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George W. Bush's newest family member is super adorable

Like many people, former President George W. Bush finds it difficult to resist the magic of a puppy.

A photo of Bush, former first lady Laura Bush and their new puppy, Freddy, was posted Monday on Facebook. The puppy is an Australian shepherd mix, according to Fox4.

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

Bush wrote in the caption that they were visiting the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center last week to thank the staff for their great work when they met Freddy, and decided to adopt him. According to Bush, even the family’s cats, Bob and Bernadette, have accepted Freddy into the home.

Laura W. Bush and I are thrilled to introduce the newest member of our family, Freddy Bush.  We visited the SPCA of...Posted by George W. Bush on Monday, November 14, 2016

Bush had a message for other animal lovers: “If you could use a little extra joy in your life, consider adopting a pet from an animal shelter or rescue group.”

The Facebook post has over 200,000 likes.

Cat or dog? Viral photo of furry friend sparks debate on social media

A photo of an unusual-looking pet has social-media users scratching their heads.

The viral image, tweeted Friday by @1evilidiot, shows a fuzzy critter with long fur and an intense gaze. 

"Her.– do you have a dog or a cat? me.– I don't know," the caption reads. 

>> Check out the photo here

The picture, which has been retweeted nearly 13,000 times, sparked a hilarious internet debate.

"Yeah, what IS that?" asked @bleflarjackson.

"It's an owl," @FreebieBean wrote.

"I thought cat, wife thought dog," @meznak tweeted.

>> Read more trending stories

"That's a fizzgig," wrote @helenstwin, referring to a character from the 1982 film "The Dark Crystal."

Still not sure what you're looking at? The original poster revealed the answer here:

The Persian cat, Atchoum, has tens of thousands of fans, as well as his own websiteInstagram account and Facebook page.

"Some people say my wild furs and intense amber eyes make me look like a dog, an owl, a mad scientist, a Gremlin, Lorax or the Grinch, but I'm happy to be me," Atchoum's website reads.

Atchoum, who lives in Quebec, Canada, has hypertrichosis, which causes excessive hair growth.

"I'm hairy not scary!!" reads his Instagram profile.

>> See another photo here

I'm feeling a little goofy today!!! Je me sens un peu rigolo aujourd'hui!!! #atchoumthecat #werewolfcat #werewolfsyndrome #persian #bowtie A photo posted by Atchoum (@atchoumfan) on Nov 6, 2016 at 5:59am PST <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>

Here are the top 10 dog-friendly cities in the U.S.

It's definitely a dog's life in the United States. According to a 2016 survey by the American Pet Products Association, 44 percent of U.S. households have at least one dog.

 

>> Read more trending stories

 

SpareFoot conducted a survey to determine the top 10 dog-friendly cities in the country. It used research from WalletHubZumper and Realtor. The blog site then created its list based on the number of mentions for a particular city, its average rank, and some subjective voting.

 

Tampa, Florida, was the only city to make the top 10 in all three lists, SpareFoot said. It had one of the highest proportions of pet-friendly listings, as well as dog parks per capita. There are many off-leash dog parks and beaches , plus a large number of dog-friendly shops and boutiques. The Tampa Bay Pet Expo is a free event that attracts thousands of pet lovers looking to enjoy a day out with their pet companions.

 

Here are the top 10 cities as compiled by SpareFoot.

 
     
  • Tampa, Florida
  •  
  • Seattle
  •  
  • Scottsdale, Arizona
  •  
  • Las Vegas
  •  
  • Austin, Texas
  •  
  • Atlanta
  •  
  • Portland, Oregon
  •  
  • San Diego
  •  
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  •  
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  •  
 

<div class="oembedall-container"><div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Before I forget, they had a dog Halloween costume contest at Fergs in Tampa today and the best one was easily <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/purplerain?src=hash">#purplerain</a> <a href="https://t.co/JJ0uenvEnN">pic.twitter.com/JJ0uenvEnN</a></p>— Dennis Rooney (@rooneydr) <a href="https://twitter.com/rooneydr/status/792565590003179520">October 30, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div>

Dog with sweet wagon ride is making health strides

A 9-year-old golden retriever who stole hearts for his wagon-ride visits around his community is showing some incredible signs of improvement.

> Read more trending stories

Maverick is battling lymphoma for the second time and is unable to walk, so his owner, Joey Maxwell, set up a special wagon for him and pulled him around town.

But, less than a month after getting his wagon setup, Maverick seems to be getting better.

Maxwell said Maverick is “progressing better than we could ever have hoped.”

The pup, who lives in DeLand, Florida, recently went for a full-body CT scan and has no evidence of cancer.

Doctors say he is now in remission, and his heart is strong. Maverick can finally restart chemotherapy and finish his treatment.

Maverick, who was unable to move his back legs, is finally regaining movement. He’s started several rehabilitation therapies at FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital, including using an underwater treadmill.

Maverick even received a new custom wheelchair to help with his progression.

On Nov. 2, 2016, Maverick appeared as a special guest of the Mayor of DeLand. He participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the city’s first dog park.

Maxwell said the whole experience has been incredible, and they are overjoyed with the love Maverick has received.

To stay up-to-date on Maverick’s journey, visit Everybody Loves Maverick on Facebook.

Cat adopted at age 20 receives loving tribute from family

Dexter the cat spent just two years with the Williams family, but he made every moment count.

The Williams family saved Dexter from a hoarding situation in Utah, according to People. At 20, and in declining health, the black and white cat may not have seemed the ideal pet for a family with two young boys. But the cat proved to be a loving, easygoing pet, who enjoyed spending time cuddling with the boys and the family’s dogs, according to the boys’ mother, Jill Williams.

>> Read more trending stories 

Dexter died in October at the age of 22.

As Williams explained in the caption on the memorial video, “The best cat in the entire world has left us. We will never forget the love and happiness he gave in his very short time with our family. Rest in peace, Dexter.”

Company launches world's most expensive cat food

A British pet food company has created what it claims is the world’s most expensive cat food.

British Banquet is a grain-free blend made with “Arenkha caviar, line-caught Scottish salmon, hand-caught Norfolk lobster and Devon crab,” according to the Green Pantry website.

>> Read more trending stories  

Of less interest to cats, British Banquet also contains organic asparagus, quinoa and saffron.

The fancy cat food comes with a steep price tag: $11,000 per year in the U.K., and over $13,000 per year if you live outside the U.K., according to Forbes. Each bag costs 30 times more than the average cat food, per Forbes.

British Banquet will not be mass-produced and is available by special order only.

Nearly 200 animals recovered from home during eviction

Animal Control officers seized nearly 200 animals from a home in Pittsburgh's Brookline neighborhood.

>> Read more trending stories 

Pittsburgh police said the animals were discovered when sheriff's deputies tried to evict Barbra Yogmas and her family from their Bay Ridge Street home.

"It’s no one's fault but ours," Yogmas told WPXI. "My mom never let me put anything in my name, and so here we stand."

Yogmas told police her mother was an animal hoarder. They had 148 birds, 14 ferrets, 10 cats, seven dogs, one turtle, two geckos and a bearded dragon.

"I got overcome with everything," Yogmas said.

Neighbors said they heard dogs in the home but didn’t suspect there were so many animals living inside.

"I'm just really shocked," a neighbor said. "I feel really bad for them."

Yogmas and her mother were arrested and will face animal cruelty charges -- one count for each animal -- and child endangerment charges.

Yogmas' 12-year-old son was taken to the hospital to be medically evaluated.

More than 150 of the animals seized from the home were taken to the Animal Rescue League and Western PA Humane Society. The shelters are asking for donations to help cover the costs of caring for them.

"This could be the largest animal intake in the history of both shelters, said Dan Rossi, CEO for Animal Rescue League and Western PA Humane Society. "Our merging only makes a situation like this easier to handle. We will take care of these animals in the best way possible. I hope this sends a message to others worried about animal hoarding situations to report it before an animal's welfare is of concern."

Humane Society waives fees on black or orange cats and kittens for Halloween

Here’s a treat for you: the Atlanta Humane Society will be waive adoption fees on all cats and kittens with any black or orange coloring today, Monday, October 31, aka Halloween.

More than 120 cats and kittens at the Atlanta Humane Society, many with festive Halloween coloring, need homes. If potential pet owners find one with black or orange coloring today, the adoption fees are waived until 6 p.m.

>> Read more trending stories

Any adopters are required to complete a preliminary adoption questionnaire. Interested adopters should not adopt in a hurry.

For pet owners and pet parents-to-be worried about the impact of waived fees, AHS says it has policies in place.

"It is our top priority to find all of our animals loving homes through adoption, and we will always do so using expertly trained adoption counselors and our specific adoption process," AHS said to a concerned commenter on Facebook.

More details are at the Atlanta Humane Society website.

 Meet your boo this Halloween! All of our cats and kittens who have any black or orange coloring will be fee-waived on Monday, October 31!Posted by Atlanta Humane Society on Sunday, October 30, 2016

Celebrating National Cat Day

For spoiled kitties and their doting owners, every day is cat day, but officially, Oct. 29 is National Cat Day.

Colleen Paige, a pet expert, founded the holiday. She also founded National Dog Day and National Pet Day. The holiday is designed to improve the welfare of cats across the country by encouraging adoption, donating to shelters and advocacy groups and by feeding cats healthy food.

>>Woman who ratted out bodega cat on Yelp draws angry response

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

For many cat owners, it's a good excuse to post some adorable photos.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/celebrating-national-cat-day-581491f2eaa3e34b73fb04e3/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/celebrating-national-cat-day-581491f2eaa3e34b73fb04e3.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "Celebrating National Cat Day" on Storify]

 

 

Rescue raccoon, deemed aggressive, has new home

A rare and beautiful animal has a new home.

Isis is an albino raccoon. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources found the 4-year-old female in a suspended wire cage.

The operators of A New Hope Animal Sanctuary in Winterville, Georgia, said she came to them covered in fleas, sores and urine burns, believing she had never touched the ground, living most of her life caged near other animals.

>> Read more trending stories  

Officials with the Department of Natural Resources dropped her off at the sanctuary temporarily while they looked for a permanent home for what they deemed as an "aggressive animal."

But sanctuary workers say she's anything but aggressive. They said that as soon as they showed her kindness, she turned into a loving animal, or even a pet that wanted to be held.

>>Click here to see other animals that call A New Hope Animal Sanctuary home

They came up with, in their opinion, the perfect name, Isis, naming the raccoon after the Egyptian goddess of life and magic.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> It took a minute for us to find the perfect name for the albino raccoon who recently joined our family, but we think we'...Posted by A New Hope: Animal Sanctuary & Education Center on Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Isis has also been able to meet other animals at the sanctuary, like Ghost, another raccoon that calls A New Hope home.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Isis met Ghost today, we think these two are gonna get along great! #raccoonPosted by A New Hope: Animal Sanctuary & Education Center on Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A New Hope says that it costs about $100 a month to care for Isis. If you'd like to help, click here.

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