We often say that animals are the best of us, and many times, that seems to be true. Animals exemplify love and loyalty that’s totally unconditional. Many of us have even experienced that to some degree in our own lives.
Maybe not everyone is personally familiar with the loyalty of animals, but we’ve all seen the viral videos. Remember the cat who charged out to save her owner’s son from a dog? Stories like that catch everyone’s attention, and it’s no wonder. They’re a reminder of just how amazing the animals are that we know and love.
Not every animal is saving people from burning buildings, though. Some of them make the world a better place simply by offering comfort to those who need it. Therapy animals do amazing work on a daily basis, helping people during some of their hardest times.
What’s more, many animals are known for having an elevated sense of danger. Some can detect sickness or an impending catastrophic event, making efforts to protect the people they love. They’re always ready to lay down their lives for us. In light of that, go give your dog or cat an extra scratch.
1. A dog that earned his superhero cape.
This pup might have had his picture posted on “Dog Shaming,” but he’s got something to be proud of. The baby’s mother never would have known that he was in danger if her loyal dog hadn’t run to get her!
2. A service dog that never leaves his sick little boy.
Lucas was born with a type of rare dwarfism that affects many aspects of his life. While his family and doctors are looking for a cure, Lucas has the comfort of his loyal service dog, who never leaves his side.
3. Masha the cat that saved an abandoned baby
When a woman in Russia went out to dump her trash on a winter day with temperatures well below zero, she was shocked to spot a box containing an abandoned baby. Alongside was a long-haired cat named Masha who cuddled up to the baby to keep him warm.
4. Moko the dolphin that prevented two whales from becoming beached.
When a dolphin named Moko saw two pygmy sperm whales swimming toward the shore, she somehow knew it would likely spell the end for them. She communicated with whales, getting them to swim back out to the ocean with her.
5. Lulu the pig that flagged down help for her owner.
Lulu, a pot-bellied pig, was in a rural vacation cabin with her owner when she suddenly began to have a heart attack. She immediately broke out of the house and ran to the road, where she flagged down a car, leading help back to her owner.
6. Wasao that’s the face of tourism at this station.
Wasao is the tourism station master at this train station, which must be a welcome sight for all the travelers coming in after a long trip. We’re sure that no one can do the job better than this puppy.
7. Therapy dogs that can’t wait to take care of their sick patients.
This photo was taken of service dogs patiently but eagerly waiting to be let into their assigned rooms for animal therapy at a hospital ward for sick children. There’s no doubt they bring happiness and comfort to kids during a dark and scary time.
8. Therapy llamas that cuddle hospice patients.
You’ve heard of therapy dogs and cats, now get ready for therapy llamas. This llama serves patients in hospice, which means it brings comfort to very sick people in the final days of their lives.
9. Tom the cat that could smell when his owner was sick.
When her normally less-than-affectionate cat Tom started patting her neck and meowing excessively, Sue McKenzie noticed a lump. She went to the doctor, where she was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Thanks to Tom, she was able to get immediate treatment.
10. A service dog with enough legs for both of them.
This dog’s owner may not be able to walk, but the beautiful German Shepherd is determined to help him live his best life. Physical challenges can’t stop the two of them from enjoying time playing together in the snow.
11. A Wounded Warrior service dog getting the praise it deserves.
In this picture, this service dog is getting told how good he is. And thank goodness for that — it deserves every bit of praise for helping veterans who suffer from physical or mental wounds feel comforted and connected again.
12. The parrot that noticed a baby choking
Birds have a big thing to their advantage when it comes to helping people in danger. One parrot named Willie noticed his owner’s baby choking and frantically yelled “Mama baby” over and over until the babysitter came running.
13. Sully that saved his owner from a house fire.
In 2014, an Australia man woke to find his cat, Sully, sitting on his chest and howling directly into his face. She was desperately trying to alert him to the fact that his house was on fire and burning fast. Thankfully, they both escaped.
14. Dory the courtroom therapy dog comforting a frightened child.
A court is a place no child should ever find themselves, and being there causes a lot of anxiety. Dory’s job is to comfort frightened kids inside the courtroom. It’s clear she takes her job very seriously.
15. Oscar the cat that sits with dying patients.
Oscar made headlines more than a decade ago for his uncanny ability to tell when a patient in his nursing home was dying. He always went to snuggle the patient and comfort them during their last hours.
16. Golden Retrievers arriving on scene to comfort survivors of the Orlando shooting.
Most of us can’t imagine being at the scene of a shooting. In the aftermath of a moment like that, there probably aren’t a lot of words that can be of any comfort. These therapy dogs came to help the patients who were struggling.
17. Pudding that saved her owner from a diabetic seizure.
In 2014, a Wisconsin woman went to adopt a cat and brought home Pudding, who seemed fascinated by her. That night, she had a diabetic seizure. Pudding ran into her son’s room to wake him up, saving her from a diabetic coma.
18. Schnautzie that sniffed out a gas leak in a home.
Schnautzie the cat was the only one awake in his home in the middle of the night when a gas pipe burst and began filling the house with dangerous emissions. He woke his owners, prompting them to get safely.
19. This dog kept his owner warm for 24 in freezing conditions.
When this man broke his neck, he was stranded outside in the bitter cold for 24 hours before help arrived. The only reason he survived was his dog. She lied on top of him to keep him warm. She also licked him to keep him awake and barked for help after he lost his voice.
20. The German Shepherd that guides his blind doggie friend.
Sometimes, animals don’t just help people — they also help each other. When his friend lost his sight, this German Shepherd took it upon himself to become his own personal guide dog. These days, the two dogs are inseparable.
21. A beluga whale that saved a drowning woman
Yang Yun is a free diver who was competing in a breath-holding event. But when she tried to swim back to the surface, the freezing water had locked her legs. To her shock, a beluga whale noticed her and dragged her to the surface.
22. A loyal friend accompanying his anxious owner during an MRI.
This dog’s autistic owner had to undergo an MRI scan, causing him to feel overwhelmed. That was when his puppy snuggled up to him, refusing to leave his side until the test was done.
23. Richochet helps differently-abled people experience surfing.
People with cognitive or physical disabilities may never get the chance to experience something like surfing. But Ricochet is a true surfer dog that helps them as they tackle the waves, many of them for the first time.
24. Frida that saved 52 people during an earthquake in Mexico
When an earthquake struck Mexico, many people were in grave danger, some trapped beneath fallen rubble and other objects. Frida led rescuers to damage sites, saving the lives of 52 people who were hurt or trapped.
25. Bretagne, a search and rescue dog during 9/11.
Some dogs deserve to go down in history as heroes. One example is Bretagne. This dog aided with search and rescue missions after the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
26. The cat that saved her owner from suicide.
Sgt. Jesse Knott was stationed in Afghanistan when he found a small kitten and adopted her. A few months later, after losing several friends, Knott was contemplating suicide. But Koschka the cat wouldn’t let him, headbutting him frantically until he changed his mind.
27. The loyal cat that helps a boy speak
Jessi-Cat is the therapy animal to a young boy who suffers from mutism. While he struggles to speak to his family at times, he’s always able to tell Jessi-Cat that he loves her.
28. Cleo that refused to leave her owner’s side during a heart attack
When her owner had a sudden heart attack, Cleo not only alerted his family members but also refused to leave his side as paramedics arrived on the scene. Thankfully, he made a full recovery.
29. The dolphins that saved a suicidal teen
A teenager in California attempted suicide by leaping into the water. She was found by a school of bottlenose dolphins that attracted the attention of a nearby boat. The girl was found barely alive but thankfully, she recovered.
30. The pit bull that defied stereotypes
Pit bulls have a reputation as aggressive dogs but one female named Baby proved she was different. When her family’s home caught on fire, she charged through the flames twice to ensure everyone got outside safely.
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