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Dog that calls storm drain home concerns neighbors

Residents are concerned about a dog that has been living in a storm drain in a Texas neighborhood for six months, fearing that animal control is not moving quickly enough to rescue the pup.

The dog, which has been named Cassie by neighbors, is a German shepherd mix that weighs 60 to 70 pounds, according to WFAA. Residents have filed numerous reports to Grand Prairie Animal Services about the dog. Recent heavy rains have raised fears for the dog's safety.

>> Read more trending news

Grand Prairie Animal Services told WFAA that it is actively working to rescue the dog. It said the dog is not stuck in the sewer drain, but comes and goes and considers the drain its home. Attempts at catching the dog have failed, but one neighbor has built up enough trust to hand feed the dog. Animal Services is asking residents for patience as it works to move the dog to a better place.

VIDEO: Florida mom lets snake bite baby to 'teach a lesson'

A Highlands County, Florida, mother is under fire after posting a video to Facebook that shows a rat snake biting her 1-year-old daughter. 

>> Watch the news report here

The mother said that she has “no regrets” after she let the snake intentionally bite the child several times, WFTS reports. 

"It had bitten me and my son and didn't leave a mark, several times," she said to WFTS. "So, I thought it was a good opportunity to introduce her without actually getting hurt."

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

The Facebook video has been removed and the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, according to WFTS. 

In the video the mother holds up a container with a rat snake inside and lets her daughter reach toward the snake. You can hear the daughter flinch and cry each time the snake strikes her. 

>> Read more trending news

The mother said her daughter was not hurt because the snake has teeth “too small to actually puncture the skin,” WFTS reports. Her intention was to teach her child a “valuable lesson” on how to handle reptiles, she said to WFTS. 

Read more here.

Troopers rescue dog stuck in tree

A dachshund hunting for groundhogs ended up getting stuck in a tree.

Fortunately for Rocco and his owner, two Kentucky State Police troopers were nearby and came to his rescue. The incident was captured on the agency's Facebook page.

>> Read more trending news

Sergeant Michael Williams and Trooper Gerick Sullivan were off-duty, mowing a cemetery Thursday when they heard a dog barking. After searching for several minutes in a wooded area adjacent to the cemetery, they stumbled upon Rocco, whose head was poking out of the trunk of a tree.

Troopers said the dog followed a groundhog hole and ended up getting stuck in the tree. The Salem Fire Department was called to assist in the rescue, which required cutting a portion of the tree.

The troopers reunited Rocco with his owner.

First cases of highly contagious 'dog flu' reported in Florida

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Tuesday that the first cases of H3N2 canine influenza, also known as the “dog flu,” have been confirmed in the state.

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The announcement was made in coordination with the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

So far, seven cases of dog flu have been confirmed, officials said.

Results from six other cases are pending.

The FDACS said it has not found any evidence that dog flu can cross over to humans.

The dogs affected are being treated and all were reported to be in stable condition.

While the virus has been circulating through the U.S. since 2015, this is the first time it has been confirmed in Florida.

The virus is highly contagious, but the mortality rate is low, officials said.

Anyone concerned about their dog being infected can have their veterinarian vaccinate them against the dog flu.

Symptoms are fever, decreased appetite and lethargy during the first few days.

Most dogs recover at home without complications, but some require hospitalization, the FDACS said.

Anyone who suspects that a pet has the dog flu is encouraged to contact a veterinarian before taking the pet to the office to decrease the chance of spreading the virus to other animals at the clinic.

Fiona the baby hippo to make media appearance at Cincinnati Zoo

Four months after she was prematurely born, the media will be able to watch Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Fiona the baby hippo in her outside habitat and pool, according to WCPO.

>> Fiona goes for a swim, internet goes crazy

The Cincinnati-based television station reports that Fiona, along with swimmers, will explore the Hippo Cove exhibit after the zoo closes.

>> Fiona the hippo turns 3 months old

Until now, the zoo has guarded Fiona’s access because of her weakened immune system and safety concerns. 

>> Read more trending news

Members of the media will be able to shoot photos and videos of the baby hippo during a time when keepers report that they have heard occasional vocalizations from Fiona, including grunts around meal time.

Kittens mysteriously trapped in wall rescued by kind sheriff’s deputy  

Kittens mysteriously trapped in the wall of a house in Seminole County, Florida were rescued by a caring sheriff’s deputy.

The homeowners called authorities on May 20 after hearing a strange noise coming from inside a wall.

>> Read more trending news

The couple decided to cut a hole into the wall to investigate and found two kittens stuck inside, deputies said.

Deputy Nick Stewart carefully reached into the wall and pulled the kittens to safety.

The homeowners, who don't own a cat, said they were surprised to find the felines.

They said they believe the mother gave birth to the kittens in their attic and that the felines somehow fell between the studs and the drywall and became trapped behind the wall.

WATCH: Cat nurses orphaned puppies at shelter

A cat named Miracle is nursing newborn puppies at the Okefenokee Humane Society.

On Monday, a man brought seven puppies to the humane society, saying he couldn’t care for them.

He said his dog, the puppies’ mother, had been shot and killed by a neighbor.

That person told police the dog tried to attack him and his children and he had to shoot it.

>> Read more trending news

The dog’s owner said she just gave birth to puppies the day before and must have been protecting them.

“I really felt like we could help (the puppies) in some way, and then Miracle happened,” said Danielle Barcomb, a humane society employee. “So I put these two puppies that I've been fostering up to her, and she took right to them like they were her own.”

Barcomb said it’s not recommended to put such young puppies with another litter that isn’t the same age, but they really didn’t have any other options.

“Love knows no bounds,” Barcomb said. “Doesn't matter if you're a different species or not, you're just a mom trying to give love to some babies.”

To learn more about how you can help the Okefenokee Humane Society, visit their YouCaring page or their Facebook page.

Florida man accused of nearly beating dog named Elizabeth Taylor to death

A Florida man is facing charges that he nearly beat to death a dog named Elizabeth Taylor, according to an arrest report.

Jason Robert Snead, 40, is facing charges of animal cruelty, possessing a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of drug equipment and is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $9,000 bail.

The dog, a 2-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, has a fractured skull, according to Animal Care and Control Capt. Dave Walesky.

“We’re hoping she makes a full recovery, but she’s not in the clear yet,” Walesky said late Monday.

>> Read more trending news

Snead was seen by a witness and caught on surveillance video brutally beating the dog outside a car dealership in Palm Springs , the report said.

The video appears to show Snead kicking, punching and “aggressively swinging” the dog against the inside the vehicle, the report said.

A witness told Palm Springs police that the dog looked “lifeless” as Snead swung it around by its leash.

Snead told police that the dog, which belongs to his girlfriend, was injured when he was forced to brake hard while driving. Snead said he hit his lip against the steering wheel while braking, but the report states the man “did not exhibit any injuries to his face consistent with his story.”

During a search of Snead’s vehicle, 0.5 grams of methamphetamine, a glass pipe, multiple syringes and a straw with drug residue were found, the report said.

Of the methamphetamine discovered in the vehicle, Snead allegedly told Palm Springs police: “Off the record, I started today.”

Walesky said that Snead’s girlfriend originally agreed to renounce ownership of the dog, but changed her mind Monday. Walesky said the agency will not willingly give the dog back to the woman and will go to court to remove it from her custody.

The dog is under the care of a private veterinarian, Walesky said.

Elizabeth Taylor weighs 8 pounds. The arrest report lists Snead as 6 feet 5 inches and 200 pounds.

Have you seen them? Wanted fugitives in Palm Beach County

Family dog finds cat thought lost in house fire two months ago

It's being called a "Mother's Day miracle."Two months after a fire raged through their home, a family in Michigan was reunited with their pet cat that they thought they would never see again.

The March fire was accidental in nature, and the Marr family has plans to rebuild, according to WXMI. Firefighters were able to save the family dog, Chloe, by using an improvised oxygen mask, but the family's cat, Ringer, could not be located. The Marrs assumed that the cat was lost or had not survived.

>> Read more trending news

Christine Marr posted on Facebook that on Sunday, the family went to the house and Chloe began scratching and sniffing at a hole in the floor. Marr heard a cat meowing so the family got food to coax the animal out. To their disbelief, out emerged Ringer.

The cat had lost about half its body weight, and veterinarians believe it survived on bugs. Ringer is steadily improving and is expected to make a full recovery, according to Marr.

Couple finds dog six miles away after being missing for over a year

George, a black shepherd-lab mix with a white chest and brindle paws, slipped his leash and took off during a walk with a dog sitter on Christmas 2015 in Atlanta.

Owners Julianne Green and Matt Furniss were informed of the news while visiting New York for the holidays. Devastated, they cut their trip short so they could begin searching. 

>> Read more trending news

Nearly 17 months later, they can finally stop. 

A microchip company called the couple last week to tell them George had been picked up in Atlanta’s Oakland City neighborhood — about six miles from their Reynoldstown neighborhood — and was scanned in at Fulton County Animal Services. 

They raced to the shelter. Green was expecting George to be sick, injured or aggressive. But then they saw him.

“He came right up to us and was so lovey and happy,” she said Tuesday. “And it was like he wasn’t gone for one and a half years.”

Related: Atlanta: Drink this new beer to help save the whale shark

Green and Furniss were thrilled, but so were hundreds of others. 

George had gained a following since the couple posted about his disappearance on Nextdoor in December 2015. Many missing-animal posts are on the online forum, but George was a special case. Neighbors helped put up flyers, checked in and posted any time there was a suspected sighting. 

Eventually, the sightings slowed. A naysayer on Nextdoor said the dog couldn’t have survived the winter and advised people to stop posting about him. The couple donated George’s belongings, but remained hopeful. 

Green thinks people became invested in George’s story because he went missing on Christmas and because he kept darting between neighborhoods. Despite the occasional sightings, the then-2-year-old dog was skittish and didn’t recognize his name being called. 

The couple — who adopted George from the Humane Society in Atlanta after a bad flood hit South Carolina — had only owned him for two months.

When Green shared the news that George had been found to Nextdoor, the post got more than 230 “thanks” and more than 100 comments in less than a week.

Related: This rare chick born at Zoo Atlanta looks scary now, but just you wait

Since his return, the couple has since found out their dog is heartworm positive, and have started a GoFundMe to raise money for George’s treatment. Over $1,000 has been raised toward its $3,000 goal.

“He has become a local celebrity,” the fundraising page says. “Chances are when we meet a new neighbor, they have already heard a piece of his journey.” 

The couple said they’re “eternally grateful” for the neighborhood’s support.

Any extra funds from the campaign will be donated to Fulton County Animal Services in George’s name.

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