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April 7, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
After years of waiting at a Long Island, New York, shelter, Chester finally has a forever home — thanks to a viral photo that tugged at heartstrings across the Internet. The photo showed the sad 7-to-9-year-old Pit Bull mix with a cardboard sign that read in part, “Why doesn’t anybody want me? I’ve been waiting 5 years. Everybody at the shelter tells me what a good boy I am, so why has no one adopted me?” After the North Fork Animal Welfare League posted the photo on Facebook, it was quickly shared — and the shelter started getting adoption applications for Chester. One person who saw the photo was Dana Dor, who lived nearby with her family and was looking for an older dog. The next morning, the Dor family went to meet Chester, and the staff describes them as a “perfect fit” who had an “instant bond” with the dog. “It was like he was waiting for us, like, 'Where have you been?'" Dor says. He went home with his new family Saturday and has been loving life with the kids, the couch and lots of long walks. — Read it at Today
A rare canine flu outbreak in the Chicago area has killed five dogs and sickened more than 1,000, prompting the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control to issue an advisory to dog owners. The Chicago Park District posted signs warning pet owners to keep their dogs away from areas where there’s close contact with other dogs. “We’ve seen a significant increase in respiratory cases over the past month,” said Dr. Anne Cohen, an emergency and critical care specialty veterinarian at Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center. Canine flu symptoms are similar to human flu symptoms and include fever, cough, nasal discharge and lack of energy. The illness is somewhat rare in dogs but very contagious when it does hit. — Read it at ABC News
Researchers describe the lizards found in cloud forests in Ecuador and Peru as “dragon-esque.” DNA testing confirmed the tiny reptiles were new species, and brought the number of known woodlizards to 15. The “dwarf dragons” are active during the day and reside in lowland tropical forests, researchers said. The study was published in the journal ZooKeys. — Read it at Discovery News
While the world waits for Duchess Kate to give birth to her second child in England, across the pond at the Dallas Zoo, everyone’s anxiously waiting for a giraffe named Katie to have her own baby. The zoo has teamed up with Animal Planet to stream the reticulated giraffe calf’s arrival via web cam. Eight cameras are trained on Katie’s indoor pen, including cameras with night-vision capabilities. Warning: the actual birth may be graphic. — Watch it at People Pets
A 10-year-old Maltese named Julius was enjoying an Easter treat at his Jersey City home Sunday afternoon when he started to choke on the doggie bone. His desperate owners tried to dislodge it. When they couldn’t, they borrowed a car and headed to Manhattan to find an emergency veterinarian. They got stuck in traffic inside the Holland Tunnel, but were lucky to find Port Authority Police Department Officer Thomas Feuker stationed inside the tunnel. They told him the dog’s plight and he drove them seven miles to North Jersey Veterinarian Emergency Medical Service. “At that point, every second counted,” said owner Lindsay Torres. They made it to the vet just in time, and the doctor dislodged a piece of the dog treat from Julius’ esophagus. Now, the little dog is doing fine back at home. “I’m very grateful for [the officer] taking the situation as seriously as he did,” Torres said. — Read it at the New York Daily News
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