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North Shore's Top Animal Stories of 2012

From elusive cougars to a happy ending for a lost dog, here are the animal stories that most captivated readers in 2012.

It's hard to resist a story about a cute pet, and we had several this year that were particularly popular. We also had less happy stories, such as one about a family accused of hoarding dogs, and an animal mystery — whether or not there really is a cougar roaming the North Shore. (No, not the human kind, the feline kind. .)

Here are our top animal stories from the North Shore Patch sites in 2012.

Is there a cougar out there?

By far the biggest animal story of the year has been the hunt for a possible cougar on the North Shore. With repeated possible sightings, there have still been no confirmed cougars in the area. Reports of a cougar peaked this summer, but there was one as recently as late November in Highland Park. 

Owner finds dog after 4-month search

Evanston resident Chuck Duff lost Sparky, his 12-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, during a violent storm in April. After months of searching, he finally tracked him down in Chicago, where a family had taken him in.

Not a happy story. The couple's three children and 35 dogs were removed from their home earlier this month.

Doggy daycare center provides pool for pups

Never given a second thought to dog kennels? I don't care. Just watch this video of dogs playing ecstatically in the pool at Glenview's Carriage Hill Kennels. It will make you happy. I promise.

Wilmette 6th grader buys dog treadmills for Anti-Cruelty Society

Kam Gottlieb is too allergic to own her own pet. So she decided to help those who haven't been adopted. After two years of fundraising, the 12 year old bought two dog treadmills for the Anti-Cruelty Society.

Northbrook nixes backyard chickens

Concerns about overall aesthetics and fears about attracting coyotes persuaded trustees to turn back a recommendation to permit more widespread possession of hens.

Skunks stuck in Northfield window well

It's a good sign about the level of crime in Northfield when skunks stuck in a window well makes the police blotter.


melanie Lewis December 31, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I saw a dig in a back road in my town Prentice. But I guess in Wisconsin people don't rescue animals. I couldn't believe that my new found church friend that was driving me to the store at the time just laughed and left the dig running behind her SUV. Weird Wisconsiners. I know that would never happen in Illinois. That dog would be saved by a upstanding person. I defriebded her after that. The other thing was being left in my apt without a way to the store or any where, without paying. I don't have that much money. I would pay. But then ppl would still be too busy.
melanie Lewis December 31, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I know for a fact that an Illinoian would help a list or hurt animal. I was there. On Sheridan road, a German shepherd was limping along Sheridan road in Kenilworth. Police did stop, and I helped to get the dog back to its owner. A Wilmette man. I saw them later that day, the dog was bandaged on his left leg, and was accompanied by his owner. A very nice and caring man. :)

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