Pet Scoop: Stranger Dashes Into Burning Home to Save Dog, New Dwarf Lemur Species Found

Oct. 13, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

An off-duty firefighter who was passing by the scene of a fire rushed inside to save a trapped dog.
An off-duty firefighter who was passing by the scene of a fire rushed inside to save a trapped dog.

Off-Duty Firefighter Rescues Dog

Sampson had a guardian angel watching over him. With his family away on vacation and the relative who was watching him out at the store, his White House, Tennessee, home caught fire Saturday — and he was trapped inside. Neighbors called for help and waited outside, worried about Sampson. Then, a mystery man drove up to the scene, ran inside to rescue Sampson, and left. It turns out that the man was Tim Tawater, an off-duty Nashville firefighter. He was on his way to his daughter’s birthday party when he saw the fire, and knew the volunteer firefighters in town wouldn’t be there for a while. So, he ran inside and saved Sampson, an 82-pound Bouvier, just before the home’s roof collapsed. Then, not one for the spotlight, he continued on his way. On Monday, Sampson’s owners got the chance to meet their dog’s hero. “You got to figure that if there’s a dog in the house, the dog is definitely family,” Tawater said. “I don’t do it for people to say ‘thank you.’ I do it because it needs to be done.” Sampson’s owners, the Gorley family, said they “deeply, deeply appreciate him being there.” — Watch it at Tennessee’s WSMV

Amtrak Starts Allowing Pets on Some Routes

Starting Monday, Amtrak now allows passengers on some Northeast routes to bring a cat or small dog on board with them. The service is available on trips up to seven hours long, including Boston to Lynchburg, Newport News, and Norfolk, Virginia, on the Northeast Regional service lines, as well from Boston to Brunswick, Maine, on the Downeaster route. Passengers need a reservation to bring a pet, and it’s an extra $25. Pets have to be in carriers, and the carrier weight limit is 20 pounds, including the animal. — Read it at NBC Bay Area

Baboon Creates His Own Dental Floss

The baboons at Devon’s Paignton Zoo in England were given brooms to play with. While some of the younger baboons used them to sweep, an older female hamadryas baboon named Georgia had other ideas. She plucked a bristle and used it as a tool to floss her teeth. "I saw her pull out a bristle, examine it, pull it taut between both hands and very deliberately start to floss her teeth," said zoo volunteer Liz Chisholm, in a news release. "She did it several times, both top and bottom set." Fifteen years ago, another female baboon at the zoo was spotted using a tool, too, when she used a splinter of wood to clear something from her child’s eye. — Read it at Discovery News

A new species of dwarf lemur who was found in Madagascar is described in a new paper.
A new species of dwarf lemur who was found in Madagascar is described in a new paper.

New Dwarf Lemur Identified

The new species, with a proposed common name of Montagne d’Ambre dwarf lemur, was described in the journal Primate Conservation. The lemur was found in northern Madagascar and is about 6 to 7 inches long with a 10-inch tail. It’s reddish brown with a white belly, and weighs less than a pound. The species was identified in and around Montagne d’Ambre National Park in 2005, and more research on the lemur was performed there this year by Dr. Runhua Lei of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and his colleagues. More than 90 percent of lemurs are at risk or vulnerable to extinction, but the conservation status of the new lemur isn’t yet known, the researchers said. — Read it at Sci-News

Puppy Abandoned in Flood Gets Home With Rescuer

Alex Scroggins was floating his sister’s belongings down streets flooded as high as his waist in South Carolina last week, when he spotted a Lab mix puppy named Lucky abandoned by his owner and standing at the front door of his home, alone and crying. “It was heartbreaking,” Scroggins said. He decided to make room for the scared 7-month-old pup on his boat, and planned to keep him overnight before bringing him to a shelter. But he quickly fell for the sweet, abandoned puppy, and plans to give him a permanent home. “I figured, here’s my chance to give the dog a better life rather than put him in a pound,” Scroggins said. — Read it at South Carolina’s Herald


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