The Squirrel Whisperer of Penn State University

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22-year-old Mary Krupa started interacting with the squirrels living on the Penn State University campus four years ago, and became an internet sensation after posting photos of the adorable rodents wearing tiny outfits and posing with various props. Today, everyone at the university knows her as the “Squirrel Whisperer” or “Squirrel Girl”.

Mary says that she became friends with the grey squirrels during her first week at Penn State, after spotting them running around and idly wondering what one of them would look like with a tiny hat on its head. She started bringing them food, and little by little they began to trust her. She actually managed to put a hat on a squirrel and take a picture, which she then sent to her grandmother, who loved it. Thinking that her Penn State colleagues could use something to lift up their spirits, she started posting photos of the squirrels wearing funny hats and playing with props she made herself, on Facebook. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and before long Mary and her squirrels became internet sensations.

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Someone Is Meticulously Shaving Kittens and Selling Them as Hairless Sphynx

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A number of people looking to buy hairless Sphynx cats for cheap fell victim to a scammer who meticulously shaves regular kittens to make them look exactly like the exotic breed.

Genuine Sphynx cats usually sell for $1,000 or more, so when Shayla Bastarache, from Alberta, Canada, saw an ad for a Sphynx kitten for just $650, last month, she thought it was too good a deal to pass up. There was no photo attached to the ad, but the price was so enticing that she agreed to meet the seller in a gas station parking lot an hour north of Calgary, at night. She handed him the money and received two hairless kittens, one for herself and one for a friend. Bastarache says she only realized that she had been scammed two weeks later, when both felines grew a thick coat and were revealed to be regular house cats. The cat lover, who owns two genuine Sphynx cats – for one of which she had paid $1,500 – said she was amazed by how thoroughly the animals had been shaved. “I don’t know how she did it,” Bastarche told reporters.

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Heartless Family Abandons Loving Dog at Shelter, Wants to Adopt a New One

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The staff at a dog shelter in Downey, California, recently had to go through one of the most heartbreaking experiences of their lives – watching a rescued dog get all excited after seeing its family walk through the door, only to learn that they weren’t there to take the pooch home, but pick out another dog.

Zuzu, a 2-year-old German Shepherd mix had been brought to the Downey Animal Care Center after being picked up from someone’s yard. Shelter staff thought she was a stray, but they showed her the same love and affection they do all their canine residents. Still, despite their best efforts, they could tell that Zuzu was miserable, for some reason. “She is a friendly girl but I sensed sadness and confusion,” volunteer Desi Lara said. “Most dogs zoom around the yard. She treaded softly, nervous to look around.” But her attitude suddenly changed one day, when a family came through the gates. As they walked by her enclosure, Zuzu was wagging her tail, barking and looked overjoyed. At the same time, these people began to pet her and talk to her through the fence. You could tell they knew each other very well.

“With her fast wagging tail seeing her owners Zuzu lit up like a Christmas Tree. She looked like the happiest dog. Yeah, she’s going home,” Desi Lara wrote on Facebook. “But no. Talking to her owners they told me they were not here to reclaim her, they were getting another dog.”

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Owning a Specimen of the World’s Rarest, Most Controversial Cat Breed Costs $23,000

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Created by crossing a wild Caracal and an Abyssinian cat, the Caracat is currently the world’s rarest and most expensive cat breed. It numbers only 30 specimens, and owning one costs 1.5 million Russian rubles, or $23,400.

Wild Caracals have long been revered for their exotic beauty and elegance. In ancient Egypt they were often embalmed and buried with pharaohs and depicted in intricate murals, while in China, emperors gave them away as special gifts. Even today, cat lovers are fascinated with this majestic feline and some companies sell them as domestic pets. But pure-breed Caracals can sometimes become aggressive, even if they have lived among humans for generations, which is why the Caracat was created, in 2007.

Caracats can grow up to 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) in height and weigh up to 15 kilograms (33 lbs). First generation Caracats have the distinctive black-tufted ears and long sharp claws of Caracals and screech instead of meowing. These traits fade away from the second generation, but some owners prefer to declaw them for safety, which most breeders don’t agree with, for ethical reasons.

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Chinese Zoo Puts Husky Dog in Wolf Pen

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A zoo in Dezhou City, east China’s Shandong Province, recently attracted criticism for placing a husky dog in a pen populated by a dozen wolves, as a way to create more fun for tourists.

Chinese animal lovers raised the alarm about the unusual member of the wolf pack after a video shot by a tourist at Dezhou zoo went viral on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. He explained that he happened to be visiting the zoo when he saw a strange-looking wolf limping around in a pen full of actual wolves. It didn’t take him long to figure out that the animal was some kind of Husky-Alaskan-mix canine.

“As we all know, wolves like living with each other and have a strong sense of territory,” the man, surnamed Huang, wrote in the post. “Don’t you think it would be miserable for the dog to live there?” He also mentioned that the dog was obviously wounded, as it was struggling to walk on just three legs. His video attracted a lot of attention, with the vast majority of commenters accusing the zoo for acting irresponsibly.

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Chinese Couple Raise 3.7-Meter-Long Python as Their Child

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An elderly couple in Haikou, China’s Hainan Province, have been sharing their home with a 60 kilogram, 3.7-meter-long python for seven years, raising it as their child and even taking it for walks around their neighborhood.

68-year-old Shi Jimin, a retired meat processing worker, adopted the python in 2009, to save it from certain death. A fish and snake vendor had come by his workplace, and managed to sell his entire supply, except for a small 30-cm long snake that no one had wanted. The man had said that if no one was interested, he was just going to get rid of it, which is when stepped in and asked the vendor how much he wanted for the reptile. Shi says that he eventually got it for free, as the man was just going to kill it or throw it away somewhere anyway. So he took the young snake home to his wife, not knowing that it would grow up into a cattle-eating behemoth.

But even after realizing that they had adopted a python, the elderly couple had no problem sharing their home with their pet, which they consider more as a child. In the last seven years it has grown to an impressive 3.7 meters and weighs around 120 pounds. But experts say it’s still young and bound to get even bigger. Still Shi and his wife are not concerned for their safety, and allow the snake to freely slither around their home during the day. It often sits on their laps as they watch TV together, or just finds a comfortable spot and sits there like a good boy. In they evening, the couple give the snake a warm bath, and before going to bed, they take the python to his very own bedroom.

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Comedian to Live in Dog Shelter Kennel until All 300 Canine Residents Get Adopted

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World-famous prankster and comedian Remi Gaillard has announced that he will be locking himself away in a dog kennel at a French dog shelter and live there until all his 300 canine neighbors get adopted, or he manages to raise €50,000 ($55,700) in donations.

Gaillard is notorious for his hilarious and sometimes outrageous pranks, but for once he’s serious about raising awareness about a very sensitive problem – the plight of abandoned dogs. He recently announced that on November 11, he will be locking himself in a dog kennel at the SPA dog shelter in Montpelier, where he will remain until all 300 canine residents get adopted, or until €50,000 is raised to help make their lives better. While locked in the small cage, the prankster will “enjoy” the same amenities as the dogs living there do.

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Man Rescues Abandoned Pit Bull That Had Been Waiting Outside for His Owners for a Month

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A lonely and confused pit bull that had been waiting near a pile of garbage in the street for a whole month, after his owners moved away and left him behind, was recently rescued by a kindhearted animal lover.

Photos of Boo, a beautiful black and white pit bull, sitting on top of an old mattress and old furniture abandoned in the street, first started circulating on social media last week, after a neighbor in Mount Clemens, Michigan, posted them online. The man had watched Boo’s family pack up their belongings and driving away, leaving the dog next to a bunch of other things they didn’t want anymore. He had been feeding him for over a week, and had contacted every dog rescue in the area, but no one was willing to help the poor animal.

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Meet Daniel, the Now-Famous Emotional Support Duck

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Dogs, and sometimes cats, have long been used as support animals to help humans deal with a wide range of physical and psychiatric conditions, but ducks, not so much. That’s what makes Daniel Turducken Stinkbottom, the internet’s latest sweetheart, so darn special.

Daniel made international headlines a couple of days ago, after photos of him accompanying his human on an airplane were posted on Twitter and quickly went viral. It’s not every day that you get to see a duck on an airplane, especially one that’s wearing adorable red shoes and a Captain America diaper. So it’s no surprise that he caught people’s eye  – both those on the plane and millions others looking at his photos online. Mark Essig, the man’s whose photos of Daniel got the most attention, says that everyone on the plane was delighted to have a duck on board, and couldn’t stop snapping photos of him. And who could blame them, the little guys is simply too cute!

But it turns out there is more to Daniel than a pretty little head and a funny set of accessories. He is a support animal for his owner, Carla Fitzgerald, who is recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Fitzgerald adopted Daniel in 2012, when he was two days old, as a pet, but being involved in a terrible accident just a year later, he became her support animal. She was a horse-and-carriage driver in Milwaukee, when a driver texting behind the wheel crashed into her carriage from behind, injuring the horse and throwing her a metal-grated drawbridge.

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Leotards for Dogs Are Actually a Thing Now

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Believe it or not, the best answer to your dog’s shedding problem may be a pair of skin-tight leotards. Reminiscent of 1980’s aerobic outfits, the Shed-Defender is a canine leotard that is supposed to keep falling hairs from covering your entire home.

Tyson Walters, founder of Shed Defender, recently revealed  that he came up the idea for the funny-looking leotard after failing to find an effective solution to his own dog’s shedding issue. “I had this huge Saint Bernard, called Harley, and I just couldn’t control her shedding,” he said. No matter how much I brushed and groomed her, she still left tumbleweeds of hair everywhere. I looked around on the internet and dog stores and I couldn’t find a solution to my product, so I decided to make one.”

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The Iguana Whisperer – Mexican Man Spends 40 Years Setting Up Unique Sanctuary for Iguanas

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For the past 40 years, Ramon Archundia, has dedicated his life to the preservation of Mexico’s endangered iguanas. His magical ‘iguanario’, a reptile sanctuary in the center of Manzanillo city, is now home to 642 iguanas, as well as other wild animal species.

The story of Iguanario Archundia began over four decades ago. Sickened by the plight of iguanas at the hands of man, Ramon Medina Archundia rescued a pair of these majestic reptiles and set up a small enclosure for them in a marshy space in downtown Manzanillo, where two huamúchil trees offered the perfect place for sunbathing. But that was only the beginning, because Ramon and his father Juan, kept bringing in new rescued iguanas, and after word of their small ‘iguanario’ spread around the city and the whole Mexican state of Colima, other people started bringing in iguanas, knowing that they would be well taken care of. Today, Iguanario Archundia is home to over 640 iguanas, as well as other ‘donated’ animals like raccoons, badgers or turtles.

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Kindhearted Man Has Been Living on the Street for 10 Years in Order to Take Care of Stray Dogs

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A dog lover from the Pudong district of Shanghai, recently melted millions of hearts after it was revealed that he has been living on the streets of the Chinese metropolis for a decade, so he could take care of stray canines.

58-year-old Cui Hengyi started caring for injured and abandoned dogs in his city 28 years ago. He wasn’t homeless at the time, so he started bringing them into his home, and claims that at one point, in 2006, he had a whopping pooches living with him. The constant noise and the fear of disease didn’t sit too well with his neighbors, who soon started filing complaints against him. Pressured by the authorities to get rid of the animals or risk getting evicted, Cui decided that having a home wasn’t worth giving up on his furry friends, so he decided to leave his house and family behind and live in the streets to take care of stray dogs.

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“Miracle Puppies” Somehow Survive 25 Days Sealed in Shipping Container Without Food or Water

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Vets in Chennai, India, were recently stunned to discover two “miracle puppies” that had survived a 25-day, 3,000-kilometer journey from China to India, sealed in a shipping container without food or water.

When workers at the Salcomp electronics factory in Sriperumbudur opened a sealed container on Friday, they found an unexpected surprise – a couple of frightened puppies hiding behind the spare parts that they had ordered from China. Seeing that the animals were in bad shape -dehydrated famished and sick – and realizing that the container had been sealed in China on September 5th, security at Nokia telecom park quickly contacted a local animal shelter.

The puppies ended up at The Blue Cross of India animal shelter, where it was determined that they were about three months old. They both had fever and required serious medical attention. However, everyone agreed that the mere fact that they were still alive after their long journey was a miracle. Upon searching the container the puppies arrived in, workers and animal activists found no trace of food or water, which makes their survival a medical impossibility, especially at such a young age.

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“Cat Man of Aleppo” Cares for Hundreds of Abandoned Felines in the War-Torn City

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The Syrian city of Aleppo is probably the most dangerous place to be living in right now, but while many of its residents have left their homes to escape the war, one man has remained behind to care for the hundreds of abandoned and stray cats.

Known as “the cat man of Aleppo”, Mohammad Alaa Jaleel has been taking care to stray felines ever since people planning to leave the city started leaving their pets in his care, knowing he loved cats. As the fighting and bombing intensified, more and more frightened animals started approaching him for food and protection, and he was always more than happy to provide them with both.  Mohammed says he started taking care of about 20 to 30 cats, but the number of feline refugees at his walled sanctuary has now swollen to over one hundred.

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These Actors Specialize in Theatrical Performances for Pets

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Most people may think they’re barking mad, but that’s not stopping dramatic duo Alex Bailey and Krõõt Juurak from putting on theatrical shows aimed exclusively at pets.

Actors Alex Bailey and Krõõt Juurak use their own research as well as consultations with pet psychologists to put together artistic performances for their animal audience. They usually travel to a pet’s home and try to connect with it by using various techniques, including “non-human voice and body languages”. While their performances are not always interactive, the two admit that some animals, especially young ones, join them during their act. So far they have performed more than 80 times at the homes of pets in Zürich, Erlangen, Berlin and Vienna, and are currently promoting their unique services in Bristol, England, in the hopes of gaining new fans.

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