Pet Scoop: Owner’s Scent May Linger on Dog’s Brain, Popular Cat Stolen From Colorado Hotel

March 19, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Kady, a Lab involved in the study, trains for the experiment in a mock-up scanner.
Helen Berns / Emory Health Sciences
Kady, a Lab involved in the study, trains for the experiment in a mock-up scanner.

Dogs React to Owner’s Scent

Your dog remembers and reacts to your smell, a new study suggests. A research team from Emory University did fMRI scans of dogs’ brains to see their reaction when they smelled five scents: the dog himself, an unfamiliar dog, a dog that lived in the same household, an unfamiliar human and a human who lived in the dog’s household. They found that the dogs had a significantly stronger response in the region of the brain that’s associated with reward to the familiar human’s scent, followed by the scent of familiar dogs. “While we might expect that dogs should be highly tuned to the smell of other dogs, it seems that the ‘reward response’ is reserved for their humans,” said research leader Gregory Berns. Their findings were published in the journal Behavioural Processes. — Read it at Science Daily

Dog Park Opens in Domestic Violence Shelter

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday for the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park, New York City’s first dog park within a domestic violence shelter. It’s part of the Urban Resource Institute’s People and Animals Living Safely program, an initiative to allow families fleeing from abuse to bring their pets with them when they seek shelter. Studies show that as many as 48 percent of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind. “When my children and I found out that we could bring our dog, Sparky, with us into shelter, we were overjoyed,” said one domestic violence survivor currently in the shelter. “Sparky had always been there with us to comfort and even protect us from the abuse, and having him there with us as we work to put our lives back together makes our recovery process so much better.”

Baby Gorilla Now Battling Pneumonia

On Monday, we told you about how a female baby gorilla was born via a rare C-section to mom Imani at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park last week. The baby then required surgery from a collapsed lung, and the zoo says she’s suffering from pneumonia that she likely contracted at the time of her birth. Still, officials say she’s “doing better,” and getting oxygen, fluids — and plenty of TLC from the animal care team. “We're doing everything within our power to save her,” the zoo said via Twitter yesterday. Meanwhile, her mom is back with her troop and recovering quickly. — Read it at ABC News

Oreo is a well-known, longtime resident of Colorado's Armstrong Hotel.
Oreo is a well-known, longtime resident of Colorado's Armstrong Hotel.

Cat-Napping Caught on Video

Oreo has spent the last 10 years lounging in the lobby of the Armstrong Hotel in Fort Collins, Colo., lazily greeting guests. But the popular kitty disappeared on Saturday night. When the hotel staff still couldn’t find her on Sunday, they started reviewing surveillance tapes and were surprised to find video showing three men leaving with Oreo. Fort Collins police are investigating, and anyone with information on Oreo’s whereabouts is asked to contact them or the hotel. "She's a pretty chill cat," Armstrong Hotel employee Cindy Bellin said. “We miss her.” — Watch it from KUSA via WBIR

Mom Captures Daughter’s Bond With Bulldog

Rebecca Leimbach had a long struggle with infertility, and longed to give her 4-year-old daughter, Harper, a sibling. Then, she realized that someone else in the household was filling part of that void — the family’s 7-year-old English Bulldog, Lola. The two dress up as princesses and spend time cuddling. They have sibling battles, too, like when Lola swipes her little sister’s snack or eats her toy. And Leimbach has been capturing it all in a series of adorable photographs of the pair in playful scenes, including sitting together at the dining room table or dressed as the couple from Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana.”— See photos at Today

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