Animal lovers are usually serious when they say they love aminals more than they love people. After all, animals don't judge us as humans do. Nor do they care about how we look or how much money we earn, and because of this unwavering loyalty owners will often be biased and tell you their cute fluffball is the best thing since sliced bread.
However, these awe-inspiring animals proved that they are more than worthy of such praise. Here are 23 extraordinary stories of heroic animals who made headlines around the world.
1. Fighting Like Cats and Dogs
While out collecting firewood with his golden retriever Angel, a cougar caught this young boy unaware and launched itself at him in an attempted attack.
Fortunately for him, his loyal dog threw herself in the way and took the big cat on. A nearby police constable came rushing to the fracas and fired upon the cat before it could fatally harm either Angel or her owner.
2. Pouncing On Trouble
While walking around her neighbourhood, Cherry Woods was attacked by two pit bulls. Her husband tried to help get the dogs off of her but was unsuccessful until their cat Lima pounced on the dogs with claws drawn and hissing wildly.
Distracting the dogs gave Cherry and her husband enough time to make a quick exit and call the authorities.
3. Not Horsing Around
Whilst tending to a baby calf, Fiona Boyd was attacked by the calf's thousand-pound mother who felt threatened and was defending her territory.
After being rolled over by the cow, Fiona's horse Kerry came to the rescue by galloping up and kicking the cow with its hind legs, after which Fiona escaped with minimal damage.
4. Heart Thumper
When Simon Stegall fell into a diabetic coma whilst lying on the sofa, his wife Victoria thought he was just sleeping but their giant bunny Dory felt otherwise and jumped up onto Simon's chest and proceeded to lick his ears and tap on his chest as though trying to wake him and it was at this point Victoria realized something was wrong.
Seeking immediate medical attention, everything worked out okay, in the end, thanks to the clever rabbit's heroics.
Whilst out walking along the Welsh coast, Penny the dog and her owner Brenda Owens noticed a wheelchair in the water.
Just a few feet away a woman was bobbing unconscious, and so, on the command of Brenda, Penny jumped in and brought the woman back to safety.
6. A Wild Ride
Eight-year-old Amber Mason loved riding on Ningnong the elephant whilst on holiday in Thailand with her family. One morning, when she was taking one of her many rides on the elephant's back, it charged up the beach to higher ground just before a tsunami hit the beach.
The knowing elephant had saved Amber's life and reunited her with her mother at the same time.
7. Bull That Took A Bullet
Pitbull Kilo was at the brunt of a vicious attack when a home invader tried to force his way into the house of his owner Becker.
Trying to force his way into the house, Kilo attacked the man only to be shot in the skull at close range. Fortunately, the attacker was scared off and Kilo received the medical attention that saved his life.
8. Snack Saviour
When choking on an apple, Debbie Parkhurst tried to, unsuccessfully, perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on herself.
No one else was around except her golden retriever Toby. Seeing that Debbie was in distress, Toby knocked her off her feet, then proceeded to jump on her chest until she spat out the apple. What a clever pup.
9. Ape Escape
When a young boy fell 18 feet into a gorilla enclosure, the keepers thought that the territorial creatures could cause a problem as they typically become quite aggressive when their living area is encroached upon.
However, mother Binti Jua scooped up the boy and cradled him gently, taking him to the entrance of the enclosure and handed him over when keepers came to get the boy.
10. Lifeguard Dog
Chi Ch, the chihuahua, went nuts one afternoon while on vacation at the beach. Pulling the chair, he was leashed to towards the beach and yapping wildly his owners noticed two people where he was looking and they were being pulled out to sea by the riptide.
Rushing to help them, they managed to haul them to safety only to find their pet fast asleep when they returned.
11. Explosive Sense of Smell
Treo is one of the many service dogs used by militaries across the globe, but when working in Afghanistan, Treo discovered two hidden bombs that would have killed many people if left unfound. Now retired, the dog has become the family pet of his army handler.
Well done, Treo!
12. Snake Wrangler
When Arf the dog started acting erratically during a walk, his owner took her grandson indoors, not knowing what the problem was. When she returned Arf was fighting with a deadly American Coral Snake and was apparently warning them of the danger.
The dog was badly bitten itself but survived the incident.
13. Fur Blanket
When lost in the wilderness, Rheal Guindon tried to walk back to town but didn't know the way so spent a freezing night sleeping on the ground as temperatures dropped below zero.
When he awoke he was surrounded by three wild beavers who had snuggled up to him to conserve body heat.
14. Keeping It Above Water
14-year-old Davide Ceci fell out of his dad's boat on a fishing trip. His father not noticing, Davide was in serious trouble, starting to drown and unable to get back on the vessel until a dolphin started forcing him up and out of the water.
Eventually, Davide's father noticed and lifted him out of the water thanks to some marine help.
15. The Best Fire Alarm
Yowling and meowing as loud as she could, Oreo woke her owner who went to find why the cat was in such distress.
Going downstairs she saw that the garage was on fire and so instantly grabbed her family, and the hero cat, and left the building.
16. Bird's The Word
When two-year-old Hannah Kuusk started choking on a pop-tart, Willie the Parrot started shouting "Mamma, Baby!" to alert the babysitter who had stepped out of the room.
When she returned she instantly realized the problem and performed the Heimlich manoeuvre.
17. In The Know
Babu was a 12-year-old Shi Tzu with an 83-year-old owner when she started insisting on a walk, something quite rare considering both were quite elderly at the time.
Once outside she started to drag her owner in a completely different direction to the route they would usually take and they ended up a hill just at the time a Tsunami hit and washed their home away. How's that for insider knowledge?
18. Wake Up!
Winnie, the cat, woke her owner by licking her face and meowing loudly.
When Cathy Keesling eventually came round she realized she was nauseous and had a headache and identified the symptoms as the result of a gas leak. Her husband and son were unconscious already, so she called 911 and help came straight away.
19. Pig Hearted
Why anyone would have a pet pig is a mystery to me but they are apparently very clever animals, and this was demonstrated by Lulu who rushed out of the house when her owner collapsed of a heart attack.
She then stopped traffic and ran back to her owner drawing the attention of a passer-by who called for help.
20. Whale of A Time
In a diving competition in China, one diver found his legs had stopped working, and he was running out of air.
With a Beluga whale in the tank with him, spectators were oblivious to any issues but the whale seized his leg and dragged him to the surface.
21. Got Your Goat
An elderly Australian farmer slipped and fell whilst out feeding his animals and broke a hip.
Unable to move he lay there for five days in hope someone would find him, in the meantime, his goat Mandy slept next to him to keep him warm and let him drink her milk for sustenance.
22. German Shepherd...More Like German Firefighter
Pet dog Buddy managed to escape from the fire at the family shop and run out into the road in front of a state trooper, which he then led back to the fire just in time as this video demonstrates.
Good boy, Buddy!
23. Stay Off The Tracks
Service dog Orlando, saved his owner who fainted and fell on train tracks.
Jumping down to him, the dog dragged him to the center of the tracks and lay over him in a miracle situation where the train went over both of them.