Pet Scoop: Newark Mayor Saves Freezing Dog, Shetland Ponies Don Sweaters for Scotland

Jan. 25, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker saves a shivering dog.
Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker saves a shivering dog.

Cory Booker Rescues Pooch

He’s saved a woman from a house fire, shoveled the driveway of a local resident and lived on food stamps to get first-hand experience. Now, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker has saved a dog who was left out in the freezing cold temperatures for too long. A reporter and crew for New York’s WABC saw the dog on the front step of a home in Newark on Thursday night and stopped back several times to check on her, then Tweeted Booker about the situation. Booker responded to the scene and loaded the shaking dog into a warm police car while he called her owner to say it was unacceptable to keep Cha Cha the dog outside in the cold for that long. The owner claimed to have no idea how Cha Cha got outside and returned home. “This is brutal weather … you just can't leave your dogs out here on a day like this and go away and expect them to be O.K.," Booker said. — Watch it at New York’s WABC

Custody Battle Over Obese Dachshund Settled

A tense fight over the custody of Obie the obese Dachshund, who made headlines when he weighed in at a whopping 77 pounds in August, has been peacefully settled. Oregon Dachshund Rescued had placed Obie in foster care with Nora Vanatta, but then sued her for custody of the dog in October, saying she’d exploited him because of his weight and wasn’t giving him proper medical care. It was decided that Obie will live permanently with Vanatta. According to Obie’s Facebook page, his weight has dropped to 49 pounds. — Read it at OregonLive

Freed Whales Return to Atlantic Coast With Babies

Just this month, three right whales who were rescued after being freed from entanglements by humans have been spotted off the Atlantic coastline with babies. The rare sightings are being called a success for the critically endangered species. Experts believe right whales only number about 400."It's really exciting to see that we have three animals in one season," said Jamison Smith, who runs the federal whale disentanglement program for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. — Read it at AP via USA Today

Shetland ponies wear sweaters in an ad campaign for Scotland.
Shetland ponies wear sweaters in a tourism ad campaign for Scotland.

Ponies Want You to Visit Scotland

If this doesn’t make you long to go to Scotland, we don’t know what will. A new ad campaign for VisitScotland released a series of photos of two diminutive ponies “posing in their winter woolies.” The two Shetland ponies are sporting Shetland wool cardigans — on the Shetland Isles. Ponies Fivla, 17, and Vitamin, 18, are pushing the “Year of Natural Scotland,” and want you to know about the country’s abundance of natural beauty and wildlife, a Viking fire festival, a whiskey festival and a music festival. The 42-inch ponies look quite cozy in their custom-knit sweaters. — See photos at Today

UK Zoo Mourns Loss of Resident Cat

The Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire in the U.K. has sadly reported the passing of Arnie, a stray cat who came to live at the zoo in 2000 and was known for babysitting the zoo’s newborn animals. He especially loved lion cubs, and helped to rear four of the zoo’s adult lions when they were cubs — and more recently some of their offspring. “A cat with an outstanding personality, Arnie was without a doubt a most extraordinary cat who had an extraordinary life, he will be missed by not only the people who knew and loved him, but by his many animal friends around the zoo, too,” said the zoo. — Read it and see photos at Linton Zoo

Denver Zoo Welcomes Red Panda Chewbacca

The Denver Zoo is hoping it’s made a love match for its 6-year-old female red panda, Daisy. Chewbacca, who’s also 6, arrived in Denver from the Detroit Zoo late last year, and is now out on exhibit at his new home. The Denver Zoo’s last red panda couple, He-Ping and Sophia, had six cubs between 2008 and 2009, and keepers have high hopes for the pairing of Daisy and Chewbacca.— Read it at Live Science


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