TIME animals

Here’s a Perfect Compilation of Puppies Rolling Down Hills

Go on. You earned this

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Brighten up your Monday with this video, which features a series of dogs rolling down grassy hills. That’s all it is! It’s pretty bulldog-heavy, but if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of other breeds represented. (And if bulldogs are not your thing, perhaps this video will change your mind.)

TIME animals

This Dog Was So Excited to Be Reunited With Its Owner That It Passed Out

They had been apart for two years. But don't worry, the dog is fine.

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There’s little doubt that people love their pets, after all, you don’t spend $56 billion on animals you just barely tolerate. While companion animals can’t show their love financially (Grumpy Cat nothwithstanding), it’s pretty clear that pets love their people, too. Take for example, Rebecca Ehalt’s reunion with her beloved Schnauzer, which she uploaded to YouTube. This dog was so happy to be reunited with his human friend, that it passed out from joy.

According to the YouTube posting, Ehalt had been gone for two years — that’s 14 dog years! – and the family pet just couldn’t contain all the feelings coursing through its little four-legged body and ended up shrieking in happiness until it keeled over. Don’t worry, though, the pup was taken to a vet who gave the dog a clean bill of health.

MORE: This Website Knows Where Your Cat Lives

MORE: Machine, and It Will Dispense Food for Stray Dogs

TIME animals

You Will Barely Recognize This Abandoned Dog After His Much Needed Haircut

Ziggy the dog's road to recovery

When a clearly neglected Shih Tzu was dropped off at a Long Island animal shelter, rescuers were shocked. More than 25% of his body was covered in thick, matted fur — which inspired his new name: Ziggy.

Suffolk County SPCA

 

“I’ve only seen one worse in my 30 year career,” says Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County SPCA. “Even the fleas could get through the fur, that’s how bad it was.”

The 5 or 6-year-old pup could barely walk, and it took rescuers 3.5 hours to shave 4 pounds of hair from the now 11 pound dog. The change is jaw dropping:

Suffolk County SPCA

“He will be up for adoption, but not now,” Gross says. “He has a long road to recovery.”

Ziggy will have to undergo extensive physical therapy to retrain his walking muscle memory.

“There’s also a criminal investigation, and the dog could serve as evidence,” Gross says. “This is another horrible case of animal cruelty.”

A $2,000 reward is being offered to anyone who provides information about the dog’s owner if it leads to arrest and conviction. Call the Suffolk County SPCA at (631) 382-7722.

TIME animals

The Purrfect Supercut of Cats in Movies

Featuring furballs from Milo and Otis to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

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The Argentine-based filmmakerAriel Belziti has graced the Internet with “Supercats!,” a supercut of cats in movies. The clip is filled with your favorite furry Hollywood felines, like “Cat” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the protagonist of That Darn Cat!, Buttercup from The Hunger Games and the poor star of the 1903 classic The Sick Kitten. There’s even a montage of cat-stroking villains and, yes, Garfield is in the mix. To top it all off, the video is soundtracked by The Cure’s “Love Cats”.

The uber-montage of cinematic cats — kittens, furballs and CGI creations — is the perfect clip to watch when you are stuck at work on a summer Wednesday or any other time you need some feline-based escapism.

(h/t io9)

MORE: The Hottest New Exercise Equipment Is a Giant Hamster Wheel…for Cats

MORE: This Website Knows Where Your Cat Lives

TIME animals

Recycle Plastic Bottles in This Machine, and It Will Dispense Food for Stray Dogs

A recycling bin that's good for the earth and its four-legged inhabitants

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In Istanbul, Turkey, where an estimated 150,000 stray dogs and cats reportedly wander the streets, a Turkish company called Pugedon believes it has come up with a way to feed the animals: “Smart Recycling Boxes,” a machine that dispenses food and water in exchange for recycled plastic bottles, Big Think reports.

The benefits of the vending machine are supposed to be two fold: encourage recycling and feed the city’s strays. Recycling is put on top and food is dispensed out the bottom within easy reach for animals in need. There’s even a water dish attached so users can pour the remaining water from a plastic bottle before recycling it. The recycled bottles are supposed to cover the cost of the food.

The problem of managing stray dogs in international cities most recently came to light during the 2014 Winter Olympics, when stray dogs roamed the street’s of the Games’ host city, Sochi, Russia. When it was reported that some of the Sochi strays were going to be culled, animal rights activists sprung into action to rescue the homeless pups, and even some of the athletes brought them back to the United States.

MORE: 10 Stray Sochi Pups Arrive in U.S.

MORE: Mystery Photo Found In Stray Dog’s Collar Baffles County

TIME animals

Whale Lifts Up Kayakers in This Absolutely Terrifying Video

Whale watching

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Kayakers reportedly paddling off the coast of Argentina recently got the fright of their lives when a whale swam under them and lifted their boat up with its back. The scary moment, which reportedly took place near Puerto Madryn in Patagonia, was captured in a video uploaded to YouTube by user gisela6652 and has been going viral on Reddit in the past day.

Fortunately, the kayakers appear to be okay at the end of the clip, unlike this National Geographic video of a fatal encounter between sea lion pups and a killer whale off the coast of Argentina that boasts more than 12,000,000 views on YouTube.

MORE: Whale Collisions Spark Calls for Ship Speed Limits in Australia

MORE: Japan Is Planning To Resume Whale Hunts

TIME animals

Bats Not So Blind After All, Study Suggests

A greater mouse-eared bat is pictured on
A greater mouse-eared bat is pictured on January 14, 2011 in the cellar vault of the Old Brewery in Frankfurt an der Oder, eastern Germany. Patrick Pleul—AFP/Getty Images

Some bats rely on polarized light to calibrate their internal compass

People who describe themselves as “blind as a bat” might want to find a new turn of phrase. Scientists have discovered that some bats rely on polarized light to orient themselves.

As is commonly known, bats use echolocation—locating objects by reflected sound—to “see” and navigate through the air. “But [echolocation] only works up to about 50 meters, so we knew they had to be using another of their senses for longer range navigation,” said Stefan Greif of Queen’s University, who led the new study on bats.

It turns out that the mouse-eared bat, which can be found in Europe, uses a form of light that most humans cannot see to guide its movements. It is the first mammal to calibrate with polarized light, the report published Tuesday in the journal Nature says.

As bats awake at sunset, they use the band of polarized light that appears in the sky (with one end pointing north and the other pointing south) to adjust their internal compass.

Scientists tested this hypothesis by placing 70 female mouse-eared bats in boxes to watch the sunset.Bats in some boxes could see the polarized light normally. Other bats sat in boxes that had a lens that rotated the polarization 90 degrees.

The bats were then released at night. The control group (who had seen the normal polarized light at sunset) flew the right direction home. Those in the experimental boxes flew 90 degrees in the wrong direction.

TIME animals

This Website Knows Where Your Cat Lives

I Know Where Your Cat Lives
Getty Images

Purrfect for the Internet's cat lovers

Attention all 4.9 million users of the #Catstagram hashtag: You’re being watched. Same for the #RichCatsOfInstagram pictures and the 16 million photos tagged simply #Cats on Instagram.

Mashable points out that a new data visualization project called “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” is trolling the internet and collecting metadata in your #adorable #cat #picture. Using the geotags embedded in the metadata in public photos, the project collects the information and puts the cat’s location on a map perfect for cyberstalking your fuzzy feline friend. Thank goodness cats don’t read Orwell.

The site features cats from everywhere around the globe — a giant red tom in Chiba, Japan to a grey fuzzball kitten in Apulia, Italy to a kitten cuddled with his mom in Queensland, Australia — all available for gawking at and cooing over at the click of a button.

The project was created by Florida State University art professor Owen Mundy, who views “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” as both a thought-provoking experiment into how we view online privacy, as well as a sort of Tinder for cat fans filled with a seemingly endless stream of kitten pics for the millions of cat fans who populate the Internet.

The site is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund web hosting and continuing the project.

MORE: The Hottest New Exercise Equipment Is a Giant Hamster Wheel…for Cats

MORE: There’s Now Facial Recognition Software for Cats

TIME viral

Dog Steals Baby’s Toy and Then Repents by Showering Her With Gifts

It's so comforting to see them make amends

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When this dog named Charlie decided to help himself to his human sister’s stuffed animal, he made her cry, because obviously. That was a pretty rotten thing to do. Charlie seems to realize this pretty quickly, because he attempts to apologize to her by bringing her a series of new toys. The remorse he feels is quite palpable.

Note: the music in this video gets to be a bit much, so we suggestmuting it and adding your own soundtrack. We recommend a classic apology track, like Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”:

(h/t BuzzFeed)

 

 

TIME animals

Ohio Man’s Therapy Ducks Fall Foul of Local Ordinances

Iraq war veteran Darin Welker holds one of his ducks at his home in West Lafayette, Ohio on July 10, 2014.
Iraq war veteran Darin Welker holds one of his ducks at his home in West Lafayette, Ohio on July 10, 2014. Trevor Jones—AP

Veteran Darin Welker says raising the birds helps him overcome PTSD from the Iraq War

Darin Welker loves his ducks. He feeds them, looks after them, and sometimes the Iraq War veteran from West Lafayette, Ohio just watches them interact. But Welker’s community doesn’t share the same affection for his feathered friends.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reports, Welker will appear in a local municipal court facing a minor misdemeanor charge for raising 14 ducks in violation of local village rules. He could face a fine of up to $150.

Welker, an Iraq War veteran, says he’s been raising the ducks as a form of therapy for a back injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Welker told the AP that although the Department of Veterans Affairs paid for his back surgery in 2012, they did not provide mental or physical therapy.

In March, he got the ducks to help fill that void, after hearing raising them could be therapeutic.

“Taking care of them is both mental and physical therapy,” Welker told the AP. “[Watching them] keeps you entertained for hours at a time.”

In West Lafayette, however, raising ducks or any farm animal violates a 2010 ban on housing “chickens, turkeys, ducks, live poultry or fowl of any kind, horses, ponies, cows, calves, goats, sheep, or live animals of any kind except dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds or mice.”

But there is hope for Welker and his ducks. A local woman fought to keep the pot-bellied pig she and her daughter use for therapy in 2013. Mary Smith, the pig’s owner, told the Coshocton Tribune at the time that she would rather move than give up her pig. “He’s part of our family,” Smith said.

Smith obtained a letter from her doctor confirming her pig was for therapy. According to the AP, Welker has already gotten a letter from the mental health department of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs recommending he keep the ducks.

[AP]

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