Pet Scoop: Sick Man Has Hospital Reunion With Lost Dog, Bear Cub Rescued From Dumpster

Oct. 17, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

James Wathen was reunited with his dog Bubba in his Kentucky hospital bed.
James Wathen was reunited with his dog Bubba in his Kentucky hospital bed.

Man Makes “Complete Turnaround”

Weeks ago, 73-year-old James Wathen was rushed to a Kentucky hospital. With his condition deteriorating recently, the frail man whispered to a health care worker that he missed his dog, Bubba. After a series of phone calls, Wathen’s nurses found out that the one-eyed Chihuahua had been taken to the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter and was living with a foster family. Bubba had also become ill recently. "The dog didn’t know where James was and James didn't know where the dog was and believe it or not, they both stopped eating at about the same time,” said Mary-Ann Smyth, the shelter’s president. Bending a hospital rule, Bubba was allowed to visit Wathen last Saturday. “The minute we got about 20 steps from this guy’s room — I kid you not — his little head went up. His eyes got real bright and he was like a different dog.” And Wathen was a different person. When Bubba came back for a second visit Tuesday, Wathen had “done a complete turnaround,” and was sitting up and eating, said Smyth. — Read it at Today

Study: Lemurs Exchange Information at Latrines

A new study finds white-footed sportive lemurs use scent marks on latrine trees to maintain contact with their family members, and as a way for a male lemur to warn intruders that he will defend his partner. Researchers from the German Primate Center said the latrines are like an information exchange center for the animals, who don’t live in close-knit groups. Like many animals, primates use the same latrines over and over. The study was published in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. — Read it at

New York’s Rats May Carry Alarming Diseases

Scientists who examined 133 New York City rats found that they carry many pathogens, including some that cause food-borne illnesses, some that have before been seen in New York, and others that were new to science. The researchers were unsure of the impact the rodents were having on the health of humans living in New York. Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, which researches the links between human health and wildlife, called the results “shocking and surprising,” and said given the close quarters that humans and rats share makes this “a recipe for a public health nightmare.” The initial results of the study were published in the journal mBio. — Read it at The New York Times

Wildlife officials in California came to the rescue of a baby bear stuck in a dumpster.
Wildlife officials in California came to the rescue of a baby bear stuck in a dumpster.

Bear Cub Rescued From Dumpster

Officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife came to the rescue of a baby bear who was stuck in a trash bin in Pasadena Thursday. The cub’s mom had been nervously hovering on a concrete wall around the dumpster, trying to figure out how to help her crying baby. The officials hit the mama bear with a bean bag round so they could scare her off briefly and safely help her little one. They put a ladder into the dumpster, and the clever little bear scampered out and cried for his mom. The two were reunited, and rested in the backyard of a nearby home before heading off into the foothills. — Watch it at NBC Los Angeles

Firefighter Revives Dog After Fire

Firefighter Josh Moore and paramedic Bubby Bish carried Keiser the dog from a fire in his Virginia home last week, unsure if he was going to survive. They put an adult mask on the German Shepherd mix, in hopes that large amounts of oxygen would help him start breathing again. "I figured being a large dog like he was, an adult mask should work for him and I could get it over his snout, hold it there and keep him going," Moore told CBS6. "It felt like it took forever, but I’m thinking it took maybe five to eight minutes he finally started to move and wag his tail." Keiser was taken to an animal hospital to recover, and he was released a few days later. He’s now being cared for by Petersburg Animal Control while his owner is being treated in the hospital for second-degree burns. — Read it at the Huffington Post


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