It is very tempting to apply anthropomorphic features onto animals, especially ones that people find cute. In this instance, however, as well as in most others I believe that an instinctual or evolutionary explanation can usually be found to explain the particular behaviours of the animal or animals in question.
There are a number of laws that still consider pets as personal property, so the concept of animals having feelings and emotions is severely lagging. I believe there is more scientific evidence to support the concept of animals having feelings, and the laws will slowly change to accommodate such findings.
Stories like this astonish and surprise us because we do not recognize the defense the of animals feelings. We overlook the mother cat who loses her children and is sad for it, or the dog who miss his owner when they pass away, only to be reminded when something impressive happens.
I was told once by a teacher that there is no animal Heaven because animals do not have souls. I found that hard to believe because all my life I have seen animals do extraordinary things for their owners. They feel a certain attachment to their owners and they definitely react when something is wrong. So animals do feel something when it comes to people.