests they get similar feelings of satisfaction to humans who often complete brain games for a feel-good reward." The study of six chimps was published in the American Journal of Primatology last week. — Read it at Live Science

New Vets Struggle to Pay Back Loans

An in-depth report in The New York Times looks at “The Vet Debt Trap.” It finds that with a boom in supply of new veterinarians, vet school costs that have outpaced the rate of inflation and low starting pay, combined with a decline in the total population of pets in the U.S. and the impact of the recession on animal health care, many new vets are struggling to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans. — Read it at The New York Times

Nineteen rare Siamese crocodiles were released in Laos.
Alex McWilliams, WCS
Nineteen rare Siamese crocodiles were released in Laos.

Rare Crocodiles Released

Giving a leg up to a critically endangered species, the Wildlife Conservation Society let 19 rare Siamese crocodiles wander into the wetlands of Laos. The rare reptile eggs were found in the wetlands and were brought to the Lao Zoo to be incubated. They hatched in the summer of 2011, and they were let go in the same place where they were discovered — but they’ll continue to be closely monitored by conservationists, and community members will give them supplementary food and protection. There are believed to be just 250 of the crocs in the wild. — Read it at NBC News

Young Nominee Rocks Puppy Purse at the Oscars

As promised, 9-year-old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis arrived on the red carpet for the Academy Awards on Sunday night with her “signature” style — a puppy purse to complement her Armani gown. The youngest ever nominee in her category, Wallis got the nod for her role as Hushpuppy in the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild. — See photo at The New York Times via Facebook

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