May 8, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Bear, of Texas, received the National Hero Dog Award from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Los Angeles.

Rescued Dog Recognized for Rescuing His Owner

When Debbie Zeisler inquired about adopting a German Shepherd at her Texas shelter, she was told that the only one they had was in the back because no one wanted him. But Zeisler did. Although the 100-pound canine had no formal training as a service dog, he quickly figured out how to sense when Zeisler was about to have a seizure. Last year, when Zeisler fell unconscious following an episode, Bear scratched on neighbors’ doors in search of help — earning him the National Hero Dog Award from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. — Read it at the Washington Post

Betty White Takes the Lead On "Be Kind to Animals Week"

The actress hopes to get 9,000 people to become supporting members of the American Humane Association — the first animal welfare group that she joined. “As far as I am concerned, every week should be 'Be Kind to Animals Week,' " she says in an emailed invitation. — Read it from the American Humane Association

Meow the 39-pound cat died on Saturday

Meow — the 39-Pound Cat — Dies

After making headlines in the last few weeks because of his size, the 2-year-old shelter cat, who was beginning to signs of improvement, has died of pulmonary failure. “The Shelter staff — along with all those who met Meow during his short time with us — mourn his passing,” wrote the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society’s executive director, Mary Martin. “We will forever be grateful for the attention Meow’s size brought to pet obesity and to animal shelters across the country.” — Read it at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter’s Facebook Page

Photos Capture Ants Up Close

A photographer who used a special macro technique snapped some amazingly detailed pictures of fire ants balancing giant seeds, while working together to move across a branch in an amazing circus-like act. — See the photos at Animal Tracks

Cat Plucked From Washing Machine

A South African cat named Tabitha somehow ended up in her owner’s washing machine with a comforter that she must have been sleeping on. The cat, who spent nearly two hours in the washer, was treated for shock and hypothermia — and has since gone back to hiding in strange places. — Read it at The Star