Pet Scoop: Weather Therapy Dog to Help Communities, Singer Gets Puppy Valentine

Feb. 17, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Butler will serve communities hit by severe weather for The Weather Channel and the American Humane Association.

Shelter Pup Scores New Gig

After scouring shelters across the country, The Weather Channel and the American Humane Association have found the perfect weather therapy dog. Butler, a 1 ½-year-old Shepherd mix, was only at the Humane Society of Charlotte, N.C., for four days before he got the new gig. The 35-pound pup quickly stole the hearts of Weather Channel producers and AHA representatives. “The perfect therapy dog, Butler is affectionate, loves to kiss and sit in the laps of others,” the AHA said in a statement. “He is attentive, well-mannered and energetic, and will play a vital role in the health of communities in times of disaster.” When severe weather strikes a community, Butler and his AHA handler, Amy McCullough, will visit area schools, hospitals and shelters to offer comfort. — Follow Butler on Facebook

“Catasaurus Rex” Gets a Home

Emily Zarvos and Andrew Miliciasay only planned to have Pickles, an enormous shelter cat otherwise known as Catasaurus Rex, at their home to film a feature on him. But they quickly fell for with the 3-foot-long feline, who had been living at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Boston. The group believes the cat is part Maine Coon, which would account for his large size. “He doesn’t realize his size so he’ll knock things over all the time — he’s so clumsy,” said Miliciasay. “But it’s … so hard to be mad at him — he thinks he’s just like a little kitten still.” The MSPCA said on Facebook that it’s thrilled with the happy ending for its “jolly giant.” — Read it at Life With Cats

Cat Parasite Found in Whales

Scientists have issued a warning after Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in domestic cats, was found in beluga whales in the Arctic. The Food Standards Agency said the public health warning was issued to Inuit populations who consume whale meat. They said general symptoms from the parasite mimic the flu, but those with weakened immune systems could face a higher risk. Professor Michael Grigg told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago that around 14 percent of beluga whales now carry the infection. — Read it at the International Business Times

Mom-to-be cuddles her new puppy, Wyatt, on her belly.

Kelly Clarkson Has a New Love

We knew the singer had a little one on the way. But while she prepares for her first child to arrive, Kelly Clarkson announced on Twitter on Valentine’s Day that she and her husband, Brandon Blackstock, have a new fur baby. "Everyone ... this is our new little puppy Wyatt," wrote Clarkson. "He loves to be held like a baby, which is great practice for me." She said that the pup couldn’t replace her dog Joplin, who passed away in November, but that she loves having the sweet puppy around. Clarkson is about five months pregnant with a baby girl.— Read it at People Pets

Police Officer Adopts Stolen Puppy

Three days after he was wrapped in a sweatshirt and taken from the Pittsburgh area’s Animal Rescue League, a 1-month-old Labrador Retriever mix got a new home — with one of his rescuers. A Homestead, Pa., police officer recognized one of two women who took the puppy from surveillance video that ARL shared online, and tracked the puppy down on Friday. The two women were arrested. The puppy was transported to the shelter by a Pittsburgh police officer, but that officer couldn’t bear to let him go. He inquired about the adoption process before he left, and he and his wife returned to ARL first thing Saturday morning to adopt the puppy, who they named Cody. “My heart is so stolen!” said the officer’s wife, Abigail Livesey, on ARL’s Facebook page. — Read it at Pittsburgh’s WTAE

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