Pet Scoop: Sea Lion Stops Traffic in Wine Country, Lab Rescued From River

April 5, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

A sea lion was rescued after wandering onto a highway in California's wine country.
A sea lion was rescued after wandering onto a highway in California's wine country.

Sea Lion Rescued in Sonoma

A wayward sea lion wandered out of the water and onto Highway 37 in California’s wine country Monday morning. Traffic came to a standstill as he blocked the eastbound lane and the highway’s intersection with another major road in Sonoma. An off-duty police officer chased the sea lion before help arrived from the Marine Mammal Center. “This little one will soon be on his way somewhere safe and away from the road,” California Highway Patrol Marin Tweeted on Tuesday, along with a photo of the animal coming out of the water. The incident took place in the same spot where a pregnant elephant seal repeatedly tried to cross Highway 37 before she was moved to a safer area to have her pup. — Read it at NBC Bay Area

Adorable Bear Cub Found in Poland

Rangers in Poland came to the aid of a baby brown bear stranded in the Bieszczady Mountain — and they were just in time. The 2-month-old cub was alone and hungry, and veterinarians said it wouldn’t have survived another day without its mother. It was fed and examined at the veterinary clinic. The vet had hoped the bear could be released once it was strong enough, but an official with the Polish government said that’s now unlikely. — Watch it at Arizona’s 12 News

Cat Wedged in 2-Inch Gap

Jon Harper is grateful to have his cat back after finding her trapped in a tight space between the brick walls of his home and garage in England. “Phoebe’s meowing when trapped could be heard all over the neighborhood,” said RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer Marie Stevens. “She was in a right jam and there is no way she would have been able to get free without help.” Firefighters carefully cut into the bricks while Stevens gently pulled her to safety. “She was shaking as the RSPCA officer pulled her through the gap — I was so relieved to have her out,” Harper said. — Read it from the U.K.’s RSPCA

A lost black Labrador Retriever was rescued from a Virginia river.
A lost black Labrador Retriever was rescued from a Virginia river.

Lab Saved From River’s Currents

A lost black Labrador Retriever mix is back home and resting after being rescued from the Nansemond River in Suffolk, Virginia, on Sunday afternoon. Concerned citizens called 911 when they saw the senior dog struggling to swim back to shore while tides kept pushing her further out. Fire crews in a Zodiac, a citizen in a kayak and animal control officers who waded into the water on foot worked together to secure the dog and get her to the shore. There, she was wrapped in blankets and carried away from the river banks, and transported to a local veterinarian. A few hours later, she was reunited with her owners, according to a Facebook post from the City of Suffolk. Officials aren’t sure how long the dog was in the water, but she was rescued within 15 minutes of the emergency call. — Read it at The Virginian-Pilot

Comfort Dog Helps Kids at the Dentist

They’ve traveled all over the country, from the Sandy Hook shootings to the Boston Marathon bombings, as well as the scenes of many natural disasters. Now, 6-year-old Jo Jo the Comfort Dog is helping to ease the fears of young patients at a dental clinic in Illinois. The Golden Retriever, who was among the dogs who visited Sandy Hook in 2012, will lie in a child’s lap during dental procedures, helping relieve their stress by allowing them to hold her paw or pet her soft fur. Jo Jo’s handler, Lynne Ryan, is a dental assistant at Pediatric Dentistry of Northbrook, and it was her idea to have her dog visit the office once a month. “We take her wherever people need comfort," Ryan said. "It’s kind of like having a big stuffed animal in the office." — See photos at ABC News


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