Find the best and most compelling animal stories

Two years ago, Quinn Scharn lost his leg and hip to bone cancer. When he woke up from surgery, he had decided on one thing: he wanted a dog who had three legs. After a two year search, his mom, Teresa Howell, spotted the perfect companion for her son on the Front Street Animal Shelter’s Facebook page. She picked Scharn, who’s now 12 and cancer free, up early from school and drove to the Sacramento shelter. When they got there, they found out that Logan was on hold for another family. But after visiting with him, they learned that the family had just called and changed their mind — and Logan was available. The boy and dog had made a connection, and Scharn was thrilled to bring Logan home that day. A video of their sweet story posted on Facebook by the shelter on Thursday has already been viewed more than 1 million times. — Read it at People Pets

 

Surgeons Remove 915 Coins From Sea Turtle

A 25-year-old sea turtle named Bank had life-saving surgery Monday to remove 11 pounds of coins that she’d eaten.

Blind Lab Survives a Week in Mountains

A 12-year-old blind yellow Labrador Retriever is back home recovering after spending seven long nights lost in the Santa Cruz Mountains in northern California. Sage’s heartbroken family and their friends had been searching for her since she wandered away from her Boulder Creek home on Feb. 24. The Lab had lost both of her eyes due to health problems. The Coles’ neighbor, firefighter Dan Estrada, had helped in the search and was keeping an eye out for her while he took an out-of-town friend for a hike in the woods on Saturday. “I look over and see Sage laying on the ground right with her head in the stream,” Estrada said. He was afraid it was too late — but then she lifted her head. “I jumped in the stream, I was super happy,” he said. “I put my arms around her and hugged her and threw her over my shoulders and carried her up the mountain.” He then brought Sage home to her ecstatic and grateful family. Estrada refused the $1,000 reward the Coles had offered for help finding Sage, so it will

Great Dane Rescued From Freezing River

Earlier this month during a snowy walk near the Willimantic River in Connecticut, a 140-pound Great Dane named Mike got a little too close to the edge, and tumbled 16 feet down an embankment and into the ice-cold water. “I was frantic the strong river current would carry him away,” said his owner, Patricia Halloran. Mike managed to stand in chest-deep water on a ledge of tree roots while Halloran called 911. Two firefighters donned cold weather gear and rappelled into the water to reach the 11-year-old dog — who was quite happy to see them. Once they guided him to the bank, Mike was able to walk up the hill on his own. The firefighters wrapped the shaking dog in a thick blanket and police drove him to the veterinarian, where he was treated for mild hypothermia. “I am so thankful that Mike was OK,” said Halloran, who made him chicken soup and gave him TLC once he was back home. “He’s a tough old boy.” The rescue happened on March 10, but the video was recently shared on Facebook by a local

Dog Who Lost Puppies

Firefighters in Harrisburg, North Carolina, came to the rescue of an orange tabby cat who found herself in a very tight spot on Wednesday. Officials think Crystal was chasing something at her home when she fell and got herself wedged in between the chimney and the decorative siding that surrounds it. Her meows helped lead firefighters to her location within the two-story chimney, and they had her out within an hour. “We used our best judgment on where we thought she could be and pulled the boards off the side of the house and cut a hole in there, and no sooner than we were sticking our hands in, her head was sticking out of that hole,” said the fire department’s public information officer, David Bradshaw. “Immediately she said, ‘Hey, I’m getting out of here.’ She climbed out right into the firefighter’s arms.”

 

New Dwarf Primate Discovered in Africa

Researchers from the U.K. detected a new species of bush baby — a tiny, bug-eyed mammal — living deep in an African jungle. The team found the 6-inch mammal when it noticed one of the calls they were hearing didn’t sound anything like the 18 known species of bush baby, also known as

Firefighters Save Dog From Cliff

A crew of 16 San Francisco firefighters came to the rescue of a dog who tumbled over a ledge and down a steep cliff in the Golden Gate National Recreation area on Wednesday. The dog got stuck on a ledge after the fall. The crew dropped ropes down the cliffside and lowered one firefighter down to get the dog. The firefighter and dog were then carefully pulled back up the embankment in a dramatic scene that was captured on video and shared on Twitter by the fire department. The dog was in an offleash area, but a spokesman for the San Francisco Fire Department recommends “animals need to be within range for verbal commands, and people need to be responsible and keep their animals away from the Cliffside.” However, he said the dog sitter who was with the pooch at the time did the right thing by calling for help instead of attempting to rescue the dog on his own.

 

Cat Owners Not at Risk for Psychosis

Past studies have found that kids who grow up with cats are at a higher risk for mental health issues linked to a parasite cats are known to carry. But a new study has good

Cat Freed From Chimney

Firefighters in Harrisburg, North Carolina, came to the rescue of an orange tabby cat who found herself in a very tight spot on Wednesday. Officials think Crystal was chasing something at her home when she fell and got herself wedged in between the chimney and the decorative siding that surrounds it. Her meows helped lead firefighters to her location within the two-story chimney, and they had her out within an hour. “We used our best judgment on where we thought she could be and pulled the boards off the side of the house and cut a hole in there, and no sooner than we were sticking our hands in, her head was sticking out of that hole,” said the fire department’s public information officer, David Bradshaw. “Immediately she said, ‘Hey, I’m getting out of here.’ She climbed out right into the firefighter’s arms.”

 

New Dwarf Primate Discovered in Africa

Researchers from the U.K. detected a new species of bush baby — a tiny, bug-eyed mammal — living deep in an African jungle. The team found the 6-inch mammal when it noticed one of the calls they were hearing didn’t sound anything like the 18 known species of bush baby, also known as

Blind Lab Survives a Week in Mountains

A 12-year-old blind yellow Labrador Retriever is back home recovering after spending seven long nights lost in the Santa Cruz Mountains in northern California. Sage’s heartbroken family and their friends had been searching for her since she wandered away from her Boulder Creek home on Feb. 24. The Lab had lost both of her eyes due to health problems. The Coles’ neighbor, firefighter Dan Estrada, had helped in the search and was keeping an eye out for her while he took an out-of-town friend for a hike in the woods on Saturday. “I look over and see Sage laying on the ground right with her head in the stream,” Estrada said. He was afraid it was too late — but then she lifted her head. “I jumped in the stream, I was super happy,” he said. “I put my arms around her and hugged her and threw her over my shoulders and carried her up the mountain.” He then brought Sage home to her ecstatic and grateful family. Estrada refused the $1,000 reward the Coles had offered for help finding Sage, so it will be donated to charity. — Read it at San Francisco’s ABC 7 New

 

Beloved Polar Bear Cub

Denver Giraffe Calf Steals the Spotlight

As thousands watch a live stream waiting for April the giraffe to give birth at a New York zoo, the Denver Zoo announced this week that its 23-year-old giraffe, Kipele, quietly had a baby of her own on Tuesday morning. When the zoo’s staff noticed Dobby wasn’t nursing initially, they quickly jumped in to feed him and provide critical care. Luckily, he has now started nursing and is doing well with his mom. Dobby was a surprise to the public — and to the zoo. His mom had been on birth control, and even when keepers suspected a pregnancy, they weren’t able to confirm it because she resisted attempts to do an ultrasound. But they’re thrilled to have this unexpected addition to the herd.

 

Study: Elephants Only Sleep 2 Hours a Day

African elephants may be among the shortest-sleeping mammals on earth, new research finds. After observing two female matriarchs for a month, researchers found that the elephants slept an average of just two hours per day and often go for nearly two days with no sleep. “Elephants really don’t sleep all that much, and this appears to be related to their large size,” said lead researcher Paul Manger, a professor in

Friar Dog at Monastery Gets His Own Robe

Carmelo, whose official name is Friar Bigoton (Friar Moustache), is an adorable Schnauzer who lives at a Roman Catholic monastery in Bolivia. The little guy has quickly gained fame this week, as photos of him dressed in the traditional brown robes like the monks he lives with have gone viral. Several news stories have reported Carmelo was adopted as a stray and wears the robes regularly, but the monk who shared his cute photos clarified the pup’s story this morning. In a new Facebook post, Kasper Mariusz Kapron Ofm (Order of Friars Minor) wrote that the dog wasn’t actually a stray and doesn’t always wear his robes. Instead, he was given to the monks as a Christmas gift when he was a puppy — and he sported his custom robe as a “prank” on their seminarians for Carnival this year. Still, it’s clear that the little guy is loved and adorable. — Read it from Kasper Mariusz Kapron Ofm via Facebook

 

Rare Whale Caught on Video for First Time

Two True’s beaked whales were caught on camera by students during an expedition in Portugal’s Azores Islands. Live sightings of the elusive whale species is extremely rare, and the video is the first

Service Pup Named for WWII Vet

Before a celebration for his 100th birthday, World War II veteran Norval Nichols asked that in lieu of gifts, his friends and family should donate to Patriot PAWS, a Texas-based non-profit that trains service dogs for veterans. Nichols, who goes by Sgt. Nick, is partially blind. Although he doesn’t have a service dog himself, he wanted to give another veteran the opportunity to have one. At his celebration, Patriot PAWS had a sweet surprise for the caring vet. He met the adorable yellow Labrador Retriever puppy who’s benefiting from his generosity, and who has a special name: Sgt. Nick. So far, the veteran has raised $5,835 toward his $34,000 goal through a GoFundMe page. — Read it at NBC Dallas-Fort Worth

 

Shelter Dog Saves 3-Year-Old Girl

Peanut, a recently adopted shelter dog, is being hailed as a hero for finding a 3-year-old girl shivering near a cold river in Michigan last week. Peanut’s owners couldn’t figure out why the dog “started going crazy at our house. She was running up and down the stairs, barking and yelping,” the unidentified woman who’s Peanut’s new owner said. Her husband let the dog outside, and she “went barreling into the field behind our house at

Escaped Shelter Dog Found by Lincoln Tunnel

Pandy was rescued for the second time on Tuesday afternoon. The 5-year-old Terrier has been staying at New York’s Animal Haven shelter after she was saved from the dog meat trade in Thailand. But the pooch got spooked during a walk with a volunteer on the streets of Manhattan in blizzard conditions on Tuesday, and ran 40 blocks across town. About an hour later, she was spotted by police officers near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, which leads to New Jersey. They scooped up the exhausted and freezing pup and brought her to the ASCPA, where her microchip helped identify her. Pandy is now safe, warm and loved back at Animal Haven, where she’s waiting to find her forever family. “She’s tired but she’s the sweet girl she always is,” said the shelter’s executive director, Tiffany Lacey. “She’s shy and needs a patient, loving adopter.” — Read it at the New York Post

 

Study: Antarctic Penguin Numbers Double Previous Estimates

New research using aerial and ground surveys, tagging and camera images over several breeding seasons finds that the number of Adelie penguins in East Antarctica is 5.9 million — not 3.6 million, as previously thought. Previous population estimates only took breeding

Police Rescue Frozen Kitten From Highway

A pair of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were driving on a Saskatchewan highway last week when they swerved to avoid something in the middle of the road. They thought it was a chunk of ice — until they saw it move. They stopped their car once they realized it was an animal, and got out to investigate. The partially frozen and very vocal kitten knew help had arrived, and started moving toward the officers, who scooped him up and got him to a veterinary clinic. There, he was warmed up, fed and treated for frostbite. One of the kitten’s heroes, Cpr. Sean Chiddenton, was surprised to find a happy and active kitten when he returned later that day to check on him. “He has stolen all our hearts!” the Prairie Animal Health Centre wrote in a Facebook post. The fluffy kitten has been named Ambrose, and is now being spoiled by the family who adopted him. — Read it at the Huffington Post

 

Great White Shark Numbers Growing Off Cape Cod

Surveys taken between June and October 2016 identified 147 great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod, including 89 new sharks that researchers hadn’t seen in previous years. When

Friar Dog at Monastery Gets His Own Robe

Carmelo, whose official name is Friar Bigoton (Friar Moustache), is an adorable Schnauzer who lives at a Roman Catholic monastery in Bolivia. The little guy has quickly gained fame this week, as photos of him dressed in the traditional brown robes like the monks he lives with have gone viral. Several news stories have reported Carmelo was adopted as a stray and wears the robes regularly, but the monk who shared his cute photos clarified the pup’s story this morning. In a new Facebook post, Kasper Mariusz Kapron Ofm (Order of Friars Minor) wrote that the dog wasn’t actually a stray and doesn’t always wear his robes. Instead, he was given to the monks as a Christmas gift when he was a puppy — and he sported his custom robe as a “prank” on their seminarians for Carnival this year. Still, it’s clear that the little guy is loved and adorable. — Read it from Kasper Mariusz Kapron Ofm via Facebook

 

Rare Whale Caught on Video for First Time

Two True’s beaked whales were caught on camera by students during an expedition in Portugal’s Azores Islands. Live sightings of the elusive whale species is extremely rare, and the video is the first

Rare Baby Sifaka Makes Public Debut

Yousstwo, a Crowned Sifaka, was born in December at the U.K.’s Cotswold Wildlife Park to mom Tahina and dad Bafana. This rare breed of lemur is native to Madagascar. Yousstwo’s parents are the only breeding pair of Sifakas in the UK, and his mom is the first hand-reared Sifaka in history to parent-rear her own offspring. Only seven zoos around the world have this rare species. Yousstwo has been in a heated enclosure under his mom’s watchful eye since he was born, but he has now ventured outside and made his public debut. — Get updates from the Cotswold Wildlife Park’s Facebook

 

Bald Eagle Hatches in D.C.

A pair of bald eagle parents, Mr. President and The First Lady, made headlines earlier this month as they huddled over their nest at Washington’s National Arboretum during a late winter snowstorm. Well, their hard work and protection has paid off. The first of their eggs hatched on Wednesday morning, and is being referred to as DC4. The pair’s second egg has not hatched yet. Another patriotic pair of D.C. eagles, Justice and Liberty, had an eaglet of their own on March 15. — Read it at Washington’s WTOP

 

“Wonder Dog” Saves Her Owner

A woman who

Dog Saved From Burning Apartment

Crystal Lamirande came home to find her apartment on fire Tuesday afternoon but couldn’t get through the thick smoke to find her 10-year-old dog. Nalu was found unconscious and rescued by Santa Monica, California, firefighters, who then performed CPR on the dog for 20 minutes and saved his life. The grateful and emotional owner and her Bichon Frise mix visited the station Thursday to thank the crew. “That was just a great morale booster for all of the guys here in our department,” said firefighter Andrew Klein. — Watch it at Los Angeles’ ABC 7

 

First U.S. Bumble Bee Listed as Endangered

The rusted patch bumble bee was added to the government’s list of endangered species on Tuesday, making it the first wild bee in the continental U.S. to get federal protection. The addition came after President Trump’s administration lifted a hold it had placed on federal protections proposed by the Obama administration last fall. The population and range of the bee, once widely found in the Northeast and upper Midwest, has declined more than 90 percent since the 1990s due to disease, pesticides, climate change and loss of habitat, wildlife officials said. — Read it at Reuters

 

Study: Sea Otters Used Tools

Kitten Stuck Inside Wall

Using a thermal imaging camera, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, firefighters managed to find the location of a tiny kitten who was stuck inside the wall of a resident’s home. Firefighters said the kitten was a stray whose mom may have given birth in the homeowner’s attic, or brought her little ones there looking for a safe place to stay. Either way, this kitten apparently wandered away and fell into the wall space. “The owner was more than happy to let us cut a hole in the wall. They found the little guy in there,” said deputy fire chief Timothy Heiser. “They didn’t know how long he was in there for. They washed him off and brought some food for him back to the station.” The kitten has been named Wall-ee, and will be up for adoption at Broward County Animal Care. — Read it at ABC News

 

Study: Cats Like You Better Than Food

Cats often get a reputation as being rather aloof. But a new study finds that felines favor human interaction over toys, smells and even food. The researchers tested 50 cats from private homes and an animal shelter and took away their access to those four types of stimuli. Then,

Cheetah Cub Baby Boom at Smithsonian

The animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia must be seeing spots! Two large cheetah litters were born in one week in March. Happy, 3, had five healthy cubs on March 23, while Miti, 7, gave birth to seven cubs on March 28. Sadly, two of them were very small and less active, and didn’t survive. But luckily, the 10 surviving cubs are doing well and being raised by their attentive moms. Each of the litters of five includes two boys and three girls. “The average litter size is three, so this time we’ve got an incredible pile of cubs,” said Adrienne Crosier, SCBI cheetah biologist and manager of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Cheetah Species Survival Plan. “In just one week, we increased the number of cheetahs at SCBI by 50 percent.” The Virginia facility is affiliated with the National Zoo in Washington. — Read it at the National Zoo

 

Mexico to Put Rare Porpoises in Refuge

In a controversial new “emergency plan” to save the vaquita marina porpoise from extinction, Mexico’s government announced plans to put some of the animals in a temporary refuge. But conservationists warn the world’s smallest porpoise species isn’t an animal

Old Girl Falls for Blind Cat

Britta Bergeson, 8, first spotted Justice on the Arizona Humane Society’s web site, and pleaded with her family to adopt the blind cat, even drawing sweet pictures of the kitty in her home. Her parents agreed, and the whole family (grandpa, aunts and cousins included) arrived at the shelter asking to meet Justice last week. “She started crying and it was an instant love connection,” when Britta was introduced to Justice, said adoptions supervisor Vanessa Crues. “Justice just melted in her lap and was so calm with her new friend. The family was very emotional. Love connections like these are what make this job so rewarding, especially for a cat like Justice who really needed to find a great home!” — Read it at People Pets

 

Rare Giraffe’s Birth Caught on Video

As the world waits for April the giraffe to have her long awaited baby at a New York state zoo, an endangered Rothschild giraffe was born across the pond at the U.K.’s Chester Zoo on Monday. The baby’s birth was caught on CCTV cameras, and the zoo released the stunning video, which also shows the baby’s first wobbly steps, on Tuesday. “Those long legs take a little bit of getting

Vets Intervene to Save Lion Cub

An adorable lion cub overcame “considerable odds” to make a safe arrival at the Dallas Zoo on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Bahati Moja, whose name means “Lucky One,” was born to mom Lina and dad Kamau. Lina had previously given birth to stillborn cubs, so veterinarians intervened in an effort to ensure this little girl’s survival. Thanks to their hard work, she’s now “bonding beautifully with Lina, nursing, putting on weight and turning into a feisty little cub,” the zoo said in a Facebook post last week. The mother and daughter duo will remain behind the scenes for a few months before they make their debut. — Read it at Zooborns

 

Wild Dogs Feared Extinct Captured on Camera

More than 50 years after they were last seen, New Guinea highland wild dogs have been spotted in their natural island habitat. The rare canine species are the same as or close relatives of New Guinea’s singing dogs, which only live in captivity. Camera trap pictures from last year reveal at least 15 individual dogs, including males, females and pups. DNA evidence suggests the wild dogs may be the most primitive canines alive today, and scientists are hopeful they can shed more light

Mom Saves Pups From Factory Fire

It was December when a Good Samaritan found a Pit Bull mix on a road in South Carolina, close to the abandoned factory where she’d been living. That same day, the empty factory caught fire. “They took her to animal control and realized she had a broken front left leg and knew she was still producing milk, so she had puppies somewhere,” said Victoria McGonigal, owner of Dochas n Gra Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. Animal control called the local fire department to ask about returning to the site to look for the dog’s puppies, but it was four days until the area was safe enough to go back. When they did, the mama dog led animal control straight to the wooded spot where she’d moved her puppies. All six were safe and sound, and the rescuers believe the dog they named Miracle had broken her shoulder while moving each puppy out of the factory. Her leg was later amputated and she’s recovered. The puppies stayed with their mom until recently, when they were ready for adoption, and now their hero mom is ready for a forever home, too. — Watch it at ABC News

 

Rescued Meerkat Pup Gets 24/7 Care

A wide-eyed