Pet Scoop: Sweet Moment for Kitten and Hero Cop, Lab Saved From Flooded Colorado Creek

June 15, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

NYPD Officer John Passarella shares a sweet moment with the kitten he saved from a minivan's engine block.
NYPD Officer John Passarella shares a sweet moment with the kitten he saved from a minivan's engine block.

Kitten Rescued From Van Engine

New York Police Officer John Passarella posed for a sweet photo with the 1-to-2-month-old kitten he went out of his way to save from a minivan’s engine block Friday. The little one wasn’t easy to rescue. Passarella arrived on the scene after the first responding officers couldn’t get the kitten out. Passarella slid under the vehicle on his back, fit his arms under some belts and was finally able to grab hold of the scared kitten. And he didn’t stop there. Passarella was able to find a home for the kitten with another officer, who gave the cat to her son. They named him in his hero’s honor: Pazzy, short for Passarella. "[I'm] definitely ecstatic that someone I know personally was able to take the cat," Passarella said. "Definitely gives me peace of mind knowing that it's going to be OK." — Read it at ABC News

Study: Dogs Don’t Like People Who Snub Their Owners

Here’s more evidence that your dog has got your back. Japanese researchers have found that dogs have the capacity to cooperate socially and will even refuse food offered by people who have snubbed their owner. The researchers tested three groups of 18 dogs. In each group, their owner needed to open a box, and was accompanied by two people the dog didn’t know. In the role-playing situation, one person refused to help the owner open the box, one person did help and the third person was neutral. After watching this, the dogs were far more likely to choose food from the neutral person and to ignore the offer from the person who refused to help their owner. "We discovered for the first time that dogs make social and emotional evaluations of people regardless of their direct interest," said Kazuo Fujita of Kyoto University. The study will be published this month in the journal Animal Behaviour. — Read it at Discovery News

Zoo Animals Escape in Georgian Floods

Deadly flooding in Georgia has led to a tragic and scary situation for zoo animals. Residents in the capital city of Tbilisi have been warned to stay indoors as authorities hunted for lions, tigers, a hippopotamus, bears, wolves and monkeys who’d escaped from the zoo in the floods. Sadly, several of the animals have died in the crisis. — Read the latest from the AP via Fox News

Shakespeare the chocolate Lab thanks the crew who rescued him from under a flooded bridge in Colorado.
Shakespeare the chocolate Lab thanks the crew who rescued him from under a flooded bridge in Colorado.

Crews Save Stuck Lab From Bridge

There was a happy ending for an 8-year-old Labrador Retriever Saturday after a daring rescue to save him from under a flooded bridge. Water levels in Evergreen, Colorado, are at a 30-year high. So when Shakespeare jumped into the fast-moving Bear Creek, he was swept under the bridge within seconds and couldn’t escape. “He was in about an inch or so of water in about a 16-inch space” under the bridge, said Lt. Drew Schneider with Evergreen Fire Rescue. Schneider swam under the bridge to get to Shakespeare. “I had to go underneath basically five beams underwater each time where I’d have to lift my head under the beam, pop up in an air space, orient myself, hold myself into place because I’ve got the current trying to push me,” he said. After 40 minutes, Schneider and the dog emerged from under the bridge. “They are amazing, they are heroes,” said the dog’s owner, Elizabeth Dana. Shakespeare was reunited with Dana, but quickly went back to thank his heroes. The fire department is reminding owners to keep dogs away from the flooded creek. — Read it at CBS Denver

Taylor Swift’s Cat Meets Mariska Hargitay

Feline Olivia Benson, who belongs to Taylor Swift, finally got to meet her namesake over the weekend. The cat is named for actress Mariska Hargitay’s character on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” They met during Swift’s tour stop in Philadelphia, and the cat warmed up to Hargitay when she fed her treats. Swift shared a video of the encounter on Instagram. "This is Olivia Benson meeting Olivia Benson, and um, things are going well so far," Swift says in the video. — Watch it at People Pets


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