Studies show that owning a cat, dog or other pet has a multitude of health benefits. Animals can lower blood pressure and help prevent strokes — and sometimes a pet can even save your life. Check out these amazing stories of animals who came to the rescue and saved the lives of their owners.
1. Taking a bite for the baby
2. Making the call
"Buddy, he basically gives me my independence," Stalnaker later said. "He's my world. He's my best friend, no question. He's always there, and I just hope I can be as good to him as he's been to me."
Buddy isn't the first dog to dial 911 for help. In 1996, an Irish setter placed a 911 call when her owner's breathing machine cut off, and in 2004 a Rottweiler not only placed a call when her owner fell out of her wheelchair, but also opened the door for police officers.
3. Sounding the alarm
A 2-year-old named Hannah Kuusk would have choked to death in 2009 if it weren't for Willie, a Quaker parrot. “While I was in the bathroom, Willie started screaming like I'd never heard him scream before and he started flapping his wings," said Megan Howard, the child's babysitter and the bird’s owner. "Then he started saying 'mama baby' over and over and over again until I came out and looked at Hannah and Hannah's face was turning blue.” Howard performed the Heimlich maneuver to save the little girl, but she says Willie is the real hero. The bird was later presented with the local Red Cross chapter's Animal Lifesaver Award.
4. Meowing a warning
5. Running for help
When Ben Heinrich’s Anchorage workshop caught fire in 2010, he shouted at his German shepherd, Buddy, that he needed help and the dog took off into woods. Buddy ran to a nearby road where he found a state trooper and then led him to the site of the fire. The state trooper then directed the fire department to the scene, where firefighters were able to put out the blaze before it spread to Heinrich’s home. Buddy received a silver-plated bowl from the Alaska State Troopers for his heroism, but Heinrich says it wasn't the first time Buddy showed his bravery. The dog, raised by Heinrich since he was 6 weeks old, has twice chased bears away while Heinrich was fishing.
6. Fighting off a fox
In January 2009, 10-year-old Maxim Kurguzov was playing outside his Russian home when a fox wandered into the yard, killed one of the family chickens and then turned on the boy. Shrek, the Kurguzovs’ dog, leapt in front of Maxim and fought off the fox with several bites to the head. Upon hearing the commotion, Maxim’s father, Alexey, grabbed his son and began snapping photos of his fearless dog, which engaged in a 25-minute standoff with the fox.
7. Taking a bullet
“That dog saved my life and my family,' said Trawick. “Without D-Boy, that guy could have shot me and my family.'' The Trawicks had rescued the pit bull from an abusive home just three months before the break-in.
Check out a video of D-Boy and his family below.
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Click for photo credits
Photo (Doberman): pato_garza/flickr
Photo (Joe Stalnaker and Buddy): Splash
Photo (Megan Howard and Willie): CBS4Denver.com/AP
Photo (Winnie): AP
Photo (German shepherd): Illusive Photography/flickr
Photo (Shrek and the fox): ZUMA Press
Photo (D-Boy): ZUMA Press