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The top 11 animal stories of 2011

By: Russell McLendon on Dec. 27, 2011, 7:43 a.m.
Military dog

Photo: Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/U.S. Air Force

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Military dogs

Dogs have a long history in the U.S. military, but they were especially prevalent in 2011. Perhaps the year's top canine soldier was the unidentified dog that joined Navy SEAL Team Six on its raid of Osama bin Laden's compound in May.

(Note: While that dog's identity remains a secret, it was most likely either a German shepherd or Belgian malinois. Pictured is a similar dog, jumping from a Chinook helicopter during an Army training exercise in March.)

2011 also featured several other big stories about heroic dogs, including:

Loyal dog 'Hawkeye' mourns fallen Navy SEAL

Military dogs suffer from PTSD

Navy dogs use titanium teeth, body armor

Hero Dog Awards honor exceptional canines