A Boston Shelter is Looking to Adopt Dog and Cat 'Best Friends' As a Pair

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Some families worry when they introduce a new dog into a home currently being occupied by a cat, or vice versa. One or both can become territorial, jealous, or just plain aloof. But the MSPCA-Angell animal shelter in Boston has the opposite problem: Volunteers are hoping they can find an adoptive family willing to care for an inseparable dog and cat duo.

Leila, a 2-year-old Chihuahua, has lived with a 6-year-old tabby named Kitty since Leila was born. Their household is relocating to a new residence that doesn’t accept pets, so the two were passed on to MSPCA-Angell. According to the adoption center, it was just the second time in four years a dog and cat were brought in together. Sharing the same pet carrier, no less.

The two appear to be dependent on one another, with Kitty getting agitated whenever Leila is removed from his presence and Leila appearing to be calmer with Kitty around. Owing to their bond, the center is unwilling to separate the two and is seeking a household that can accommodate both.

“The only thing they have is each other, and that’s the one thing we can’t take away,” Rob Halpin, MSPCA-Angell’s director of public relations, told Boston.com. “When the shelter team took Leila out for a walk, Kitty sat in his litter box and started meowing loudly because he was really worried about where his friend might be.”

The pair are currently being cared for in a private office area so they can remain together in the shelter. Interested parties can visit the adoption center at 350 South Huntington Avenue in Boston or email adoption@mscpa.org.

[h/t Boston.com]

Therapy Puppy Provides Comfort to Grieving Families at North Carolina Funeral Home

AllenSphoto, iStock via Getty Images
AllenSphoto, iStock via Getty Images

Emotional support animals have become common sights at places like airports, and now the funeral industry is embracing their therapeutic benefits. As WGAL reports, Macon Funeral Home in North Carolina now has a Bernese mountain dog puppy to provide comfort to grieving clients.

Nine-week-old Mochi isn't a fully trained therapy dog yet, but she's already winning over visitors. Tori McKay, Macon's funeral office administrator, had dreamed of bringing a grief-support dog into the business for a decade. Shortly after her 30th birthday on January 4, she and her husband "decided that Mochi would make a wonderful addition to our family and this decade of our lives," she wrote on the funeral home's website.

McKay chose a Bernese mountain dog for the breed's affectionate personality, relaxed disposition, and successful history as an emotional support animal. Between ages 6 months to 1 year, Mochi will receive therapy dog training in Asheville. The plan is to eventually make her available to families upon request and bring her to nursing homes to meet with residents. Until then, the puppy is meeting guests in a more casual setting as she gets used to socializing with strangers.

"Stop by and meet her, she loves making new friends!" a post on the funeral home's Facebook page reads.

[h/t WGAL]

One of the World’s Most Dangerous Spiders Could Invade Homes after Australia's Recent Rainfall

Ian Waldie, Getty Images
Ian Waldie, Getty Images

While recent rainfall has been a welcome change in Australia after destructive bushfires caused a widespread crisis, it hasn’t come without an asterisk. According to the Australian Reptile Park, the wet and warm conditions have made Sydney funnel web spiders highly active—and the funnel web spider happens to be one of the most venomous arachnids on the planet.

In a video the park shared on Facebook, officials warn that the weather might cause a marked increase in the spiders' activity, as males cover territory in search of a mate. They might be found in shoes, in laundry, or in yards. Fortunately, Atrax robustus is easy to identify, with its shiny body providing a helpful visual cue to immediately begin walking in the other direction.

Male funnel webs are thought to have venom up to six times more dangerous than females and also tend to move around more, making human encounters with them more likely. Because they can’t climb smooth surfaces, funnel webs are also prone to burrowing in piled-up clothing or other hiding spaces, providing an unwelcome surprise for anyone looking to retrieve their discarded shirt or socks.

The funnel web is also aggressive, quick to attack when provoked, and packs a powerful enough bite to pierce shoes. After being bitten, pain, muscle spasms, and pulmonary edema follow. Victims should use a compression bandage and limb immobilization to compress surface tissue until they receive medical attention.

Though the species is believed to have caused 13 human deaths, there haven’t been any fatalities attributable to a funnel web bite since 1981. That’s due in large part to antivenom made from milked spiders, an advancement that saved the life of a 10-year-old boy, Matthew Mitchell, bitten by the spider in 2017. The spider was loitering in his shoe and bit him on the finger. After 12 vials of antivenom, Mitchell made a complete recovery.

The Australian Reptile Park is actually encouraging citizens to trap the spiders and bring them in to drop-off sites to aid in the antivenom production effort. They advise nudging the spider into a plastic or glass container with a spoon. Extreme caution should be exercised, but you knew that.

[h/t CNET]