The Water Bowl: Newt Gingrich Campaigns – with Animals!

Joe Marquette/AP

updated 12/28/2011 AT 1:00 PM ET

originally published 12/28/2011 AT 1:30 PM ET

These stories are worth a click:

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has always exhibited a love for animals, and he’s taking that love online with his new website, Its intent is to show a “lighter side” of Gingrich, who says that “politics doesn’t have to be mean and nasty and disgusting.” –ABC News

Since a Czech national was apprehended in Argentina attempting to board a plane with 250 animals, authorities have been investigating a major animal trafficking ring. They believe the man was acting as a courier for a larger criminal organization. –BBC News

A Phoenix man whose cat helped him overcome a heroin addiction surrendered the 9-month-old cat to his local humane society because he could not pay immediately for treatment of a laceration on the cat. Hours later, the cat was euthanized. –The Arizona Republic

Take a look back at the many photos of animals that have found themselves in the path of danger in 2011. –

Inmates at the Toledo Correctional Institution have been entering the Ph.D. Program – Prisoners Helping Dogs – and training adoptable dogs to get ready for new homes. “He taught me patience,” says one prisoner, of the dog he trained. –Toledo Blade