Against great obstacles, animals have shown their dedication through unbelievable acts of heroism.
Whether they saved their owners from an animal attack, alerted them to a fire or led the way for emergency responders, here are 9 amazing stories of animals who came to the rescue.
1. Cat Saves Owner from Dog Attack
In June 2010, two dogs attacked Cherry Woods while she was walking in her neighborhood near Houston, Texas.
When her husband couldn't get the dogs off her, the couple's cat, Lima, came to her rescue. Hissing and clawing, Lima directed the canines' attention toward herself long enough for Woods's husband to drag her to safety. Although Woods was injured, she and Lima survived.
2. Dog Leads Police to Burning Home
When Ben Heinrichs's workshop caught fire in April 2010, he turned to his German shepherd, Buddy, and said: "We need to get help!" Heinrichs was exclaiming out loud, not commanding his pooch, so when Buddy ran off, the last thing he expected was that Buddy would return with just that.
A state trooper's dashboard camera actually caught Buddy on tape as he ran out to the road, signaled for attention and led the trooper back to the fire. The trooper then directed the fire department to the scene, where they were able to put out the blaze before it spread to the family's home.
Buddy was given an award and a silver-plated bowl from the Alaska State Troopers for his heroism.
3. Cat Saves Sleeping Owner from Gas Leak
Schnautzie the cat wasn’t looking for affection that day in April 2010 when she sat on her owner Trudy Guy's chest and started tapping her nose. Schnautzie was saving Guy's life.
When Guy was awoken by her feline friend, she heard the roaring of a gas pipe, which had broken outside her bathroom. She was able to escape and call for help, but firefighters told her the house could have blown up with her inside if Schnautzie hadn't alerted her to the danger.
For her valor, the cat received the Purple Paw award from the Animal Foundation of Great Falls, Montana.
Two years into their around-the-world sailing trip in the summer of 2008, British couple Peter Lee, 61, and his wife Betty, 57, were boating off the coast of Venezuela when they were attacked by pirates. After the five men boarded the yacht and tied the couple up, their 2-year-old hunting dog, Kankuntu, ferociously attacked the men until they shot and stabbed him.
Fortunately, the pirates left after pillaging the boat and the Lees were able dress Kankuntu's wounds until they could get him medical attention.
5. Dog Saves Owner from Fire…TWICE
When Candace Jennings of Idaho City, Idaho, rescued Anna, a blue heeler from an animal shelter, she had no idea how the dog would repay the favor.
In the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning 2007, Anna began howling and nudging her owner until Jennings woke up only to find her trailer on fire.
Both escaped, but when Jennings re-entered the home to get something, she was overcome by smoke and became disoriented, unable to find her way back out. Luckily, Anna—who had followed Jennings inside—helped her get out again.
A king brown snake (the third most venomous kind in the world) was under the house. Khan tried to nudge the toddler away, but when she didn’t budge, the dog lifted the toddler by her diaper and tossed her several feet behind him, just as the snake lunged and bit his paw—instead of her.
After receiving antivenim, the dog made a full recovery and was hailed "Khan the Wonder Dog" by his owners.
7. Dog Performs Heimlich Maneuver
While eating an apple at home in March 2007, Debbie Parkhurst began choking. After she unsuccessfully tried to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself, her 2-year-old golden retriever, Toby, went into action.
Standing up on his hind legs and pushing her to the ground, the pooch began jumping up and down on her chest until the apple became dislodged, after which he licked her face to keep her conscious.
8. Dog Saves Elderly Couple from Freezing in The Woods
On a brisk fall night in October 2006, Eve and Norman Fertig, both 81 years old, went outside to tend to injured animals in their forested sanctuary in upstate New York.
But as they were working, a massive storm hit, toppling trees and trapping the couple outdoors. Lucky for them, their dog, Shana, a wolf and German shepherd mix, was with them. As the temperature dropped, Shana started to dig a path underneath the fallen trees with her mouth and paws.
After hours of work, she was able to burrow to the other side.
The intrepid canine threw Mrs. Fertig over her back, and with Mr. Fertig holding on to her legs, pulled them both through to the other side to safety.
9. Dog Saves World Trade Center Survivor
|Read more about Traker here.|
Trakr the German shepherd may be a trained police dog, but his act of heroism went above and beyond the call of duty. Trakr and his master, Canadian police officer James Symington, were working on a search-and-rescue team in the wake of the September 11th attacks when the dog picked up the scent of a human.