Pet Scoop: Shelter Dog Returns for Girlfriend, D.C.'s Sloth Bear Cub to Make Summer Debut

March 28, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Ben, right, walked 10 miles back to a shelter to find his love, Jade, left.
Ben, right, walked 10 miles back to a shelter to find his love, Jade, left.

Dog Treks 10 Miles for Love

Talk about puppy love. Ben, a 4 ½-year-old German Shepherd mix, finally had a new home in Indiana, but it was missing something: the love of his life, Jade. So, on Dec. 28, the 70-pound dog ran away from his owners, Courtney and Jason Lawler, and walked through wooded areas in freezing temperatures, 10 miles back to the Terre Haute Humane Society. There, he was spotted licking Jade, a 1-year-old Shepherd mix, through a fence, reported Indiana’s WTWO. The pair had been found together as strays last summer, when Jade was pregnant with a litter of six, and had stayed at the shelter together before Ben was adopted. “But we didn’t realize how strong of a bond they had,” Courtney Lawler said. So, the Lawlers decided to bring Jade home, too. “We thought, ‘If this is going to keep happening, we can’t leave without her.' Everything’s been pretty good since we brought them both home,” Lawler said. The happy couple is now adjusting well to the Lawlers’ home. — Read it at Today and watch video from WTWO

Canine Diet Affects Smelling Skills

Researchers from Cornell and Auburn Universities say that cutting dogs’ protein and adding fat to their diets helps improve their olfactory abilities. The diet seems to help dogs return to a lower body temperature after exercise, which reduces panting and improves their sniffing skills. The findings could change diets for detection dogs, according to the research. "If you're a dog, digesting protein raises body temperature, so the longer your body temperature is up, the longer you keep panting, and the harder it is to smell well," said Joseph Wakshlag of Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine. — Read it at Science Daily

Chimps and Other Apes Struggle to Survive

A new report from the U.N. says the multibillion-dollar trade in illegal wildlife is threatening the survival of great apes. Private owners and disreputable zoos and amusement parks pay top dollar for the endangered chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos. More than 22,000 great apes are estimated to have been traded illegally over a seven-year period that ended in 2011, according to the report. The apes are hunted in their native habitats in central and western Africa, and are usually smuggled to the Middle East and Asia. — Read it at AP via Yahoo

The 3-month-old cub climbs his cage walls while mom, Hana, watches closely.
Courtney Janney, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
The 3-month-old cub climbs his cage walls while mom, Hana, watches closely.

National Zoo: It's a Boy!

Keepers at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., revealed that the sloth bear cub who was born there on Dec. 19 is a male — and he’s keeping his mom, Hana, on her toes. The adventurous cub likes to balance on top of wobbly enrichment toys, and entertains himself by climbing the mesh in his enclosure. Luckily, mom always keeps a close eye on him and brings him down to ground level when she thinks he’s climbing too high. He’s expected to make his public debut at the zoo over the summer. — Read it from the National Zoo

Will Anything Make Grumpy Cat Smile?

In an interview, Grumpy Cat’s owner, Tabatha Bundesen, says the famous kitty is perfectly content in person — but she never smiles. "She's a normal cat. She's really sweet," Bundesen says. "She sleeps like 18 hours a day." People Pets tried their hand at getting the cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, to break a smile. But, despite their best efforts, Grumpy kept her game face. — Watch it at People Pets


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