Pet Scoop: “Spunky” Otter Pup Gets New Home, Lost Dog Treks 35 Miles Back Home

July 8, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Oregon Zoo orphaned river otter
An orphaned river otter pup has a new home at the Oregon Zoo.

Orphaned Otter Rescued in Oregon

A squeaky river otter pup is getting a new start at life at the Oregon Zoo after a Good Samaritan found him wandering alone on a highway last month. The passing motorist contacted a local wildlife rehabilitator to help the pup. Chintimini Wildlife Center cared for the hungry and dehydrated baby otter until the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife found a home for him at the Oregon Zoo. He’s estimated to be between 2 and 3 months old, and is making a good recovery. "He's a spunky little otter," said Oregon Zoo keeper Julie Christie. “He is playing in his pool, eating voraciously and grooming himself — all behaviors we want to see right now." The boisterous little guy will join the zoo’s two adult otters in their habitat later this summer. — Read it and watch it at the Oregon Zoo

Lost Dog Survives Rugged Mountains

Kris Anderson was shocked when her dog miraculously showed up at her Southern California home Monday. The 8-year-old Shar Pei mix had gotten separated from Anderson and her Chihuahua mix on June 27 while hiking in a rugged mountain region 35 miles from her home. Anderson spent days searching for Georgia by herself and with rangers at Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. “The ranger said he didn’t think she’d make it,” knowing she’d be contending with coyotes and mountain lions in the park, Anderson said. But Georgia, who’s a Hurricane Katrina rescue dog, is a survivor. Nine days later, after apparently walking the 35 miles back to her home, she ran through the doggy door and hopped on the couch, Anderson said. Although she’d lost 8 pounds and was dehydrated, she is now recovering. “I couldn’t believe she was back,” Anderson said. “The vet was amazed at her shape.” — Read it at ABC News

Study: Animal Infections Impact Relatives Most

New research on wild seabirds shows that a parasite infection could have a greater impact on the health of their relatives than on the infected animals themselves. Scientists suggest this might be because the infection affects the adults’ ability to care for their young, or that infected chicks may need more care. In the study on cormorant-like birds known as shags off the coast of Scotland, researchers treated either the parent or chick with anti-worming injections, and found that it could have a positive impact on others in the nest as well. The study was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at

The staff at the RSPCA loosened melted tar from five ducklings' feathers with butter.
The staff at the RSPCA loosened melted tar from five ducklings' feathers with butter.

Ducklings Saved With Butter

A family of five ducklings waddled into trouble in England last week. During record-breaking heat, they got covered in tar while crossing a melting road. Passersby found them stuck to the road and took them to a nearby RSPCA wildlife center for help. The staff knew exactly what would loosen the tar on the ducklings’ feathers: butter. “Butter is an old fashioned remedy for removing tar and it really works,” said manager Alison Charles. “Following this process with a warm washing-up liquid bath is really effective. The ducklings are eating, drinking and chirping away in our orphans room quite happily today.” — Read it from the U.K.’s RSPCA

Calendar Features New York’s “RescueMen”

The 12 men who will appear in the pages of next year’s “Tails of NYC RescueMen” calendar weren’t chosen for their looks alone. They were also selected for their compelling animal adoption stories — and they appear in the calendar with their real-life rescue pets. “Not only do we get to look for handsome men, but we get to hear amazing stories of compassion and love these men have for animals in need," said Jen Halpern, one of the calendar’s organizers. "They truly inspire us to want to continue to make a difference for shelter animals." Proceeds of the calendar will go to help New York shelter animals through the non-profit Pillows for Paws. — See photos at the Huffington Post


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