Pet Scoop: Rescued Dog Goes Back for Her Pups, Kitten Survives Wash Cycle

Feb. 1, 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 stray dog who was rescued by a California family went back for her seven puppies.
Gypsy was rescued by a California family, but quickly went back for her seven puppies.

Mom Finds Her Puppies in Dirt Hole

Last week, the Watkins family found a Border Collie mix wandering the streets in the Bakersfield, Calif., area. “She was just starving and skin and bones,” said Nikki Jo Watkins, who took the dog home and named her Gypsy. Gypsy indulged in the food Watkins offered and seemed comfortable while getting some rest, but then she was up on all fours, staring at Watkins as though she was trying to tell her something. The next morning, Gypsy escaped from the house, and the Watkins family went searching for her. Finally, after scouring the area, they heard faint sounds coming from a dirt hole, where they discovered Gypsy’s seven puppies protected by a covering of tumbleweeds. Watkins brought the puppies to her warm car, where they were reunited with their mom. “She looked at me right in my eyes and just was almost like, ‘thank you’,” Watkins said. “She continued to strive for survival and for life and she didn’t give up, and I don’t want to give up on her either.” — Watch it at CNN

New National Park Declared in Congo

A difficult-to-reach, dense forest dubbed “the green abyss” by researchers has been declared a national park by the government of the Republic of Congo. In 2008, the Wildlife Conservation Society discovered that an estimated 15,000 western lowland gorillas were living in the area, which helped the government move to protect their habitat. The 1,765 square-mile area is now called Ntokou-Pikounda National Park. “As big as gorillas are, it’s surprising how nimble they are in these dense understories — it’s their preferred habitat,” said Paul Telfer, director of the WCS’s Congo program. — Read it at The New York Times

Vet Tech Saves ‘Gay’ Dog From Shelter

A Bulldog mix was dropped off at a high-kill rabies control shelter in Jackson, Tenn., “not because he’s mean or tears things up… But because his owner says he’s gay!” according to a Facebook page run by the group Jackson TN Euthanasia, which tries to find homes for dogs brought to the shelter. The story quickly went viral, with hundreds of people calling the shelter and thousands more posting online about the dog’s situation. Apparently, the owner thought the dog was “gay” because he hunched over another male dog, which is common dominance behavior in dogs. Luckily, Stephanie Fryns, a veterinary tech, had spotted the dog on an adoption site and already planned to rescue him before the story took off on social media. She named him Elton. — Read it at ABC News

A Texas burger joint donated its elk meat to Aramis, a sick African lion.
A Texas burger joint donated its elk meat to Aramis, a sick African lion.

Restaurant Donates 50 Pounds of Elk Meat for Sick Lion

Aramis, an African lion who lives at the In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue Education Center in Wylie, Texas, will only eat one thing when he’s sick: elk meat. But the meat has been hard to come by. After having no lucky by calling local hunters and restaurants, the shelter noticed that the Twisted Root Burger Co. had an elk burger on its menu, and contacted owner and chef Jason Boso. “I just so happened to get a shipment of 50 pounds of elk meat today and I was about to grind it into hamburgers, but no way! I’m going to take it to a lion!” Boso said. Aramis did eat the meat — and the medicine that the center’s staff slipped into it. They’re expecting the meat to last about two weeks, and they’re hopeful that Aramis will be healthy before then. — Read it at Today

Kitten Survives Washing Machine Incident

Natasha, a 6-month-old Siberian cat, already has a harrowing tale. Last month, her owner’s roommate was loading the washing machine, and left the room for a few minutes to grab more clothes. He didn’t realize that in the meantime, the kitten had jumped into the machine. She accidentally went through an entire 35-minute wash cycle. After realizing what happened, her owner, Daryl Humdy, from Oakland, Calif., rushed her to an emergency animal hospital, where the frightened kitten was treated for severe hypothermia and shock. Natasha has since made a full recovery, and the veterinarian says she was the most pleasant-smelling pet the team had ever treated. — Read it at DVM 360

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