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Humane Society waives fees on black or orange cats and kittens for Halloween

Here’s a treat for you: the Atlanta Humane Society will be waive adoption fees on all cats and kittens with any black or orange coloring today, Monday, October 31, aka Halloween.

More than 120 cats and kittens at the Atlanta Humane Society, many with festive Halloween coloring, need homes. If potential pet owners find one with black or orange coloring today, the adoption fees are waived until 6 p.m.

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Any adopters are required to complete a preliminary adoption questionnaire. Interested adopters should not adopt in a hurry.

For pet owners and pet parents-to-be worried about the impact of waived fees, AHS says it has policies in place.

"It is our top priority to find all of our animals loving homes through adoption, and we will always do so using expertly trained adoption counselors and our specific adoption process," AHS said to a concerned commenter on Facebook.

More details are at the Atlanta Humane Society website.

 Meet your boo this Halloween! All of our cats and kittens who have any black or orange coloring will be fee-waived on Monday, October 31!Posted by Atlanta Humane Society on Sunday, October 30, 2016

4 sea turtles undergo emergency surgery at Palm Beach Zoo

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Four sea turtles had emergency surgery performed on them at the Palm Beach Zoo on Tuesday afternoon after three were found with tumors and another was hit by a boat.

“Five-O” went into surgery after being hit by a boat in Boca Raton, where he suffered fractures. Doctors gave him the name “Five-O” after the quick response from law enforcement following his accident.

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The other three turtles -- “Sprinkles,” “Wreath,” and “Poptart” -- had tumor removal surgery, which doctors said is common because of pollution and water quality issues. The surgeries lasted for four hours with a return to the water anticipated once they heal.

Five endangered Loggerhead sea turtles were airlifted from Massachusetts to Miami in January after being found in cool waters while the green sea turtle was classified as a threatened species this week.

With the 2016 season approaching, 2015 was a record year for sea turtles with 15,261 nests recorded.

184-year-old giant tortoise Jonathan gets first bath ever

Video includes clips from St. Helena government.

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The world's oldest land animal just got his first bath ever, and it only took an estimated 184 years.

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Jonathan the giant tortoise is considered a national treasure on St. Helena Island in the Atlantic.

Surgical soap and soft brushes were reportedly used to protect his shell.

Dr. Joe Hollins, the vet who gave Jonathan his bath, said it was "purely for aesthetic reasons," but after the cleaning, Hollins noticed that the rings on Jonathan's shell, which would usually tell his age, had faded away.

Giant tortoises are usually only expected to live 150 years. After switching Jonathan to a more nutritious diet last year, St. Helena hopes he'll have plenty of years ahead of him.

Move over 'America's Next Top Model.' Here's America’s Top Dog Model

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Sherlock, a 3-year-old labradoodle, spends his days as a medical alert assistance dog in Loxahatchee, Florida. On Saturday, however, he was dressed as Theodore Roosevelt, wearing gold wire-rim glasses and an olive green uniform.

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Twenty-nine dogs, including Sherlock, competed at the 12th annual America’s Top Dog Model casting call at the South Florida Pet Expo in suburban West Palm Beach. This year’s theme was “Meet the Paw-liticans” and featured dogs dressed like presidents and others as political figures throughout history.

Kate Kilpatrick, Sherlock’s owner, said she trained the rescue dog to help her college-student daughter keep tabs on her blood sugar levels years ago. Now that her daughter wears a monitor to keep track of her levels, Kilpatrick said she gets to keep Sherlock to herself most days and enters him in contests whenever she can.

“He’s doesn’t work for free, but he works cheap,” Kilpatrick joked, “paying” him with a doggy treat.

America’s Top Dog Model was founded in 2005 by Jo Jo Harder, who has watched the growth of the national organization that includes her own 7-year-old miniature greyhound, Romeo. Harder is also taping a reality show that she plans to pitch to different networks.

“It’s been wonderful. (We’re) just one big family,” she said.

Lulu, a 2-year-old Harrier who splits her time between West Palm Beach and New York with her owner, Gautam Dasgupta, was one of four finalists chosen Saturday. Dasgupta said he’s never entered his rescue dog into any contests but was convinced by Harder to enter, and he was glad he did. Lulu, though, went as herself instead of as a politician.

Finalists go on to be featured in the America’s Top Dog Model calendar and the top winner gets to be on the cover.

Peaches, a 3-year-old Yorkie, wore a golden tutu while sitting on the sideline as the reigning top dog model. Her owners, Claire Spielman and Bob Spielman, said they got Peaches when they retired and then got her certified as a therapy dog. It wasn’t until winning the competition in 2015 that they realized her other talents.

“It really changed everything for us,” Claire Spielman said. Then came magazine shoots, a website and dozens of prizes and honors.

But even with all the publicity, Peaches still spends Mondays playing with children at a local hospital and on Thursdays she comforts adults in therapy.

“It’s how we give back now,” Bob Spielman said.

Thousands of pounds of snow shipped to Alaska for Iditarod dog sled race

This video includes clips from Alaska Dispatch News and Discovery and images from Getty Images.

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Officials in Anchorage, Alaska, have combated an unusually low amount of snowfall with an effective solution. 

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Seven rail cars packed full of snow arrived in Anchorage on Thursday morning ahead of the annual Iditarod dog sled competition. Those seven rail cars of snow are in addition to the 1,000 truckloads already gathered.

Unseasonably warm temperatures forced event organizers to outsource for their snow this year — a cost that is budgeted as a part of regular street maintenance in the city.

While many U.S. states pay for the removal of snow from city streets, Alaska allocates some of a $60,000 budget to bringing in snow ahead of dog races. 

The famous Iditarod competition is a tradition that dates back more than 40 years. It brings hundreds of dogs and people to the ceremonial starting line. 

This year, race leaders had to shorten the starting leg of the race from 11 miles to three miles because of a lack of snow, but organizers are confident spectators won’t be able to tell the difference.

One race organizer told NBC, “race fans concentrated in downtown Anchorage will not notice any changes to the race start as the excitement of having more than 1,000 of the most finely tuned sled dogs in the world will, as always, make for an electric environment.”

The 1,100-mile race kicks off Saturday morning. 

'Mermaids' swim with sharks in South Carolina Aquarium

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Most people have been to an aquarium by the time they're in middle school.

But you've probably never seen an attraction like the one that's soon to be at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.

The World-Famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids will entertain guests at the aquarium March 28 through April 3.

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Hailing from Spring Hill, Florida, the mermaids swim among hundreds of animals, including fish, manatees and 8-foot-long sharks.

During each show, the mermaids delight guests with a highly technical and choreographed routine to musical numbers.

The mermaids travel nationwide, but they usually perform at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Florida.

At the upcoming exhibit at the South Carolina Aquarium, a limited number of guests will be able to experience a special date night event, Mermaids & Me, designed for all ages and featuring an exclusive mermaid performance in the aquarium's Great Ocean Tank. Each attendee will have the opportunity to meet and take a photo with a friendly mermaid on the land.

A mermaid kiss. #mermaniaPosted by South Carolina Aquarium on Friday, March 27, 2015

Posted by Weeki Wachee Springs on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Impatient baby kangaroo begs human dad for milk

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A baby kangaroo couldn’t wait a moment longer for lunch.

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A video posted on Facebook by The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia shows Scarlett the kangaroo with her caretaker, Chris Barnes.

While Barnes walks around a kitchen mixing a milk formula for the joey, the young animal hops around, clinging to her caretaker’s leg and looking up at him longingly.

The sanctuary's photo caption is the perfect imagination of what Scarlett would say if she could talk: "But mum! I want my milk now!"

The video has been viewed on Facebook more than 200,000 times. 

But mum! I want my milk now!!!* For licensing / permission to use: Contact - licensing(at)jukinmediadotcomPosted by The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Seattle Aquarium cancels octopus mating event, fears cannibalism

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To celebrate Valentine's Day, officials at the Seattle Aquarium wanted to allow visitors to watch a live mating between two octopuses.

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The annual octopus mating event is open to the public and was set to take place at noon on Sunday. 

But aquarium workers couldn't find an appropriate mate for Kong, a 70-pound octopus. They canceled the "blind date" event because they feared that he would eat any female octopus with whom they could potentially pair him. All the female octopuses whom they had considered weighed 30 to 40 pounds -- half Kong's weight.

Instead, divers swam with the giant "bachelor" octopus while visitors watched.

According to Huffington Post, giant Pacific octopuses like Kong live between 3 and 5 years. They can grow to be 150 pounds and up to 20 feet long, according to the aquarium's website. 

The eight-legged cephalopods are terminal breeders who die soon after mating and reproducing. 

We’ve made some changes to our #OctopusWeek event! At noon on February 14, instead of our octopus blind date event,...Posted by Seattle Aquarium on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Join us at noon today to see divers swim with Kong, our male giant Pacific #octopus, in the Window on Washington Waters...Posted by Seattle Aquarium on Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Valentine's Day #OctoFact—you might want to kiss a red octopus but we don’t advise it: their venom can cause very painful local effects. #OctopusWeekPosted by Seattle Aquarium on Sunday, February 14, 2016

With arm spans reaching up to 20 feet across, giant Pacific octopuses can more than wrap their arms around you—and give you triple the love with their three hearts. #ValentinesDay #OctopusWeekPosted by Seattle Aquarium on Sunday, February 14, 2016

Puppies, animals compete in special 'Super Bowl' games

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While the Super Bowl draws in millions of viewers, another game has captured the hearts of tons of furry fans -- the Puppy Bowl.

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This year, Puppy Bowl XII will be aired on Animal Planet on Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. ET and will re-air multiple times throughout the day.

The game involves shelter puppies who compete on a mini football field. A halftime show will be performed by kittens, and chickens will act as cheerleaders. There's also a “rufferee,” a sideline reporter and special effects like slow-motion replays, a water bowl cam and a kiss cam.

In its inception a decade ago, the first Puppy Bowl drew in 150,000 viewers. Last year, at least 10 million people watched at least portion of the game.

“We’ve upped the absurdity of it all,” said Melinda Toporoff, an Animal Planet executive producer for the Puppy Bowl.

One change the Animal Planet team has made includes naming the two participating teams -- Fluff and Ruff. The teams have a chance to score touchdowns by pushing a chew toy into the end zone. There's even a fantasy football league for the furry athletes.

Wanting to see some other animals compete in other fun games? 

Catch “Kitten Bowl III” at 9 a.m. on Sunday on the Hallmark Channel and “Fish Bowl III” at 3 p.m. on NatGeoWild on Sunday. Both will replay multiple times throughout the day.

Older dog cries at shelter when owners leave with younger pup

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An aged dog was abandoned at a shelter when her family decided to take home a younger dog. 

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Cookie the cocker spaniel, who's believed to be between 10 and 15 years old, and a Labrador retriever were turned into the City of San Bernardino Animal Control after they were found wandering the city streets. 

When the family that owned the dogs went to the shelter to pick them up on Dec. 30, the owners chose to take the young Lab home and left Cookie. 

Confused and scared, the older companion cried and howled as the owners walked out of the building and walked out of her life. 

According to one dog-related website, this happens all too often; owners leave older dogs at shelters and trade them in for younger pups. 

But lucky for Cookie, word of her story spread quickly. 

It wasn't long before an organization called OC Small Paws So UT helped find a foster mother for Cookie.

Cookie has medical conditions that require special attention, and she has already undergone surgery for cancer. OC Small Paws So UT has pledged to maintain her health and well-being and has documented her journey on the group’s Facebook page.

The organization wrote that they "have made the collective decision to not adopt her out. She will stay under the care of the rescue for the rest of her life in a local forever foster." 

We are reposting this since we keep getting emails and calls asking us why we gave the people a new dog. Please read...Posted by OC Small Paws So UT on Monday, February 1, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Cookie is feeling much better now that she is almost healed from her first surgery. She is eating well and enjoys...Posted by OC Small Paws So UT on Friday, January 29, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Cookie is relaxing and recovering. She is feeling ok considering the big surgery that she had yesterday. Thank you to or...Posted by OC Small Paws So UT on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>COOKIE UPDATE:She actually has 12+ tumors. He got most of them off except the one in her vaginal area. There is no way...Posted by OC Small Paws So UT on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Cookie got blood work today and it came back pretty good for this old lady. He said that she is cleared for surgery...Posted by OC Small Paws So UT on Monday, January 11, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Cookie is set to get blood work tomorrow to make sure she is in good enough shape to do surgery. She had multiple tumors...Posted by OC Small Paws So UT on Sunday, January 10, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Cookie had a spa day and is enjoying her toys!;notif_t=feed_comment_replyPosted by OC Small Paws So UT on Monday, January 4, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>More of Cookie in her foster home.Posted by OC Small Paws So UT on Monday, January 4, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Cookie is doing well in her foster home.Posted by OC Small Paws So UT on Sunday, January 3, 2016

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>UPDATE:With all of the misinformation going around on Cookie we are going to clarify a few things.1) Cookie and...Posted by OC Small Paws So UT on Saturday, January 2, 2016

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