Are animals capable of empathy?
Yes of course. As far as I know and read, empathy seems linked with the presence of mirror neurons or similar cells (although the real function of such cells is still debated). And this rule seems also true for the animal kingdom. Thus genuine empathy, as we know it, may only be restricted to animals with superior brains. This means primates of course, dogs and rats probably, but there are animals that even have a greater number of this kind of cells in their brains than us: dolphins and elephants, notably. And this could explain why these animals are likely to be more empathetic than humans. And curiously, birds seem to have the most efficient mirror neurons of all, hence the incredible efficiency of their brains despite their limited size.
But don't expect a snake or a cat to be empathetic: they never will be.