Pet Scoop: Soldier Reunited With Dog on TV, Tiny Monkeys Caught Whispering

Sept. 25, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Emma the dog welcomes home her owner, Capt. Jessamyn Jempson.
Emma the dog welcomes home her owner, Capt. Jessamyn Jempson.

Emotional Reunion on Talk Show

Capt. Jessamyn Jempson finally had the moment she was waiting for — on TV. The veteran was reunited with Emma, her Rhodesian Ridgeback, on an episode of the Queen Latifah Show that aired Wednesday. When she was being deployed, the soldier had turned to Dogs on Deployment for help. The group supports the troops by boarding their pets, and found Emma a foster mom, Sylvia, to care for the dog while Jempson was away. The program was featured on Wednesday’s show, and cameras were rolling as Emma was brought on stage to see Jempson for the first time in a year. There was so much going on in the studio that it took the pooch a few moments to realize who she was there to see. But once Emma got it, she couldn’t contain her kisses and tail wagging. — Watch it on YouTube and read Vetstreet’s coverage of Dogs on Deployment

Small Monkeys Whisper Around Supervisor

Recordings by researchers from The City University of New York detected whispering behavior among cotton-top tamarins at the city’s Central Park Zoo. Amplified analysis of the 1-pound monkeys’ recorded calls found that in the presence of a particular supervisor who they did not like, the monkeys would keep their voices so low that the researchers couldn’t even hear them at first. “Consistent with whisper-like behavior, the amplitude of the tamarins’ vocalizations was significantly reduced only in the presence of the supervisor,” they reported in the journal Zoo Biology. — Read it at Discovery News

New Rat Species Found in Indonesia

The Boki Mekot rat was discovered by scientists while on an exhibition to the Indonesian island of Halmahera in 2010. Small differences in the rat’s skull and teeth led the researchers to confirm that the rodent was part of a new genus. The new rat, who lives in the island’s remote mountain forests, features spiky brown fur and a stubby, white-tipped tail. “All in all I think this is quite a handsome rat,” said study co-author Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The findings were published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society. — Read it at National Geographic

Dempsey, a firehouse dog in Indianapolis, is one of three Top Dog finalists.
NBC
Dempsey, a firehouse dog in Indianapolis, is one of three Top Dog finalists.

Three Finalists for Top Fire Dog

Out of more than 100 entries nationwide, three firehouse dogs have been selected as the finalists in an NBC competition to find the nation’s Top Dog as part of a promotion for the primetime fire station drama Chicago Fire. The three dogs include Dempsey, a Boxer-Mastiff mix from Indianapolis who is recovering after being intentionally set on fire by a juvenile in 2011; Smokey, a Labrador Retriever mix from Florida who was rescued from a burning home as a puppy; and Wilshire, a Dalmatian who was taken in by Los Angeles’ Station 10 when his original family could no longer keep him. The contest winner will make a cameo appearance on Chicago Fire. You can vote for your favorite until Sept. 30, and the winner will be announced on Oct. 1. — Vote at Today

Aflac Duck Spotted at Subway Station

The famed Aflac mascot was released into the uptown N/R station at 23rd Street subway station in Manhattan on Monday as part of a marketing stunt for the insurance company. While the duck was happy to Tweet about it, the MTA and PETA were not thrilled with the idea. “Ducks don’t belong on the subway,” said an MTA official. “We're hopeful that in the future Aflac will leave live ducks out of its publicity stunts and use its creative power to come up with a kinder way to grab the public's attention," said a PETA official. — See photos at Gothamist

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