April 23, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Meow, the 40-pound cat at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

40-Pound Cat Tries to Shed Weight at a New Mexico Shelter

Poor Meow. When the 2-year-old tabby arrived at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, he clocked in at close to 40 pounds, and his 87-year-old owner could no longer care for him. “His face is very sweet. It's just incredibly fat,” said a shelter spokesman. Now that he's in a foster home, the goal is for Meow to drop 10 pounds before he can be adopted. You can follow the corpulent cat's progress on the shelter’s Facebook page. — Read it at AP via WTSP

Hundreds of Peruvian Dolphin Deaths Baffle Scientists

Environmental authorities think that a virus may be to blame for more than 850 dead dolphins who've mysteriously washed up on Peru’s northern coast. "When you have something this large, my gut would tell me that there's something traumatic that happened," said a marine biologist. — Read it at CNN

Cat Gets Another Chance at Life — One Step at a Time

When Corky the cat was born with his legs facing backwards and overlapping, he was scheduled for euthanasia. But workers at the Cat’s Cradle shelter in North Dakota fell in love with him, and found a veterinarian who was willing to operate on the 8-month-old kitten. Corky is now going through rehab and can already take several steps at a time. — Read it at ABC News

Natalie Morales' rescue dog, Zara, gets a hug from the news anchor's son.

Today Anchor Talks About Her Rescue Dog

Six months after adopting Zara, a shelter dog she fell in love with on the Today set, Natalie Morales talks about how the pup wasn’t trained — and how much her kids adore the dog. — Watch it at Today

Having a Dog Has Plenty of Health Benefits

Aside from the obvious pleasure people get from owning a pup, there are myriad health benefits, including the fact that canines can help with stress relief, and enable owners to meet new people — not to mention that you’ll get more exercise walking your dog. — Read it at the Huffington Post

Environmentalists Dealt a Setback in Polar Bear Protection

The Obama administration proposed a rule that exempts operations outside polar bears’ normal territory from restrictions on their emissions activities — even though environmentalists argue that the emissions could harm bears thousands of miles away. Warming temperatures have lead to a loss of sea ice, which the bears depend on for resting and hunting. — Read it at the LA Times

Dog Gives Horse a Toothy Smooch

To prepare for the 2012 State Centennial in London, Lord Percy the dog gave a horse named Tango a kiss on the mouth . . . well, actually, the teeth. — See the photos at Animal Tracks