Pet Scoop: Raccoon Babies Found Hiding in a Chimney, Miami Voters Keep Pit Bull Ban

August 15, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A Humane Society worker feeds one of the rescued baby raccoons.

Raccoon Family Plucked From a Virginia Chimney

Homeowners in Arlington, Va., had a cap placed on their chimney — without realizing that a mother raccoon had made a home for herself in the cozy space. When she couldn't escape through the chimney, she ended up in the basement, where she frantically looked for a way out. She was removed from the house, along with two babies — but the residents could still hear chattering. Humane Society workers found two more babies in the chimney, and placed them in a “reunion box” outside the home, hoping mom would come looking for her young. Sure enough, a hidden camera showed her scooping the babies out of the box, one by one. — Watch it at NBC Washington

Pit Bull Ban Stands in Miami

Voters in Florida’s Miami-Dade County decided to keep a controversial, 23-year-old ban on Pit Bulls. Repeal advocates say that they won’t give up their fight to lift the ban, despite the fact that 63 percent of voters were in favor of keeping it. “The fight does not end here,’’ said Debi Day, an activist with No Kill Nation. “We will not let the Pit Bulls and their owners be forever victim to this discriminatory law.’’ — Read it at the Miami Herald

Trio of Kangaroos Makes a Zoo Escape

Three kangaroos broke out of a zoo near Frankfurt — with help from a wild boar and a fox. The unwitting accomplices dug holes through the fences surrounding the kangaroo enclosure and the park’s exterior barrier, paving the way for the getaway. Two of the kangaroos were caught, but the third one has managed to outfox authorities. "He's super friendly, super nice,” said an animal park representative. “Absolutely no danger at all.” — Read it at AFP

Brady Bunch Star Has a New Role as an Animal Activist

“The Bradys were awful pet owners,” laughs actress Susan Olsen, who played Cindy on the Brady Bunch. Case in point: The TV family's dog, Tiger, became a dad to a litter of puppies because he wasn’t neutered. But Olsen is a model for responsible pet ownership — through non-profit Precious Paws, she fosters stray cats and kittens, and volunteers her time and money for the cause. — Watch it at Today

Scientists Study Why Shaking Works So Well for Wet Animals

New research shows that furry mammals can get 70 percent dry in a fraction of a second by shaking themselves off — a technique that's critical for wild animals, especially in the winter. The study looked at the shaking speeds of 16 mammals, and found that the smaller the creature, the faster it has to shake to dry off. A dog shakes about four to six times per second. — Read it at Live Science

Rare Sand Kittens Debut at a Zoo in Israel

Four adorable sand kittens, considered extinct in Israel, were born three weeks ago at a zoo near Tel Aviv. The kitties appear to be doing fine in their enclosure at the Ramat Gan Safari. — See the photo at People Pets

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