Most Heroic Animal Rescues

If you’re an animal lover, chances are you’ve spent tons of time debating whether animals are sensitive to human feelings. Sure, there are specially trained animals like Seeing Eye dogs and horses that work with people with disabilities. However, mainly the animals that we encounter are either kept in zoos or are family pets. Typically, these animals are focused on food, and getting outside to play. They don’t concern themselves with a human’s wellbeing.

Occasionally, we’ll hear stories about animals going above and beyond in their care of human beings and acting in a way that we would never expect. Here are some of the best stories of heroic animal rescues.

Pacer Saves Owner From Bear Attack

In 2016, a man named Reid Roberts and his dog Pacer were running through Top of the World Provincial Part.

During their run, they suddenly came upon three black bears — a mother and her two cubs. The mother immediately sprang into action to protect her young. She attacked Roberts, who dropped to the ground and tried to kick the bear away. Out of nowhere, Pacer went behind the mother bear and started barking and biting to distract her.

When the bear attacked Roberts again, Pacer led her down a track away from him while he scrambled to safety. Both man and dog escaped with scratches and bruises, but thankfully nothing worse.

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Three Lions Protect a Girl from Seven Attackers

We mostly hear about lions as fierce predators. However, in 2005, three lions in Ethiopia stood guard over a young girl who was being attacked by seven older men. The 12-year-old girl had been missing for a week after a group of seven adult men abducted her to try and force her into marriage.

She was found by police crying and whimpering in the forest, watched over by three massive Ethiopian lions. According to police, the lions stood over her for about 12 hours and quietly left when the police showed up with her family.

Lily Rescues Survivors Trapped in Collapsed Homes After a Tornado

When a natural disaster hits, humans and animals have to work together to survive the horrific aftermath.

In 2011, a huge tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. It caused 161 fatalities and millions of dollars in damage to homes and property.

One of the heroes of the tornado rescue efforts was a dog named Lily. She was adept at sniffing out human remains from the collapsed buildings. She worked for seven days straight and was able to bring closure to many families who would never have known what happened to their loved ones otherwise.

Lily died in 2017. She was mourned by the local search-and-rescue team.

Trakr Finds the Last Survivor Under the World Trade Center After 9/11

Trakr was a German Shepherd who had been retired from search-and-rescue work just months before the terror attacks on 9/11 devastated New York City. His owner, James Symington, was a police officer from Halifax, Canada, who flew with Trakr to New York on September 12th to help in any way that he could.

Immediately upon his arrival, Trakr found a woman who had been trapped for 26 hours. The pair kept working, but eventually, Trakr collapsed from smoke inhalation and chemical exposure. Towards the end of his life, Trakr developed degenerative myelopathy, which his vets guessed was because of the smoke he inhaled after 9/11.

Trakr was selected as an ideal candidate for canine cloning. As a result, five puppies were later bred from his DNA.

Fidge the Cat Detects His Owner’s Breast Cancer

Although we’ve heard of dogs being able to anticipate an epileptic fit, we’ve never before heard about a cat that can detect breast cancer. Well, that’s exactly what happened with Fidge, the 10-month-old kitty

Every night for two weeks, Fidge would jump up and down and paw at her owner Wendy’s right breast. Wendy couldn’t figure out why she would be doing that. However, the next time she went to her doctor, she was diagnosed with a cancerous lump in the exact spot that Fidge had been pawing.

Wendy had the breast removed and credits her cat with saving her life.

Lulu the Potbellied Pig Gets Help for Her Owner After She Has a Heart Attack

LuLu, a potbellied pig from Pennsylvania, is credited with saving her owner’s life after she collapsed from a heart attack.

LuLu realized that something was wrong with her owner Jo-Ann. In order to find someone to help, Lulu forced her way out of the pen and onto the road. She attempted to get cars to stop by lying in the middle of the road and playing dead. Several cars drove by, but soon one person stopped and followed LuLu when she popped up and trotted back towards the house.

Paramedics said that if LuLu hadn’t acted, Jo-Ann would have died.

Sergeant Stubby Serves in WWI

Although dogs have been used to sniff out bombs and carry messages, they’ve never been considered fit for infantry duty.

Stubby is one of the only dogs in the world to fight alongside human soldiers. In fact, he served on 17 different battlefields during WWI. Stubby was said to be able to sniff out poison gas. He once sniffed a German spy out of a bush and dragged him back to his troop, so he could be arrested.

Stubby was later promoted to Sergeant and given multiple medals and commendations by the War Office.

Beluga Whale Saves Diver from Drowning

During an arctic freediving competition, a captive beluga whale saved the life of competitor Yang Yun. Yun was trying to make it to the surface when her legs seized up from cramps.

The freediving contest took place in the beluga’s tank in China’s Polar Land marine park. The belugas were intended to be passive bystanders while the competition went on.

While Yun was struggling to make it to the surface, Mila, one of the marine park’s belugas, took her by the leg and pushed her to the surface to get air, which organizers say saved Yun’s life.

Killian Saves His Human Sibling from an Abusive Babysitter

In 2013, a German shepherd and black lab cross named Killian helped to protect his human sibling from an abusive babysitter. He did so by barking and growling at the babysitter whenever she tried to get close to seven-month-old Finn.

Normally, Killian was a friendly dog. However, five months after the babysitter was hired, he began to growl and become aggressive whenever she approached Finn. Their parents were suspicious. So, they hid a recording device in their living room, which captured the babysitting shaking and hitting the helpless toddler.

Killian’s intervention is credited with protecting Finn from further injury and abuse.

Three Bears Save Hiker from Mountain Lion Attack

We usually think of bears as aggressive towards humans, especially when their cubs are involved. However, there have been times when bears put themselves in harm’s way to protect human beings.

In 2012, an elderly hiker named Robert Biggs was hiking in California’s Whiskey Flats. During his hike, Biggs stopped to quietly observe a trio of bears in a nearby stream. Suddenly, he was attacked by an aggressive mountain lion. The lion had bit his arm and knocked him over when the three bears came over and put themselves between Biggs and the lion.

While Biggs walked away with large bites, he was otherwise unharmed.

Toby Saves Owner from Choking by Performing the Heimlich Maneuver

Toby the dog is credited with saving his owner’s life after he performed a doggy version of the Heimlich maneuver.

Debbie Parkhurst began to gasp for air after a piece of apple became lodged in her windpipe. In an effort to dislodge it, Parkhurst started pounding on her chest. The noise attracted the attention of her two-year-old golden retriever, Toby.

Toby put his paws on her shoulders, pushed Parkhurst to the ground. After that, he started jumping up and down on her chest. The pressure of Toby’s paws dislodged the apple.

Ingrid Pakats / Shutterstock

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