Category Archives: Animal altruism

Service dog saves the lives of kittens abandoned in the woods

Banner, a three-year-old female Siberian Husky, is a medical service dog for Whitney Braley, who has PTSD and frequent anxiety attacks.

Banner detects migraines, as well as low and high blood pressure. The dog calms  Braley when she has an anxiety attack by slowing down her heart-beat and removing her from crowds.

One day, Banner was very insistent on leading Braley into the woods.

There, in the middle of the woods, the dog circled around a closed cardboard box.

When Braley opened the box, Banner put her head in it and lifted something out.

In Banner’s mouth was a tiny kitten!

Inside the box were the kitten’s six siblings. Someone had left them in the box, to die in the woods.

The kittens weren’t making any sound, so Braley feared they were dead. Thankfully, aside from being cold, they were all alive.

Braley told Good Times: “I don’t even know how Banner knew they were in there. The kittens were freezing and weren’t meowing or anything. She just knew somehow. She is a true hero. If she didn’t find the kittens, they would have all died.”

Braley brought the kittens home, and fed and cared for them — with Banner’s help, who mothered the little kittens. The dog was gentle with the kittens, cuddled and watched over them, and took naps with them.

Thanks to Banner, the kittens had a new lease on life and eventually all went to their forever homes.

You can follow Banner on Instagram.

H/t PawBuzz and FOTM reader CSM.

See also these other what St. Bonaventure called “creatures without sin”:


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Animal altruism: Heroic penguin shields chicks from predator

Today, the BBC is scheduled to broadcast an animal documentary, Spy in the Snow, narrated by David Tennant, on how dangerous life is for creatures in the Antarctic.

To promote it, BBC One put out a video clip showing a giant petrel preying on a group of Emperor penguin chicks.

Giant petrels are sea birds restricted to the Southern Hemisphere. They are very aggressive predators and scavengers, and are known by another common name, the stinker. Emperor penguins are the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and are found in Antarctica.

The chicks try to flee, but stumble.

The giant petrel got hold of one chick, grabbing it by the neck. The chick struggles and manages to get away.

The chicks then huddle together in a defensive circle. One of them bravely comes forward, standing to its full height, with outstretched arms to protect the others.

The giant petrel crouches and watches, biding its time.

Suddenly, from the side, out dashes a fearless Adélie penguin to the rescue.

Although the Adélie is shorter and smaller than the emperor penguin chicks, the Adélie — a different species from the emperor penguins — shields the chicks by putting himself between the chicks and the giant petrel.

The giant petrel gives up and flies away, while the chicks and their brave protector waddle to the sea.

How many humans are as brave and selfless as this Adélie penguin?

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Wild elks use their body heat to save boy from hypothermia

The elk (Cervus canadensis) is one of the largest species within the deer family, and one of the largest terrestrial mammals in North America.

Female elk (called cows) average 496 to 531 lb, stand 4.3 ft at the shoulder, and are 6.9 ft from nose to tail. Male elk (bulls) are 40% larger than cows at maturity, weighing an average of 705 to 730 lb, standing 4.9 ft at the shoulder and averaging 8.0 ft in length.

During the fall, elk grow a thicker coat of hair, which helps to insulate them during the winter.

Needless to say, wild elk avoid humans, especially hunters.

Rocky Mountain bull elk (Wikipedia)

The Eagles Nest Wilderness area in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Forest is prone to sudden, unpredictable and drastic changes in weather.

In 1992, Derek Patton and his youngest son Ryan were hunting in Eagles Nest when the two got separated.

Derek got a search and rescue party to search for the boy, but in vain.

Then it began to snow. The rescue party had to call off their search when night fell.

The boy, dressed in summer clothes, would surely die from hypothermia.

The next morning, they resumed their search.

The rescue dog found Ryan, who was on the verge of hypothermia.

The boy told an amazing story — that he had sought shelter under the low-hanging branches of a fir tree when two large elks approached. Ryan twice tried to shoo the elks away, but the elks persisted, each time getting closer to Ryan.

Finally, Ryan gave up, and the two elks lied down next to Ryan throughout the night, shielding him from the cold with their body heat.

In the morning, the elks left.

I sure hope Derek and Ryan Patton stopped hunting after this miraculous display of altruism by the two elks.

H/t JosephBC69

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Elephant Artist

Suda the elephant painting…

Dr. Eowyn, as an animal lover, this post is for you.

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Little dog saves 4 tiny kittens from fire

The Jack Russell is a small dog — a type of terrier that ranges in size from 1o to 15 inches long.

Leo is a Jack Russell mix who lives with his human (a woman with four children) and animal (another dog, Barney, and four newborn kittens) family in Melbourne, Australia.

Leo may be small but he has the heart of a lion.

One night, Leo’s house caught fire. Soon, flames filled the whole house.

Leo’s human family and Barney managed to get out, but Leo refused to flee.

When the firefighters got into the building, they found little Leo lying unconscious on the ground.

When they picked him up, they noticed that four tiny and alive kittens were underneath him. Leo was keeping the kittens safe by using his body to shield them from the fire.

Fortunately, the firefighters were able to revive Leo with oxygen.

H/t Happiest

God’s creatures like little Leo are extraordinary in their courage and sacrificial love. They put us humans to shame.

See also these other hero dogs:

It’s not just dogs. See these other heroic animals! —


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Monday Heartwarmer: Dog adopts orphaned opossum

Mon, 21 Dec 2015 11:10:19 +0000


Poncho and Hantu

Poncho, a baby opossum, was orphaned when his mom was killed by a car.

So Hantu, a white German Shepherd, adopted little Poncho as her own,

“Kindness in giving creates love.” ― Lao Tzu

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” ― Andy Rooney

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ― Henry James

H/t FOTM’s maziel


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Dog rescues kittens dumped in traffic

Sat, 20 Apr 2013 16:58:48 +0000


We need light!

Here’s your feel-good story of the day. 🙂


reports for, that an Iowa woman named Kelly found a huge surprise as she pulled into her driveway. Her dog, Reagan, was sitting next to a crumpled Meow Mix bag. Reagan was known to bring “treasures” home for her but this was different. He whined incessantly at Kelly.

ReaganReagan, the heroic dog

So Kelly opened the bag and, to her horror, found two tiny three-week-old kittens covered in the viscera of their littermates.

“What was painfully obvious to her was that these kittens were intentionally put in a bag and dumped on the road. It was also apparent that the bag had been run over and that at least two kittens, maybe more, had been crushed; and that her dog had retrieved the bag from the road and brought it up to the house for Kelly to find,” as described by Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary & Rescue (RVASR), the organization that eventually took these traumatized kitties in.

Kelly reached in the bag and took the frightened kitties inside her home.  She bathed, fed, and comforted the little critters. The next day she tried contacting various rescue organizations only to be told they could not help.  Finally RVASR told her to take the kittens to their veterinary group and from there, found a foster mom experienced in neo-natal kitten care.

Family Dog Saves Kittens Placed in Bag, Tossed on Highway

The two little boys, brown and cream tabby mixes, were named Skipper and Tipper.  Skipper is curious and energetic and loves to snuggle before nap time.  Tipper is a gentle, sweet and laid-back fellow – a consummate lap kitty.

After many hours of dedicated around the clock care by the foster mom — including hand feeding every two hours — the little guys were ready for adoption.

H/t FOTM’s Joseph


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