Pet Scoop: Service Puppies Start Learning Early, Puppy Abandoned Under Traffic Cone

July 23, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

black lab puppy Penn Vet Working Dog Center training new smells
A puppy at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center checks out new smells for the first time.

Working Dog Pups Sniff New Smells

They’ve barely gotten all four legs underneath them, but the 3-1/2-week-old puppies at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center in Philadelphia are already starting to learn some important smells. A research team at the center started a study on early scent introduction by introducing the puppies to different odors and small jars, including low blood sugar, black powder and even a tennis ball, among other things. The team is keeping track of their interests over the course of several weeks. In another 4 ½ weeks, the litter of six Labrador Retriever pups will be ready to officially join the training program at the center. — See more photos from Penn Vet Working Dog Center via Facebook

Natural Dog Treats Recalled for Salmonella Risk

The Colorado-based Natural Dog Company is recalling its 12 ounce bags of 12" Tremenda Sticks after a Colorado Department of Agriculture inspection showed a presence of Salmonella in a sample taken from one of the packages. There have not been reports of illness associated with the product, but infected pets could become lethargic and have diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Humans can also become exposed if they don’t wash their hands after handling the treats. The treats were distributed in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Washington. — Get more information at NBC New York

Study: Boa Constrictors Don’t Suffocate Prey

A new study busts the long-standing myth that boa constrictors kill their prey by suffocating it. While it looks like the animals they attack are gasping for air, the snakes actually very quickly stop the blood flow to their victims’ brains, researchers said. Study co-author Scott Boback from Dickinson College said his colleague, Dave Hardy, started to question the assumption that snakes were suffocating prey 20 years ago. “What Hardy saw was the speed at which the animals were dying … they were dying way too quickly for it to be suffocation,” Boback said. “He suspected that it was circulatory or cardiac arrest because of the speed at which death was occurring.” The study was published in The Journal of Experimental Biology. — Read it at Discovery News

A young Shih Tzu puppy was named Connie after she was found under a traffic cone in London.
A young Shih Tzu puppy was named Connie after she was found under a traffic cone in London.

Puppy Trapped Under Traffic Cone

Workmen came to the rescue of a 7-week-old Shih Tzu puppy who was cruelly abandoned under a large traffic cone in England. The tiny puppy was trapped in a space that was only about the size of a football as temperatures soared in London over the weekend. The workmen who found the pup brought her to a Battersea Dogs & Cats Home center. Amazingly, she had no medical issues and was found to be a bright and playful puppy. The staff there named her Connie. “It’s such an unusual and sad story that hopefully has a positive ending for Connie,” said Battersea Old Windsor manager Kaye Mughal. “She’s a gorgeous dog and we know someone will come along soon and give her the home she deserves.” — Read it from the U.K.’s Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Delighted Police Officer Rescues Kitten

A police officer in Suwon, South Korea, went out of his way to coax a cold and wet kitten out from under a car where she was looking for warmth last week — and he seemed quite happy to help her. The police department posted photos on Facebook of the officer grinning ear-to-ear while lying on the ground next to the car, just after getting ahold of the kitten. The kitten will be put up for adoption. — See photos at The Dodo


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