Although Bretagne (pronounced Brittany) recently passed away, she spent her career as a search dog and responder. Her most notable mission was her time as a search and rescue dog for Ground Zero after the tragic 9/11 attack where she worked for two weeks straight. Bretagne was given a salute by the entire Texas fire department as they honored the last known 9/11 search dog. (source)
In the middle of the night, the Brousseau family woke up to their normally extremely obedient dog Duke jumping on their bed. Little did they know, Duke was acting up to warn them about their 9-week old daughter who had stopped breathing. Because of Duke's actions, the Brouseau's were able to call emergency services who saved the life of their daughter.
When eleven-year-old Austin Forman went to his backyard to collect firewood with his dog Angel, the two found themselves directly in the path of a feral cougar. Angel, the family's golden retriever, leapt to fight the cougar and gave Austin enough time to run away and seek help. Despite suffering some battle wounds, Angel made a full recovery and was rewarded with a great big steak! (source)
Belle, a small but brilliant beagle from Orlando, realized her owner was having a diabetic seizure. She immediately sprang to action and called 911 by biting the number onto his owner's cellphone! In addition, Belle also uses her strong sense of smell to detect abnormalities in her owner's blood, pawing and whining at him whenever anything is detected.
Golden Retriever Baxter and his brother Bailey ran away from their owner Penny Blackwell in Sandwich, Massachusetts. Baxter turned up two weeks later alone and was found by a good samaritan who called Blackwell. Baxter heroically led Blackwell back into the woods to rescue his brother Bailey whose leash was stuck and tangled around bushes. The two brothers were so excited to be reunited that they could barely stop jumping up and down! (source)
Golden Retriever Brutis stopped a coral snake from biting a young child, suffering a near-fatal bite in the process. Although the bite almost took the Brutis's life, he survived and won the National Hero Dog award in Los Angeles for his brave actions!
The name "Katrina" does not always have to be associated with the 2005 tragedy. Katrina the Black Labrador (ironic right?) saved a drowning man from the rising flood waters of Hurricane Katrina. She was later given a standing ovation at the Genesis Awards.
Maya bravely saved her owner, Angela Marcelino, from a male attacker by fiercely scaring him away. The Animal Miracle Foundation was happy to address unfair stereotypes against pitbulls, stating that "the pitbull breed can be hero dogs just like any other breed." Maya's actions are those of an extraordinary dog! (source)
Buddy, a German Shepherd, and his owner Ben Heinrichs experienced a tragic fire related accident in his car repair shop that left the shop burning down in flames and Heinrichs severely burned. Without hesitation, Buddy took off to seek help for his owner, directing lost State Troopers to the site of the fire. Buddy is a hero that could be considered a doggy and a GPS! (source)
Target, along with two other stray dogs in Afghanistan, raised an alarm when a suicide bomber approached a National Guard barrack that housed Guardsman Chris Duke. War Hero Target was eventually brought to the United States and adopted by Duke. Tragically, Target escaped their home and then was captured by a pound who mistakenly euthanized him. Although Target's story may have ended tragically, he will always be remembered as a brave hero who saved and changed the lives of dozens. (source)
When his owner Paul Horton experienced a tragic accident and flipped over the handlebars of his mountain bike, Yogi stayed with his owner until he regained consciousness and then got the attention of Horton's neighbors who were able to call for help. Although Horton is now paralyzed from the chest down, doctors credit Yogi with saving Horton's life. Yogi won Valor Dog of the Year in 2011 for his extremely brave and smart actions.
This 6-month-old English cocker spaniel puppy was well deserving of the 2006 "Dog of the Year Award." After Honey and his owner were involved in a car accident, Honey made it out of the car accident, attracted the attention of a man half-mile away and then brought him to the scene of the accident. Her heroic actions saved his owner's life. (source)
Trakr is a German Shephard who came all the way from Canada. Along with his fellow police officer James Symington, they trudged through over 30 feet of debris at Ground Zero and located the last human survivor. What a brave and accomplished dog! (source)
I bet you would never fight an alligator in your life, especially after seeing that huge 15 foot monster that roamed through a Florida golfing course. Blue, an Australian Blue Heeler saved his 85 year old owner from an alligator by scaring it away. His brave actions won him the 2001 Dog Hero of the Year honors. (source)
Joe, albeit only a 6-pound Yorkshire Terrier, scared away a 100 pound black bear that invaded his human's home in New Jersey. According to his owner Deborah, she "saved him [Joe] from the pound and he saved me from a bear," making them "even." Joe shows that when it comes to heroes, size really doesn't matter!
Although Treo may not have a British accent, this British pup successfully sniffed out two hidden bombs in the Helmand province. For his service and brave actions, Treo was awarded the highest British military honor for a four-legged friend, the Dickin Medal.
This Colorado police dog got his claim to national fame when he helped police officers chase down and capture a burglar on the run. Rocky took a bullet during the chase, but that didn't stop him from taking down the assailant and bravely serving his duty!