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.