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An abandoned baby goat's quest for friendship and love

Millie hasn’t always had friends — but that was before Lisa Buchman unofficially adopted her for five days.  

In June, Buchman found the cuddly baby goat abandoned in a field.   

Then only days-old, Mille was shivering and cuddled into an over-sized teddy bear, rejected by the three mother goats that already lived in the field.  

>> Read more trending stories  

Buchman thinks that whoever abandoned Millie might have thought the mother goats would adopt Millie as their own – but that didn't happen.   

"They rejected her," Buchman said. "She was definitely not those mommies' goat."  

So Buchman scooped her up and took her home.   

"I had no choice," Buchman said. "I'm an animal lover; when I see something that needs help, I’m there.”

Buchman says she and her 8-year-old son are familiar with the field because they take care of the mother goats.

She says the goats' absentee owner often forgets to feed them, so they pick the slack.  

Buchman and her son live next door in a 1,100 square foot townhouse.

Once they brought Millie home, they realized this was a problem.

"I didn’t have a yard, so I had to put a diaper on her," Buchman said.  

She knew the situation wasn't ideal, so she posted an ad on Craigslist, hoping to find Millie a better home.  

“I wanted to know if anyone had a good place for her with a yard or with other goats, so she’s not alone,” Buchman said.  

Puget Sound Goat Rescue responded to the ad within 24 hours. Buchman was happy Millie had found a better home, but says she was sad to see her go.

“She was the most precious thing,” Buchman said. "She followed me everywhere."

A Fresh StartMillie, now a little over 2 months old, is a bit of a rarity for Puget Sound Goat Rescue; they don't rescue many baby female goats, albeit over-sized teddy bear companions.The Rescue saves about 80-90 baby goats per year, most of them boys, Sarah Klapstein with the Puget Sound Rescue said.

Klapstein says local dairies and breeders cull male baby goats. The males are often sold off cheaply and end up in the hands of meat buyers who purchase them for human consumption or auction them off to local slaughterhouses. 

The organization attempts to intercept the male goats, purchasing the them before the transactions take place and bottle-feeding them until they're ready to be adopted. 

Klapstein says they only adopt them in pairs. 

This year, the organization has saved 86 kid goats. Altogether, they've saved 150 goats, including rescues from a local slaughterhouse and urgent private party surrenders. The organization also rescues lambs, llamas, pigs and other animals.

Millie thinks she's best friends with all of them.Last week, she attended a charity event in Ballard, pushing through the crowds and instantly becoming friends with hundreds of snuggle-hungry Seattleites.

It was her for first time appearing in public, but she didn't care. Everyone was her best friend. 

"She is the little boss of the bigger boys, very curious, always playing ... she's our star," Shirene Peterson with Puget Sound Rescue said.No abandonment issues here – just an eager goat lookin' for love.

Grady and RamseyWhen she arrived at the goat rescue, Millie and her teddy bear were attached at the hip, Klapstein said.

She arrived at the rescue on June 17 and immediately hit it off with two male goats around her same age named Grady and Ramsey.  

"Baby goats bond easily and she was living without goat companionship for about five days before she arrived ... she quickly bonded to the boys," Klapstein said. "They are about the same age and size and they were all young which made it easy."

Now, instead of cuddling with her bear, Kalpstein says Millie likes to curl up with her adopted brothers.

"But we still put [the bear] out for her from time-to-time, and she likes to nibble on it," Klapstein said.She also likes to boss the boys around. 

"Millie is a little queen bee, sassy and full of personality," Klapstein said. "The boys take all their cues from her."

Klapstien said the organization is trying to slowly integrate Millie, Grady and Ramsey into the Rescue's bigger herd of babies, though the trio remain very close.The Rescue's next event with goats is slated for November. Klapstien says they hope that Millie, Grady and Ramsey will adopted out by then. They plan to gift Millie's bear to her new family when she is adopted.

All baby goats at Puget Sound Goat Rescue are available for adoption, but require a home with room to run and play.

The organization has an adoption application on its website. Currently, there is a waiting list for people hoping to volunteer.Click here to learn more about private goat ownership in King County. Check the Puget Sound Goat Rescue website for more information about housing and adoption.

Florida woman reunited with cat 8 years after he went missing

A Florida woman and her cat have been reunited, eight years after the cat first went missing and traveled more than 100 miles.

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Orlando resident Kathleen Crichton knows she won't ever figure out how her cat, Smelly, got to Gainesville.

"If only he could tell his story," Crichton said. "Did he trek there over the last eight years? Did someone pick him up and move to Gainesville with him?"

Smelly disappeared from Crichton's Waterford Lakes home in 2008. Then, she had three cats and a dog. Now, she has three sons and a fish.

"He was always an inside-outside cat," she said. "He likes to go out. (He) always went for walks with the dog, follow me around in the yard, so I thought he would come back."

>> Read more Floridoh! stories

A veterinarian from Millhopper Veterinary Clinic Center in Gainesville called Crichton last week to tell her someone found her cat and took it to the clinic. Smelly had a microchip.

Crichton got the cat's old carrier out of the attic and made the more than two-hour drive to the animal clinic.

"I'm still in shock by it," Crichton said. "(It's) still a lot for me to take in."

She said Smelly is just as feisty as the day he left. He's now 16 years old.

Photo shows cat holding owners' hands on final trip to vet

A heartbreaking photo posted by Reddit user abernha3, shows a couple holding hands with their cat while on the way to the feline's final trip to the veterinarian. 

"He held our hands on his last trip to the vet," abernha3 captioned the photo. "Little Andrew was much stronger than his mom and I."

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According to the post, Little Andrew was 15-and-a-half years old and had gotten progressively sicker over the past year. 

"(He) got old and sick over the last year. He purred every day of his life and when he lost that, I knew it was time," abernha3 wrote.

His owner also said that Little Andrew was friendly and "loved everyone."

Reddit users who saw the photo offered their condolences and their own stories of loss of pets.

"I'm so sorry for your loss," one internet user wrote. "It's easy to see just from that one picture how much you loved him, and I'm sure he knew."

"It's amazing how they can tell when that final vet trip comes. Mine knew and was at peace about it, like yours was," another person said.

He held our hands on his last trip to the vet. Little Andrew was much stronger than his mom and I. from cats

Zoo Atlanta's giant panda, Lun Lun, expecting twins – again

Lun Lun, the prolific giant panda at Zoo Atlanta, is expecting twins – for the second time.

Zoo officials recently announced that Lun Lun was pregnant. An ultrasound on Monday confirmed that Lun Lun is carrying two fetuses.

As of Aug. 22, those two fetuses measured 2.68 centimeters and 2.19 centimeters.

Lun Lun, who turns 19 on Thursday, is the mother of the only pair of giant panda twins in the U.S., 3-year-olds Mei Lun and Mei Huan. While giant pandas often give birth to twins, usually only one cub survives because the mother tends to nurse only one of the pair.

>> Watch a video about the panda cubs' first 100 days

After the birth of Mei Lun and Mei Huan, Zoo Atlanta’s veterinary team performed a miraculous sleight of hand, by steadily replacing one cub with the other in their mother’s embrace, giving each a chance to nurse and bond.

>> PHOTOS: Zoo Atlanta panda twins getting cuter

The result: Atlanta has the only pair of panda twins in the U.S.

The zoo hopes to perform the same miracle with these two, but there are many obstacles ahead, including a successful birth.

>> Read more trending stories

Round-the-clock birthwatch began on Monday, but there is still no certainty. The zoo said in a statement, “fetal reabsorption is not uncommon in giant pandas.” Lun Lun has given birth to five cubs, three of which live in China at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Lun Lun has been trained to participate in ultrasound exams, but her participation is “voluntary,” the zoo points out, so additional ultrasounds aren’t a sure thing either.

The twins could arrive any time in the next few weeks.

Minnesota dog elected mayor 3 times

A Minnesota dog has been elected mayor three times

The 9-year-old Great Pyrenees was first elected as a write-in candidate in the small town of Cormorant, Minnesota, in 2014, beating out his the human competition. 

"Three years ago, it happened by accident; it was a write-in vote. You pay a dollar and you can vote," said David Rick, Duke's owner.

"How (did) you feel after that election?" a reporter asked Richard Sherbrook, a former mayoral candidate who ran against Duke.

"Well, it was really depressing at first, but I'm getting over it real good," he told TV3. Sherbook later said that he would "back the dog 100 percent," and that Duke is "a sportsman and he likes to hunt -- he'll really protect the town."

>> Read more trending stories  

Duke's honorary position in a town of about 1,000 people isn't completely unprecedented in the state. Another small town in the state -- Dorset, Minnesota -- has had some unconventional mayors as well: preschool-age children.

Rick told WDAY that Duke won the election in a landslide.

"Everybody voted for Duke, except for one vote for his girlfriend, Lassie," he said.

"I don't know who would run against him because he's done such great things for the community," said Cormorant resident Karen Nelson, who added that the dog stays " pretty busy working at the farm."

There might be a giant snake on the loose in Maine

Police in Westbrook, Maine, were recently tipped off about a shed snake skin near the Presumpscot River said to be the length of a truck. It's just the latest chapter in the mystery of Wessie.

>> Watch the video from Newsy

So far, glimpses of the snake with a head the size of a softball have been sporadic. Wessie was reportedly first spotted near a playground in June. 

​Around 3pm today, Saturday, August 20th, a citizen reported finding a shed snake skin, pictured in the attached...Posted by Westbrook Maine Police Department on Saturday, August 20, 2016

>> See the Facebook post here

Days later, local police posted this. This seems to be a stock image, but the post said an officer saw a large snake eating what may have been a beaver. A second officer came to the scene and the pair estimated the snake was 10 feet long. 

>> Click here to read the post

On 6-29-16 at about 0330 hours an Officer on patrol in the area of Riverbank Park observed a large snake on the...Posted by Westbrook Maine Police Department on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A biologist with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said the snake had to have come from somewhere other than Maine, as no native species could eat a beaver. His guess was that Wessie is a Burmese python and was once someone's pet. 

Since then, Wessie has gotten its own social media pages and even a beer named after it. 

But there have been no other reports of Wessie spottings until now, with the shed skin. Yet, some experts are skeptical of that, too. 

>> Read more trending stories

One reptile expert said it's pretty improbable to have a skin laid out like that naturally and suspected a human did it. 

A different expert likened the chances of a skin rolled out that way with the chances of a limbless person neatly setting out clothes. 

The mystery will have to be solved quickly, though. If Wessie is real, and is a Burmese python, it's unlikely to survive Maine's winter. 

Shelter treats dogs to 'puppuccinos' with hopes of adoption

The Kitsap Humane Society has a unique way of getting dogs out of the shelter so that people in the community can see the animals: a volunteer takes them to a local Starbucks. 

>> Read more trending stories  

The Puppuccino Pals program began in April at the Washington-area humane society. Every Tuesday, volunteer Molly Clark takes one of the shelter's dogs to the coffee chain for a treat and for exposure to potential adoptive families, The Dodo reported.

A photo posted by Kitsap Humane Society (@kitsaphumanesociety) on Aug 9, 2016 at 11:59am PDT <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>

The 'puppuccino' is simply a small cup filled with whipped cream.

"The dogs love the shelter breaks, and they adore the puppuccinos," Kimberly Cizek Allen, events and outreach assistant coordinator at the Kitsap Humane Society, told The Dodo. "You can see it in their little eyes as they lick the whipped cream out of the cup."

Not only do the visits give the dogs a chance to take a break from the shelter and enjoy a car ride and a sweet snack, the Starbucks also posts signs telling customers about the dog of the week, in hopes that they might decide to adopt him or her.

A photo posted by Kitsap Humane Society (@kitsaphumanesociety) on Aug 2, 2016 at 10:28am PDT

And the dogs that can't make it on the outing don't miss out either. 

"Should a dog not be suited for an outing due to some type of limitation, Molly will take another dog on an outing, and bring a puppuccino back," Allen said. "That way the Puppuccino Pals dog can enjoy play yard time, or quiet room time, or whatever is most appropriate and still be featured in our program."

A photo posted by Kitsap Humane Society (@kitsaphumanesociety) on May 24, 2016 at 10:41am PDT

See more photos here.

Pet goldfish released in river grows to size of football

What do you do with an unwanted goldfish?

In Australia, many people are dumping their tanks in local rivers, freeing the fish and the former pets are growing, and growing and growing.

>> Read more trending stories  

Scientists are finding that the fish, which are part of the carp family, are swimming in rivers, traveling more than 142 miles in a year, the BBC reported.

Dr. Stephen Beatty said his team from Murdoch University has found many of the former house pets weighing more than a kilogram, or about two pounds. 

But that's not the largest they have found. The biggest goldfish came in at 4 pounds.

They're tracking the fish movements and sizes to help learn to control the invasive species.

Experts say dumped goldfish can harm water quality, disturb habitats and compete with native species.

If left to grow and thrive, they can live up to 25 years and be more than 15 inches long, the RSPCA said.

Dog chokes to death during game of fetch, vet questions toy

A Snohomish County family is devastated after their dog choked to death during a game of fetch. The veterinarian who treated the dog says the design of the ball may have played a role.

KIRO7 met sweet, loving, energetic Bentley back in January, when his family was trying to cope with losing his pal Kado in a suspected dog poisoning. His owners, Kathy and Lee Goltscher, were heartbroken.

They never expected to watch another one of their dogs die so tragically, but Friday -- during a routine game of fetch with a ball Bentley had for years -- the pit bull mix suffocated.

>> Read more trending stories  

"I immediately ran over to him and said 'OK, drop the ball.' I didn't realize immediately that the ball -- he couldn't drop it because it had already gone into his throat,” Lee explained, standing in the front yard where the whole ordeal unfolded.

Lee sliced open his finger on Bentley's teeth trying desperately to dislodge the ball.

“He was in such terror,” Lee said, still traumatized.

Dr. Joel Chatterson, the veterinarian Lee rushed Bentley to, couldn't get it either.

"It was really, really in there,” Dr. Chatterson said.

The ball was thick, hard rubber with very little give, but Dr. Chatterson believes a hole in the middle is what sealed Bentley's fate.

“If that ball didn't have the hole, then maybe the Heimlich like you do on people would work but you couldn't build up -- because of that hole -- you couldn't build up enough pressure,” Dr. Chatterson explained.

He says the safest balls for fetch are solid and flexible. That means if one does get stuck you can likely grab it.

"I didn't realize there was a danger. I never thought about it happening like that,” Lee said. But just like that, another member of the Goltscher family is gone.

Rare 4-eared cat is ready for adoption

A rare four-eared cat who has been undergoing treatment at the Western PA Humane Society is ready for a new home.

The cat, named Batman, was brought to the Humane Society on July 12 after its owner could no longer care for the animal, according to officials with the organization.

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The rarely seen genetic mutation has been documented back to 1938 in Ashtabula, Ohio, with a four-eared cat named Toots. The mutation has been studied, and is argued to be a recessive gene mutation needed from both parents in order to produce four ears.

Batman, who is three years old, has been unavailable for adoption because he was being treated for an upper respiratory infection. The Humane Society said his sickness was not related to his extra set of ears and he is now feeling better.

Officials with the Humane Society said Batman is very friendly and would do well in a home with or without animals, as he came from a house with several animals.

"As an open door shelter, we take in and care for any animal brought to us. Just when you think you've seen it all, a four-eared cat comes in the door! We are excited Batman is feeling better and look forward to him finding his forever home," said Hala Nuemah, managing director of the Western PA Humane Society.

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