Pet Scoop: Stuck Puppy Freed From Wheel Rim, Tennis Star Saves Dog Found in Traffic

June 25, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

R.J., a Pit Bull mix puppy, needed the help of firefighters to get his head out of a car wheel rim.
R.J., a Pit Bull mix puppy, needed the help of firefighters to get his head out of a car wheel rim.

Pup Gets Stuck in Wheel

Firefighters in Kern County, California, rescued a 7-month-old Pit Bull mix after he stuck his head through a car wheel rim and couldn’t get it out. His owner, Meagan Beeler, said little R.J. and her other puppies were playing on her patio where the rims had been temporarily stored. She drove him over to the fire station, rim and all, for help. The firefighters put vegetable oil on the puppy’s neck, which allowed them to pull the wheel off of him. The rescue took about 10 minutes, and photos of the incident quickly went viral. Beeler said all of the puppies are up for adoption. — Read it at California’s Bakersfield Now  

Study: Lionfish Hunt Together

After spending thousands of hours observing lionfish swimming, a new study by a team of marine biologist in Australia finds that they use their pointed, venomous fins to hunt prey together. The fish appear to fan their fins together “like fishermen with nets” while hunting, said the study's lead author, Oona Lonnstedt of James Cook University. “Cooperation requires high cognition, but fish have traditionally been perceived as being at the bottom [of the cognition scale]," Lonnstedt said. “But when you look at their social behaviors, you can see that these fish are way more advanced than we thought.” The findings were published in the journal Biology Letters. — Read it at National Geographic

Diet Numbs Vampire Bats’ Taste Buds

A new study finds that because of their blood-only diet, vampire bats can’t detect bitter tastes, which was surprising to scientists because bitter tastes often signal poison. “The highly specialized diet with extremely narrow components results in [a] remarkable reduction of bitter taste function in vampire bats, which would never encounter toxic foods in nature," said study researcher Huabin Zhao, a zoologist at Wuhan University in China. Zhao’s previous work has shown that they also can’t detect sweet or savory tastes, but the ability to taste bitter was thought to be more crucial. A genetic analysis found that the bats were once able to sense bitter tastes but have lost much of that sensibility. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at Live Science

Wimbledon’s Murray Saves Dog

British tennis star Andy Murray stopped on his way to practice for Wimbledon to save a dog he saw running in traffic.
British tennis star Andy Murray stopped on his way to practice for Wimbledon to save a dog he saw running in traffic.

The tennis champ was on his way to practice at  Wimbledon Sunday when he saw a  Labradoodle running in the road. “I parked the car at the traffic lights and basically got out of the car and tried to stop the traffic because the dog was running towards the oncoming traffic,” Murray said. “So I ran in front of the road and stopped the traffic.” He got the dog into the back seat of his car and parked while he called the number on the dog’s tag. The owner was “happy I picked it up,” he said. It turned out that the woman sometimes walks with Murray’s own two dogs. (You might remember how they  donned his medals during the 2012 Olympics in London.) The Scot is the defending men’s champion at Wimbledon and won his opening match Monday. — Watch it at  BBC News

Cat Befriends Police Officer

A Portland, Oregon, homeowner called the police Monday afternoon when she returned home from work to find her home had been burglarized. Because they didn’t know whether a suspect was still in the home, the police went in first. The victim’s cat was in the home, and  Portland police officer Sarah Kerwin picked her up to make sure she didn’t step on the broken glass on the floor in the basement and in a bathroom. The cat decided to perch on the officer’s shoulders, and remained there for the rest of the search. Authorities are still searching for the perpetrator. — See photos at  Life With Cats


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