Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, from teachers and firefighters just doing their jobs every day to your Everyday Joe who jumps into the ocean to save a drowning girl. When they see danger, they think nothing of their own well-being and instead focus on helping others in their time of need.
But there are some lesser-known heroes in our midst, as well. The service dogs and military working dogs, the pit bulls who throw themselves over their owners to protect them from an oncoming train, and the German shepherds who search day and night through rubble to find survivors. Their loyalty truly knows no bounds.
Read about some of these four-legged warriors and their heroic deeds below …
1. Sandy the Pomeranian, ran into a burning house to save her best friend, a blind Chihuahua.
2. In Eastern Congo, these hounds work with their handlers to track down and arrest poachers.
3. Tater Tot was just hours from being euthanized when he was taken into a foster home. Less than a week later, his 4-year-old “brother” stopped breathing and fell unconscious. This pit bull would not stop barking until someone came to help.
4. This German shepherd search-and-rescue dog, like so many others, worked tirelessly to find survivors trapped in the rubble in the aftermath of 9/11.
5. As this graduate’s service dog, this 6-year-old Lab was instrumental in helping her graduate – so he got to don a cap and gown too!
6. While out on a walk with his owner, this dog found and helped save another dog that had been buried alive.
7. Sgt. Stubby is a decorated war hero from World War I who saved troops from mustard attacks and comforted the wounded and dying, among other heroics.
8. This Rottweiler, a service dog, called 911 for help after his owner fell, then even opened the door when emergency responders arrived.
9. Luca, trained for search-and-rescue, was pulled out of retirement to help find a missing man who suffered from Alzheimer’s.
10. Layka, a Belgian Malinois, suffered numerous gunshots while subduing an insurgent during an attack in Afghanistan. She was later given a medal of honor for her service.
11. Molly, a blind lab, alerted her family to a house fire in late 2016, saving the lives of 7 humans, 4 cats and 2 dogs.
12. Maggie was caught on surveillance camera breaking out of her kennel at a boarding facility, then curling up outside a kennel that housed two frightened puppies.
13. Babu the Shih Tzu, begged her owner to go outside, pulled her in the opposite direction of the beach, and ended up rescuing her from a Tsunami
14. Lilly, another pit bull, was walking with her owner on railroad tracks when her owner tripped and fell – as a train was rapidly approaching. She threw her body over her owner to protect her, and lost a leg in the process.
15. During a walk with his new owner, this rescue dog found an injured hummingbird, but there’s no way he’d let it die on his watch. He refused to leave the bird, so he and his new owner worked together to bring it back to 100%
16. A pit bull named Akasha never had puppies, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t have a maternal instinct. Her owner saved a little kitten then came back and found her beloved pet nursing the little one.
17. Chief protected his owner from a venomous Eastern Diamondback.
18. This brave dog rushed into a burning building and came back out – with a kitten!
19. This mama risked her own life to rescue her litter of 10-week-old puppies from a house fire in Chile, placing them all on the fire truck and out of harm’s way.
20. When this 5-year-old pit bull saw that two coyotes had his buddy, Kitty, by her head and tail, he showed absolutely no fear. Jumping into the fray, he managed to chase them away.
21. Major, a service pit bull, is credited with saving his owner’s life. When he had a seizure and collapsed, this faithful dog pulled the phone out of his pocket and dialed 911.
22. Paris, a boxer, is a hero for Mother Earth. Whenever she goes out for walks, she always takes a moment to pick up plastic bottles, discarded cans and other litter.
23. Norbert, an emotional support dog, may be little, but he’s worth his weight in gold for the children he makes smile at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
24. This Golden retriever surfs with kids with special needs, people who have disabilities and veterans suffering from PTSD.
25. Stitch, born with a cleft lip and palate, serves as an inspiration for children who are feeling anxious about surgeries to correct their own birth defects.
Share with your fellow dog lovers to show how special the canine-human bond can be!