Pet Scoop: Marine’s Lost Cat to Be Flown Home, Hundreds Honor Fallen Police K9

Jan. 21, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Hemi, here curled up next to Marine Robert Connell before he went missing, will be reunited with his family next week.
Hemi, here curled up next to Marine Robert Connell before he went missing, will be reunited with his family next week.

Donors Help Lost Cat Get Home

Hemi, the cat we told you about yesterday who was found in North Carolina after being missing for five years, will be reunited with his Marine owner next week. The cat, who the Connell family found as a kitten in their car’s engine block, went missing when Marine Robert Connell was deployed. "He kept looking for my husband and couldn't find him," Jennifer Connell said. "And one day, he got out, and we were never able to find him." Finally, he was found this month in North Carolina, but his family now lives in North Dakota. Now, thanks to more than $2,000 in donations to a GoFundMe account from about 70 people — most of them strangers — Hemi will be flown to Bismark on Wednesday, accompanied by the family’s former babysitter. Their travel will be covered by donations, and any leftover funds will be donated to the Craven County, North Carolina, animal shelter, where Hemi has been staying. "We're happy that we can reunite a much-loved cat with a very deserving family,” said animal control supervisor Trinity Smith. — Read it from the AP via Fox News

Study: Pigeons Fly Home Faster in Polluted Air

Scientists who analyzed data from environmental agencies and racing pigeon agencies in China found that when the air quality was worse, the pigeons flew home “significantly faster.” But it was unclear why the homing pigeons would perform better under worse conditions. In fact, pigeons rely on scent and sight to orient themselves while flying, so in theory, it would be harder for them to fly in polluted air. The researchers suggested that the birds recognized the poor air quality and were trying to get home so they could get out of it as quickly as possible. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Live Science

Elusive Bush Dog Caught on Camera

A camera trap study in remote parts of Panama has caught rare photos of the bush dog. This 1-foot tall, little-seen canid runs in packs of up to 10 and lives primarily in tropical forests. "The species has proven to be extremely difficult to locate in the wild, making estimates of population trends difficult," according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The cameras in Panama were being used by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to track large mammals like jaguars when they caught pictures of the bush dogs. The bush dogs appeared on the cameras on just 11 out of 32,000 “camera days,” which is the number of cameras used in the study multiplied by the number of days in use. — Read it at Discovery News

Fellow K9 officers were among those who attended K9 Krijger's funeral this week.
Fellow K9 officers were among those who attended K9 Krijger's funeral this week.

Hundreds Honor Fallen K9

In Norfolk, Virginia, hundreds of officers — and several fellow police dogs — turned out for a funeral service Tuesday for K9 Krijger, who died on Jan. 11 after being shot while responding to a domestic violence call. “This was no just mere dog,"  said Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith at the ceremony. “This was Officer [Ryan] McNiff's partner. Somebody that he went to work with, somebody that he fought with, somebody that backed him up every time he got out of the car.” The 4-year-old Belgian Malinois served in the department for three years. Following his death, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper donated the fee from a speech he’s scheduled to give in the area to pay for lifesaving ballistic vests for all of the department’s K9s. — Watch it at NBC News

Polar Bear Cub Clings to Mom in Adorable Photos

Professional wildlife photographer Daisy Gilardini waited a whopping 117 hours to capture the moment when a polar bear family left their den in Wapusk National Park in Canada. It was worth it: she got some adorable — and hilarious — photos of a 4-month-old cub clinging to his mom’s backside as she rushed downhill in deep snow. “It was extremely funny and totally unexpected behavior,” Gilardini said. "Despite the challenging conditions and the long hours waiting the experience to be witnessing something so rare is simply priceless.” — See photos at the Huffington Post


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