Pet Scoop: Puppy Mill Survivor Gets Hero Dog Award, Wallaby Joey Snuggles in Shopping Bag

Sept. 21, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Harley, a puppy mill survivor, won the American Hero Dog Award for 2015.
Harley, a puppy mill survivor, won the American Hero Dog Award for 2015.

Little Dog Makes Big Difference

Harley spent 10 years living in deplorable conditions in a puppy mill before he was rescued and adopted by a loving family. Although the Chihuahua was in poor health and even missing an eye, the battered pup has gone on to help others — and on Saturday he won the American Humane Association’s American Hero Dog Award for his efforts. He inspired the “Harley to the Rescue” campaign, which has raised money to save and provide medical care for more than 500 other dogs from puppy mills — in just the last two years. And Harley isn’t merely lending his name to the cause. He goes out on the rescue missions himself, and has a special way of communicating with the scared dogs he helps. Harley also works to raise awareness about puppy mills at public events and in schools, where he loves the attention he gets. He topped seven other amazing canine finalists to win the award at a star-studded event that will be broadcast nationwide on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on the Hallmark Channel. — Read it at Today

PLUS: Harley wasn’t the only one to be honored at the awards show Saturday. American Humane also named its Hero Veterinarian and Hero Vet Technician. After tens of thousands of votes from the public, Dr. Annette Sysel won the Hero Vet award for her voluntary work as president of the Bauer Research Foundation, which promotes the human-animal bond. She answers thousands of emails from pet owners whose pets have cancer, directing them to specialists, clinics and clinical trials that might help that specific pet. She’s also done significant research on feline and canine cancers, and is working on a simple test to help identify cancer earlier. Vet tech Julie Carson of Pima Medical Institute in Phoenix, Arizona was recognized for her work in starting Vets’ Pets, a group of volunteers helping homeless and at-risk veterans take care of their pets. — Read from at the American Humane Association

Good Planning Helped Save K9’s Life

Earlier this month, a police dog in Reading, Pennsylvania, was airlifted to Penn Vet’s Ryan Veterinary Hospital after he fell about 20 feet while on the job. Cody survived thanks in part to the planning that was put in place by Dr. Cindy Otto, who now runs Pet Vet’s Working Dog Center. Cody’s handler responded quickly and he was rapidly airlifted and given a red blood cell transfusion. Otto initiated the airlifting program after another tough case where a police dog was shot and had to rely on slower ground transport. — Read it at the Philly Voice

An abandoned wallaby joey has been living in a makeshift pouch made from a reusable shopping bag at a wildlife park in Singapore.
An abandoned wallaby joey has been living in a makeshift pouch made from a reusable shopping bag at a wildlife park in Singapore.

Rescued Joey Gets Cozy in Bag

A Bennett’s wallaby joey named Pip was found abandoned in his exhibit at the Wildlife Reserves Singapore on May 31. His keepers tried unsuccessfully to reunite him with his mom, but ended up hand raising the joey. They created a makeshift pouch for him using a reusable yellow shopping bag with a towel sewn inside to keep him comfortable and warm. Now six months old, Pip has started to venture outside of his yellow home. Within about a year, his keepers expect him to become more independent, and they’ll eventually reintroduce him to the wallaby mob at the zoo. — Read it at Zooborns

Reporter Tracks Down Dog in Wildfire Evacuation Zone

An Associated Press reporter facilitated an emotional reunion between a black Labrador Retriever and her displaced owner last week. The reporter, Brian Skoloff, met Lawrence Ross, 76, at a shelter for residents who’d been evacuated from Middletown, California, because of the massive wildfires there. Ross fought back tears as he told Skoloff how worried he was about his dog, Thumper. Skoloff asked Ross to show him where his house was on a map, and promised to go look for Thumper when he went back into the evacuated area to scout for more stories. Skoloff said Ross’ house was somehow unscathed by the fire. The reporter walked the property for more than an hour, fearing the worst, until he found Thumper in a crawlspace. “She leaped into my lap, licked my face, then rolled over on her back as I rubbed her belly and I cried,” Skoloff wrote. He put Thumper in his car and called Ross to tell him his dog was safe while he was on the way back to the shelter. Thumper sprang from the car, her whole body wiggling with joy, when she saw her very grateful owner. — Read it from the AP via Newsday


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