Pets Save Human Lives More Often Than We Think

Some of us grew up watching the Lassie TV show. Every once in a while, Timmy would get in some kind of trouble and his collie would run up to his parents and start barking.

Somehow Timmy’s parents realized that Lassie was trying to alert them to the boy’s problem.

“What’s the matter, girl?” Timmy’s mom might ask. “Did Timmy fall down a well?”

Lassie would keep barking, apparently confirming her suspicion, and they’d hurry to help their son.

Coming to our rescue

Now, not every pet has Lassie’s special communication abilities.

And not every adult is as perceptive as Timmy’s parents were.

But the fact is, pets have saved human lives on many occasions. They depend on us to keep them safe, healthy and happy. But sometimes they return the favor.

Today I want to share a few stories with you about how our furry friends have come to the rescue when needed most. 

Barking for as long as it takes

When a Michigan man slipped in the snow, fell and broke his neck, his only chance for survival was his golden retriever.

Kelsey never left his owner’s side over the next 20 hours. The man eventually lost his voice yelling for help.

But Kelsey just kept barking. Eventually a neighbor heard the dog and came out to see what the problem was.

The man had lost consciousness by that time, but the neighbor was able to get him the medical help he needed.

The wrath of Khan

Shortly after adopting a Doberman pinscher from a local animal shelter, the Svillcic family wondered if they’d made a mistake.

One day Khan started acting aggressively toward their 17-month-old daughter as she played in the front yard.

About to scold the dog, they suddenly realized he was trying to move her away from a King Brown snake he’d spotted.

Khan grabbed the child by her diaper and pulled her away, being bit on the leg by the snake in the process. Fortunately, he made a full recovery.

To protect and serve

Joseph Phillips-Garcia is glad he decided to take his dog on a fishing trip. When the car slid down a steep hill, both were thrown from it.

The teenager suffered a compound fracture to his femur. During the night, Sako kept the boy warm.

The shepherd also helped him get to a creek to obtain water. And fought off some coyotes.

Help came the next day. The boy’s mother said about Sako, “He saved my son’s life.”

Warning of danger

Here are some other examples.

Gracie the cat heard the carbon monoxide alarm, but her owners didn’t. She pounded on their bedroom door with her paws until they woke up and got out of the house. “Without her obviously we wouldn’t be here,” one of the cat’s owners said.

One day Ted the collie mix began whimpering and pawing at his owner’s chest. The dog’s owner was baffled by her normally affectionate dog’s action. But she said later that Ted was alerting her to an aggressive tumor in her breast.

A Wisconsin woman credited her new cat with waking her up out of a diabetic seizure in time to get help. Pudding, an orange tabby, had been living in the home for only a few hours when the incident occurred.

A rescue dog named Peanut alerted her owners to a toddler lying in a ditch behind their Michigan home. They notified authorities, who learned of the unsafe living condition of the child and a sibling.

‘It was supposed to happen’

Here are a few more.

Capone, a pinscher-whippet mix, and a service dog named Yolanda both saved their families from home fires. Capone was a stray. “I’m glad we found him on the highway,” his owner said. “I believe it was supposed to happen.”

A golden retriever in Utah can detect when his young owner is going to have a seizure, lick the boy’s face until he comes out of it and cuddle him afterwards. The family describes Dopey as “an angel.” 

A pet macaw named Charlie defended his owner during a home invasion. The Arkansas man was struck by the intruders, but the bird squawked and bit one of the assailants, taking a chunk out of his arm and scaring them off.

Not every pet rescue is as dramatic as the stories you’ve read today. But next time one of our pets acts in an unusual fashion, we might want to consider what they could be trying to tell us.


  • frank allison - April 29, 2020

    All the stories are great and I love to hear positive dog stories . Mine is a little different , however , because I have at present over 25 dogs in a rescue situation . The problem is that most have bite histories and are difficult to adopt . It is not that they are mean , it is just that they came from dysfunctional situations and got the wrong end of the stick . This pandemic has created an issue with them but I am not going to put them down .

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