Feb. 19, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

At 13 years old, Ginger has been happily reunited with her original owner, who lost custody of her in his divorce and found her in a shelter.

Coincidence Connects Man With Long-Lost Basset Hound

Ten years ago, Jamie Carpentier lost custody of his Basset Hound, Ginger, when he and his wife divorced. But he didn’t know that shortly afterward, she’d given the dog up to a shelter. Ginger spent many happy years with an older couple who adopted her, but she recently returned to the shelter when they could no longer care for her. That’s when Carpentier happened to look at the listings for adoptable dogs on the web site for the Humane Society for Greater Nashua, N.H. There, he read about a Basset named Ginger who, at 13, was about the same age as the dog he once had. He asked the group for a photo, and sent them photos of Ginger as a puppy — and the connection was made. Carpentier recently arrived at the shelter to be reunited with Ginger as she was waking up from a nap. “She heard my voice. I walked up to her and she kind of gave me a couple of licks or kisses. And I was like, ‘She knows who I am, she remembers my voice,’ ” Carpentier said. — Read it at the Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph

Orphaned Bears Keep Rehabilitator Busy

New Hampshire’s only licensed bear rehabilitator, Ben Kilham, generally takes in three to five orphaned black bear cubs each winter. This year, though, the number has jumped to a whopping 27 cubs. The cubs stay in an enclosed 8-acre forest behind Kilham’s home. Most years, the orphans sleep all winter, but with so many of them, they have “managed to keep themselves awake,” says Kilham. And that’s keeping Kilham on his toes. "It was a very challenging year, for sure, and we're not done yet,” he says. In the spring, Kilham will work with the state’s Fish and Game department to release the cubs into remote areas in the wild. — Read it at AP via Yahoo

Meerkats Use Subordinates as Guinea Pigs

Researchers from Switzerland have found that when reaching a road, the highest ranked meerkat — the dominant female — will allow a lower-ranked animal to cross first, testing to see if it’s safe. The scientists said that while the behavior seems selfish, it’s actually to the benefit of the entire meerkat group, which may depend on its leader. The study shows that animals can apply innate behavioral traits to man-made threats, the researchers said. — Read it at Science Daily

The 3-week-old gorilla will be moved from Texas to the Cincinnati Zoo.

Baby Gorilla Moving to New Zoo

Ignored by her mom, officials at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas had to quickly step in to raise a western lowland gorilla who was born on Jan. 29. This week, the not-yet-named baby will be moved to the Cincinnati Zoo, where officials hope that two adult female gorillas will serve as surrogate moms. “It’s 100 percent better for her to have a gorilla mom,” said Cindy Stones, who’s hand-reared the newborn with other staff members. “That way she’ll learn everything gorillas are supposed to learn.” — Read it at The Brownsville (Texas) Herald

Hero Pug Saves Family From Fire

Late Sunday night, a family in Citrus Heights, Calif., awoke to the barking of their 3-year-old Pug. The little dog was alerting them to a fire in the attic of their home — even before the smoke detectors picked up on it. Firefighters were able to quickly suppress the fire, keeping it from doing extensive damage to the home, thanks to the dog’s quick thinking. No one was injured in the blaze. — Read it at the Los Angeles Times