Pet Scoop: Woman Reunited With Hero Guide Dog, Patient’s Reaction to K9 Makes Nurse Cry

Oct. 27, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Figo returned to his Brewster, New York, home with Audrey Stone on Monday.
AP
Figo returned to his Brewster, New York, home with Audrey Stone on Monday.

Figo Finally Returns Home

Four months after a serious accident that injured Audrey Stone, who’s legally blind, and the guide dog who saved her life, the two were reunited Monday. As Stone and the Golden Retriever, Figo, were crossing a street near their home in New York in June, a school bus driver turned into the crosswalk. Figo acted fast, jumping in front of Stone to shield her from the impact. He then stayed by her side after they were both injured. Their story made international headlines, and Figo has now been named Dog of the Year by the ASPCA. "Basically, he would have died for me, doing what he did," said Stone. She suffered a broken ankle, elbow and ribs and had a head injury that required stitches. She then spent months in rehabilitation. Figo, who’s 8, had an injury that also required surgery, and he then went back to his trainers at the Guide Dog Foundation to make sure he could work again. Stone was thrilled to see her dog when he arrived at her home Monday — and his wagging tail showed he was happy to be back, too. "Oh, my good boy," Stone exclaimed. "You're home — finally!" — Read it at CBS News

Study: Lion Populations Dropping Across Africa

Almost two-thirds of the more than 8,000 lions studied reside in populations in Africa that are facing a decline blamed on conflicts with native herders and dwindling prey species. The new research finds that lion populations in West Africa are likely to drop by half over the next two decades if more conservation efforts aren’t made. "A lot of the African bush is now silent of the lion's roar," said study co-author Luke Hunter, president of the big cat conservation group Panthera. "We're losing that characteristic emblem of African wilderness." The new study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Read it at Live Science

Stewarts Discuss Farm Sanctuary Plans

Jon Stewart officially announced what he’ll be doing in his post-Daily Show life over the weekend. He and his wife, Tracey, recently bought a farm in Middletown, New Jersey, and for months it’s been rumored that they planned to start an animal sanctuary. They’ve now revealed that their farm will be part of the Farm Sanctuary organization. “We bought a farm in New Jersey, with the intention of starting a farm sanctuary of our own," said Tracey Stewart, author of the new book Do Unto Animals, at the Farm Sanctuary gala Saturday. "We're getting married. Farm Sanctuary and us, we're getting married." This will be the Farm Sanctuary’s fourth facility — it currently has one in New York and two in California. The animal activist’s comedian husband, who signed off as host of the Daily Show over the summer, explained how this job will be different for him. "I've spent the last 20 years immersed in the world of Washington politics and the media landscape, so I don't know how to deal necessarily with people who have empathy," he said. — Read it from Agence France Presse via Yahoo

Daisy, an 11-week-old police puppy, got a big smile from nursing home resident Muriel in England.
Daisy, an 11-week-old police puppy, got a big smile from nursing home resident Muriel in England.

Police Pup Brightens Patient’s Day

When police officers from Kingston, England, visited the Royal Star & Garter nursing home last week to talk to residents about scams, they brought along five police K9s — and the residents seemed most excited to meet the dogs. So, when their presentation was over, Sgt. Tony Marshall decided to bring 11-week-old puppy Daisy upstairs to meet the patients who weren’t able to come. Muriel, one of the residents, has been at the home for several months now. Her nurses say she is usually very quiet and doesn’t show emotion. But that changed when Daisy was placed on her lap. “She lit up and gave us a big smile!” the police department posted on Facebook. Her reaction was so unusual that it moved her nurse to tears. “I was shocked to see Muriel’s reaction and I would like to thank the Star & Garter for having me, it was a great opportunity and something I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Marshall. — Read it at Woofpedia

Baby Pandas Start Kindergarten

It would be near impossible to find a cuter kindergarten class than this one. Fifteen panda cubs at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China started kindergarten over the weekend. The center held an opening ceremony for their adorable class, which includes six sets of twins. The cubs were all bred via artificial insemination earlier this year, and are ready to leave the nursery now. We can’t wait to see what they learn in kindergarten. — See photos at the Huffington Post


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