WebClawer: A mail cat; a Canadian Labradoodle for Obama?
From potential political pets to the mating rituals of penguins and rabbits, a few of the stories that grabbed us today:
-- A Canadian animal shelter hopes that the Obama family will accept its offer of a rescued Labradoodle puppy. The shelter acquired 55 Labradoodles following a puppy mill bust last month, among them two pregnant females. Since then, one of the females, named Lilly, has given birth to a litter of 11 puppies. "When I learned that President Obama's first official state visit would be to Canada, and that he was looking for a puppy for his daughters, I thought a shelter puppy would make a great gift from our government," said the shelter's executive director, Bill MacDonald, who wrote to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office to suggest the proposal. (According to MacDonald, Harper's office passed the offer along to foreign affairs officials who are "considering.") The puppies are currently in foster care but will be ready for adoption in late February. (Agence France-Presse)
-- Looking for something fun, animal-centric, and a little bit scandalous to do this Valentine's Day? The San Francisco Zoo hosts its 20th annual "Woo at the San Francisco Zoo" event on both the day itself and over the preceding weekend (Feb. 7-8). "Former zoo penguin-keeper Jane Tollini will lead the multimedia program covering the A-to-Zs of sexual behavior and mating rituals of animals, the smaller and cuddlier (e.g., bunnies, frogs, turtles) of which will be brought into the hall at appropriate times during the presentation, according to the event coordinator, DeAnna Velez." (Daily Travel & Deal)
-- A cat named Charlie is making a name for himself with the residents of a village in Somerset, England, by accompanying the local postman on his daily rounds. The postman says that the cat, who belongs to a resident on the route, hopped into his mailbag one day to escape the rain. "He was soaking wet through and I put my bag down -- next thing he was in it.... Most days now he's about. I think it's because he likes people. I don't think he likes being by himself." (BBC)
-- Five men were arrested Tuesday in Santa Barbara County and are expected to face felony animal-cruelty charges after police found evidence suggesting ritual animal sacrifice. Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Dep. John McCarthy "said he found numerous candles and a live chicken in the men's car. At a spot where the men allegedly had congregated, he found shattered eggs, a bloody plastic bag, twine, a fan-like arrangement fashioned from brush and, below it, the head of a chicken." (L.A. Now)
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: One of the Labradoodle puppies being offered to the Obama family by the Winnipeg Humane Society. Credit: Winnipeg Humane Society / AFP/Getty Images.