Sept. 23, 2014: We’ve scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it’s all right here.

The shadow of a manatee can be seen in the top part of this photo of a dog who was rescued by Tampa police.

Manatee Watches Over Dog

On Saturday morning, Tampa residents turned to the police for help when they saw a dog struggling to get out of the Hillsborough River by a cement wall. While marine patrol officers were on the scene setting up their rescue operation, they noticed that the dog had a special visitor watching over him: a manatee. “This manatee kept our scared, wet pup company until TPD Marine Patrol could complete the rescue,” the police department wrote on Facebook. “You don’t see that every day, and it’s a great reminder [of] the importance of kindness.” The pup suffered from bug bites and bloody paws but was happy to be reunited with his owners, who live in the neighborhood. — Read it at Florida’s WFLA

Man Who Kicked Cat Apologizes in Court

Andre Robinson, the Brooklyn man caught on video smiling while he kicked a cat in May, apologized during a court appearance Monday. “It was just a spur of the moment, it just happened,” said Robinson, 21. “I shouldn’t have done it.” He complained that the cat was “bothering” him and rubbing against his leg. It was the first time Robinson has commented extensively on the case, which is set to go to trial soon. The cat, who’s been named King, was treated and adopted by a family. — Read it at the New York Daily News

Ornate Box Turtles Hatch at Chicago Zoo

Eleven ornate box turtles hatched at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago this week, but they will be returning to their natural habitat in the sand prairies of Western Illinois next summer. They’re part of three different clutches provided to the zoo by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in an effort to restore native populations of turtles to the area. “Every single hatchling is a success for the population,” said zoo curator Diane Mulkerin. “Each animal represents being one step closer to restoring the natural grasslands and prairies in Illinois, which is necessary for the ecosystem to flourish.” — See photos at Zooborns

Firefighters save dog in San Antonio

Dog Saved From Burning House

When firefighters in San Antonio, Texas, arrived at the scene of a house fire Saturday night, they found the garage completely engulfed in flames, and the fire was quickly spreading to the rest of the house. Once inside, they discovered a dog unconscious in the home. They brought him outside and rescued him with a special pet oxygen mask. The dog regained consciousness and was taken to a vet hospital for treatment. He’s expected to be OK. — Watch it at Texas’ KSAT

Kenworthy’s Sochi Puppies Grow Up

It’s been 7 months since silver medalist freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy fell in love with a stray mother dog and her four puppies in Sochi, Russia, during the Winter Olympics — and vowed to bring them to the U.S. His friend, Robin Macdonald, stayed behind in Sochi for a month to bring them home. Not everything went as they’d hoped. Sadly, one of the puppies died before he was allowed to leave Sochi, and a second, Rosa, died in New York City. But thankfully, the other two puppies are thriving. Once malnourished, Mishka is now 52 pounds and Jake is up to 48 pounds. They’re living happily with Kenworthy in Denver, and their mom lives with the skier’s mother and stepfather in Telluride, Colorado. "They’re super healthy. Their coats are really soft. Their eyes are clear. Their breath smells good,” the skier told People of the pups. "We’ve had a lot of fun together. They’re amazing." — See photos at People Pets