Pet Scoop: Service Dog Saves Blind Owner From Fire, Firefighters Help Injured Dog

August 10, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Maria Colon is reunited with her service dog, Yolanda, after a fire in their home.
Maria Colon is reunited with her service dog, Yolanda, the day after a fire in their home.

Lab Calls 911 During Fire

Yolanda, a service dog, knew exactly what to do when her blind owner needed help Thursday morning. Maria Colon woke up in her Philadelphia home to the smell of smoke. She shouted the word “danger” to Yolanda, prompting her to dial 911 using a special emergency button on Colon’s phone. "I hear the phone — tke, tke, tke. And she's growling. And I said, 'Oh my lord, she called the police,'" Colon said. Firefighters arrived and got both Colon and Yolanda to safety, and controlled the blaze. Colon was taken to a local hospital and treated for smoke inhalation, while her brave dog was taken to a veterinary hospital. She was also treated for smoke inhalation, as well as for a scratched cornea. They were reunited Friday morning. This was the second time the loyal Labrador Retriever has saved her owner’s life. Last year, Yolanda dialed 911 when Colon fell and lost consciousness. — Watch it at NBC Philadelphia

Study: Pupil Shape Might Distinguish Predators and Prey

A new study of 214 species finds the shape of an animal’s pupil might give them a better chance at survival. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the U.K.’s Durham University said that vertical and circular pupils help certain predators hunt while those that are horizontally shaped help some species spot predators from a distance. Computer models showed horizontally shaped pupils of grazing animals let in more light to the left and right, expanding their view. They also showed that animals with pupils shaped like vertical slits could better estimate their distance to their prey and had sharper depth perception. However, critics of the study say there are many animals that don’t fit neatly into these classifications. The study was published in the journal Science Advances. — Read it at The New York Times

145 Pets Transported to Find Loving Homes

In a large-scale animal transport, 145 dogs, cats and kittens were flown from the Los Angeles area to Oregon and Washington State by Wings of Rescue Thursday. They’ll be available for adoption at ASPCA partner shelters there. The transport was part of the ASPCA’s $25 million L.A. initiative, which was launched a year ago. — Read it from the ASPCA

Sonoma Valley firefighters help an injured dog found in the burn area of the Rocky Fire last week.
Sonoma Valley firefighters help an injured dog found in the burn area of the Rocky Fire last week.

Dog Rescued From Rocky Fire

Firefighters took a break from battling flames at the Rocky Fire in Northern California to come to the aid of a dog who was found wandering through the burn area Friday. The dog was slightly burned and dehydrated and was taken to a local animal hospital for treatment. San Francisco’s KTVU Channel 2 shared a video clip posted to Instagram by Sonoma Valley Fire Captain Ted Hassler. The Rocky Fire swept through 109 square miles of rural timberlands. Most of the 1,200 residents who evacuated the blaze were able to return to the area Friday, reported CBS News. The dog is being called Fire Dog Bob and is being treated with some of the donations made to the Rocky Fire Animal Fund, Lake County Animal Services Rescue Group posted on Facebook Friday. — Watch it at Facebook via KTVU San Francisco

Jon Stewart Plugs His Wife’s Animal-Themed Book

During one of his final Daily Show episodes last week, Jon Stewart took a few moments to plug an upcoming book. “One of the great pleasures of this show is having a pulpit to introduce an audience to books I care about — books I love. I’m going to miss that. And so before I go, I’m going to do it one more time. I have found this book by this incredible young author. Her name is my wife,” he said. The book, “Do Unto Animals,” is about Tracey Stewart finding her passion to work with animals and how you can improve your relationship with animals. It’s not due out until Oct. 6 and was ranked 244,740 on Amazon. Two days later, it was ranked No. 7. “It’s incredible,” he said. “I’m so proud of her. Listen, I’ve always known my wife is a kinder and nicer person than I am. But to know that she is funnier and a better writer — I’m not going to lie to you — stings a little bit.” — Read it at the Washington Post


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