Pet Scoop: Panicked Dog Falls Through Ice on Lake, Vet Climbs Into Cage to Comfort Dog

Feb. 18, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Firefighters in Virginia rescued a panicked Chow who'd fallen into an icy lake.
Firefighters in Virginia rescued a panicked Chow who'd fallen into an icy lake.

Struggling Chow Saved From Lake

A scared Chow, barking in fear, was pulled from an icy lake in Reston, Virginia, on Wednesday morning. A resident who lives nearby said she was getting her child ready for school when she heard the dog’s desperate yelps. She called 911 and firefighters in ice rescue gear soon arrived on the scene. The 75-pound dog, Angel, was in the water up to her waist and struggling to pull herself out on the chunks of ice around her. She wasn’t sure what to make of her rescuers but did allow them to pull her out and raced to get to the shore. In a video of the rescue, a woman who’s believed to be her owner can be heard calling, “Angel, it’s OK” to her scared dog. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue had Angel back on dry land less than 10 minutes after they got the call. She was checked by medics at the scene and returned to her owner, who tells firefighters she’s doing fine. The department, which rescued a Saint Bernard who fell through ice during a blizzard last month, is reminding owners to keep their dogs off the ice. — Watch it at NBC Washington and see tips for keeping your dog safe around ice

Study: Dieting Cats Don’t Hold a Grudge

It’s easy to feed your cat in return for affection. Many owners of overweight felines fear rejection and even aggression from their pets if they cut back on their food. But a new study by researchers at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine finds that they’ll still love you — maybe even more. The 8-week study found that cats whose calories were restricted actually showed more affection after they were fed. “We don’t know why. But cats don’t hold a grudge if you limit their food,” said Dr. Bonnie Beaver, executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. The findings were published in The Journal of Veterinary Behavior. — Read it at The New York Times

Study Links Brain Size to Endangerment Status

A new study finds that mammals with big brains relative to their body size are more likely to be endangered than mammals with smaller brains. “For the past 40 million years, carnivore species with larger relative brain sizes were less likely to become extinct, but in mammalian species alive today, we find the opposite trend,” said study author Eric Abelson, a research wildlife biologist at the Pacific Southwest Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service. Abelson explained that brain tissue requires a lot of nutritional energy. The study was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at Discovery News

Dr. Andy Mathis climbed into Graycie's cage to comfort her and encourage her to eat breakfast.
Dr. Andy Mathis climbed into Graycie's cage to comfort her and encourage her to eat breakfast.

Vet Comforts Abandoned Dog

A video of a Georgia veterinarian climbing into the cage of an abandoned dog to comfort her and eat breakfast with her has melted hearts across the Internet. The stray, starving dog was in rough shape when a Good Samaritan found her on a dirt round and brought her to Dr. Andy Mathis at Granite Hills Animal Care. When he noticed that Graycie wasn’t eating one morning, Mathis grabbed his own breakfast and climbed into the cage with her. He took bites of his cereal while hand feeding her until she decided to dig in on her own. His compassionate actions were captured on video, and the video has been viewed 6 million times on social media. Mathis says Graycie is continuing to get stronger and she’ll be up for adoption once she’s healthy. There’s now a line of people waiting to give her a home! — Watch it at Today

Elderly Tiger Plays Soccer to Stay Active

At age 17, a 310-pound Amur tiger at the Oregon Zoo has a new talent: soccer. Keepers looking for ways to keep the senior tiger active have given Mik a large ball, which he shows great control of as he kicks it across the floor of his habitat. Amur tigers, who are critically endangered, live to be only 10 to 15 years old in the wild. “Clearly he's in good shape for an old guy,” said keeper Celess Zinda. “One of our veterinarians was watching Mik the other day and marveling at how active and playful he is for a cat his age.” — Watch it at People Pets

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