Pet Scoop: Teens Save Family Dogs From Blaze, Irish Cat Could Be World’s Oldest

April 4, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Sam and Dave were immediately put on oxygen after they were saved from their burning home.
Sam and Dave were immediately put on oxygen after they were saved from their burning home.

Girls Come to Pets’ Rescue

Between classes at their high school in Arlington, Va., on Thursday, Sydney Davis ran across the street to her house with her friend, Amanda Burtin, to get some tea. But when they arrived, they could see thick black fog through the window, and they were hit with a big blast of smoke as they opened the door. “The first thing that came to my mind was saving my dogs,” Davis said. The dogs, Sam and Dave, were trapped inside in their cages. They called 911 and threw a rock through the glass door to shatter it. "We were just calling them and calling them and we didn't hear a thing," Davis said. "I just jumped inside and looked for their cage." But the teens couldn’t breathe and knew they had to get out of the house. Firefighters arrived just in time to free the dogs, with the girls’ guidance. The Wheaten Terrier and Australian Shepherd were immediately put on oxygen and survived thanks to the teens’ lucky timing and quick thinking. — Watch it at NBC Washington

Pigeons Categorize Everyday Things

New research from the University of Iowa finds that, much like people, pigeons use selective attention to put things into categories, such as whether something is safe to eat and whether an animal is a threat. "We thought they would learn what was relevant (step one) and then learn the appropriate response (step two)," explained study author Edward Wasserman. But they found that learning and categorization actually seemed to occur simultaneously in the brain. The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition. — Read it at Science Daily

Irish Cat to Be Named World’s Oldest

When she was a kitten, Phoebe was so small that she wasn’t expected to live long. But she’s proved everyone wrong with her longevity. In August, she’ll celebrate her 25th birthday. If her August 1989 birth is certified by Guinness World Records, she’ll snag the title of the world’s oldest cat from Pinky, an American feline who was born in October of the same year. “I wouldn't say that she isn't showing signs of her years now,” says her owner, Caroline O'Riordan. “She sleeps quite a lot, though she is able to get around for short walks and is quite mobile." Both kitties have many years to go, though, to become the oldest cat in history. That title is still held by Lucy, a cat from Wales, who lived to be 39 years old. — Read it at the Irish Independent

Pandas Hao Hao and Xing Hui made their debut this week at a Belgium zoo.
Pandas Hao Hao and Xing Hui made their debut this week at a Belgium zoo.

Pandas Debut at Belgium Zoo

After moving in about a month ago, a pair of pandas at the Pairi Daiza Zoo in Brugelette, Belgium, met the public this week — and they’re already looking quite comfortable in their new home. Hao Hao and Xing Hui were leased by a conservation and research center in southwest China's Sichuan province. While they were in quarantine, their keepers got to know their personalities.“Xing Hui has a quiet temperament,” the zoo shared on Facebook after their arrival last month. “He is ‘relaxed’ in the branches, eats every day more and more and shows his preference for one particular kind of bamboo, apples and carrots. Hao Hao is very curious, loves contact and enjoys long afternoon naps. They are both fond of the panda cake made by their attendant: Mr. Wu.”— Watch it at CBS News

Apartment Building Has Resident Puppy

A newly constructed apartment building in Washington, D.C., has one amenity that’s hard to resist: an adorable miniature English Bulldog puppy. The luxury building, 2M, has a “resident puppy” named Emmy, who has her own model version of the building. She’ll be living in the 2M building full time when it opens in June, and will be available to “take walks with our residents in the dog park, fetch a few hugs, kisses and belly rubs, and host community yappy hours; it’s a ruff job, but some puppy’s got to do it!”according to the building’s web site. The WC Smith team, which manages the property, says Emmy’s healthy and safety will be a primary concern as they establish rules for how she spends time with the building’s residents.— Read it at ABC News

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