June 21, 2012 04:00 PM

These stories are worth a click:

Japan presented Russian president Vladimir Putin with an Akita puppy this week, only the third time in the country’s history that it has given an international figure a dog. “We wanted to thank Mr. Putin for his support following the great earthquake and tsunami,” said a spokeswoman for Akita prefecture, a district of Japan. “And we heard he likes dogs.” –Wall Street Journal

A 5-week-old kitten hitched a 400-mile ride with an Arizona couple all the way to Canyon Country, Calif., while hiding out in the car’s bumper. After being rescued by a mechanic, the kitten, now named Phoenix, was adopted by an employee at the car repair shop. –USA Today

After her Great Dane saved her from an abusive boyfriend, a Kansas City, Mo., woman sought refuge at a women’s shelter, but almost left when it wouldn’t allow her to bring her dog with her. “It really made us realize this was something we needed to do: We needed to provide this opportunity for women to bring their pets,” said Rose Brooks Center CEO Susan Miller, who eventually reversed the rule. –CBS News

A police dog was bitten in the ear by a suspect when accompanying officers in North Carolina to serve a warrant, and had to be rushed to the veterinarian’s office for stitches. “He’s a terrific dog,” said officer Lucky Crockett of 2-year-old Maxx. “And he was undaunted, even though he was being bitten, he did not let the suspect go.” –Fox News

Eleven animals from the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, Minn., drowned overnight when the town was hit with torrential rain that led to flooding. All but one of the zoo’s barnyard animals perished, including a donkey, goats and sheep. –MSNBC.com

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