Many of us have pets for a whole host of reasons. Company, protection, comfort, friendship. So what about the pets who have stepped in to save their humans from danger?
It can be tough to imagine life without a pet by our sides, especially if we’ve had a four-legged friend for as long as we can remember. Perhaps that’s why around 85 million households have a pet in the US alone? From cats to dogs and everything in between, it seems as though there’s no end to the type of pet we can welcome into the family.
Our pets have been able to pull off some incredible deeds over the years. Service dogs have helped thousands of people as they perform all their jobs and help guide people around all their lives. That’s not all. Many have emotional support animals that help act as the calm people look for in a time of need.
Whatever the case, our pets are pretty impressive. However, some of them have gone the extra mile to show they want to keep their owners safe out of harm’s way. That’s right; we’re talking about pets who have rescued humans from danger. What did we do to deserve them?
Back into the house
Jason Breiding was busy cooking when a grease fire started in their home. He thought he could get the flames under control, but things soon took over. Jason called to his wife, Heather, who grabbed their one-year-old son and ran outside. It wasn’t until they were outdoors that the couple realized their three-year-old daughter was still indoors.
That’s when Buddy, the family dog, ran back into the flames. Apparently, he dragged the little one across the floor by her diaper before Jason scooped her up in his arms. Sadly, nothing could be saved as the fire soon engulfed the entire house. However, everyone survived thanks to Buddy’s quick actions.
Acting as ears
They say that dogs can detect when things are about to happen. Ace was about to put his skills to the test as he helped to save his 13-year-old owner. Nick was born deaf and had fallen asleep. It was the first time that Nick had been allowed to stay at home on his own, but he had taken out his hearing aids.
Ace could hear the smoke alarm and ran to Nick’s room, where he licked his owner’s face until he woke up. Nick had no idea what was going on until he saw the smoke billowing into his room. Without Ace, Nick could have been in serious danger.
On the scene
San Francisco police were called to the scene when a suspect who had been accused of stealing a car was threatening to end his life. The officers spent hours trying to get the man to agree to head back inside. However, they were no closer. That was until his family arrived with a special addition by their side.
They had brought along the man’s orange tabby cat. The officers hoped that the cat would be enough to convince the man to head back inside. Amazingly, seeing his little cat was enough for the man to change his mind and hand himself over to the police.
Pushed to safety
Lurch was an 11-month-old African Watusi calf when he saved his owner, Janice. She headed out to tend to her animals when Lurch stepped in her path and refused to move. Janice tried to walk around, but Lurch pushed his head and knocked her off balance.
It was only then that Janice spotted the coiled copperhead ready to strike. These snakes are incredibly dangerous, but Lurch trampled on the animal until it was gone. Janice was incredibly grateful to Lurch, who was later awarded a Guinness World Record for having the largest horn circumference thanks to his 37.5-inch horns.
By her side
Karina Chikitova was just four years old when she found herself lost in the Siberian wilderness. She followed her father into the woods, but he never had any idea that Karina was following close behind. The youngster ended up stranded with her dog, Naida.
The dog slept by Karina’s side for nine days to try and prevent her from freezing. However, she later returned to the family home to get help when she realized they couldn’t be found. Naida searched high and low for three days until a paw print and footprint next to each other near the river told rescuers they were in the right area. Thankfully, Karina was finally rescued.
An instant bond
Pudding the cat and Amy Jung had only known each other for a few hours when this feline stepped up to save the day. Pudding had been living at the local shelter for years when Amy and her son, Ethan, fell for the fluffy cat. They took him home, but Amy started to have a diabetic seizure in her sleep.
Pudding tried to wake her up by jumping on Amy’s chest and licking her face, but nothing would work. Eventually, Pudding ran to Ethan’s room and jumped on his bed until he realized what was wrong. They might not have been together for long, but Pudding was determined to show his new family how much he cared.
The warning signs
Some of us are used to our pet’s behaviors, but Wendy was confused when her cat, Fidge, kept jumping onto the couch and lying on her chest every night. Apparently, she would lay on the same spot. It wasn’t until Wendy went to the doctors that Wendy learned she had a small cancerous tumor in her chest.
Thankfully, catching it so early meant that Wendy went on to receive treatment. Without an early diagnosis, Wendy could have lost her life. Fidge was just 10 months old when she started to lay on the same spot every night, and Wendy feels she would never have known if it weren’t for her cat.
Calling for help
A dog’s sense of smell is so strong that they can often detect illnesses or when someone is about to have a seizure. Belle, the beagle, was trained to help her owner, Kevin, whenever his blood sugar levels were too low or he collapsed.
Kevin has diabetes, and Belle often licks his nose to check his levels each day. However, it was when Kevin collapsed that Belle put all her skills to the test. The dog grabbed the phone and bit the numbers 9-1-1. Amazingly, Belle has been able to save Kevin many times in the past and was awarded the VITA Wireless Samaritan Award for her quick thinking.
A true super dog
It wasn’t long before Kilo the pit bull was praised as a local hero. Justin was living in New York when an intruder tried to break into his home. Little did Justin know that the person had a weapon. The gun went off just as Kilo jumped in front of his owner to save his life. Kilo took the blow to the head.
Amazingly, even against all the odds, Kilo was rushed to surgery and made a full recovery from the incident. In fact, he was back at home just a few days later. The vets were so impressed that they drew an ‘S’ on Kilo’s bandaged for ‘superhero.’
Getting their attention
48-year-old Janet Rawlinson thought that her life was over when she collapsed. She drifted in and out of consciousness for five days after having an adverse reaction to some pain medication she was taking for her back. Although Janet tried to get help, she just couldn’t manage it on her own.
That was until Slinky Malinki stepped up to the plate. The cat headed next door and tapped on the window with his paw and tormented their dog to get their attention. Thankfully, the neighbors finally realized they needed to help and managed to save Janet before it was too late.
Making a sacrifice
Some dogs love the water, and Sky was no exception. She lived at the harbor her entire life until she took a liking to Franz Van Derpill. He was diving off the coast of Perth, and Sky was waiting on his boat as usual. Sadly, when he returned to the surface, Franz realized that his beloved dog was gone.
It turned out there had been two sharks in the area. As Sky was desperate to save her owner, she threw herself into the water, so they took her and not him. Franz says that Sky stepped in to fill the hole when his wife passed and will never forget his canine friend.
To the rescue
It looks as though some dogs have been keeping up with their first aid training. Debbie said that she was eating an apple when she suddenly started to choke. She tried to give herself a version of the Heimlich maneuver with a chair, but it wasn’t working.
That’s when her two-year-old golden retriever, Toby, apparently rushed over to help. Debbie states that Toby pushed her to the ground before he started jumping up and down on her chest. This was supposedly enough to dislodge the apple and save Debbie’s life. She even claims that she was left with paw-shaped bruises as a result.
Saving the building
It was all thanks to one observant cat that eleven people managed to escape with their lives. Meatball started to scratch at the floor when her owner woke up and wondered what was happening. They lived in a converted attic, and it turned out that the building had caught fire.
Meatball was trying to warn everyone. Her owner grabbed Meatball and ran to tell everyone else to get out of the building. The fire service was soon on the scene and put out the flames. Everyone else in the building was so thankful that they offered to buy Meatball a year’s worth of cat treats as a way to show their gratitude.
As if trained pets weren’t enough, Merrick the cat learned how to care for his owner without any training. Reeka had recently been diagnosed with diabetes when she welcomed the new addition into her life. Reeka confessed that she felt drawn to the kitten and instantly brought him home.
Here, Merrick soon learned to detect when Reeka’s blood sugar was too low, and it wasn’t long before she owed her life to the feline. She says that Marrick wakes her up in the night when she needs to take care of her health by meowing and nibbling at her until she responds.
Blocking its path
Zoey, the chihuahua, might be small, but she was about to put all of her size to good use when she was in the yard with her one-year-old friend, Booker. Zoey was the smallest of the four dogs who were all playing while Booker was with his grandparents. The toddler was playing by a birdbath when a rattlesnake started to coil, ready to strike.
The little dog jumped between the pair and took the bite to the head, meaning Booker walked away without a mark. Although she weighed just five pounds, Zoey was rushed to the veterinary clinic where they worked hard to save the pup. Thankfully, Zoey only walked away with a scar.
Cries in the night
One Russian city was in for a surprise when they realized there was more to their friendly neighborhood named Masha than met the eye. Residents woke up to hear a strange noise. It turned out that Masha had spotted an abandoned baby and knew he needed to be kept warm.
The cat crawled into the box as the little one was crying from the cold. Thankfully, her body heat was enough to keep him warm and quiet. As soon as he stopped crying, Masha started to meow as loudly as he could. Residents found the cat and the baby. Amazingly, Masha even tried to follow the youngster to the hospital as she chased the car.
Back from the edge
One dog went above and beyond to help his friend. A 13-year-old girl in China was on the roof of her family’s building and was about to take her own life when the family dog, Roman, ran to her side.
Some reports state that Roman started to pull on her clothes to try and pull her back from the edge and barked at her until she looked around. The fire service were soon at the scene where they worked alongside an anxious Roman. The girl was hanging from the edge when Roman pulled her back up to safety as he grabbed hold of the girl’s top.
A true angel
She was just 18 months old at the time, but Angel was about to save her friend’s life. The golden retriever kept following 11-year-old Austin as he went about his chores. Austin headed out to collect some firewood, and Angel was right by his side.
It was almost as though the retriever knew as she stood in the path of a pouncing cougar who was waiting to take Austin down. The dog was able to fight off the cougar until the emergency services arrived on the scene. Tragically, the cougar lost its life, but Angel was hailed as a hero. If it weren’t for her, the cougar would have got its paws on the boy.
There were hundreds of dogs who came together to help search for people after the World Trade Center disaster. However. Bretagne was the last one before she passed away in 2016 at almost 17 years old. She was a golden retriever who worked closely with her owner and handler, Denise Corliss.
The pair worked together for many years until Bretagne retired when she was nine years old. However, Denise worked hard to keep her dog physically and mentally stimulated. She built a pool for exercise, and Bretagne held children learn how to read. She was met with a standing ovation as Denise walked her to the vet clinic for the final time.
Scaring them off
Tara, the cat, become a worldwide hero after she stepped in to save her four-year-old friend. The youngster, Jeremy, was playing outside on his bike when the neighbor’s dog ran out and started to bite his leg before pulling him down the driveway. Tara saw what was happening and immediately ran to Jeremy’s side.
She pounced at the dog and chased them off before returning to the youngster. Thankfully, Tara’s actions saved Jeremy. He needed 10 stitches in his leg, but his relationship with Tara has only grown stronger as a result of the attack. The best bit? The local community now has Tara the Hero Cat Day.
Flapping at danger
Many of us take our dogs out for a daily walk, but what about a parrot? Rachel Mancino lives in London and always takes her African grey parrot, Wunsy, out on a harness and leash. Apparently, she was sitting on her owner’s shoulders when Rachel was grabbed from behind and pushed to the ground.
Wunsy is small, but no one was going to push her owner around like that. She flew up and apparently started to flap her wings in his face and squark. Rachel feels that Wunsy sensed something terrible was about to happen as she had already turned around to face the man before he attacked.
Taking the blow
Thousands of people rely on guide dogs to get around. Audrey is one of the many. She was walking with her guide dog, Figo, when the pair crossed the road. Sadly, a school minibus came around the corner and hit Audrey and Figo.
They had been working together for over six years, but Audrey was amazed when Figo jumped in between her and the bus. They both suffered injuries, and the trainers were worried that Figo would never be able to work again. After a lengthy recovery, Audrey and Figo were reunited and back out walking side by side.
Grumbles from the dark
Some burglars were in for a surprise when they broke into one home. Why? Ludwig, the 200-pound pot-bellied pig, was waiting inside. The couple brought Ludwig over from Canada when they immigrated to the UK. Ludwig was just two years old when people forced their way into the home.
Apparently, Ludwig lets out low growls that can often be mistaken for a dog growling. His owners believe the burglars hadn’t been in the house for long as the door was open yet the house was still warm. Thankfully, Ludwig’s quick thinking and menacing noises were enough to scare the invaders out of the home before they had a chance to take anything.
Many people keep guard dogs, but what about a guard cat? Nothing would stop Binky from defending his home. Cynthia lived with her cat and heard a noise outside. She didn’t think much of it until someone frantically tried to get in through the door. Cynthia refused to let him in, so he headed around the house to try and find a window instead.
That turned out to be a huge mistake. Binky suddenly charged and began clawing at the man. Even when he saw another window to use, Binky was there biting at his hands until he finally gave up. The police quickly arrived and apprehended the intruder.
Following the sound
Norman, the labrador, might be blind, but that didn’t stop him from stepping up and becoming the hero when the world needed him the most. He was due to lose his life just one day after he was adopted into his new family.
Sadly, they soon discovered that Norman was losing his eyesight and he went completely blind after a few years. His owner was walking Norman at the beach when he heard a noise. It was a 15-year-old girl, and she needed his help. He couldn’t see, but Norman ran into the water. His owner told the girl to call his name, and Norman was soon by her side to help pull her to shore.
Rushing to help
Believe it or not, but there was a time that one family thought about getting rid of their dog, Kiara. That was until she stepped in to save their ten-year-old daughter. She was home alone in Brazil when a stranger asked to come inside for some water. He quickly started to attack the youngster, who instinctively called out for Kiara.
The dog rushed to her side and began to bite at the man’s legs. He eventually let go but not before he struck the girl over the head. The family had no idea Kiara had saved the day until the girl woke up from a coma and told the story.
Playing to help
Back in 1998, Lulu the pig was about to save the day. One of her owners, Jo Ann, collapsed in her home as she was having a heart attack. She managed to throw an alarm clock out the window that caused her dog to start barking. This wasn’t enough.
Lulu heard the commotion happening outside, and the pot-bellied pig took it upon herself to break out of the pen. She limped to the road where Lulu lay down and pretended to be hit by a car. When someone stopped to check on Lulu, she led them back to the house and saved Jo Ann’s life.
There were many heroes involved in the World Trade Center disaster, including two unsung heroes. Salty and Roselle were both guide dogs with their owners in the buildings. Salty guided Omar from the 71st floor. Apparently, Omar grabbed the dog’s harness when he heard a noise, and Salty spent more than an hour guiding his owner through the debris and as far away from the building as possible.
Roselle helped her owner, Michael, get to safety. They were on the 78th floor and took more than an hour. Although Roselle was hit by debris, she even managed to help guide another woman who had been blinded by it all.
Returning the favor
One woman was a hero when she stepped in and adopted TatorTot the pit bull just a few hours before he was set to lose his life. It looked as though TatorTot wanted to return the favor. The new pair headed home, but the woman was confused when the dog wouldn’t stop pacing up and down outside her son’s house.
It turned out that his blood sugar levels had dropped dangerously low, and he had almost passed away in his sleep. TatorTot was right by the worried mom’s side as he was barking at the youngster and licking his face trying to get him to respond.
Woken in the night
Annette and Kevin headed to bed. Little did they know how dangerous that decision was. Their cat, Gracie, wanted to get in their room as she kept meowing. Annette figured Gracie didn’t feel well, so she let her in. A few hours later, Annette woke up and realized something was wrong.
Gracie was pounding on the door and making it rattle. All the noise was enough to wake up Kevin, who eventually managed to call the emergency services. It turned out the room was filled with a dangerous level of carbon monoxide. The couple would have passed away in their sleep if Gracie hadn’t woken them up and kept them awake with the noise.
Saviors of the ocean
Although dolphins might not be pets, their heroic actions were enough to save Ronnie Dabal. He worked as a dolphin warden in Puerto Princesa Bay and was fishing on a small boat when a sudden storm caused it to capsize. Ronnie found a piece of styrofoam and held onto the only thing that helped him float.
Amazingly, a pod of around 30 dolphins soon arrived to help Ronnie to safety. He told the story of how they would take it in turns to nudge the styrofoam toward the shore. Initially, Ronnie thought his mind was playing tricks on him until he woke up the next morning on the beach.
Learning the skills
Some cats have been known to save their owners, but Glen Schallman’s feline friends have gone further than many others. Glen has been diagnosed with two unique brain tumors that have been dangerous and caused other people to lose their lives. That’s because they have seizures and may not be able to wake themselves up as a result.
Thankfully, Glen’s cats have learned how to wake him up at any time. Booboo Kitty, Romeo, and Cassanova all nibble on his toes whenever he has a seizure, which is enough to bring Glen back to consciousness and seek medical help. If it wasn’t for these cats, Glen could be in grave danger.
Scaring off the others
Not all seals are pets, but some love to be around humans – especially those living in marine centers. Gimpy is an elephant seal who had fallen for her caretaker who worked at the Marine Mammal Care Center. Gimpy had been injured in the wild and was left almost entirely blind as a result.
This meant that her caretaker often fed her by hand. The caretaker was busy cleaning out the pen when he slipped and fell. The other seals soon rushed forward, and it looked as though they were trying to bite him. Amazingly, Gimpy came up to his side and opened her mouth to warn the others to back away.
Noises in the night
Sure, he has one eye, but Manny the cat was to the rescue when people broke into his home. Manny’s owner, Andrew, said that his cat often wakes him up in the night asking for food. However, this night was different. He says that Manny was frantic and wanted him to wake up that instant.
It was only then that Andrew heard a noise from the other room. He grabbed a shoe for defense and crept into the dining room. Someone had broken in and ran out of the house before Andrew could do anything. Thankfully, he noted the car registration before he sped off.
Howling for help
It was the middle of winter on New Year’s Eve when Bob went out to collect some firewood. Sadly, he slipped in the snow and fractured his neck. He was stuck and in just his pajamas. His golden retriever, Kelsey, heard Bob’s calls for help and rushed to her owner’s side.
She lay on Bob all night to keep him warm while keeping him awake by nudging his hands and face. Kelsey knew she needed to get help, so spent all night barking until Bob’s neighbors found him almost 24 hours later. The doctors said Bob didn’t get frostbite or lose his life all thanks to Kelsey’s quick thinking.
From shelter to hero
Peanut had been living in a shelter before she was adopted into her new home in Michigan. It was a typical day until Peanut started to run up and down the stairs while barking like she wanted to go outside. Her owner opened the door and followed the dog to an unbelievable sight: a girl stranded outside.
Peanut’s owner scooped her up and took her inside before calling 911. It turned out the three-year-old girl had wandered out of her house and had got trapped in the cold. Peanut apparently spotted the girl before she ran to get help. The young girl later recovered at the hospital.
There until the end
Patty Ruiz wondered why her pet cat, Bagheera, was trying to wake her up in the middle of the night, Bagheera was clawing at her head, but Patty suddenly saw clouds of smoke and realized she was in danger. The family lived in Louisiana, but not their house was on fire.
Parry rushed to the back door and smashed her way back into the house by breaking windows to rescue her three daughters. Two of the girls were able to escape. Tragically, Binks, just six years old at the time, lost her life. They never found Bagheera. Patty believes that he could have fled through the back door, or he stayed by Binks’ side so that she wasn’t alone.
To higher ground
Animals have a special sense to detect when danger is on the way. Babu was a 12-year-old Shih Tzu and was used to taking the same walk every day. However, her owner, 83-year-old Tami, was struggling to hold Babu as she pulled to head in the opposite direction.
It was unlike the dog, but Tami decided to follow. As soon as they reached the top of the hill, Tami turned around and realized that a huge tsunami was coming their way. Heading in the other direction would have had disastrous consequences. Thankfully, Babu’s persistence meant the pair made it to safety in time.
Leading the way
Back in April 2010, the emergency services were responding to an urgent call about a workshop fire. However, the state trooper was met with an unusual sight: a dog. Buddy was standing in the middle of the road. The fire was down a maze of rural lanes, but Buddy was there to save the day.
The dog began to run down the middle of the roads in front of the car to help lead the trooper to the fire. Amazingly, the dog knew just where to go, and even managed to save his owner, who had been caught up in the blaze.
Spotting the flames
Andrew was exhausted as he fell asleep after his third shift at his job at a nearby factory. That was until Dylan the cockatiel started to squark and made as much noise as possible. The bird had realized there was a fire beneath Andrew’s home and needed to wake up his friend.
Thankfully, all of the noise was enough to wake Andrew from his slumber who got himself and Dylan out just in time. While he lost his home to the blaze, Andrew says that Dylan started squawking before the smoke alarm. Without the warning, Andrew and Dylan could have been trapped.