Pet Scoop: New Mexico Kitten to Fly Home From Maine, Family Fights to Keep Pit Bull

Nov. 24, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

It's a mystery how Spice, a 6-month-old kitten, made it from New Mexico to Maine.
It's a mystery how Spice, a 6-month-old kitten, made it from New Mexico to Maine.

Kitten Found 2,300 Miles Away

If only Spice could talk. No one is sure how the 6-month-old kitten made it from her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Portland, Maine — but the folks who are taking care of her there are working on getting her back home for the holidays. On Nov. 5, Spice was found inside a duffel bag by a man who was shopping at a local thrift store. He brought her home but after deciding he couldn’t keep her, he took her to the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook, Maine, on Nov. 11, and the staff found her owner using her microchip. "We have been around 103 years, and I will tell you this is the first time an animal has arrived at the shelter from anywhere further away than a 100-mile radius,'' said the shelter’s executive director Patsy Murphy. "What are the chances?" Spice’s owner, who declined to be identified, was shocked to get a call from Murphy saying her kitten had been found so far away. She said she’d never been to Maine and didn’t know anyone there. She desperately wanted her cat back, but said she couldn’t afford to buy a plane ticket. Luckily, Southwest Airlines and Jonathan Ayers, CEO of Westbrook-based IDEXX Laboratories, which manufactures pet-related projects and services, have stepped up to help Spice get home safely. — Read it at Today

Louisiana Family Fights to Save Pit Bull

A petition to allow a Moreauville, Louisiana, family to keep its beloved Pit Bull, Zeus, has quickly gotten more than 140,000 signatures. The petition calls for the village to reverse a “vicious dog” ban against Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. The ordinance was passed in October, and the Armand family says they received a letter saying that Pit Bull type dogs found with in the city limits after Dec. 1 will be "impounded and transported to a veterinary clinic for further disposition.” Joanna Armand says Zeus provides support for her seven children, especially her daughter O'Hara, who suffers seizures and from severe neck problems and uses a Halo brace and a wheelchair. The family says their requests for the village to consider their special circumstances have been denied. The ASPCA recommends breed-neutral laws that focus on owners taking responsibility for their dogs, and the White House has also signaled it opposes breed-specific legislation. — Read it at CNN

Study: Grouse Needs 3-Mile Buffer From Drilling

The U.S. Geological Survey released a report Friday saying the struggling greater sage grouse needs a 3-mile buffer between its breeding grounds and oil and gas drilling, wind farms and solar projects. That’s a much larger area than the no-occupancy zones where drilling is prohibited under some state and federal land management plans. The report comes as the Obama administration is considering new protections for the birds, who reside in 11 western states as well as two Canadian provinces. — Read it from AP via Yahoo

After recovering from burns at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care in California, Cinder is transported to a rehab center in Idaho for the winter.
After recovering from burns at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care in California, Cinder is transported to a rehab center in Idaho for the winter.

Burned Bear Cub Takes Big Step

More than three months after Cinder, a black bear cub, was badly burned in the massive Carlton Complex wildfires in Washington state, she’s one big step closer to a spring release. Then 6 months old, the frightened and malnourished cub was flown to California to be treated at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care. While she was there, her bandages were changed every other day, and she nearly tripled her weight on a diet of fish and fruit. On Sunday, Cinder made the first part of her trip back home. She was transported to a rehab center in Idaho, where she will hibernate for the winter. Her caretakers reported via Facebook that Cinder is calm and content in her new enclosure in Idaho. And in the spring, the resilient cub will be brought back to her home in Washington to be released. — Watch it at CBS News

Cancer Detection Dog Gets Award in U.K.

Daisy, a 10-year-old Labrador Retriever, was recently awarded the Blue Cross Medal for successfully detecting more than 550 cases of cancer since she was a puppy. Daisy was trained by the British charity Medical Detection Dogs. Daisy is owned by Dr. Claire Guest, who’s the organization’s chief executive. Five years ago, the Lab was the first to detect Guest’s early stage of breast cancer. “If it wasn’t for Daisy it would have gone undetected for much longer and could have been more serious,” Guest said. “I am absolutely thrilled that Daisy has been awarded the Blue Cross Medal. It’s a huge honor and I am so proud of her. Working with dogs and using their incredible sense of smell to help fight cancer can make a real difference to the lives of so many people.” — Read it at People Pets


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