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Sept. 5, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Thanks to an outpouring of support, a retired military dog who’s credited with saving thousands of lives will get the lifesaving surgery he needs. Kay is an 8-year-old Pit Bull and Labrador Retriever mix who was rescued from a Texas shelter and trained to sniff out IEDs in Afghanistan. He now lives with his former handler, Army Specialist Brandon Donahue and his family in Colorado. When the Donahues were told recently that Kay has a tumor in his heart that’s causing it to beat improperly, they started a GoFundMe account to raise money for his surgery. Kay was given just a few months to live with the tumor, but removing it could mean five to six more years of a well-deserved retirement. The family was amazed when donations started to pour in within hours. Now, 16 days later, they’ve surpassed their goal of $6,000 and have a fund of $8,400. They plan to use the extra money for Kay’s checkups and medications after surgery. “It means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to him to be able to just live like a normal dog for a little bit,” says Donahue. — Watch it at ABC News
A yearlong project that started in February is the first pan-Africa aerial survey of savanna elephants since the 1970s. It’s being funded by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen and includes 18 countries. The Great Elephant Census doesn’t include forest elephants because they can’t be spotted from the air. "If we know more, then we have a chance of conserving the elephants," says ecologist Mike Chase, the research leader for the project. "What we do know is that in 2013 we lost 96 elephants a day in Africa." — Read it at National Geographic
Residents of a Southern California neighborhood can rest easily now that an albino cobra has been captured. The cobra’s venom can kill within an hour, but authorities weren’t sure whether it still had its venom glands. The snake, which likely escaped from captivity, had been on the loose since Monday night, when it hurt a dog. (A veterinarian said it didn’t bite the dog.) It was found Thursday afternoon in the same area where it was originally seen. Authorities haven’t found the snake’s owner but said they have a few leads on who it might be. Owning a cobra is illegal in California except for educational and scientific purposes, which require a permit. — Read it from AP via Fox News
The owners of a 3-year-old Great Dane brought him in to DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon, when he was vomiting. X-rays showed a lot of foreign material in his stomach. When doctors did surgery to remove it, they were shocked to discover he’d eaten 43 ½ socks. They "kept removing sock after sock of all different shapes and sizes," said Dr. Ashley Magee. The procedure went smoothly and he was discharged the next day. He’s doing just fine now — and we’re sure his owners are carefully guarding their socks. The incident happened in February and was submitted to the annual “They Ate WHAT?” contest at Veterinary Practice News, which was published on August 27. — Read it at USA Today
The staff at WildCare in San Rafael, California, has their hands full with 6-day-old orphaned raccoons. The babies, who are born unable to see or hear, need help with everything. “As they grow and their eyes and ears open (baby raccoons, like many baby mammals, are born with their eyes and ears sealed shut), these curious animals will need space to play, explore and learn the ropes as raccoons," a spokesperson for the organization said. They’ll get a chance to play in a pen before spending time in a pre-release cage. WildCare plans to release them into the wild after four months of foster care and rehabilitation. — Read it at the Huffington Post
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