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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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German Man Insists His Spanish Water Dog Is Actually a Sheep to Avoid Paying Tax

The following story actually happened!I wouldn’t have believed it myself if it hadn’t been reported by the German police, following a first-hand experience the likes of which you don’t hear about every day.

A man in Rostock, North-Eastern Germany, had to pay a fine and will likely face a tax evasion lawsuit after he claimed that his Spanish Water Dog was actually a sheep, to avoid paying a mandatory tax. In Germany, dog owners must pay a “dog tax” – ranging 24 to 100 euros ($25 to $107) – and equip their pets with a special tag confirming that they paid the license. This does not apply to pet sheep (remember that, it’s important).

Last Wednesday, the man in question was spotted walking his dog in the Rostock harbor area, by a harbor security officer. Paying your taxes is apparently a big deal in Germany, because after noticing that the animal did not have the tag confirming that the dog tax had been paid, he confronted the owner about it. To his surprise, the man appeared shocked by the question and replied that his pet was not a dog, but a sheep. At first, the harbor employee thought it was a joke, but the man stuck to his original answer, so he had mo choice but to ask for the man’s ID and notify the police about him.

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Snack-Loving Deer Visits Norwegian Pensioner Twice a Day Every Winter

Every winter for the past three years, 80-year-old Mette Kvam, from the Norwegian town of Aurland, has been getting two daily visits from a very special friend – a majestic stag who seems to love her tasty snacks.

It all started three years ago, when Mette first saw her friend “Flippen” hanging out in her yard, on the edge of the nearby forest. She opened the window and offered the beautiful animal a crunchy cookie. To her surprise, the animal came closer and stretched its neck to grab the treat. Flippen must have liked it very much, because he has been coming back for more ever since. He visits Mette every morning and evening, from early November to April, when he and his deer friends head higher up into the mountains for the warm season. But as soon as they come back down, he starts coming by the woman’s house again.

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Dog Saves Owner’s Life by Lying on Top of Him for 20 Hours to Keep Him from Freezing

In what can only be described as a heroic act, a golden retriever managed to save his owner’s life by lying on top of him for almost 24 hours to keep him from freezing to death after slipping on ice and breaking his neck.

On New Year’s Eve, 64-year-old Bob (who chose not to reveal his last name for privacy reasons), of Petoskey, Michigan, was watching the Fiesta Bowl between Clemson and Ohio State. It was around 10:30 pm when he decided to go outside and fetch some more wood for his fireplace wearing only long johns, slippers and a shirt. He had taken the short, 15-foot walk to the firewood shed thousands of times before, but this time his poor choice of footwear made him slip, and the fall left him unable to move. The man started screaming for help, but his closest neighbor’s house is a quarter of a mile away, and at that hour, there was no one around to help him. Luckily, his 5-year-old golden retriever came to help.

“I was screaming for help, but my nearest neighbor is about a quarter-mile away and it was 10:30 p.m., but my Kelsey came,” Bob recalls. “By morning my voice was gone and I couldn’t yell for help, but Kelsey didn’t stop barking. She kept barking for help, but never left my side. She kept me warm and alert. I knew I had to persevere through this and that was my choice to stay alive.”

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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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Girl Turns to Cow Riding After Being Denied a Horse

After being told that she could not have a horse because they were too expensive, 11-year-old Sarah Simpson, decided to try the next best thing – riding a cow. Now 18, Sarah has her own horse, but she still rides her favorite cow, Lilac, just as much, if not more than she used to.

Sarah had been dreaming of having her own horse for as long as she can remember, but after her parents told her that buying one was to expensive, she discovered that riding a cow could be just as fun. It all started when her younger brother, Tim, dared her to try it, and even though she had no riding experience, she jumped on Lilac, a 6-months-old calf living on the family farm. The animal didn’t seem to mind, so she kept on doing it for the last six and a half years.

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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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Company Creates World’s First Running Shoes for Horses

For over 2000 years, the good ol’ iron horseshoe has remained the only reliable footwear for horses, but an Austrian company is ready to “take the horse out of the Iron Age” with the world’s first equine running shoes, the Megasus Horserunners.

Charly Forstner, the founder of Megasus, used to work as an animal welfare inspector for horses in Austria. He learned that over 50% of horses that needed to be put down suffered from severe hoof and leg problems. 20 years ago, he decided to dedicate his life to coming up with a better alternative to the iron horseshoe. Over the last two decades, he invented various hoof protection products made of plastic, like the ‘Dynamix’ or the ‘Easywalker’, but he recently unveiled something truly revolutionary – clip-on running shoes for horses. Forstener claims that they combine the qualities of both the common horseshoe and the hoof boot to offer horses the protection and freedom of movement that they require.

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