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Welcome to Catzonia – World’s First 5-Star Hotel for Cats Opens in Malaysia

Temperature-controlled rooms, king-size beds, a dreamy playground and gourmet chow are just some of the things felines can enjoy at Catzonia, the world’s first five-star hotel for cats.

Located in Damansara, just outside Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur, Catzonia was set up to offer pampered felines a lavish holiday whenever they need a break from their daily routine, or when their loving masters are away and can’t offer them the attention they deserve. Featuring a total of 35 rooms split into four categories, Catzonia is manned by a crew of feline lovers who promise to play with the guests, groom them and generally make sure their stay is as comfortable as possible.

“We believe that cats need holidays too,” the Catzonia Hotel website states. “They always prefer to be treated as a boss. It means the environment must be felt like home, always being cuddled and hugged, and most importantly they don’t want to feel lonely.”

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The Cruel Spanish Tradition That Kills Tens of Thousands of Greyhounds Every Year

You probably already know about bullfighting and the controversy surrounding this ancient tradition, but there’s another less known tradition that claims the lives of tens of thousands of Spanish hunting dogs every year. And worst of all, nobody seems to want to do anything about it.

Galgos, or Spanish greyhounds, are an ancient breed of hunting dog that was once raised only by Spanish noble families. Today, these beautiful animals have been reduced to tools that modern-day hunters dispose of in a variety of gruesome ways as soon as the hunting season ends. The traditional explanation for their cruelty is that if the dogs have shamed their master by not performing to their expectations, this dishonor must be washed away by torturing and killing the animals, but in reality, it’s all about cutting costs. It makes more sense to them to buy new Galgos from a breeder for about 10 euros a piece, than spend money on feeding the ones they already own until the next hunting season. So they just get rid of them in the most appalling ways imaginable.

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The Tragic Story of a Taiwanese Vet Who Euthanized Herself After Having to Put Down Too Many Dogs

Taiwan recently banned euthanizing abandoned animals in shelters, a law believed to have been prompted by the shocking suicide of a young veterinarian, in May 2016. 31-year-old Chien Chih-cheng injected herself with euthanasia drugs, after becoming extremely disturbed by the large number of animals she had to put down.

Chien Chih-cheng was the director of of an animal shelter in Taoyuan’s Sinwu District. She had chosen to work at the shelter because of her love for animals, and her colleagues remember that she “often worked overtime, rarely took a proper lunch break, and sacrificed her holidays to give the dogs more attention and make their lives better.” After graduating from one of Taiwan’s top university with the highest score in a civil service examination, Chien could have opted for a number of desk jobs, but she chose to dedicate her life to helping abandoned animals and getting them adopted by new families. But her job also required her to euthanize the animals that didn’t get adopted after a certain period of time, and this took a heavy toll on the young animal lover, especially after animal rights activists accused her of killing hundreds of abandoned dogs.

“Some animal welfare activists have unleashed relentless attacks on the Sinwu shelter and Chien was a target of those attacks,” Taoyuan City Councilor Wang Hao-yu wrote on Facebook last year. “She was even described as a ‘butcher.’ For a young woman who chose to work at the shelter because of her love for animals and whose duties involved euthanizing stray animals every day, those abuses were like stabs to the heart.”

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Russian Tattoo Artists Sparks Controversy After Tattooing His Hairless Cat

A young tattoo artist in Yekaterinburg, Russia, has been getting a lot of criticism on social media after a video of him inking his pet Sphynx cat recently went viral. To make matters worse, the owner admitted that this was not the animal’s first tattoo, and probably not the last.

The owner of the hairless cat admits that he is basically forcing the animal to share his passion for tattoos. “Of course, I feel sorry for tattooing her, because it’s not something she wants,” he says in the video. But apparently the temptation to turn the Sphynx into a walking, meowing work of art is too great. Bes already sports a large tattoo on her back, featuring a woman, a deck of cards, a prison tower and a cigarette, and in this video her owner adds a star as well.

The Yekaterinburg artist said that tattoos are a bit harder to do because the cat’s skin is a bit different than a human’s, but added that he doesn’t believe the procedure is harmful for the cat. “This isn’t her first tattoo,” he says. “She just goes under and doesn’t feel a thing. She always wakes up fine from the anesthesia and behave normally after that.”

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Woman Recycles Dog Hair into Beautiful Sweaters, Ponchos, Gloves and More

Chiengora – the art of spinning dog hair to make warm clothing items – has been around for thousands of years, and is still used today by people in extremely cold climates near the Arctic Circle. Now one Chicago-area woman wants to make Chiengora clothing available to dog lovers looking for a way to always stay close to their beloved pet.

Jeannie Sanke, from Evanston, Illinois, started practicing Chiengora – “Chien” is French for dog and “Gora” is  derived from angora – two years ago, and has since created all kinds of custom pieces from dog hair, including sweaters, ponchos, mittens and fluffy cup holders. She sells her creations on the Etsy online store, and regularly posts photos of her newest items on her Facebook page, Knit Your Dog. Most of her clients are dog lovers who want to feel their pet’s fur on their skin as often as possible, and especially owners who have lost their loyal friend and want something special to remember them by.

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Stray Dog Accompanies Indian Pilgrim on Epic 600 Km Walk

Naveen, a 38-year-old a Sabarimala pilgrim claims he has found a friend for life in Malu, a stray dog who accompanied him on a 600-km walk from the Mookambika temple in Kollur,to the Sabarimala shrine in Pathanamthitta, India. Apart from keeping him company, the dog also protected his belongings and even woke him up when he overslept.

It was on the second day of his pilgrimage that Naveen met Malu. He had become worried about the stray dogs that would approach him, especially in the morning hours, shooing them away so they wouldn’t attempt to attack them, but he quickly realized that Malu was different. “It was after nearly 80 kilometers or so, that I noticed her. She walked towards me from the opposite direction and stopped when she reached right in front of me, the young Pilgrim recalls. “I did try shooing her off many times, but she would just not go.”

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The Dog Father – Indian Man Takes Care of 735 Dogs That Nobody Else Wants

45-year-old Rakesh Shukla is a talented software engineer and CEO of a successful tech company, but among India’s animal lovers he is known as “The Dog Father”, an exceptional man who founded the country’s most advanced dog rescue center and who personally takes care of 735 abandoned pooches that nobody else wants.

10 years ago, Rakesh and his wife founded The Writers Block, a technical communication outsourcing company which today works with some of the biggest names in the tech industry – Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, etc.. The Bangalore-based company quickly became successful, and over the next few years the software engineer got to travel the world, buy expensive cars and lead the fancy lifestyle he always thought he wanted. But he still didn’t feel happy and fulfilled. It wasn’t until 2009, when Kavya, a beautiful Golden Retriever, came into his life that he truly felt that his life had meaning.

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Chinese Businessman Spends $25 Million Setting Up Sanctuary for 150-Strong Wolf Pack

A 71-year-old businessman from China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has earned the nickname “The Wolf King” after dedicating the last nine years of his life to raising 150 wolves of 8 different species, in a valley that has now come to be known as Wild Wolf Valley.

Yang Changsheng discovered his passion for wolves in 2007. He was visiting a friend when he noticed a caged female wolf with its paws tightly bound in manacles and chains. She looked miserable, so he asked his friend to open the cage so he could loosen the manacles. Some might say that getting so close to a fierce predator was a stupidly brave thing to do, but to Yang’s surprise, the wolf didn’t seem bothered or threatened by him, and as soon as the cage door opened, she just couched down at his feet like a pet dog. Impressed by the scene he had witnessed, his friend sent him the wolf and several wolf cubs born a few days earlier as a gift.

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The Squirrel Whisperer of Penn State University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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