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Dec. 31, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Two-year-old Scarlette Tipton has a special bond with her new kitten. Scarlette was born with a rare form of cancer, and had to have her left arm amputated when she was just 10 months old. Her parents were hoping to find a pet who was also an amputee for their little girl, who’s now cancer-free. Then, they heard about a 3-month-old kitten was found by Good Samaritans last week with a severe injury to her right front leg. The kitten was still recovering from surgery to have her injured leg removed when the family drove two hours to meet her at a California shelter on Christmas Eve. Scarlette and the kitten had an instant connection. “It really touched everybody’s heart,” said Eileen Sanders of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. The Tipton family brought the kitten home Wednesday and have named her Doc after Scarlette’s favorite cartoon, Doc McStuffins. — Watch it at ABC 7 Los Angeles
Three dramatic rescues from rising floodwaters in Missouri were captured on video within a span of just two hours Wednesday. One of them was of a man and his dog who had been stranded on the roof of their home all night. The floodwater was up to the eaves of the house as rescuers pulled a boat up to save them after concerned relatives called them for help. Footage showed a man pulling the scared dog into the boat, then toppling into the water himself. The rescuers pulled him back into the boat and brought them both to safety. At least 20 deaths over several days have been blamed on flooding in Missouri and Illinois, with swollen rivers and streams pushed to heights that haven’t been seen in 25 years, reported the AP via Yahoo. — Watch it at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A study of 104 Holstein calves in Germany finds that gentle interactions with humans benefit the calves’ overall growth rate, and their relationship with their caretakers. Earlier studies have shown that the calves like to be stroked on the lower part of the neck. The researchers did this for just three minutes a day, and after 90 days, they found that the calves who got this attention weighed more than those who did not. This could be helpful to farmers because cows produce more milk if they gain more weight at a young age. The study was published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science. — Read it at Nature World News
A puppy in Pennsylvania may want to make a News Year’s resolution to watch what he eats. When veterinarians couldn’t figure out why Jasper, a 6-month-old Cane Corso, couldn’t keep food down, they X-rayed his stomach — and discovered that he’d eaten two plastic balls. "I've seen dogs eat a lot of strange things. This is probably one of the biggest things I've seen a dog swallow. And to swallow one and decide he wanted to eat the other one as well,” said Dr. Scott Journey of Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center. The 72-pound puppy is now back home and recovering after a successful surgery to remove the toys. — Watch it at Fox 29 Philadelphia
Velma, a 4-year-old Great Dane, shocked her owners when she gave birth to 19 black and white puppies on Dec. 5. Velma’s owners, Josh and Terri, said the puppies “just kept coming” for 19 hours. The litter was nearly twice as large as they were expecting it to be. Luckily, all of the adorable puppies are healthy as they ring in the New Year. — See photos at The Little Things
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