Pet Scoop: World’s Tallest Dog Dies at Age 5, “The Drop” Starring Pit Bull Puppy Opens

Sept. 12, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Zeus, the world's tallest dog, died last week at age 5.
Guinness World Records
Zeus, the world's tallest dog, died last week at age 5.

Zeus Was a Gentle Giant

A Great Dane from Michigan who held the Guinness World Records title as the world’s tallest dog ever died of old age last week, two months before his 6th birthday. Zeus first appeared in the 2012 edition of the world records book. He weighed 165 pounds and was 44 inches tall at the shoulder. When he stood on his hind legs, he towered over his owner at 7 feet, 4 inches. He would eat a 30-pound bag of food every two weeks and could drink easily from the faucet at the kitchen sink. Zeus worked as a therapy dog, making visits to local schools and hospitals. "Those are some of the things I'll never forget about him," said his owner, Kevin Doorlag. "He was definitely a great dog." — Read it from AP via ABC News

Pupfish Could Be Extinct in 30 Years

With fewer than 100 tiny Devils Hole pupfish left, biologists are trying to save them with a captive breeding program. In order to breed the fish in captivity, they collect fish eggs from the 93-degree Nevada cavern where the fish live. A new study finds that biologists could reduce their impact by gathering eggs from the wild in the fall, when the fish population is larger than it is in the spring. The Devils Hole pupfish will face a serious extinction threat if their numbers drop below 30, researchers said. "Somehow, this handsome little fish has heroically persisted in the harsh desert environment through thousands of years of drastic climate warming and droughts," said study author Steven Beissinger of the University of California, Berkeley. "It is not too late to rescue the Devils Hole pupfish from extinction." The study was published in the journal PeerJ. — Read it at Discovery News

Study: Shelter Workers Purposely Misidentify Pit Bulls

New research finds that shelter workers in places with breed-specific legislation restricting Pit Bulls are more likely to knowingly mislabel a dog’s breed to better its chances of being adopted or avoid being euthanized. A survey with photos of the same 20 dogs was sent to shelter workers in the U.S. and the U.K. American shelter workers were more likely to consider a dog a Pit Bull than their counterparts in the U.K. While Pit Bull terriers are restricted in parts of the U.S., they are banned throughout the U.K. Breed identification at shelters often relies on the staff’s intuition and experience. The study was published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. — Read it at Science Daily

Three different Pit Bull puppies play Rocco in the crime thriller "The Drop."
Three different Pit Bull puppies play Rocco in the crime thriller "The Drop."

Pit Bull Puppy Stars in New Movie

Pit Bulls are also making news in Hollywood. Three adorable Pit Bull puppies share the starring role of Rocco in “The Drop,” which opens today. In the crime thriller written by Dennis Lehane, the hero, Bob Saginowski, is a Brooklyn bartender who rescues a puppy he finds in a trashcan. “Somehow caring for this animal and loving him and having him love him back is the beginning of his transformation,” explains producer Jenno Topping in a video feature about the movie on YouTube. “Our filmmaker felt very strongly that there was a thematic connection between a breed that was so traditionally misunderstood and our main character who is both enigmatic and hugely misunderstood.” The film also features the late actor and animal advocate James Gandolfini. — Watch it at YouTube

Student Poses for Senior Portrait With Cat and Lasers

Draven Rodriguez, a senior at Schenectady High School in New York, wants to stand out in his yearbook. So, he had an epic school picture taken, where he’s holding his cat Mr. Bigglesworth. In addition, a superimposed headshot of the feline and pink and blue lasers crisscross the whole image. Rodriguez is petitioning to have it included with the other portraits. While the school hasn’t made an official decision on that request yet, a spokeswoman for the school district says it could appear elsewhere in the yearbook, instead of with the traditional portraits. “I try to be very witty and I thought it would almost be a good statement, like, 'Yeah, only Draven would really do that,’” says Rodriguez. — See it at the Huffington Post


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