Monday, December 22, 2014

Captive Orangutan Has Human Right to Freedom

An orangutan held in an Argentine zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognized the ape as a "non-human person" unlawfully deprived of its freedom, local media reported on Sunday. Animal rights campaigners filed a habeas corpus petition - a document more typically used to challenge the legality of a person's detention or imprisonment - in November on behalf of Sandra, a 29-year-old Sumatran orangutan at the Buenos Aires zoo.  In a landmark ruling that could pave the way for more lawsuits, the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) argued the ape had sufficient cognitive functions and should not be treated as an object.  The court agreed Sandra, born into captivity in Germany before being transferred to Argentina two decades ago, deserved the basic rights of a "non-human person."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Disabled Dog Runs With 3D Printed Legs

Derby the dog was born with deformed front legs that left him unable to move faster than a crawl. But now, with the help of a team of orthopedic and 3D-printing experts, he can actually run. Alright, so this is basically a three-minute advertisement for a 3D printing company — but that doesn’t mean it’s not heartwarming (and interesting) as hell.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dog Swims 1.5 Miles To Reunite After Home Sinks

A Sausalito man whose home on the water sank during last week’s brutal storm was reunited with his dog that somehow survived the sinking, and swam to shore.  Steve Alioto had everything he loved on the boat in Sausalito, anchored out because he couldn’t afford a dock.  He returned to the boat after helping a friend during Thursday’s storm to find his home had sunk.  "All I saw was the mast sticking out of the water,” Alioto said.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Having a Pet May Improve Your Health

With final exams bearing down on them this month, nearly 1,000 students at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond turned out for “Paws for Stress” — a chance to pet and play with therapy dogs.  Pets were once considered a leisure interest, one best kept at home. But there’s a growing recognition that in addition to companionship, animals may offer humans a tangible health boost. VCU is just one of many colleges making therapy dogs available to students to help them cope with the stresses of finals, says Sandra Barker, a researcher at the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at VCU’s medical school and an organizer of the event.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hello, Kitty: New York’s Cat Café Opens

New York City now has its first permanent cat café. Meow Parlour, located on Hester Street on the Lower East Side, opened this afternoon with eight cats for the cuddling, a handful of superfans, and a flurry of iPhone camera activity outside. The spot is already a hit, but don’t look for lines around the block: You can only visit Meow Parlour by appointment and the next 60 days are booked solid.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dog and Cat Found Together Adopted Together

On Thursday we told you about a stray dog and cat – best friends – who were found together in Georgia.  We’re pleased to tell you that they’ve already found a home – together!  Henni the dog and Penny the cat – both females –were brought to the Columbia County Animal Services in Grovetown after a woman discovered them in her yard.  “They were brought in as strays to us by a citizen in Martinez who found them in her yard and the owner actually found them online and contacted us to let us know that they were her pets,” explained Shelter Operations Manager Daniel Mayne.  “She wasn’t able to come back and reclaim them. Her husband is in the military and got stationed up in North Carolina so she wasn’t able to come back and get them.”

Friday, December 12, 2014

Paralyzed Dog Reminds Us Why Everyone Deserves A Second Chance

Zeus the puppy was almost completely paralyzed when Lynda Kuether took him in as a foster, shortly after he was rescued from a high-kill shelter in Oklahoma.  "He was terribly emaciated and only able to lift his head and wag his tail," Kuether says. "He had to be fed and given water by syringe."  Kuether said a veterinarian determined the paralysis was likely caused by a virus, but recommended against dispositive diagnostic tests since the treatment would be the same: antibiotics, steroids and lots of physical therapy, which might or might not improve his mobility.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Video: Rhodesian Ridgeback Goes From Puppy to Dog

In three years, Sophie went from scrappy puppy to full-grown Rhodesian Ridgeback.  Greg Coffin documented his dog's growth with photographs that he stitched together into a video, which show Sophie sprout in 23 seconds. The video also includes about 50 seconds worth of photographs that illustrate the challenge of keeping a growing puppy still.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Meet Kenny the Rescued Wombat

Kenny the rescued wombat baby couldn’t be cozier, napping peacefully in the place of his choosing — which just so happens to be a dresser drawer at the wildlife sanctuary that rescued him.  But things haven’t always been so good for the sweet little marsupial. Kenny was saved from certain death last September after his mother was struck and killed by a car. A kind couple, who stopped to help, discovered the furry baby still nestled inside his mom’s pouch. They then drove him more than 100 miles to the Australian Reptile Park sanctuary in New South Wales where the wee wombat could get the care he needed.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Video: Green Cat Wandering the Streets of Bulgaria

It's true that cats come in all shapes, sizes, and for the most part, color -- but seeing a bright green cat would turn just about anyone's head.  As most would assume, this bizarre-looking cat wandering the streets of Varna, Bulgaria, wasn't born with an emerald green coat -- and despite locals' initial assumptions, it apparently wasn't the victim of a cruel prank.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Which Countries Are Kindest To Animals?

From French poodles to South African rhinos to Australian kangaroos, it’s no surprise that animals in different countries can lead startlingly different lives. But when it comes to animal protection, how do they compare?  The organization World Animal Protection has created a useful tool to answer just that — an interactive map of animal welfare and conservation policies of 50 countries. The map is based on an “Animal Protection Index” that measures each country’s efforts to protect animals with legislation, improve animal welfare and recognize animals’ emotional and cognitive abilities.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Canines Team Up To Help Veteran Overcome Depression

When this big rescue dog joined a new home, she probably didn't expect to find afurever friend in a pooch half her size.  Douglas Pittsley, 27, of San Diego, served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years and was deployed a few times over the course of his military career. In 2010, Pittsley, who dealt with anger and depression after his deployments, adopted a large German shepherd mix whom he named Dixie to help him with his stress.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

First Class Dogs: Luxury Travel With Man's Best Friend

More than ever before travelers are now flying in First Class with their dogs. It’s not just private jet travel anymore. I recently flew to New York in the new Mint Class offered by JetBlue Airlines. Sixteen new fully flat bed seats in the front of the plane. Four of the seats are private suites with sliding doors for a more exclusive experience. JetBlue is also proud of their JetPaws program encouraging pet owners to travel on board with their furry partners.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

'Flying Dog' Photos Capture Furry Friends In Freefall

Not since Underdog have canines looked so awkward in the air.  Julia Christe, a German photographer and dog lover, wanted to capture her favorite breeds from a unique perspective, so she asked some pet owners if she could shoot their pooches in mid-flight.  The pups had their pictures taken as they were dropped onto a mattress by their owners. Despite pulling some pretty precious faces, the puppies in the photo shoot are all okay. We're betting some of them even wanted to go again, since dogs are just awesome.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dog Has Cat's Back

Hello and thank you for the insane cat pictures.  Below you will find an example of dog heroism.A cat in need of protection receives it and a further escalation is avoided. That is obviously good news.  But more needs to be done to get at the root of the problem that caused the initial conflict between the two cats. That dog won't always be around to bail its friend out.  Perhaps the bully cat had a rough upbringing. Maybe there was some sort of traumatic incident in its past that makes it act out violently.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Loyal Dog Clings To Side Of Ambulance With Friend Inside

This pooch really went the distance to make sure his owner was going to be OK.  After experiencing some dizziness, J.R. Nicholson, an 85-year-old rancher from Mason, Texas, was rushed to the hospital late last month, ABC News reported. Little did he know, his faithful furry friend, Buddy, wasn't planning on leaving his side.  A motorist spotted the dog on the side step of the ambulance as it was en route to the hospital, and flagged down the driver. The pup, who was immediately brought into the vehicle after the sighting, had been clinging on for 15 - 21 miles and was thankfully unharmed, according to the outlet.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Meet 10 Species Newly Threatened By Extinction

The latest tally of who’s who on the endangered species list includes a few newcomers that we’re responsible for putting there.  Thanks to our love of sushi, the Pacific bluefin tuna, the Chinese pufferfish, and the American eel have all moved closer to the extinction designation on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species.  About a third of the world’s 76,199 known species appear on the Red List.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cat Lovers Demanding NYC Shelters Stop Killing Strays

Cat lovers across the globe have their claws out for Mayor Bill de Blasio, demanding that he stop the city’s Animal Care & Control shelters from killing stray felines.  “He is doing nothing,” former Italian Sen. Carla Rocchi, who heads an animal-rights group in her country, fumed to The Post on Sunday. “He has the power to immediately stop the massacre because AC&C is under his government.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Video: Baby Elephant Fought Off 14 Lions

Here’s a video of lions attacking an elephant that you won’t soon forget.  We’re guessing the elephant won’t forget it either.  In footage shot by journalists in Zambia’s Chinzombo Camp, a one-year-old elephant fends off attack after attack from a pack of 14 lions—charging, kicking, and stomping its way to safety.  At one point, three lionesses are draped on the back of the elephant, which plunges into a nearby river to shake off its pursuers. The baby had apparently wandered away from its mother and herd, and the pack of lions descended on it.

Monday, November 17, 2014

What PETA Really Stands For

I am you, only different.  Human beings create temporary and arbitrary boundaries to exclude beings who aren’t like them. Human beings have justified wars, slavery, sexual violence, and military conquests through the mistaken belief that those who are “different” do not experience suffering and are not worthy of moral consideration.These boundaries change throughout history, and we’re horrified now to recall the abuse inflicted on others once classified as outsiders: the extermination of Jewish people by the Nazis, the enslavement of African people by American plantation owners, and the slaughter of Christian people for entertainment by Roman centurions.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Nature’s Most Incredible Creatures

A Sri Lankan leopard in Slovakia’s Bratislava Zoo uses a wooden post to relieve an itch. The Sri Lankan leopard is endangered in its home country, with no subpopulation of the species larger than 250 individuals. It is one of eight recognized subspecies of leopard—the smallest of the “big cats.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Video: How Your Cat Sees The World

The vast majority of cat behavior can be attributed to cats being total jerks who know there's plenty they can get away with because of how cute they are.  But some of their weird habits are probably just because they see the world very differently than we do. At least, we hope there's an explanation for why they find hair ties to be so endlessly fascinating.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Adventurous Feline Isn't Afraid to Get His Paws Wet

A British veterinary nurse believes she can teach cats to swim, in a hydrotherapy routine used to treat animals struggling with muscle therapy and blood flow.  Nurse Polly Noviss, 30, showed off her orange cat Roy and his swimming skills, as a prototype for a swimming instruction she’d like to bring to felines in need of physical therapy.  A soggy Roy was pictured in a swimming pool, outfitted with a custom cat-sized life vest that includes a handle so he can be quickly placed into or removed from the pool.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Video: Porcupine Fends Off 17 Lions

Now this is something you don't see every day: a porcupine defending itself from not one, not two, but 17 lions.  The incredible nighttime spectacle was caught on video by Luc Beaumont, a guide at the Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa. The porcupine can be seen using its quills to ward off 13 lionesses and four male lions at the reserve.  "As a guide I have a bucket list of various sightings that I dream of seeing," Beaumont wrote in a blog post about the unusual encounter. "The more time I spend in the bush, the more amazing things I have seen over the years, the more outrageous my bucket list seems to become. A few nights ago, I managed to tick one major sighting off my bucket list that I have been hoping, dreaming and imagining for many years."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Meet Six of the Military Dogs to Be Honored on Veterans Day

Popular adages may promise every dog its day, but the sad reality is canines that serve in the US military — sniffing out bombs, mines and other explosive devices — aren’t even guaranteed return transport after multiple tours of duty overseas.  Often, they are left behind with new owners abroad when their handlers return home.  “The dogs and these veterans work side by side. To separate them, I think, is a crime,” says Lois Pope, a longtime veterans advocate who began lobbying last year to return all four-legged defenders to the states for adoption by the servicement with whom they’d bonded.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Donkey Rescued From Manhole

What an ass!  A donkey in Switzerland got stuck in a manhole, and authorities needed over an hour to free the poor creature.  Pratteln resident Urs Meyer was surprised when he first spotted the lodged donkey as he walked his dog nearby.  “My initial reaction was it was a stuffed toy, but then I saw it move its ears and shake its head, and [I] realized it was real,” he told Central European News. “I don’t know how the manhole cover ended up being moved but the donkey had clearly fallen inside and was stuck there.”

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Meet 3 Animals Who Saved Human Children

The new book “Unlikely Heroes: 37 Inspiring Stories of Courage and Heart from the Animal Kingdom” (Workman) will have you looking at dogs, cats, seals, horses and even cows in a different light.  Author Jennifer S. Holland shares unexpected stories of heroism and empathy, from a horse who protects his owner from a pit bull, to a hippo who rescues a wildebeest from drowning.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Uber Delivers Kittens on Demand

Cuddly kittens got busted Wednesday at the security desk of the Washington Post.  The Express decided to try out Uber’s Wednesday-only offer to pay $30 to have a kitten delivered to you for 15 minutes of snuggling. The delivery seemed to not be a problem: Two kittens, Sneezy and Sleepy, showed up in a crate at The Washington Post’s main lobby, according to pictures from our Express colleagues.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reptiles' Secret to a Long Life: Avoid Meat and Sex

Why do some animals live to a ripe old age—a Gila monster at the Tel Aviv Zoo, for instance, is well over 40—while their compatriots die young?  For snakes and lizards, at least, the answer seems to be to eat more veggies and have less sex, according to a new study published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.  An international group of researchers collected data on 1,014  reptile species and analyzed factors affecting their life spans. The scientists also looked at distribution maps for each species and assessed the temperature, rainfall, and general productivity of each area where the lizards lived.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Video: First Taste Of Freedom For Six Overjoyed Animals

These beagles, who had lived their entire lives in cages, romp playfully in the grass for the first time ever, thanks to the Beagle Freedom Project.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Video: 100 Sharks Having Lunch on the Beach

Does Sharknado need another sequel? Not when there is jaw-dropping, real-life footage like this (among other reasons).  A surfer captured this video of dozens of sharks feeding on a school of blue fish at Cape Lookout National Seashore off the coast of North Carolina. According to Brian Recker, who uploaded the viral clip on YouTube, the feeding frenzy lasted more than five minutes. Seagulls and pelicans joined the apex predators, and a group of people who were out to fish began gathering catch as well.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Costume Ideas for Your Pet

Forget your human Halloween costume— it's your cuddly pet's costume that's racking up the likes on Instagram this season.  Ensuring that your furry friend has the cutest costume at the pet parade will require a bit of foresight, preparation and patience. But it's worth it to know that your dog, cat, hamster or guinea pig will be properly decked out for the spookiest day of the year.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Video: Doggie Shows Off Cutest Case Of Road Rage

When we saw a seemingly annoyed boxer dog honking her owner's car horn back in March, we thought she was just a rare case of a perturbed puppy.  But now that we have stumbled upon the video above, and we see yet another pooch laying on the horn, we are certain that this is what dogs do when they have absolutely no patience.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Video: Bear Cub Wanders Rite Aid's Aisles

In case you’re wondering, a bear cub ambles through the aisles of a drugstore the same way a toddler does.  It runs, stops, walks, and most likely is on the hunt for sweets. At least that’s what one bear caught on camera at a Rite Aid in Ashland, Oregon, was doing. The bear’s day started with a trip to a Super 8 motel, according to a KOBI-TV report. The one-month-old apparently meandered around the hallways until it was able to get into a room. From there, it escaped out a window and ran across the street to Rite Aid

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yellow Lab With 'Paws Up' Available For Adoption Again

On October 17, this five-year-old yellow Labrador retriever's photo broke the hearts of readers as he reached his paws against his kennel begging for his freedom. He was described by volunteers and staff alike at the busy Carson Animal Care as being extremely smart, gorgeous and just full of love.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Video: Baby Rhino Plays With His Lamb Sidekick

If anyone deserves a happy ending, it’s this baby rhino.Back in May, rangers at a game reserve in South Africa found the three-month-old calf next to his mother, who had been killed and poached for her horn. The rangers called staffers at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre to the scene.  “It was a devastating sight, as the tiny animal would not leave her side and was crying inconsolably for her,” according to HESC’s website.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Elephants Know When It's Raining 150 Miles Away

Maybe the Weather Channel should start hiring elephants. A study in PLoS ONE suggests the creatures can detect rainstorms happening 150 miles away, possibly by hearing them even from that far off.  Migrating elephants are known to change direction out of the blue, and researchers haven't been certain why. The Namibian research team figured it might be because of rain—as explains, elephants are regularly looking for water in the region, which is dry outside of the January-to-March rainy season.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Drone Captures Never Before Seen Views of Killer Whales

Can drones help save the whales?  In August, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Vancouver Aquarium conducted a series of drone flights over British Columbia’s Johnstone Strait to monitor the health and reproduction of threatened Northern Resident killer whales from 100 feet in the air.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Video: Firefighter Saves Dog From Fire

This firefighter understands that any life -- no matter the species -- is a life worth saving.  Last Thursday, firefighters responded to a burning home in Virginia, rescuing the woman inside the house, CBS6 reported. The emergency responders didn't forget her furry companion, Keiser, and carried the dog out of the home as well. Though the canine made no movement and it appeared as though he wasn't going to survive, firefighter Josh Moore and paramedic Bubby Bish decided to make a last-ditch attempt to save the pet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Is Dogspotting?

Facebook group created for posting pictures of random dogs is being accused of tyranny across the Internet.  You may have never heard of it, but "Dogspotting" is one of the Internet's most popular sports. With nearly 30,000 members on the main Facebook group and thousands more on separate, tributary groups and websites, Dogspotting has quickly become very serious business. With the institution of a new, strict set of rules, it's also becoming very controversial. Kind of.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dog Interrupts Soccer Match To Get Petted

An Argentina Primera Division match between Belgrano and Quilmes had to be halted late in the first half when a dog wandered onto the pitch.  "Humans — I command you to stop playing your silly games and shower me with affection," the dog said before finding a Quilmes player who could not resist its charms and began to pet it. Another Quilmes player, Jonathan Zacaria, then picked up the dog and carried it off the pitch.  The match was then able to resume and ended in a 1-1 draw. Clearly that dog was the day's only winner.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Killer Whales Learn to Speak Dolphin

Are killer whales multilingual?  A new study from the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute has found that captive orcas kept with bottlenose dolphins adopt the signature clicks and whistles of their tank mates. But some scientists question claims made in the paper that this knowledge can benefit endangered orca populations in the wild.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Living With Neil the Lion in 1971

This is what happens when a lion becomes part of the household.  These pictures show Tippi Hedren — star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds — with her husband, Noel Marshall, and her daughter, actress Melanie Griffith, and their lion, Neil. Melanie is Tippi's daughter from her first marriage to Peter Griffith.  At the time these pictures were taken, Melanie was 19.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

20 Adorable Animals That Dislike the Vet

An animal's equivalent to a dentist appointment is a trip to the vet.  They can put on their best puppy face and try as hard as they want — even hide in the sink at the doctor's office — but the visit is inevitable. Despite putting your beloved pet through so much anxiety, your little ball of fluff is just as cute when they're a ball of nerves.Sorry, cute animals, but there is just no escaping a trip to the evil vet — no matter how adorable you look.