Pet Scoop: Service Dog Is Best Man at Veteran’s Wedding, NYPD Saves Kitten

Oct. 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.

Gabe, a Golden Retriever and service dog, served as best man in the wedding of Army veteran Justin Lansford and Carol Balmes.
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Gabe, a Golden Retriever and service dog, served as best man in the wedding of Army veteran Justin Lansford and Carol Balmes.

Golden Retriever Is Best Man

Looking dapper in a vest made to look like a military dress uniform, Gabe was at his best friend’s side on his wedding day. The 2-year-old Golden Retriever graduated from Warrior Canine Connection and assists the groom, Army veteran Justin Lansford, with daily tasks and post-traumatic stress disorder. Lansford lost his left leg in an IED explosion in Afghanistan three years ago. Last year on Veteran’s Day, Gabe helped Lansford propose to his longtime girlfriend, Carol Balmes. And on Saturday, he served as Lansford’s best man and happily posed for pictures with the bride and groom. There’s no word on what he had to say in his toast to the happy couple. — Read it at ABC News  

Rare Black-Footed Ferrets Released in Colorado

Last week, 30 endangered black-footed ferrets were released at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, a former toxic waste site on the industrial edge of Denver. Their release by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is part of a program to reintroduce them to 12 states where they once lived. The animals were once thought to be extinct, until a small colony was found in Wyoming in 1981. There are now an estimated 300 of the ferrets in the wild, and the recovery program’s goal is to build that population to 3,000. — Read it from AP via Yahoo

Rescued Sheep Sets World Record

Last month, we told you about Chris the sheep, who was living in the wild for at least five years before he was caught and rescued by the RSPCA. The sheep was weighted down with so much merino wool that he could hardly walk. His emergency haircut removed 90 pounds of wool — and now he’s officially set a Guinness World Record with his shearing. He easily topped the previous record of 63.7 pounds of fleece sheared from Big Ben, who was also saved after wandering in the wild for several years. Chris recovered and is now settling into a new life at a hobby farm in New South Wales. — Read it at Live Science

The NYPD helped rescue a kitten trapped in a storm drain in Queens.
The NYPD helped rescue a kitten trapped in a storm drain in Queens.

NYPD Saves Kitten From Drain

Queens, New York, resident Vahan Avagyan turned to Twitter to get help for a kitten he could hear meowing from under a storm drain Monday. He got a response from the NYPD’s 104th precinct, after Tweeting them directly. The officers who responded first had to find the owner of a car that was parked on top of the drain grate. Once they opened the drain, they could see the kitten as stuck deep inside. Efforts to lure the kitten out with food failed, but another rescue group that arrived on the scene was able to scare her out with the noise of a compressed air machine — and Avagyan caught her as she darted out. The ordeal took nearly four hours. The kitten was named Penelope after the street where she was found, is up for adoption through the rescue group Four Paws Sake NYC. — Read it at NBC New York

Orphaned Giraffe Transported to New Home

A newborn giraffe who was found wandering alone in Meru National Park in Kenya last month was taken in by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The calf “has been feeding very well on his milk which we hope he keeps up," a representative for DSWT said. Kiko will soon tower over his keepers, so they plan to use a mobile feeding ladder to bottle feed him. The sweet photos of him getting some affection from his rescuers during his transport have gotten more than 20,000 likes on Facebook. — Read it at Discovery


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