Our four-legged friends can sometimes be more than just cute, furry companions. After all, dogs are a man's best friend. It's no doubt that pets usually give more than they get with their unconditional love and sometimes, watchful eye. Here are 10 impressive stories of animals who went above and beyond their duty as just cute and cuddly companions, and saved their owner's lives in ways you wouldn't even believe.
One fall evening, the Fertigs walked to the animal sanctuary on their property, just steps from their home. While tending to the animals around 7 p.m., the lights went out and the couple went outside to investigate. Suddenly, an unexpected blizzard came on, one so bad that it cause several trees to fall around them, trapping them outdoors in improper clothing and away from any shelter. The snow piled up and the temperature dropped, but the couple, 81 years-old at the time, found no way out. Their path to the sanctuary building was blocked and their home was 200 feet away, but they couldn't get there without injury. They huddled for warmth and stayed away from falling trees in an alley, but they feared the worst, believing they would freeze to death in their frail clothing. That's until Shana, their seven year-old wolf, half German shepherd dog began digging through the snow, making a pathway with her teeth and paws under the snow, creating a tunnel for her owners. Once Shana was done the job, around 11:30 p.m., she went back to her owners and barked at them to follow, pulling them through the tunnel and onto safe grounds leading to the house. Once inside, Shana stayed besides her owners until the fire department came to the house the next morning, keeping them warm. Shana received the Citizens for Humane Animal Treatment Heroes Award for her bravery, something that's usually reserved for humans.
When two Pitbulls attacked Cherry Woods in her neighbourhood, it was her cat, Lima that saved her life. As Woods was walking back home just before 8 a.m., she noticed two dogs in the distance. They soon came charging for her, attacking Woods and quickly taking her down. Her husband rushed outside after hearing her screams, but was unsuccessful in trying to get the dogs off of his wife. That's when Lima, their normally tame cat, came out with her claws blazing. She pounced on the two 90 pound dogs, scratching and hissing at them until their attention was off of Woods and onto the her. With the dogs distracted, Wood's husband was able to take her to safety and call the authorities.
We all know Australia's home to some of the world's most deadly insects and animals. When Charlotte Svillicic's 17-month-old baby was playing outside in the backyard, the family doberman, Khan was thankfully close by. Khan luckily spotted the king brown snake, which is the third most venomous in the world, before it got to the baby. As he spotted the danger, he began nudging the baby to no avail, and finally resorted to lifting her by the diaper and tossing her to safe grounds, more than a metre away. That's when the snake struck, biting Khan and not the child. Thanks to Khan's smart intervention, he likely saved the child's life. He received anti-venom immediately and saw a full recovery, so he can watch out for more Australian predators and keep his owners safe.
Titan's a life-saving veteran, as he's saved his owner's life not once, but twice. When owner Gloria Benton broke her hip after a fall in the bathroom, it was Titan that barked and barked until her husband, John, woke up and came to her aid. Less than a year later, as John was set to leave for work, he noticed Titan wouldn't let him leave the house; Titan blocked the front door and ran up and down the stairs repeatedly. John finally followed him up the stairs, where Titan led him to his wife, who had just suffered a brain aneurism and fractured skull. Had Titan, their five year-old Pitbull not guided John back upstairs to his wife, she could have easily died from blood loss.
It was only 5:30 in the evening when Austin, an 11 year-old boy living in Vancouver, Canada, went outside to his shed to get wood for the family's fire burning inside. But at that time, it was already dark outside. Austin noticed that Angel, the family's year and a half year-old golden retriever followed him closely as he went to the woodshed, rather than running around the yard. As the young boy was on his way to the woodshed, he noticed another animal in the distance and assumed it was a dog. As he got a better a look, he realized it was no dog at all, but a cougar waiting to pounce. As soon as the cat leaped forward, Angel jumped in, running towards Austin and receiving the cougar's vicious blow, instead. The cougar attacked Angel's head, while Austin yelled to his family inside for help. An officer soon came to the scene and shot the cougar, releasing Angel from it's life-threatening grip on her head. She was injured, but survived and managed to save Austin's life, too. Her reward? Lots of love and a big, juicy steak.
In 2011, Babu, a 12 year-old Shih Tzu, practically demanded to go for a walk, something she usually doesn't enjoy. This demand came immediately after she felt an earthquake strike off the Tohoku coast and began begging to leave their living room for what would be the most important stroll of her and her owner's life. So her owner, Tami Akanuma, then 83, took her out, only to find that Babu was leading her in an unusual direction. Refusing to follow her owner, Babu forcefully led Akanuma away from their usual route and one kilometer into the city, far from the coast and atop a hill. Shortly after, and safely atop the hill, Akanuma and Babu watched as the Tsunami hit their town, washing away their home. Had it not been for Babu's keen sense and persistence to leave the house as well as her instinct to direct Akanuma away from danger, the two would have easily been in harms way.
Esther Kacev always found it strange when her cat, Buddy, would continuously sniff and bite under her left arm, near her breast. She had cancelled three previous mammograms, but decided this strange behaviour from the cat she had long ago rescued off the street was enough to go in and get checked. As it turns out, cancer was in fact detected in her left breast, something which Buddy sniffed out long before Kacev had a clue. Thanks to Buddy's strong nose and persistence, Kavec underwent surgery and is fully recovered. But had it not been for the feline's keen sense, it could have been years before Kacev had any idea of the danger lurking in her body. Now it seems that Buddy's the one who rescued her.
One afternoon, 45 year-old Debbie Parkhurst was eating a snack of sliced apples at home, when one got lodged in her throat. Unable to breathe, she attempted all she could think to dislodge it from her windpipe by hitting her chest and smacking herself against a chair, but to no avail. This caused quite a ruckus, which alerted Parkhurst's 2 year-old golden retriever that there was trouble. Miraculously, the dog got up on his hind feet and pushed her to the ground, with her back down. He then climbed on her chest and began jumping up and down, when the apple eventually became loose. Once it was dislodged, Toby stayed around, licking his owner's face in what she believes was an attempt to keep her awake. Had it not been for Toby, it's likely Parkhurst would have choked to death.
Think only cats and dogs can save lives? Think again. Blazer the pet rabbit's owners might not be alive today if it wasn't for him. As his owners, Jake and Mary Pruett were asleep in their New Jersey home, a gas pipe began leaking and dangerous and potentially fatal fumes filled the house. Blazer, who has free reign to roam the house, hopped onto the couple's bed at 2:30 in the morning and began making noises and walking on his owner's faces. Once awake, the couple smelled the gas and immediately left their home, with Blazer right by their side. After calling the authorities, the Pruetts were told that they were luck they got out alive. Surely Blazer gets all the treats he wants, now that he's a hero.
Just this past May, Tara the cat saved a life. When Jeremy Triantafilo, just four years old, was outside his Californian home on his bike, he was attacked by a neighbour's eight month old labrador-chow mix dog, who viciously got a hold of his leg. Thankfully, the attack only lasted a few seconds, because Tara literally ran to the rescue, pouncing on the dog, who immediately let up and ran away while Tara chased after him. The dog still managed to wound Jeremy, requiring him to receive 10 stitches, while the canine was surrendered to animal control. The whole incident was recorded on the family's security system, and since being uploaded to YouTube, it has gone viral, with over 22 million views. As for Tara, well, she's Jeremy's hero, and even got to "throw" the first pitch at a minor league baseball game for her heroic act.