CLOSE

The Internet Rallied to Keep a Retired Cop and His K-9 Partner Together

If there's one thing the Internet can agree on, it's that the bonds between people and animals should not be broken. When the story of a retired police officer in Marietta, Ohio fighting to keep his K-9 partner as a pet went viral online, donors from all over the world reached into their pockets to help. The GoFundMe campaign raised over $63,000 to keep the duo together, a total sum that far surpassed the $3500 goal.

Matthew Hickey worked for the police department in Marietta for over 30 years, four of which were spent training and working alongside a six-year-old German Shepard named Ajax. According to the GoFundMe campaign, Hickey was initially told by the city that he could buy his partner for $3500, but the offer was later rescinded and Ajax was to be sold at auction. The funds raised in the GoFundMe campaign will be used toward the auction; any remaining funds will go toward buying bulletproof vests for working K-9 officers.

Mashable reports that the auction date will be announced on February 4. But for those who have become invested in the fate of Ajax and want an update now, city officials will be holding a press conference at 2 p.m. EST today, according to Hickey's friend Corey Orr. You can follow the livestream here


Banner image via YouTube

[h/t: Mashable]

Original image
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
Why Do Cats Freak Out After Pooping?
Original image
iStock

Cats often exhibit some very peculiar behavior, from getting into deadly combat situations with their own tail to pouncing on unsuspecting humans. Among their most curious habits: running from their litter box like a greyhound after moving their bowels. Are they running from their own fecal matter? Has waste elimination prompted a sense of euphoria?

Experts—if anyone is said to qualify as an expert in post-poop moods—aren’t exactly sure, but they’ve presented a number of entertaining theories. From a biological standpoint, some animal behaviorists suspect that a cat bolting after a deposit might stem from fears that a predator could track them based on the smell of their waste. But researchers are quick to note that they haven’t observed cats run from their BMs in the wild.

Biology also has a little bit to do with another theory, which postulates that cats used to getting their rear ends licked by their mother after defecating as kittens are showing off their independence by sprinting away, their butts having taken on self-cleaning properties in adulthood.

Not convinced? You might find another idea more plausible: Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. In both species, the nerve can be stimulated by defecation, leading to a pleasurable sensation and what some have labeled “poo-phoria,” or post-poop elation. In running, the cat may simply be working off excess energy brought on by stimulation of the nerve.

Less interesting is the notion that notoriously hygienic cats may simply want to shake off excess litter or fecal matter by running a 100-meter dash, or that a digestive problem has led to some discomfort they’re attempting to flee from. The fact is, so little research has been done in the field of pooping cat mania that there’s no universally accepted answer. Like so much of what makes cats tick, a definitive motivation will have to remain a mystery.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

Original image
RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages
arrow
Animals
Listen to the Impossibly Adorable Sounds of a Baby Sloth
Original image
RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages

Sometimes baby sloths seem almost too adorable to be real. But the little muppet-faced treasures don't just look cute—turns out they sound cute, too. We know what you're thinking: How could you have gone your whole life without knowing what these precious creatures sound like? Well, fear not: Just in time for International Sloth Day (today), we have some footage of how the tiny mammals express themselves—and it's a lot of squeaking. (Or maybe that's you squealing?)

The sloths featured in the heart-obliterating video below come from the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. The institution rescues orphaned sloths, rehabilitates them, and gets them ready to be released back into the wild.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios