Weekly News Roundup 6/8–6/14

Fire department rescues tired dog

Kato is a five-year-old, 120-pound Great Pyrenees who went for a hike last weekend in Evergreen, Colorado. Kato got tired and probably dehydrated; about a mile into the hike he apparently decided he was done with the hike. So Kato’s owners called Evergreen Fire Rescue. The department says they were happy to help. “We heard ‘dog in distress,’ and a bunch of us showed up,” said Stacee Martin, public information officer for Evergreen Fire Department. She said when the first responders arrived, Kato was exhausted and couldn’t get up, but was still alert and looked grateful to see his rescuers—just like most humans do when the fire department arrives to help. She said the department used the same device to carry Kato back down the trail that they use to transport other hikers in distress.

Pet otter popularity is soaring overseas

The online pet trade has emerged as a pressing threat to otters in Southeast Asia, with a new study revealing hundreds of them for sale on Facebook and other websites over a four-month period. The study revealed a high demand for juvenile live otters in the region, with more than 70% of the animals offered for sale online being younger than a year old. An investigation turned up at least 560 advertisements in which traders offered up to 1,189 otters for sale in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand between January and April of 2017. While much of the trade in Indonesia and Thailand was apparently to meet local demand, both countries were implicated in the trafficking of otters to Japan. Seizure records showed Japan as the destination for 32 live small-clawed otters smuggled from Thailand. This species of otter is declining in population and in danger of extinction.

It’s pets before partners according to a new poll

Got a first date coming up? You may have to impress the person’s dog if things are going to work out. Dogs have a big influence in the love lives of their owners, according to a new poll of 3,500 dog owners. The study found that four out of five dog owners say their dog’s reaction to a new suitor is an important factor in determining whether or not they’re a match. The research, which was commissioned by the on-demand dog walking service Wag!, found that disliking dogs can be a major turn off. More so than not wanting kids, being a bad tipper, and having terrible fashion sense, according to the results. Three out of ten dog owners have used their dog to attract a potential partner and more than 60% said they’ve been flirted with when walking their pooch. It turns out the pup-magnet is strong—when people used their pooch to attract a potential love interest, they were successful 84% of the time. Dogs can even help attract a potential mate without even meeting. As dating apps have become increasingly common, 73% of dog owners are more likely to “swipe right” on a person’s profile picture if it includes a dog.

Pet food company offers paid “pawternity” leave for employees

Moms and dads in the United States have trouble getting any time off when they add new human babies to their families, but a pet food company based in Norway, Sweden, and Finland is giving its employees paid “pawternity” after they adopt a new pet. The CEO of Musti Group, described as the largest pet supply chain in the Nordic countries, began offering the three-day parental leave on June 1, 2018. The company has 1,500 employees, 90% of whom have pets. “Pets always come first in everything we do, and that’s why pawternity leave is a natural step in developing our culture,” Musti Group CEO David Rönnberg said in a statement. “Adopting a pet is a significant decision and changes everyday life considerably. We want to support our employees during their first days with their new family member and ensure that they can enjoy those precious moments to the fullest.”

Death-defying raccoon scales skyscraper as city watches with bated breath

A daredevil raccoon who appeared to be stranded on a ledge after climbing more than 20 stories of a high-rise office building in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, has been captured, according to a tweet sent by the building. After spending some time huddled on a ledge near the top, sparking fears that he was frozen in place with terror, the animal made it to the roof, easing concerns that he might plummet to his death. Onlookers and reporters tracked the raccoon’s progress Tuesday as he scaled the UBS Tower. Early Wednesday, after he made it to the roof, St. Paul Animal Control placed cat food and a trap in hopes of enticing him to safety. It worked. But while they lasted, his adventures caused quite a stir on social media.