A round of a-paws for the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the U.S.

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Another year, another victory lap for the Lab.

The American Kennel Club announced its top breeds of 2014, and while the leader of the dog pack comes as no surprise, a few new furball faces pawed their way to the top.

This marks the 24th consecutive year that the Labrador Retriever was recognized as America’s most popular breed — just a few hairs behind were the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever.

The list is based upon AKC registries, and the nonprofit is the largest and most well-known among purebred organizations. A spokesperson for AKC told Mashable that last year’s registry included 178 breeds, among which there were hundreds of thousands of dogs.

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Though it may be the Year of the Sheep according to the Chinese zodiac, it is the Year of the Bulldog in pet world. The Bulldog landed fourth on the list — outperforming the Beagle, which won Best in Show at Westminster — making its highest ranking ever. The French Bulldog slid in at number 9, its highest ranking in nearly 100 years. The Frenchie and Bulldog are also the first and second (respectively) most popular breeds in New York.

AKC invited Mashable to celebrate America’s favorite dogs with a few of the adorable contenders on the list. Take a look below to see if your favorite breed made the cut.

1. Labrador Retriever

1. Labrador Retriever

2. German Shepherd

2. German Shepherd

3. Golden Retriever

3. Golden Retriever

4. Bulldog

4. Bulldog

5. Beagle

5. Beagle

6. Yorkshire Terrier

6. Yorkshire Terrier

7. Poodle

7. Poodle

8. Boxer

8. Boxer

9. French Bulldog

9. French Bulldog

10. Rottweiler

10. Rottweiler

(Via: Mashable/Images by Dustin Drankoski)

Photos by Jess Lessard at The Cat House Sanctuary

Today we feature photography by Jess Lessard from California who volunteers at an animal sanctuary called The Cat House. As a regular volunteer, she gets the chance to help photograph cats, kittens, and even some puppies to help bring awareness to the sanctuary and aid in the adoption of the animals.

The Cat House on the Kings is the largest no-kill, no-cage cat sanctuary in California, housing over 700+ cats on a 12 acre property right alongside the Kings River in Parlier, CA.

The Cat House is a dream life for a cat without a home, with plenty of trees to climb, couches, tables, chairs, computers and pretty much everything else imaginable to climb and sleep on. For the human visitor, it is often a surreal experience, as cats rule at the CHOTK. They are literally everywhere you look and sit. The sanctuary is also a permanent home for some, including many senior cats and cats with FIV.

The tireless work done by the staff and volunteers is so important in the local community. Since the sanctuary was founded over 23 years ago they have saved the lives of over 23,000 cats and 7,000 dogs and still counting. Providing a safe place to live while waiting to be adopted is key as Fresno County (where the shelter is located) euthanizes a frightening number of animals – roughly 65,000 a year.0 000000000000000000 00000 0000000000000000 00 000 0000 000000 0000000 00000000 000000000 0000000000 00000000000 000000000000 0000000000000 00000000000000 000000000000000

(Via: Bored Panda)

Elderly Chinese Women Wake Up at 4AM Every Day to Take Care of 1,300 Stray Dogs

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While the Lunar New Year is traditionally spent with family and loved ones, five elderly Chinese women from Weinan, Shaanxi Province chose to spend the holiday taking care of over 1,300 stray dogs, just as they do every day. Six years ago, Wang Yanfang established a dog asylum as a way to save strays from the pound, where they could be euthanized. Since then, the 60-year-old and four other volunteers—all in their 60s and 70s—have gotten up at 4AM every morning so they can prepare 400 kilograms of food for the hungry pups. The shelter, which is supported solely by donations, makes sure that these animals are fed, cared for, and even groomed regularly.

Despite their good intentions, local media reports that the elderly women have faced other challenges like being bitten by dogs who are less tame than others. But in the end, it’s all worth it to a selfless animal lover like Wang, who has adored animals since she cared for her first dog back in 2000. According to Tencent News, she says, “They’re like your children, you can’t bear to be apart from them, or to lose them.”

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(Via: My Modern Met)