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  • Feline Fans Attend 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival

    By Dr. Mary Fuller

    Grumpy Cat and her owner Tabitha Bundesen make their debut while meeting Lil Bub at the Internet Cat Video Festival Wednesday, August 28, at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights, Minn.The Internet can make you feel like your cat is a slacker. All those videos of cats riding skateboards and sparring with blow-dryers, cats singing to acid rock and playing patty-cake - even cats using Facebook to trash-talk dogs! And at the 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival in St. Paul, Minn., cats did all this - and more.

    Photo Gallery: YouTube Stars Shine at Cat Video Festival

    The brainchild of the Walker Art Center, a highly regarded contemporary art museum in Minneapolis, this year's festival was held at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand and was streamed live online around the world by sponsor Animal Planet.

    If the organizers were surprised by the turnout at last year's inaugural event - over 10,000 people (and sundry cats) attended - the event's worldwide appeal is no less confounding. The museum has fielded nearly 300 requests to tour the festival in other cities from San Diego, Boston, and Portland to Vienna, Jerusalem, and Dublin.

    The language

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  • 5 Surprisingly Misnamed Animals

    By Linda Lombardi

    Animal names . . . you just can't trust them.

    Sure, the yellow-bellied sapsucker has a yellow tummy and eats sap. But not all monikers in the critter kingdom are so obvious - and some are complete misnomers.

    Here are five examples of animals whose names have rather unexpected explanations.

    Thinkstock1. Hermit Crab

    The hermit crab isn't a loner like its name implies. They actually live in large colonies in the wild and possess some remarkably sophisticated social behavior. The crabs will line up in front of an empty shell, and when a crab arrives who's a perfect fit for the brand-new home, it goes to the head of the line to move in. The next biggest crustacean takes that crab's vacated shell, and then everyone else exchanges shells in order.

    Related: Learn More About Hermit Crabs

    2. White Rhino

    There are two types of African Rhinoceros - white and black - but you won't be able to tell them apart by color, seeing as both species are a dark

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  • Top 10 Least-Trendy Dog Names of 2013

    By Kristen Seymour

    ThinkstockJust as today's second-grade classrooms are no longer filled to the brim with Jennifers and Jasons, the dog names that were most popular a decade or two ago are no longer at the head of the class.

    After checking out the 10 most popular puppy names and 10 trendiest dog names, we decided to try something different and determine which names are on the other end of current trends. Using Vetstreet's data on close to 1.26 million dogs, we took a peek at which names have fallen in popularity since 2003.

    Here are the 10 dog names that have fallen the farthest in the past decade.

    1. Scooter earned the top spot on this list by declining the most in popularity over the past decade, falling from No. 34 on the list of most popular male dog names in 2003 to No. 98 in 2012.

    2. Brandy takes No. 1 for females on the least popular list, starting at No. 42 in 2003 and falling out of the top 100 in 2011.

    3. Dakota was the No. 43 most popular male dog name in 2003, but Read More »from Top 10 Least-Trendy Dog Names of 2013
  • A Dog's Donated Blood Saves Cat's Life

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Rory the cat was saved by a blood transfusion from a dog.When Rory the cat was rushed to the veterinarian in New Zealand after eating rat poison, the doctor turned to the archenemy to save him: a dog.

    Veterinarian Kate Heller didn't have cat blood available, and didn't have access to a lab to test Rory to find a match. So, she sought advice, and was told to try dog blood. Rory's owner, Kim Edwards, called a friend and asked if her 18-month-old Labrador Retriever, Macy, could donate the 120ml of blood needed for a rare interspecies transfusion - and it worked.

    "It was one of those situations that it was a do-or-die. So, he would have died if we did nothing," said Heller. Within an hour, Rory was recovering, and now, three weeks later, he's feeling like himself again. "He is not out fetching the newspaper or peeing on power poles or barking yet!" laughed Edwards. "He is just the normal cat that we have - playful, friendly." - Watch it at New Zealand's 3 News

    More on
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  • White House Comes Out Against Dog Breed Bans

    By Shayna Meliker

    The American Staffordshire Terrier, the Bull Terrier and the Rottweiler are frequent targets of breed-specific legislation.There's a new dog in the fight against controversial breed-specific legislation: the White House.

    In response to a petition that's garnered more than 30,000 signatures from opponents of breed-specific legislation, the Obama administration recently issued an official statement on the issue.

    "We don't support breed-specific legislation - research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources," it reads.

    See Also: 6 "Bull" Dog Breeds and the Ties That Bind Them

    Siding With the Studies

    The memo points to a Centers for Disease Control report that, after studying 19 years of data on dog bite-related deaths, recommends against bans on specific breeds. In the 238 fatalities it studied, "Pit Bull-type dogs and Rottweilers were involved in more than half of these deaths."

    In spite of those alarming statistics, the study continues, fatal attacks represent such a small proportion of dog-bite incidents

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  • 3 Dangerous Spiders You Need to Keep Your Pets Away From

    By Dr. Tina Wismer

    Black Widow SpiderSpiders are everywhere! There are over 30,000 species of spiders in the world.

    The good news, though, is that in most cases, spider bites cause little more than local pain and inflammation. Most species of spider are unable to penetrate human or animal skin. Luckily in the U.S., there are only a few spider species whose bite can cause severe problems in people and pets. These are the widow spiders, the brown recluse spider and the hobo spider.

    See Also: 6 Dangerous Foods Your Pet Should NOT Eat

    Widow Spiders

    Widow (hourglass) spiders belong to the genus Latrodectus. Widow spiders get their name from the female's practice of killing the male after breeding, although this does not always occur with every species.

    There are five species of widow spiders found in the U.S.:

    • The black or southern black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) is found throughout the entire country. This is the typical widow spider that is black with the red hourglass pattern on
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  • 5 Ways to Boost Your Pet's Happiness

    By Liz Palika

    Enriching your pet's lifeEveryone needs appropriate opportunities to release stress, expend energy and give boredom the boot. That includes people, dogs, cats and, yes, even rabbits and ferrets. Such actions offer physical and mental enrichment while helping to keep unwanted behaviors at bay.

    Here are some ways you can enrich your pet's life and help prevent him from acting destructive because he's bored.

    1. Bring on the Food Hunt

    Home in on that natural hunter in your dog or cat by placing a portion of his daily kibble in a food puzzle toy or hiding it in a couple of locations in your house for him to sniff and find. You may need to assist your pet the first few times to show him how to play this food game. Call out his name and point to the food. Praise him each time he finds another tasty nugget.

    See Also: 6 Dangerous Foods Your Pet Should NOT Eat

    2. Give Common Household Items a New Purpose

    A paper bag - with the handles cut off - placed open on the floor can become a neat

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  • Plague Killing Hundreds of Dolphins

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    ThinkstockMore than 200 dead or dying bottlenose dolphins have washed up on the shores of the mid-Atlantic in July and August.

    The animals are suffering from a mysterious plague that's baffling and concerning to scientists. The deaths have been formally classified as an "Unusual Mortality Event" by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    "We started getting really alarmed by July 25, when we started getting more than one animal per day. That was the tipping point," said Susan Barco, a researcher at the Virginia Aquarium Marine Mammal Center. Experts are concerned that the deaths are a sign of an ailing coastal ecosystem, and fear that many more dolphins may die before the culprit is determined. - Read it at NBC News

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    * When Dolphins and Other Animals Behave Badly
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  • Stress-Free Ways to Trim Cats' Nails

    By Mikkel Becker

    Animal behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin shares her tips. Regular nail trims are a requirement of cat ownership but are frequently dreaded by cats and humans alike. Too many times, nail trims end with a scratched and bloody owner and a frightened cat. In fact, veterinarian and applied animal behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, the author of Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs and Cats, estimates that fewer than one in five of her clients feel comfortable doing nail trims on their cats unless they've been trained to do so.

    But you can't skip the nail trim. If a cat's claws are not trimmed on a regular basis, they can curl in on themselves and grow into the foot pad, causing intense pain. Untrimmed nails can also pose a hazard to people and furniture, both of which can be injured by too-long claws.

    Don't give up hope: According to Dr. Yin, it is possible to train both kittens and adult cats to tolerate - and even enjoy - having their nails clipped.

    See Also: Top 2 Signs Your Cat Is About to

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  • 12 Flamingos Hatch in San Diego

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Credit: SeaWorld San DiegoThere are lots of new flamingos for the flock at SeaWorld San Diego!

    A dozen Caribbean flamingo chicks hatched at the facility over the course of just three weeks in June and July, reported Zooborns, and SeaWorld's aviculturists are hand-raising the newborns.

    Flamingo chicks arrive with fluffy white feathers. The adults are pink in color because of pigments in the aquatic organisms that they eat.

    But it will be a while before these guys reach maturity. Flamingos only lay one egg at a time, and both of the parents care for the chick for up to six years, according to Zooborns.

    More on

    * Very Odd Mating Rituals of Animals

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    * 11 Unique Pet Names That Will Whet Your Appetite

    * First Panda Twins Born in the U.S. Since 1987

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