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March 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.
While Army Sgt. Paul DiPaolo was deployed in Afghanistan for seven months, his loyal dog, Simba, was anxiously awaiting his return. “He would get antsy and sit by the door and start crying. He was depressed and confused, but I can’t really explain things to a dog,” said the soldier’s wife, April. After she picked her husband up from the military compound when he came home in June, she snuck in the garage door of their Florida home and made her husband wait at the front door so she could get a video of Simba’s reaction when he walked inside. The pup didn’t disappoint. “I got him excited, asking, ‘Is it Daddy?’ and he was going crazy,” she said. Simba gave DiPaolo the enthusiastic welcome he’d been saving up. April DiPaolo just recently uploaded the video to YouTube, and the sweet reunion has gone viral. — Watch it at Today
Police in Tampa have made quick progress in the investigation into the horrifying abuse of a dog who they found shot and tied to railroad tracks on March 5. According to police, the dog’s two owners, Darnell Devlin, 18, and Kenny Bell, 21, were each charged with two counts of dog fighting. When the dog wouldn’t fight, the men convinced two 17-year-olds to take her life. The juveniles were arrested and charged with aggravated animal abuse and trespassing. Officers saved the dog, who they named Cabela, and rushed her to the Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Center. She’s recovering from surgery on her right front leg, and the clinic said last night that she’s starting to use her leg. Donations, toys and get-well cards have poured in for Cabela. Her vets hope she will eventually be adopted. — Read it at USA Today
A massive endangered sea turtle found stranded over the weekend on a South Carolina beach was returned to the ocean Thursday afternoon. Last Saturday, it took five people to load the 500-pound turtle onto a specially made platform to bring it to the South Carolina Aquarium for treatment. Yawkey, named for the area where it was found, was suffering from low blood sugar and exhaustion. The 10 to 15 year old turtle lumbered back into the Atlantic on its own. Yawkey’s release was kept secret to ensure its safe return to the wild, the aquarium said. — Read it at Live Science
Happy birthday to Tiffany Two! The San Diego tortoiseshell cat recently earned the Guinness Record for the world’s oldest living cat. Today, she celebrates another milestone: her 27th birthday. That’s the equivalent of about 125 human years. The cat’s owner, Sharron Voorhees, 73, says Tiffany Two likes to spend her days sleeping the middle of a staircase in their home. She says her elderly kitty is still healthy. “We take our blood pressure medications every day together. She’s probably in better shape than I am,” she said. She’s planning to throw a birthday party for the “docile” cat on Saturday. — Read it at Time
Laura, a 5-year-old Husky, has a degenerative cornea disease that has left her mostly blind. But that hasn’t stopped her from running the Iditarod in Alaska. Laura is named for musher Kelly Maixner’s grandmother, and is a favorite among the handlers on his team. He said Laura is a cheerleader and a reliable runner — she just prefers not to run at the front of the pack. If she is in the front, she relies on the other lead dog running next to her to find her way. “I think a lot of these dogs could run with their eyes closed and just feel where they’re going,” Maixner said. — Read it at Alaska’s KTUU
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