Pet Scoop: Service Dog Walks for Owner at Graduation, Meteorologist Rescues Kitten

May 16, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Service dog Cletus accepted a posthumous degree on his owner's behalf at Idaho State University.
Idaho State University
Service dog Cletus accepted a posthumous degree on his owner's behalf at Idaho State University.
Dog’s Deceased Owner Honored

Cletus dutifully attended classes at Idaho State University with his owner, Josh Kelly, 38, as he worked toward earning his Bachelor of Science degree in geosciences. Kelly suffered from epilepsy, and when he experienced grand mal seizures, the Pit Bull was trained to stay by his side and bark for help. Kelly was in his final semester at ISU when he passed away in February. On Sunday, Josh’s father, Terrell Kelly, walked with his son’s faithful dog to accept a posthumous degree on Kelly’s behalf as the crowd cheered. “Josh worked for years trying to earn this degree and he was in his last semester,” Kelly’s father said. “Cletus went to all those classes, too, so he probably deserves half that degree.” — Watch it at Yahoo

Study Reveals How Octopuses Avoid Tangled Arms

How do octopuses manage to keep their eight semi-autonomous arms from becoming twisted in knots? Researchers from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that the sea creatures have skin excretions that prevent their arms from grabbing one another. They also found that the chemicals they use are specific to the individual octopus. "This is amazing, how evolution found this simple solution to a potentially very, very difficult and maybe even impossible-to-solve problem," said study researcher Guy Levy, who’s a doctoral candidate at the university. The findings were published in the journal Cell Biology. — Read it at Live Science

Honeybee Colonies Fared Better This Year

A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that one in four honeybee colonies died this winter. That loss isn’t quite as bad as it has been in recent years, as honeybees have suffered from parasites, disease, pesticide use, nutrition problems and a mysterious sudden die-off. "It's better news than it could have been," said Dennis van Engelsdorp of the University of Maryland, who led the survey. "It's not good news." The USDA’s bee research chief and survey co-author Jeff Pettis explained that before a parasitic mite started killing bees in 1987, beekeepers would be embarrassed if they lost more than 5 or 10 percent of their colonies over the winter, but 23 percent seem like somewhat of a break compared to recent trends. — Read it from AP via the Huffington Post

A meteorologist found a kitten in the rubble of a barn after a tornado in Ohio.
A meteorologist found a kitten in the rubble of a barn after a tornado in Ohio.

Weatherman Finds Kitten in Rubble

Rich Wirdzek, a meteorologist with the CBS affiliate WHIO in Ohio, rescued a kitten Thursday from a barn destroyed when a tornado hit in Cedarville Wednesday. Wirdzek heard the tiny kitten meowing as he was checking out the damage in the area. He pulled it from the debris, wrapped it in a jacket and kept it warm in the team’s News Center 7 live truck. The kitten was reunited with the owners of the property, the Dobbin family, who lost two homes and a barn to the tornado. — Watch it at Ohio’s WHIO

Three Rare Tiger Cubs Born at Kansas Zoo

The critically endangered Sumatran tiger triplets were born to mom Jingga on May 4 at the Topeka Zoo. She’s keeping her babies safely hidden in a den behind the scenes at the zoo, while the staff closely monitors them using a remote camera. They recently had their first veterinary checkup, but the staff is otherwise trying not to disturb the new family. "We want Jingga to feel safe as she gets to know her cubs," said zoo director Brendan Wiley. — See photos at Zooborns and watch video at YouTube

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