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WebClawer: Pets of Bel Air may face default judgment in lawsuit; boy marries dog; seven-legged frog found

February 25, 2009 |  3:24 pm

Pup From Bel-Air to India, the Web is crawling with animal news:

-- The beleaguered pet store Pets of Bel Air -- accused of fraud and false advertising in a lawsuit that claims puppies the store said came from private breeders were actually obtained from puppy mills -- may now face a default judgment within the next few months.  Superior Court Judge John Shook says he may prepare a ruling in the case before the next scheduled hearing date of April 21.  Defendants have not responded to court motions in the three months since the pet store's attorney left the case.  The lawsuit alleges that Pets of Bel Air sold sick puppies from puppy mills to about 800 people.  Associated Press

-- A young boy in eastern India was married to his neighbors' dog in a ritual designed to keep him from being eaten by wild animals.  The boy, named Sagula, is less than 2 years old and recently grew a tooth, which members of his Munda tribe see as a bad omen (one that makes him prone to attack by animals).  "We performed the marriage because it will overcome any curse that might fall on the child as well as on us," Sagula's father told a local newspaper.  The dog, named Jyoti, was set free to roam about after the wedding ceremony was completed.  The boy will be able to one day take a human bride without requiring a divorce, according to a witness.  Reuters

-- A 3-year-old Russian girl was discovered being cared for by dogs while her alcoholic mother neglected her.  The girl, named Madina, knows only the words "yes" and "no" and growls when people get too close, Russian media reported.  Police said her mother frequently disappeared and, when home with her daughter, would allow the child to eat on the floor with the dogs.  "When her mother was angry she used to run away, but no child played with her in the playground," according to one Russian newspaper article.  "So dogs became her best friends. She played with them, and slept with them when it was cold in winter."  Despite her ordeal, Madina is reportedly physically and mentally healthy.  Daily Mail

-- The Macropinna microstoma fish, more commonly called "barreleye" or "spookfish," has a transparent head and tubular eyes.  Barreleyes live in tropical and temperate waters in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.  Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute researchers Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler recently discovered that its eyes can actually rotate within its head -- allowing it to see above, below and on both sides as it swims.  Discovery

-- A seven-legged frog was found in a restaurant in Zhuzhou, Hunan province, China.  Metro U.K.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: A puppy on display in the Pets of Bel Air store, which was closed by the L.A. Department of Animal Services in late 2007.  Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

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