Whenever you need a good cheer up, chances are that a pretty great animal story will do the trick. Animals have never failed to impress us. And while the cat who dialed 911 gets a bunch of credit, here are a few other heroes and sweethearts that deserve some recognition for their work this year.
The Famous “Subway Kittens” Find A Home
In August, these two cuties managed to stop service along New York City’s B and Q lines for several hours when they happened to find their way onto the subway tracks. Named Arthur and August, they were rescued and fostered in Brooklyn before being adopted out by married couple Katherine and Keith Lubeley. Despite the traumatic situations they were exposed to, they survived and are doing great!
Jet The Labrador Saves A Child
Jet had been Jessica Cowley’s guide dog for four years before she truly saved a life. In September, an out-of-control car hurtled towards Jessica, who is blind, and her one-year-old son Jacob. Jet shoved Jacob’s stroller out of the danger zone before anything else could happen. According to Jessica, this type of maneuver wasn’t included in Jet’s training. “It doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened if she hadn’t have done what she did,” said Jessica. “She was worried about me but once she had licked my face and checked I was conscious, she was fine.”
These Puppy Brothers Look Out For Each Other
Eight month old Pit Bull-Lab puppies, Jeffrey and Jermaine, were rescued on October 5th by Operation Ava in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Jeffrey is almost completely blind. But fortunately, he has Jermaine to lean on.
“Jeffrey really does try to maintain contact with Jermaine, especially when he’s in an unfamiliar environment,” said Ray Little, Director of Life Saving at Operation Ava in an interview with NBC. “As soon as he gets familiar with a new place, then he becomes a little bit more independent. But it’s amazing how they try to maintain contact with each other.”
As of right now they’re still available for adoption, but that might change shortly. A lot of people have shown interest in these two courageous brothers!
This Pit Bull Helps Children Read
Elle, the 5-year-old pit bull, is actually the recipient of the Humane Association’s 2013 American Hero Dog awards. Leah Brewer, Elle’s owner, started “Tail Wagging Tales,” a program where North Carolina-based elementary school students sit with Elle and read out loud to help improve their reading skills while also building confidence.
Not only that, but Elle helps to change the stereotype that many pit bulls have unfortunately gained throughout the years. She’s fond of cuddles from kids, and proves that proper training can make any dog an absolute gem.
This 3-Legged Sheepdog Helps Amputees
When Cassidy was found, he was thought to be a bag of trash on the road. His injuries based on his abandonment were so severe that he had to have one of his legs amputated. However, Cassidy didn’t let this news get him down – and made it a mission to help others in a similar situation.
After being fostered by Sheltie Rescue of Utah, Cassidy found a home with Kathy Cain. Together, they visit hospitals, rehabilitation centers and schools and share stories of hope. By seeing Cassidy, patients realize that life can go on after such a traumatic change.
“I’ve seen him get in bed with somebody who’s just had a leg amputated and nuzzle right up to them,” Cain said. “They realize that it’s possible to get past an injury like this.”
Jezebel The Cat Saved Neighbors From A Flood
Estes Park, Colorado had a pretty severe flood this year that destroyed approximately 1,500 residences. Resident Jon Johnson only figured out what was going on when his cat, Jezebel, swatted him in the face to wake him up. The Big Thompson River was spilling into the cottages that him and his wife rented out to Estes Park visitors.
Thanks to Jezebel, everyone was safely evacuated before the river swept three of the cottages away, and knocked three more on their sides.
A Few Amazing Dolphins Helped Save A Woman And Her Dog
Karyn Gitsham was walking her dogs on the beach in Carrickalinga, Australia this March, when her cocker spaniel named Ramsey ran out to the surf to chase some seagulls. Based on the tide, Ramsey got swept away – and when Karyn went to the shoreline to try and save him, she slipped on some wet rocks and was swept away as well.
Karyn thought she spotted a few sharks, until she realized she actually stumbled across a pod of dolphins – and even better, the dolphins were arranged in a horseshoe to push Ramsey back to shore. When the dolphins saw that both Karyn and Ramsey were safe, they swam off.
What’s your favorite feel-good animal story of 2013?