TIME animals

Most Loyal Dog Walks 20 Blocks to See Owner Who Is in the Hospital

The pup was caught on hospital surveillance cameras

Nancy Franck of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had been in the hospital for two weeks receiving treatment for cancer when she got an unexpected visitor: her dog, Sissy. But Sissy was not smuggled into Franck’s hospital room by her family. She had walked to Mercy Medical Center by herself.

The miniature Schnauzer apparently took it upon herself to walk the twenty blocks to the hospital, even though she had never been there before. The devoted pet was caught on video cameras in the hospital lobby, trying to figure out how to find her owner.

“She was on a mission that night to see her mom,” Dale Franck, who had been caring for Sissy while his wife was in the hospital, told ABC News, “but she couldn’t find the right elevator to take.”

Franck noticed Sissy was missing around 1:30 a.m. and was hunting for the dog until hospital security called him. “She found my number and house address from her tag on her collar,” he said. “I was so relieved, and I asked my daughter go and pick her up.”

Franck’s daughter went to fetch Sissy and was able to secure permission to bring the devoted dog up to see her mom in her hospital room.

Read next: California Police Dog Killed in Action Gets Hero’s Farewell

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TIME animals

This Town Had to Put Up Signs Warning People About Its Angry Owl

Sign warning visitors of the recent owl attacks at Bush's Pasture Park on Feb. 12, 2015.
Danielle Peterson—AP Sign warning visitors of the recent owl attacks at Bush's Pasture Park in Salem, Ore., on Feb. 12, 2015

It's quite a cautionary tale

What started as a joke on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show has now become a reality for Oregon’s capital city.

The show’s host, Rachel Maddow, has been paying a lot of attention to some wacky news coming out of Oregon lately. The news item that’s got the state paying attention to Maddow, though, involves one really angry owl.

After four runners were attacked by an owl in Salem, one of whom was clawed so badly he thought he was having an aneurysm, Maddow suggested the town post a yellow hazard sign warning about the bird. But not just any sign: she wanted one depicting a figure running from a menacing owl on the attack.

So, the town obliged. According to the Associated Press, about 20 such signs — inspired by Maddow — will be put up in the city where the owl has been wreaking havoc. This gives “service journalism” a whole new meaning.

[AP]

TIME animals

New Research Shows Some Dogs Can Tell When You’re Mad

Dogs
Oliver Rossi—Getty Images Happy girl hugging dog on the beach

Silver lining: they can tell when you're happy too

Wonder no more if your dog knows that you’re mad he or she used your favorite slippers as a toilet; a new study shows Fido may have an idea of how you feel.

A group of researchers trained a group of 11 dogs to differentiate between angry and happy human faces. During the study, the dogs were shown either the upper or lower half of a person’s face in various emotional states, according to Live Science. Then, to test the dogs, researchers showed them different images than the ones used in training, using either a different half of a face the dogs already saw or an altogether new person’s top or lower face.

In the end, the researchers found that dogs rewarded for picking happy faces more quickly learned how to tell happy and angry faces apart than those rewarded for picking angry faces. That, according to the study’s abstract, “would be predicted if the dogs recognized an angry face as an aversive stimulus.”

The researchers are confident that based on their results, and the results of other, less conclusive attempts, some dogs are able to differentiate between human expressions.

“With our study, which was inspired by these previous attempts, we think we can now confidently conclude that at least some dogs can discriminate human facial expressions,” Corsin Müller, an animal-behavior researcher at Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and the author of the study, told Live Science. Müller’s study was published Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

[Live Science]

TIME animals

California Police Dog Killed in Action Gets Hero’s Farewell

Hundreds turned out to say goodbye to Sultan

Hundreds of mourners turned out Wednesday in Riverside, California, for the memorial of Sultan, a police dog killed while attempting to subdue a violent felon.

“When I heard this, it felt like I’d lost a peer,” Riverside County chief deputy Geoff Raya said at a press conference. “There is very little differentiation between four legs and two legs – they are all members of the Riverside Sheriff’s Department.”

Born in Slovakia, Sultan had been working with the department since September 2013, working in narcotics detection, tracking and apprehension. On Jan. 21, the Belgian Malinois-German shepherd mix, along with several deputies from the Hemet Sheriff’s station, was called to search for Todd Allen Hodge, 36, who had failed to show up for his arraignment on a weapons charge.

Hodge had been spotted in a residential neighborhood in Hemet, California, Riverside Sheriff’s spokesman deputy Albert Martinez tells PEOPLE.

It didn’t take long before the veteran police dog “alerted” cops to a crawl space beneath a residence and was sent down the house to investigate.

“Moments later an indistinguishable noise was heard,” Martinez says, and Sultan returned from the crawl space with a gunshot wound to his neck. Sultan was rushed to a local veterinarian hospital but died a short time later.

After Hodge “refused” to come out of the residence, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team was called in. Hodge eventually emerged with a handgun and was shot and killed.

Sultan is one of three police dogs to be killed in the line of duty in recent months. In August, an Oklahoma City canine officer named Kye was repeatedly stabbed by 22-year-old Mark Salazar, who had led police on a 30-minute car chase, according to KFOR-TV.

After Salazar crashed his stolen car, 3-year-old Kye chased him down but was stabbed repeatedly by the man, who was armed with a knife, and later died. When Kye’s human parter realized what was happening, he opened fire on Salazar, killing him on the spot.

On Jan. 28, a tracking dog in Texas named Pepper, who worked with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, was dispatched into a thick patch of woods with five officers to find a felon, who had also just led police on a lengthy car chase.

Alan Lance Alverson, 45, was hiding under a pile of leaves when Pepper discovered him.

“He came up shooting,” Wise County Sheriff David Walker tells PEOPLE. “I think Pepper drew the first fire, which gave our officers the time they needed [to shoot and kill Alverson]. It was absolutely tragic, but I can tell you there are five law enforcement members who will go home to their wives and kids tonight because of what Pepper did.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME animals

Australia’s Oldest Man Knitted Tiny Sweaters for Injured Penguins

The great-great-grandfather now keeps his hands busy by knitting scarves for friends and hats for premature babies

Alfred “Alfie” Date, Australia’s oldest living man, is putting his amazingly sharp mind and nimble hands to good use.

The 109-year-old likes to spend his free time knitting little sweaters for injured penguins from his room at a retirement home New South Wales, reports 9Stories.

Alfie picked up the hobby over 80 years, when his sister-in-law handed him a pair of needles and some wool and asked the man to knit a jumper for her baby boy.

That baby boy grew out of the jumper decades ago, but Alfie has continued to knit. The great-great-grandfather enjoys taking requests, so when two nurses asked in March if he wanted to knit sweaters for needy penguins, Alfie started stitching.

His creations were donated to Victoria’s Phillip Island Penguin Foundation to help little penguins affected by an oil spill. Little penguins are a rare species only found in Australia and New Zealand, with just 32,000 living on Phillip Island.

Oil from the spill caused the penguins’ feathers to stick together, allowing cold water to reach their skin. Sweaters from generous knitters like Alfie helped the birds stay warm while they waited to be cleaned up. The garments also prevented the penguins from picking at their feathers and accidentally consuming the toxic oil.

Thanks to Alfie and thousands of other knitters from around the world, Victoria’s Phillip Island Penguin Foundation was overwhelmed with cozy jumpers, which allowed the foundation to fully rehabilitate many of the birds.

With this good deed done, Alfie now keeps his hands busy by knitting scarves for friends and hats for premature babies.

“It’s a good way of getting along in life,” Alfie said about his hobby. “You make friends all the time, but you don’t make a fool of yourself either.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME Wildlife

Hunter Kills First Wolf in Grand Canyon in 70 Years

The wolf was named Echo by school children

The first gray wolf seen near the Grand Canyon in 70 years was killed by a hunter in Utah in December, wildlife officials confirmed on Wednesday.

Echo the wolf — so-named last month in a nationwide student contest — is believed to have traveled at least 750 miles in search of a mate, including through the Grand Canyon region in northern Arizona where the last of its kind were killed off in the 1940s, the Denver Post reports.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said DNA tests confirmed the dead wolf’s identity after it was killed in Utah by a hunter who says he mistook it for a coyote. Gray wolves are considered endangered in southern Utah, and a spokesman for the Fish and Wildlife Service said the investigation into Echo’s death is ongoing, according to the Post.

[Denver Post]

TIME animals

Australian Man Adopts a Puppy and Becomes a Viral Sensation

Ben Henderson and his adopted puppy Raffa at Pet's Haven Animal Shelter in Melbourne, Australia.
Pets Haven Animal Shelter Ben Henderson and his adopted puppy Raffa at Pet's Haven Animal Shelter in Melbourne, Australia.

A hastag, #RidiculouslyPhotogenicAdoptionGuy, was coined in his honor

The world agrees: Raffa is one seriously lucky dog.

When a photo of the adorable pup with his new dad was shared by Pets Haven Animal Shelter in Melbourne, Australia, on Facebook over the weekend, the Internet said: Who is that cutie? And, they weren’t referring to the dog.

The photo of the tanned, muscular hunk holding the pup he just adopted was liked by more than 15,000 people on Facebook and was shared more than 60 times (and counting). Nearly 1,000 comments poured in from inquiring eyes all over the world, and the hashtag #RidiculouslyPhotogenicAdoptionGuy was coined in his honor.

“Do you have any other men like this up for adoption?” reads one comment from fan Jade Tuncdoruk in Sydney.

“Can he take me home too? Hahahahaha,” reads another from Danielle Murphy in New Zealand.

Memes of the photo popped up faster than you can say, woof.

Turns out the photogenic animal rescuer is Ben Henderson, a college graduate from Melbourne, according to his Facebook page. It was ruff all around when fans learned that he’s been engaged since 2013. In a cute comment on the photo, his fiancée Alisha Howell chimed in with a picture of her engagement ring and wrote: “Sorry ladies he put a ring on it !! Haha.” But does he have a brother?

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME animals

This Cockatoo Can’t Stop Re-enacting Her Previous Owner’s Marital Problems

The bird adds in her own excited gestures as well

Things were not peachy at Peaches’s old home.

According to Mashable, the Moluccan cockatoo has being airing her previous owner’s dirty laundry. Before moving in with Elaine Sigmon and her husband, Peaches lived with a different married couple.

The pair ended up getting divorced, and it sounds like the bird had a front-row seat to the marital spats leading up to the split.

Sigmon says Peaches is fond of mimicking his previous pet parents, constantly squawking out the couple’s old arguments for her new family. This cockatoo doesn’t just recite the heated feuds, she adds in her own excited gestures as well.

Peaches is a natural born actor – now only if she could find some new material.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME animals

Australia’s Mammals on the Verge of ‘Extinction Calamity,’ Scientists Say

459206097
Getty Images Koala

11 percent of the country's 273 native mammals have gone extinct since 1788

Australia has lost more than a tenth of its native mammals over the past 200 years in what scientists are calling an “extinction calamity,” according to a new study.

Since 1788, about 11% of the country’s 273 native mammals have gone extinct, BBC reports. A major factor has been the introduction of the predatory red fox and feral cat from Europe, according to scientists at two Australian public universities and the Department of Parks and Wildlife in Wanneroo, who conducted the study published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Furthermore, 21% of the country’s mammals were found to be threatened. Large controlled fires used to manage land have also contributed to declining populations.

“No other country has had such a high rate and number of mammal extinctions over this period, and the number we report for Australia is substantially higher than previous estimates,” lead researcher John Woinarski said.

[BBC]

TIME animals

Watch This Talented German Shepherd Sing Along to Maroon 5

Just like animals

This German shepherd singing Maroon 5’s hit “Animals” in the back of a car is bound to move up from the backseat to front and center on the Internet’s radar.

According to the YouTube description, Shelby the dog “is usually too distracted during car rides to pay attention to the music, unless this song is on!”

It is the latest clip of a German shepherd going viral for its musical abilities, with most recent being the one that sang along with its owner to the “Trololo” song that has become an Internet meme.

 

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