Pet Scoop: Newspaper’s Glitch May Help Kitty, British Man to Live in Kennel for 35 Days

August 1, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A homeless kitty became a star after his picture mistakenly appeared on the Tribune's homepage on Tuesday.
Chicago Tribune
A homeless kitty became a star after his picture mistakenly appeared on the Tribune's homepage on Tuesday.

Site's Glitch Showcases Kitten

A sweet gray kitten in need of a home unintentionally became front-page news on the Chicago Tribune’s website on Tuesday afternoon. During routine work on the site, test content replaced the site’s lead story, along with the newspaper’s “pets in need of homes” photo gallery. It was taken down within minutes, but it was enough time for media sites to take notice — and for plenty of people to fall in love with little Benton. Feline Friends, the rescue organization that had submitted the kitten’s photo, said they got twice the number of inquiries about adoptions than they usually get on Tuesday. "Hopefully our mistake will at least translate into a good home for Benton," the Tribune’s social media manager Amy Guth told Today. The site has been all apologies about the mistake — with a sense of humor. "Even dog lovers weren't upset,” said the paper’s Scott Kleinberg. — Read it at Today

Stranger Helps Dog After Run-In With Porcupine

When a black Labrador mix was found in Kasilof, Alaska, recently, covered in porcupine quills and with no owner to be found, Rhi Wallace jumped into action. She got LuLu to jump into her truck and drove her to Twin Cities Veterinary Clinic, and said she was willing to pay the bill to help the dog. The clinic used some of an emergency fund that is made up of donations to defray the costs for Wallace, who tried to find LuLu’s owner using social media. She finally tracked them down, and they decided to relinquish ownership of LuLu to Wallace. Now, LuLu is happy at Wallace’s home, where she’s quickly become a member of the pack with her other dogs. “I really don’t feel like I did anything amazing by taking her in to the vet and then home,” she said. “I feel like I just did what she needed.” — See photo at the Alaska Dispatch

Birds Change Tune to Avoid Owls

A new study shows that the Veery, a North American thrush, listens for owls at dusk, and starts singing much less to protect itself from becoming prey when it hears hooting. The Veery will perch while it sings its flute-like song at dawn and dusk, and even after sunset, exposing its location to predators. But after researchers played recordings of owl sounds, the birds sang fewer extended songs and stopped singing much earlier in the evening. “By eavesdropping on owls, Veeries can adapt their singing behavior to decrease the risk of predation," said Kenneth Schmidt of Texas Tech University. The study was published in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. — Read it at Science Daily

Sean Le Vegan sits in an outdoor day kennel at the Manchester Dogs Home.
Sean Le Vegan sits in an outdoor day kennel at the Manchester Dogs Home.

U.K. Man To Live Like a Shelter Dog

At the Manchester Dogs’ Home, where Sean Le Vegan volunteers, the average time a dog spends in a shelter is 35 days and nights. So, in an effort to raise awareness and money, Le Vegan is planning to test it out, and live like a dog for that long. Starting on Oct. 5, he’ll take up residence in the kennel. "I will eat nothing, only drink for the first four days. This is the average time some dogs take to eat when in an alien environment,” he said. “I will be allowed out of my kennel for just 1 hour each day … I will have my water and blanket with no bed. I will [be] living just like any dog in the Manchester Dogs’ Home.” Kennel cams will be trained on Le Vegan — but viewers will be charged $7.50 to subscribe, as part of the fundraising effort. The money will go toward refurbishing the shelter. — Read it at Seattle’s KING5

Rare Black Rhino Born in Germany

Black rhino pair Nane and Usoni welcomed their fourth baby on July 13 at Zoo Krefeld in Germany. The critically endangered baby weighed in at 66 pounds, but its gender isn’t known yet. Among the largest the rhino species, the black rhino is native to central and eastern Africa, and adults have horns reaching nearly 5 feet in length. — See photos at Zooborns


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