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Don't touch seal pups, officials say after man brings one to hotel room

They look so cute and so tempting to touch, but the harbor seal pups you see on beaches in Washington state aren’t for petting and they don’t need your help; in fact, your help can hurt or worse — even kill.

>> Watch the news report here

“This is pretty common; we see it all the time. Every year, we get these orphaned animals in that have had some sort of human disturbance,” said Jeff Brown, a wildlife naturalist at PAWS in Lynnwood.

PAWS staff members say what’s far less common is what happened to a baby seal transported to PAWS in mid-June at only a few days old.

>> What is red tide? Inside the toxic phenomenon destroying Florida’s marine life

A man spotted the pup on the beach in Ocean Shores, picked him up, took the animal back to his hotel room and called for help later that night.

“[This seal] did come in with some injuries and he did have some metabolic imbalances because of probably being away from mom for so long and being in the hotel room where he couldn’t get the nourishment he needed. So he is lucky that he pulled through,” said Dr. Nicki Rosenhagen, a PAWS veterinarian who worked to rehabilitate the seal.

Other seals who faced human interference haven’t been as lucky; a pup had to be euthanized after someone used a shopping bag to carry it off a beach in Westport two years ago.

Last summer, people crowded around a pup in Edmonds until Seal Sitters — volunteers trained to monitor the condition of our local seal pups — intervened. They tag the animals and often put a barrier around them to minimize disturbances.

“When a seal is hauled out, or comes out of the water, it may look orphaned but it can be there for up to 24 hours without seeing mom so that’s when we have those issues, when people think it’s been orphaned but it’s not,” Brown said.

Your touch, however, is what could cause the mother to abandon her pup.

>> Read more trending news 

So you’re welcome to take in the view from afar, and maybe you’ll even see PAWS’ success story swimming around Grays Harbor; he’ll be released Tuesday.

“We’re really excited. It was a little touch-and-go in the beginning; he had some wounds over his back and those metabolic imbalances that were concerning. But after a couple of weeks in care, he hit his stride and took off and has been putting on weight and eating really well, so yeah, we’re excited,” Rosenhagen said.

Experts say you should always stay at least 100 yards away from a seal on the beach, keep your dogs on a leash, and call NOAA at 866-767-6114 if you are concerned the animal is in distress.

Florida man slams dog to ground, breaks its pelvis, deputies say

A Florida man is behind bars after police say he abused a small dog and broke its pelvis during an altercation with a woman.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Sean Booth Chidester, 35, of Marathon, was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol on Tuesday evening after deputies posted his photo on Facebook and asked for the public's help to find him.

>> See the Facebook post here

 Deputies said the owner of the dog, a miniature pinscher named Penny, said Chidester "picked up Penny above his head with arms fully extended and slammed the dog to the ground from the top of a set of stairs." The woman took the dog to an animal hospital, where a vet discovered "multiple fractures" to its pelvis and possible nerve damage, deputies said. The vet also said Penny may not be able to urinate without a catheter, deputies said.

Chidester, a convicted felon, is being held on an animal cruelty charge. His bail was set at $50,000.

Read more here.

Officer Jack Russell? Lost dog becomes honorary police K-9 before reuniting with owner

A lost dog became a Massachusetts police officer’s co-pilot Monday. 

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

Duane Boucher, the Orleans Police Department's animal control officer, found the Jack Russell terrier near the Pump House Surf Shop on Route 6A.

>> Read more trending news 

Orleans police wrote on Facebook, “Until his humans are found, Officer Jack Russell will patrol today with officer Boucher.”

>> See the post here

Boucher was able to reunite the dog, named Rocco, with his owner. He apparently slipped out of his collar and decided to go for a stroll. 

“Thank you so much to the Orleans PD for locating Officer Rocco and bringing him safely home,” his owner wrote on Facebook.

Ex-NFL star Jerod Mayo's missing dog found dead in trainer's house

The dog belonging to former New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo has been found dead, the Rhode Island SPCA said.

>> Serial pet killer may have mutilated, slain 7 cats; $3K reward offered in search for suspect

The organization said the body of Knox, a 5-year-old English bulldog, was found in a home in Cranston, where its dog trainer lives. 

Cranston police have charged Ameila Ferriera with obstruction.

RISPCA said evidence indicates Ferreira has known about the whereabouts of Knox's dead body for several weeks and concealed his body from investigators. 

>> On Man who threw dog off bridge charged with animal cruelty, claims pup liked it, officers say

Investigators said additional charges may be filed depending on the results of a necropsy to determine how the animal died. 

On his Instagram page, Mayo wrote, "Unfortunately, the answers we prayed for regarding Knox aren't the ones we were ready to face."

Police in Wrentham, Massachusetts, were called to Joe's Rock, the conservation area off of West Street, for a report of a lost dog in June. 

At that time, Knox was being walked with another dog by a trainer from Cranston, Rhode Island, police said.

>> Read more trending news 

The trainer then lost track of Knox while taking care of the other dog, and Knox disappeared, police said.

The trainer called police, who responded and searched the area, authorities said.

LOOK: Labrador retriever's epic photobomb during owners' wedding goes viral

A playful pooch is making headlines for pulling off an epic photobomb at his owners' wedding.

>> See the photo here

According to "Today," Angie Blumberg and Jayce Conway of Illinois exchanged vows July 28 in Big Sky, Montana. Their beloved Labrador retriever and best man, Boone, was supposed to stand between Conway and his brother during the ceremony.

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

But Boone apparently had other ideas. Although he stayed put during the processional, he "couldn't resist going over to say 'hi'" to Blumberg when she made her appearance, Conway told "Today."

>> Read more trending news 

The couple's photographer, Chris Davis, snapped away as Boone enjoyed a tumble in the grass during the opening prayer. A photo of the moment quickly went viral on social media, where it was shared more than 50,000 times, "Today" reported.

Read more here.

Serial pet killer may have mutilated, slain 7 cats; $3K reward offered in search for suspect

Law enforcement officials are searching for the person or people responsible for killing and mutilating cats in Washington state.

>> Man who threw dog off bridge charged with animal cruelty, claims pup liked it, officers say

Several cats have been killed in Thurston County since February, according to Erika Johnson, Thurston County Joint Animal Services lead investigator on the case.

On Sunday, a seventh cat was discovered. That cat was found killed and mutilated near Decatur Park in West Olympia.

>> Read more trending news 

In Thurston County on Saturday and Sunday, law enforcement officials went door to door warning homeowners of the serial pet killer.

Pasado's Safe Haven is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to the suspect. 

"The cats are usually left in public places after they are killed," a release from Pasado's reads. "Investigators believe these cases are linked due to similar mutilations done to the cats' bodies (removal of the spine)."

>> See the release here

Johnson said the cats are strangled and then surgically cut, not professionally but with a knife. The cats killed have been found in Lacey, West Olympia and Tumwater. 

If you have information, call 360-352-2510.

Man who threw dog off bridge charged with animal cruelty, claims pup liked it, officers say

Investigators say they have found the man responsible for throwing a dog off a bridge in Massachusetts last month.

According to the Wareham Department of Natural Resources, the search for a suspect began after video surfaced of a man dropping a dog off a bridge and down 12 feet into a waterway. The video then showed the man jumping into the water himself.

>> Watch the clip here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

A Natural Resources officer found the man, identified as East Falmouth native Kevin Ouellette, and interviewed him about the incident, the department said.

>> Read more trending news 

Ouellette reportedly said he would do it all the time, and that the dog, which wasn't injured in the incident, "likes it."

An investigation determined Ouellette wasn't the owner of the dog, and the dog was taken without the owner's permission. 

>> On Video of dog being thrown off bridge in Wareham prompts hunt for owner

Authorities said Ouellette inflicted unnecessary cruelty on the dog by throwing it 12 feet into the water.

Ouellette was charged with animal cruelty by custodian, larceny from a building and a municipal bylaw violation for bridge jumping.

Man's limbs amputated after dog's lick likely caused bacterial infection

A Wisconsin man's limbs were amputated after doctors said he contracted a bacterial infection – likely from a dog's lick.

>> RELATED STORY: You probably shouldn't let your dog lick your face

According to WITI, Greg Manteufel, 48, of West Bend, believed he had the flu when he went to the emergency room in late June. But doctors later determined that capnocytophaga, a type of bacteria found in dog saliva, had caused the infection that left him bruised, dropped his blood pressure and decreased blood flow to his limbs.

To keep Manteufel alive, doctors had to amputate both legs to the knees and both arms to the mid-forearm, according to a mid-July update to a GoFundMe page for the family. That campaign has raised more than $27,000.

Manteufel's wife, Dawn, told WITI that her husband has "been around dogs all of his life."

>> Read more trending news 

"We can't wrap our heads around it," she said.

Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, who specializes in infectious diseases, told WITI that "99 percent of people that have dogs will never have this issue."

Read more here.

Backyard chickens, ducks linked to salmonella outbreaks in 44 states, CDC says

They may look cute and cuddly, but your backyard chickens, ducks and their babies could be making you sick.

According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 212 salmonella cases in 44 states have been "linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks."

>> On Read the full report here

As of July 13, 34 people had been hospitalized in connection with the outbreaks since February, the CDC reported Monday. Nobody has died.

About 26 percent of those sickened are children under 5 years old, the CDC said.

>> Salmonella: Signs and symptoms of infection

"Epidemiologic, traceback and laboratory findings link these outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which come from multiple hatcheries," the CDC said, adding that 72 percent of sick people who were interviewed "reported contact with chicks or ducklings in the week before their illness started."

>> Read more trending news 

Health officials are warning anyone who comes into contact with live poultry to immediately wash their hands afterward and avoid eating or drinking near the birds. 

Another tip? "Don't kiss your birds or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth," the CDC said.

Read more tips here.

WATCH: Florida police officer stops traffic to help mama duck, ducklings cross busy road

A Florida man's video of a Clearwater police officer stopping traffic as a mother duck and her ducklings cross a busy street is warming hearts on social media.

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

According to WTSP, Glenn Peterson of Clearwater captured the video Monday afternoon and shared it on his Facebook page.

>> Read more trending news 

"Clearwater's Finest stopping traffic on Gulf To Bay so Mama Duck can cross with her Babies," he wrote.

>> Click here to watch

WTSP reports that the video, which was picked up by local media, has been shared dozens of times.

Read more here.

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