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Boy and cow snuggle at fair in viral photo that the internet is loving

A father captured a picture of his son snuggled up with their cow, and, of course, internet users found it prize-worthy. 

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: LOOK: Child creates a superhero you didn’t know you needed

Mitchell Miner, 15, of Iowa, and his cow, Audri, had a long day at the Iowa State Fair after competing in the youth cattle show Sunday. So, the best friends decided to take a nap. 

>> See the photo here

“I was asleep. I think she was, too,” Miner told the Des Moines Register on Monday. 

While the duo didn’t win the cattle show, they did win the internet’s heart. 

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: WATCH: Man builds cat-tastic maze for his furry friends

The picture on Facebook had over 26,000 likes and 3,096 shares as of Wednesday morning; it’s since been taken down or its privacy settings have been changed.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

While the bond between the teen and heifer is evident, unfortunately, they are just hanging out for the summer

>> Read more trending news

The cow will be sent back to a dairy farm in Blairstown later this fall, according to the Des Moines Register

Read more at the Des Moines Register

What are the most pet-friendly cities in the U.S.?

If you’re a proud member of the growing number of households that include four-legged friends, you’ll want to check out this list.

>> Read more trending news 

WalletHub ranked the 100 most populated U.S. cities based on whether they are a pet’s friend or foe. 

Analysts came up with the ranking after looking at about two dozen metrics that focused on three general categories: pet budget, pet health and wellness, and outdoor pet-friendliness.

» RELATED: 8 dog-friendly beaches in Florida, leash and off-leash

The number one spot in the U.S. for pets? Scottsdale, Arizona.

It was followed by Phoenix, Arizona; Tampa; San Diego, California; and Orlando. Austin and Atlanta made the top 10.

» RELATED: Tips to keep your dog cool in the summer

As for where not to bring Fido? Boston, New York City, Honolulu and Baltimore were among the least pet-friendly cities. Ranked dead last was Newark, New Jersey, at 100. 

Read more at WalletHub

Famous 2-legged dog ejected in rollover car accident found after day-long search

A vacation turned tragic Friday night when a Washington family hit a bison with their truck and lost their beloved two-legged boxer, who is known around the world. 

After a day-long search the dog was found, according to an animal rescue group.

Gary Walters, his fiancee Amanda Giese, and her two children were traveling from Yellowstone National Park to Island Park around 11 p.m. when they struck a bison on U.S. Highway 20 at mile marker 403 near Idaho Highway 87. The family’s truck rolled multiple times and two of the three family dogs were ejected from the vehicle. 

>> Read more trending news

Duncan Lou Who is a two-legged boxer born with his rear legs fused in an X shape. His legs were removed because they were twisting Duncan's spine.

Duncan first rose to fame when a YouTube video was posted of his first trip to the beach. The video has been viewed nearly 7 million times.

The family is asking anyone who wants to help search for Duncan to meet them at the crash site. Regular updates are being posted on the Panda Paws Rescue Facebook page.

If found, the family asks that you please call (360) 609-7416 or (541) 690-6968.

WATCH: Man and cat’s handshake game is blowing people's minds

Secret handshakes and spirited fist bumps have been taken to a whole new level.

A man taught his cat how to fist-bump like a pro, and of course, it was all caught on camera.

>> Read more trending news

The cat smoothly sticks out its paw for a high-five and brings it home with a fist-paw bump. 

The video was shared to Twitter on Aug. 2 and has gone viral within days, with over 50,000 retweets and over 100,000 likes.

Petition: Replace Confederate monument with statue of Snooty the manatee

In the wake of the tragic loss of the world's oldest manatee in captivity, residents in Manatee County, Florida, have taken to the internet to remember the beloved Snooty with a statue that would replace a Confederate monument, the Bradenton Herald reports.

>> Watch a video about Snooty here

The Change.org petition had more than 3,200 signatures early Tuesday. “For a manatee as loved as he was in the community, it’s amazing to see the support,” said Anthony Pusateri, who started the petition. He said it will be submitted to the county and city of Bradenton for consideration.

Pusateri said he's not asking for the complete removal of the Confederate monument that now stands in front of the county courthouse. It could be moved to another location, he said, paving the way for Snooty to take the prime spot in the center of downtown Bradenton.

>> Famous Florida manatee, Snooty, oldest on record, killed in freak aquarium ‘accident’

The statue petition was not the only one filed in tribute to Snooty. Others call for renaming Lakewood Ranch and naming a new high school for the county's unofficial mascot. 

There was an outpouring of emotion Monday across Bradenton, where residents stopped to honor Snooty at the museum. They left flowers, cards, drawings from children, lettuce, carrots and a candle near the front door, according to the Herald.

Snooty drowned Sunday after becoming stuck in the life-support maintenance area at his home at the South Florida Museum, just two days after his 69th birthday. It's not yet known how he got stuck in the small tube, according to another Bradenton Herald story. 

>> Read more trending news

Divers inspected the tank Monday to ensure the safety of the museum's three manatees undergoing rehabilitation.

Jeff Rodgers, the museum's chief operating officer, told the Herald that a memorial service for Snooty is being planned, along with a special memorial on the museum's grounds.

The first recorded manatee born in captivity in 1948, Snooty had lived at the museum since 1949.

Read more from the Bradenton Herald.

WATCH: Sri Lankan navy rescues elephants swept out to sea

Two elephants that were swept out to sea were rescued by Sri Lanka's navy on Sunday, according to a CBS report. 

>> Watch video of the rescue here

The navy patrol located the elephants more than a half a mile from the shore, the navy said in a news release.

>> Elephant swept out to sea rescued 10 miles off coast by Sri Lankan navy

CBS reported that the animals, who likely were swept out while crossing a lagoon, were in distress.

>> See photos of the rescue here

The navy and wildlife officials sent in vessels and divers as part of its "mammoth effort,” the news release said.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

The elephants were “carefully directed to the shore without causing any harm to the animals” and released into the Foul Point jungle, the navy said.

>> Read more trending news

Read more here.

35-pound cat joins adopted family for adorable wedding photos

The cat formerly known as Symba has had a busy time since he went viral in June for his eye-popping girth. 

The 35-pound orange tabby has since been adopted by a couple who got married on July 8.

Like many wedding guests, the cat, now named Vito, wanted to look his best. His new owners have placed him on a strict diet and a regular exercise regimen.

>> Read more trending news

The newlyweds posed with Vito in a series of photographs taken by Kristi Odom. Vito still has a ways to go to reach a healthy weight, but he looks like he's happy and content in his new home. 

Invasive toads in South Florida could kill pets

An invasive toad species are in high population in South Florida now that the rainy season is here, which means pets could come into contact with them. 

>> Read more trending news 

The Cane toad, also called giant or Bufo toads, secrete a milky-white toxin on their skin that can get dogs and cats sick if they bite or eat them.

» Tips to keep your dog cool in the summer

These toads are mostly found in yards near canals and ponds and have a reddish-brown to grayish-brown color with a yellow belly, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

The toads can grow from 6 to 9 inches long and breed year-long in standing water, streams, canals and ditches.

» Woman abandons 3-month-old puppy at airport, leaves tragic note

The Cane toad first made its mark in South Florida in the 1930s to help get rid of agricultural pests, but their population became fully established when pet traders let them loose in the 1950s, according to the FWC. Its native range is the Amazon basin in South America, north to the lower Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas.  

» Potentially deadly parasite found in 5 Florida counties

Veterinarians said if a dog licks a Cane toad, it can get seizures, have heart problems or even die, WTVJ reported. If a pet owner believes their dog or cat has come into contact with a toad, they should wash their pet’s mouth out immediately and call a veterinarian. 

Read more at NBCMiami.com.

Tips to keep your dog cool in the summer

Humans have been known to put pets in danger in the heat.

With some cities hitting triple-digit temperatures, it’s important to remember to keep our dogs and other pets safe during the warm summer months. 

Safety first

It’s already too hot to leave dogs in a parked car for any length of time without air conditioning. Even in the shade, cars heat up fast, and cracking the windows does not help much.

EMS in Travis County, Texas, recommend checking to see if your pet can go inside your destination before you leave home, and leaving your dog at home if not.

Cars aren’t the only danger during the sizzling season. Here are more hot weather pet tips from Travis County and PETA:

  • Keep dogs inside. They can’t sweat like humans and they’re wearing fur coats. Panting is their main way to release heat, and that won’t be enough when it’s really hot, especially if they’re forced to move around.
  • Don’t over-exercise your dog in high temperatures. Keep outdoor activity to dawn and dusk as much as possible, not the heat of the day. Carry water for you and your dog, and look for routes with water access, so your dog has a place to get wet and cool off (make sure dogs are allowed).
  • If you usually run with your dog, how about walking instead? Dogs want to please and can push themselves past the point of risking their own safety just to keep up. If your dog collapses in the heat, it might be too late.
  • Avoid hot pavement. A general rule: If the surface is too hot for your bare foot, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. If you have to cross asphalt or another hot surface, keep your dog moving (don’t stand). Walk in grass as much as possible.
  • Don’t put your dog in the bed of a pickup truck. A sudden stop could throw your dog from the truck, or your dog could strangle itself if she’s tethered to the truck and jumps out.
  • Provide plenty of water and shade for pets when they are outside, and do the same for outdoor animals as well. Account for shifting sun patterns.

Know the signs

Do you know when your dog is getting dangerously overheated? A lot of people don’t. The City of Austin, Texas, posted signs on the hike-and-bike trail a few summers ago urging other people to alert owners when their dogs appeared to be getting too hot.

Here are more signs to look out for, according to trainers at the Canine Center for Training and Behavior:

  • Heavy panting, breathing or drooling, and restlessness.
  • A large tongue that appears to “bell out” at the end.
  • Dry or discolored gums (not easy to spot if your dog has darker gums).
  • A racing or erratic pulse.
  • If your dog is “dancing” on a surface, he might be trying to keep his feet cool.

Cool tools

A quick inquiry to dog-loving folks on Facebook and an online search turns up more than a dozen products designed to help keep your dog cool when the temperature rises.

The following are a few tools that can be used before, during or after outdoor activities (most available online and in stores). Remember: None of these tools replaces common sense and care in the heat. 

  • Around the neck: Wet and freeze a bandanna for a simple cooling tool. Two products you can buy (among others): The KoolCollar, a hollow collar filled with a cooling gel tube for indoor use (less messy), or ice cubes for outside ($18 to $20; www.koolcollar4dogs.com). The Chill Collar is a similar product; it's filled with a gel, and you freeze the whole thing before use ($39.95; www.inthecompanyofdogs.com). 
  • Around the body: Swamp coolers and similar products wrap around a dog's midsection for a whole-body cooldown. The Ruffwear version of a swamp cooler uses evaporative cooling to draw out body heat. Soak the vest-like product in cold water and wring it out before putting it on your dog. You can pour more water directly on the vest while your dog is wearing it, too ($59.95; www.ruffwear.com). The Kool Koat, which is made of shammy material that Velcros around the middle, works like a swamp cooler. It can help keep dogs’ rear ends and and bellies cool in the summer. ($20 to $85; www.pettemp.com
  • Lounging: Pads such as the K9 Cooling Mat and the Cool Bed Lounger (various styles and prices) provide a cool surface for your dog to recline upon. Another version is the Canine Cooler Therapeutic Pad, which is designed to ease inflammation and joint pain in dogs through a water-filled pad, but could be used for heat relief, too. For instant shade, you can pop up the Portable Pet Shade, a pop-up tent that folds up to fit in a carrying case (all at www.inthecompanyofdogs.com).

Read more at Austin360.com.

UPS driver adopts pit bull on her route after owner dies

Katie Newhouser is a local UPS driver in Rancho Cucamonga, California, who had a special bond with a pit bull on her route named Leo.

“He would hear my truck come into the condo complex and start barking and scratching at the door to come down to the truck,” Newhouser told PupJournal. “He would love to come into the truck and go into the back to look around.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

In October 2016, Newhouser learned through Facebook that Leo’s owner, Tina, had died. Her son was unable to take the dog in because he is in the Marines, so Newhouser offered to foster the dog. She already had three other dogs, though, and didn’t intend on keeping Leo.

However, her personal bond with Leo proved too strong to adopt him out to someone else, so Newhouser ended up keeping him.

>> See the Facebook post here

“The whole vibe in the house changed as soon as we brought him home,” she said. “He is the biggest, most lovable dog that you will ever meet. He was instantly running around the yard with my dogs.”

There were some adjustments for Leo, the biggest of which was living life without Tina.

>> Read more trending news

“I do know that Leo missed Tina when he first got here,” Newhouser said. “He would whine at night before he would fall asleep. It was heartbreaking, really. He still does every once in a while. I know he misses her.”

Despite missing Tina, Leo loves playing and lying in the yard with Newhouser’s other dogs and has a new family who will always love him.

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