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Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer

The cowbell won't sound quite the same now that Tuna, the star of the Amazing Acro-Cats cat circus, has died.Happy Cats Haven posted the news Friday on its Facebook page: "To all our fans of Tuna and The Rock Cats and the Amazing Acro-Cats, it's with many tears that we let you know that Samantha Martin's star kitty Tuna crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday from cancer."

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To all our fans of Tuna and The "Rock-cats" and the Amazing Acrocats, it's with many tears that we let you know that...Posted by Happy Cats Haven on Friday, January 13, 2017

Tuna had recently been diagnosed with oral cancer, and on Wednesday, chief cat trainer Samantha Morton posted on the Acro-Cats Facebook page: “Spending my last night with Tuna by a lovely fire. Tomorrow she will go to the rainbow bridge. It is time. My world will be forever changed.”

Spending my last night with Tuna by a lovely fire. Tomorrow she will go to the rainbow bridge.  It is time. My world will be forever changed 😿😿😿Posted by Tuna and The "Rock-cats" on Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tuna was a major star in the Acro-Cats show. She rang a bell to begin the show and also played cowbell during the Rock Cats musical performance, in addition to performing timed leaps and jumps. While Morton said during shows that Tuna did not have an affectionate personality, she was a workaholic who loved learning new tricks.

See Tuna in action during a 2009 performance.

The Acro-Cats is a cat circus show featuring rescued cats that tours the country, delighting fans of all ages. Morton seeks to educate audiences on cat behavior, and prove to everyone that cats can be trained. Morton also rescues stray cats and helps them get adopted while on tour.

'Pioneer Woman' says goodbye to 'Charlie the Ranch Dog' in bittersweet blog post

Ree Drummond, also known as the Pioneer Woman, is mourning the loss of her dog, Charles.

Charles, the title character in Drummond's "Charlie the Ranch Dog" children's books, died Sunday, according to Drummond's website.

>> Read the post here

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//;version=v2.8";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Posted by The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond on Monday, January 9, 2017

The basset hound had suffered from lymphoma over the past year. When its conditioned worsened, Drummond said she decided to have the dog put to sleep.

Many took to Twitter to tell Drummond about the dog's impact on their families.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words about Charlie. Someone told me today that friends double your joy and halve your sorrow. Thank you— Ree Drummond (@thepioneerwoman) January 9, 2017 <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

In a post on her website, Drummond said she will allow parents to decide whether or not to tell their children about Charlie's death. 

"It might not be necessary if they are younger!" she added.

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Drummond is the television personality behind Food Network's "The Pioneer Woman," which stems from her longtime blogging about ranch life and Southern living. 

She recently opened The Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, where she lives.

Pet deer gunned down by Kansas game wardens in front of upset family

 A pet deer on a Kansas farm was gunned down by state wildlife officials in front of its owners, outraging the Mcgaughey family and sparking a social media backlash.

Owner Taryn Mcgaughey told local news outlets in western Kansas that a game warden and two other officials showed up at her farm and shot her pet deer five times.

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“They followed her around our horse pen. The first shot in the leg by a handgun,” Taryn told People.

“And then they followed her around our property shooting her four more times in the back like target practice. He told me it would be done as humane as possible.”

The doe, named Faline, after the character in Disney’s “Bambi” movie, was considered an illegal pet under Kansas law.

Mcgaughey said the wardens killed the deer just a few minutes after giving her a warning notice that the animal was an illegal pet.

The family helped the deer when it showed up on their property with a broken leg two years ago and it never left, Mcgaughey said. She said the animal was like a family dog and that it even slept in the house.

Now the Mcgaugheys are calling for the removal of the game warden, but Kansas State Wildlife officials say he was just doing his job. Officials also said deer can carry serious diseases that can spread to other  animals, which is why they’re illegal to keep as pets

Lost dog to rejoin New Mexico family after holiday crash that killed daughter

A lost dog in North Carolina is on his way to being reunited with his family in New Mexico after a deadly holiday car crash.

Coolyay, a 1-year-old American pit bull terrier, ran away from the scene of an accident in Greensboro just before Christmas.

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The Bannerman family lost their 11-year-old daughter, Tori, when their minivan collided with a tractor-trailer on Dec. 18 as they were traveling to see relatives for Christmas.


Making matters even worse for the family, their beloved dog disappeared.


He showed up two weeks later, as luck would have it, in the yard of animal rescue worker, Lisa Gonzalez.

Gonzalez has created a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of transporting Coolyay 1,600 miles back to his family in Albuquerque. 

Cat food recall includes 9Lives, Special Kitty, EverPet products

Check your cupboards, cat lovers: Your furry friend's favorite food may be the target of a new recall.

The J.M. Smucker Co. announced a voluntary recall Tuesday of some 9Lives, EverPet and Special Kitty canned food products because of possible low levels of thiamine, or vitamin B1. A full list of the included products, which were shipped to retailers from Dec. 20 to Jan. 3, can be found here.

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According to a company news release, cats that eat a low-thiamine diet could develop thiamine deficiency, which can cause a loss in appetite, weight loss, vomiting and salivation, as well as neurological symptoms such as seizures and "wobbly walking." If your cat is experiencing these issues, contact a veterinarian. 

"If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible," the company said.

No cats have been reported sick in connection with the recall, the company added.

If you have any of the affected products, call 1-800-828-9980 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or email Do not feed the food to your cat.

Read more here.

Watch: Ukrainian dog stays by injured sister, protects her on tracks as trains roar over them

Two lost dogs in Ukraine turned into lucky dogs and are safe now, after spending two harrowing days over Christmas stuck on busy railway tracks with trains roaring over them every half hour.

One of the dogs, named Lucy, was injured and couldn’t move from the tracks near the village of Tseglovka. Watch what her brother, known as Panda, does.

He stayed by her side for two days, nudging her head down as the trains approached and rattled by overhead, according to a Facebook post and video from Denis Malafeyev, the guy who eventually rescued the pair.

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Malafeyev received a call from friends about two scared dogs, one of them injured and stuck on the railroad tracks.

He said he tried to help the dogs immediately, but the male wouldn’t let him near the injured female. Malafeyev said he was eventually able to move the dogs and took them to a local rescue shelter for care.

The dogs’ owner saw the popular social video and was reunited with his pets, according to news reports.

Toodles the poodle offering hope for seniors

Residents at a Georgia retirement home are finding new joy in an old dog.

The poodle, named Toodles, got a forever home for the holidays at the Sunrise at Buckhead retirement Complex.

But residents said they're the ones who got the real gift.

"He's the sweetest, nicest dog," said resident Stacy Haugen, who now sleeps with the dog nightly.

Haugen said “most of the people who live here have had their own dogs, and maybe couldn't keep him or give them to other family members.  It's wonderful that they can pet him and talk to him, and he's a very good listener."

DeKalb animal shelter workers found Toodles wandering around a gas station parking lot a month ago. He was skinny and starving.

Now, he's thriving.  And so are the retirement home residents who now find themselves negotiating over who gets to hold the 8-year-old poodle.

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Resident Jo-Lynn Burge said they offer "maybe a promise of something later on, like you can have him for 15 minutes extra tomorrow or something."

Shelter workers said not many people adopt older dogs, like Toodles. 

Karen Hirsch, who helps run the DeKalb Shelter through Lifeline Animal Project said "retirement homes are perfect for older dogs, calm dogs, small dogs who just want to kind of take it easy and be loved on all day.  What better life could you hope for?"

The shelter is looking at other local retirement homes for more opportunities for dogs like Toodles, who is now known around his new home as the king of the roost.  Residents said his throne is anyone’s lap.

Man says he punched cougar to save dog outside Tim Hortons restaurant

Some people would do anything to protect man's best friend – including punching a cougar in the head.

According to Reuters, 31-year-old William Gibb of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, told police that he rescued his dog from one of the fierce felines Monday outside a Tim Hortons restaurant in Whitecourt.

Gibb said the cougar pinned the 80-pound husky, Sasha, while she was out for a walk, Reuters reported.

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"I could see something wrapped around her and wasn't sure what it was," Gibb said. "I ran over and punched it in what I thought was the head, and it backed off and I realized it was a cougar."

Gibb then called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 

"He was quite lucky," Whitecourt RCMP Sgt. Tom Kalis told The Guardian, adding that cougars are often seen in the area but rarely attack.

The dog received stitches at a nearby veterinary clinic and was released, according to the CBC. Authorities reportedly killed the cougar.

>> Click here to watch the news report from the CBC

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Carrie Fisher's dog, Gary, 'posts' heartwarming message after Debbie Reynolds' death

It’s been a rough few days for the person who posts from the Twitter account dedicated to Carrie Fisher’s French bulldog, Gary. The poster has been writing thoughtful, meaningful messages all week. After Fisher died, Gary has been in the care of Carrie’s daughter, actress Billie Lourd.

>> Actress Debbie Reynolds dies one day after daughter Carrie Fisher

>> Carrie Fisher's faithful dog, Gary, pays tribute to his mom

On Wednesday, Fisher's mother, Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds, died after reportedly suffering a stroke. (Reportedly, some of her last words were “I want to be with Carrie.”)

>> Debbie Reynolds reportedly tells son 'I want to be with Carrie' hours before her death

So “Gary” came up with something that Fisher and Reynolds would have loved — and it perfectly sums up the relationship between the two. 

>> PHOTOS: Debbie Reynolds through the years

>> PHOTOS: Carrie Fisher through the years

The tweet read: "If Carrie was here I bet she would make a joke that it was just like her mom to upstage her even in death. #FindingHumorInTragedy."

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>> Click here to see the post

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//;border=false"></script> [View the story "Carrie Fisher's dog, Gary, 'posts' heartwarming message after Debbie Reynolds' death" on Storify]

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