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Jan. 24, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Emergency workers pulled three fluffy white Sheepdog puppies from the wreckage of an Italian hotel on Monday — five days after it was buried in an avalanche. Firefighters nuzzled the adorable 7-week-old puppies as they carried them to safety. They were found in an air pocket in the Rigopiano Hotel’s boiler room, and brought hope to searchers who are still trying to locate more than 20 hotel guests and workers missing after the avalanche. Nine people have been rescued, and the death toll stands at seven. The puppies are the offspring of two Sheepdogs who lived at the hotel, Nuvola and Lupo. Thankfully, they escaped the avalanche and were found by a hotel worker on Friday. The puppies will be reunited with their mom and dad, but the hotel’s owner is still missing. — Watch it at NBC News
Federal and state health officials in Wisconsin and Illinois are investigating an outbreak of the rare and dangerous Seoul virus, which has sickened at least eight people after they were in contact with infected pet rats. The virus can cause fever, severe headache, back and abdominal pain, chills, blurred vision, redness of the eyes, or rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Officials first found the outbreak when a home-breeder of pet rats was hospitalized in December in Wisconsin, and it was traced to other breeders as well. The CDC says this is the first time the outbreak has started in pet rats in the U.S. — Read it at ABC News
A cute ocelot kitten was born on Nov. 17 at the Buffalo Zoo to mom Ayla, 6, and dad Pedro, 12. Following a naming contest, the little guy now has a name of his own: Nico. The other three choices keepers gave the public were Javier, Pablo and Tacito. The Brazilian ocelots' kitten is their second offspring. Their first was born in 2013. Their species is becoming increasingly endangered due to human population growth in their native habitat, but they are still listed as “vulnerable.” — See photos at Zooborns
Ark-Valley Humane Society in Colorado was desperately searching for the right person to adopt Donuts, a sweet 9-year-old dog who was diagnosed with cancer last month. Matt Evans, a young guy from Denver, decided to give Donuts a home — and the photo of him and his new buddy shared by the rescue Susie’s Senior Dogs quickly went viral. “Matt scooped Donuts up this weekend and they’ve already started living life as any dog would dream — chasing squirrels, long walks and man-to-man talks!” the Facebook post read. Comments poured in from people thanking Matt for adopting Donuts, and wondering about the guy himself. “Okay can I adopt the human and his dog?” one woman asked. Matt was flattered but a little embarrassed by all the attention, and said he plans to have the cancerous tumor removed from Donuts’ leg this weekend to give him a new start. — Watch it at Denver’s 9News
The staff at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China attempted to get a class photo recently of the 23 panda cubs in its care. But the squirmy baby bears weren’t exactly cooperative. So, instead of one photo with everyone looking at the camera, the base ended up with lots of photos and a video of the cubs wiggling and trying to play — which is even cuter. — See photo at People Pets
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