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.