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July 24, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A new study has found that dogs can experience jealousy. Lead author Christine Harris, who studies emotion at the University of California, San Diego, became curious about jealousy in dogs when she was visiting her parents and their three Border Collies. If she was petting two of them, one would push the other’s head out of the way to get all of her attention. In the study, Harris and her colleagues found that pet dogs became aggressive and pushy when their owners showed interest and affection to a plush toy dog. The real dogs would also sniff the area under the fake dog’s tail. "These data support the idea that (dogs) have this state that motivates them to regain their loved one's attention," says Harris. "I do think they have a form of jealousy." Their findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at USA Today
Retired military dogs Ryky, Cila and Thor, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, joined their handlers in a hearing room on Capitol Hill Wednesday to speak with members of Congress. The dogs and their handlers were there in support of the American Humane Association, which wants the Department of Defense to mandate that all military working dogs and dogs working for contractors be brought back to the U.S. from war zones before they’re retired. When a military dog is retired overseas, it becomes a civilian and can’t travel on military transport, which makes getting it back to the United States complicated. The group also wants the dogs’ former handlers to be given the first chance to adopt them. The handlers present at the hearing talked about the bond they had with their dogs and the difficulties they had in trying to be reunited with them when their service was complete. The group is looking for Congressional support but said the mandate wouldn’t require legislation. Instead, the Defense Department could make the changes administratively. — Read it at North Carolina’s News Observer
A new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie hits theaters in August, and the American Tortoise Rescue is pleading with parents not to buy their children pet turtles. The non-profit says hundreds of thousands of turtles were purchased after each of the franchise’s previous movies, and as many as 90 percent of them died. “Unfortunately, children do not realize that real turtles do not fly, perform stunts or do any of the exciting moves fictional movie turtles do,” co-founders Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson write in an open letter to parents. In addition, turtles carry salmonella, which can sicken the children who handle them. The CDC warns parents of children under age 5 not to keep reptiles or amphibians as pets because of that risk. The American Tortoise rescue doesn’t recommend live turtles as pets for kids under age 13, in part because they so quickly lose interest. — Read it at Today
Happy Days are here for Chachi, the long-haired Chihuahua, and his pal Joanie, the Pit Bull mix. Yesterday we told you about how Joanie was found carrying Chachi, who had a severe eye infection, in a Georgia neighborhood earlier this month. Offers to adopt the two poured in from around the world to Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Animal Control. Officer Christina Sutherin, who rescued the pair, chose an unnamed new owner in Florida to take them in. The police department says the dogs were “elated” with the news, smothering Sutherin with affection when she told them. Plans are being made to transport them south to their new home next month. — Read it at the Savannah-Chatham Police Facebook Page
Tulsa, Oklahoma, fire crews came to the rescue of an 8-week-old kitten who was trapped in a storm drain on Wednesday afternoon. The kitten was stuck about 10 feet down a 12-foot drain. Firefighters tied a loop around a long pipe pole that they normally use to pull down ceilings in a fire and used it to bring the cat to safety. “I think the cat had probably been there for a couple of days, and people heard him meowing but couldn't figure out where it was coming from,” said station fire equipment operator Colt VanDolah. The kitten, who firefighters named Lucky, left the scene with Lynn Casey, a reporter from the local TV station Fox 23. She’s looking for a good home for him. — Read it at Oklahoma’s Tulsa World
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