Pet Scoop: Owner Spends $35,000 Searching for Lost Dog, Rare Songbirds Find New Home

Nov. 14, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Janet Mihalyfi of Washington, D.C., has spent $35,000 trying to find her dog Havoc after he went missing a year ago.
Janet Mihalyfi of Washington, D.C., has spent $35,000 trying to find her dog Havoc after he went missing a year ago.

D.C. Woman Searches for Dog

Janet Mihalyfi of Washington, D.C., has spent the last year in a tireless — and expensive — search for her beloved dog Havoc. Mihalyfi was taking her 5-year-old Rottweiler mix and another dog for a walk off leash in a wooded area on Nov. 9, 2013, when a deer ran by and both dogs chased it. She found the other dog, but not Havoc. Since then, she’s posted thousands of fliers, installed cameras in the woods, put out dog food in places where he may have been spotted and hired both private investigators and psychics. Her search has cost her $35,000, but hasn’t yet turned up Havoc. But she says in a Facebook post that she hasn’t given up hope because she continues to get reports that he’s been spotted, and the sightings have been confirmed by a K9 tracking team. "I love him as I would anybody that I'm close with ... I can't give up on him," Mihalyfi said. "I know people are in shock by the number but there's also a correlation between how long I go after this … Lost-dog searches are expensive and this has lasted a year." — Read it at Yahoo

Study: Intimidating Male Chimps Have More Offspring

Researchers from Duke University say genetic evidence of paternity shows male chimpanzees who are aggressive toward females father more offspring over time. By studying a chimp population at Tanzania's Gombe National Park that had been under close observation for 50 years, the researchers found that high-ranking males who bullied females had more offspring. It may be the first evidence of sexual coercion as an adaptive strategy in any social mammal. Researcher Joseph Feldblum says he’s interested to find out whether some male chimps have success by being kinder and gentler to females. The study was published in the journal Current Biology. — Read it at Science Daily

Rare Songbird Moves Into Pine Plantations

The Swainson's warbler, one of North America’s rarest songbirds, has lost most of its natural habitat — but it’s found a surprising new place to take up residence. The bird is thriving in industrial pine plantations in the southeastern U.S., according to a new study. The tiny yellow birds are making farmed loblolly pines their main breeding habitat. "The pine industry doesn't care about conservation," said Gary Graves, study author and curator of birds at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. "But quite by accident, they're growing and generating more habitat for this bird than the federal government, state governments, and NGOs combined." The study was published in the journal Bird Conservation International. — Read it at National Geographic

Annie Hart gets kisses from a thankful Layla during her rescue on a Los Angeles street.
Rescue From the Hart
Annie Hart gets kisses from a thankful Layla during her rescue on a Los Angeles street.

Rescued Poodle Needs Help

Usually, the hardest part of helping a homeless dog is finding them, rescuing them and getting them to the vet for treatment. But for Layla, a sweet Poodle saved from the streets of Los Angeles by Annie Hart of Rescue From the Hart and Eldad Hagar of Hope for Paws, that was only the beginning. The rescuers got a call telling them the young dog had been abandoned and then hit by a car. She seemed scared and hurt as Hart approached her, but a rescue video shows she was grateful for the help as she showered a tearful Hart with kisses. Her dedicated fosters have been spending hours each day visiting Layla as she tries to recover from intestinal damage, and now an ultrasound shows that she needs an expensive and intense surgery to survive. Rescue From the Hart is raising money for the surgery. — Watch it at YouTube and follow her progress at Rescue From the Hart

Experiment Shows Kitten Therapy Relieves Stress

Hello kittens, goodbye stress. Tidy Cats and media company SoulPancake worked together to show just how easily a little kitten can wipe away a bad day. After asking several people outside a Los Angeles courtroom about their stress level, they were individually placed in a glass cube with headphones on and their eyes closed. When they were told to open their eyes, they were greeted by adorable shelter kittens — and quickly forgot what was bothering them. "You can't be stressed after sitting in a box full of kittens,” said one participant. — Watch it at People Pets

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