Pets Hailed as Heroes

Pets hailed as heroes. A pet is much more than an animal that shares your home. It’s a companion. It’s a friend. It can even be a hero. And pets have been known to save lives. The following article recounts the eye-opening stories of three pets that provided their owners with the right kind of support–or the help that they needed in desperate times. Their touching stories show how these pets were more than just loyal friends and companions–they were heroes. The stories were reported on the news for all pet-lovers to read. Together they show nothing if not the true nature and loyalty of pets.

An article called, “Service Dog Helps 7-year-old Boy Prepare for His 10th Surgery”, published in June 2, 2019, reports the following story:

Gavin Swearingen suffered a harrowing brain injury at the tender age of two when he fell off a swing and struck his head. The Indiana boy endured several strokes, lost 75 percent of the left side of his brain, and tragically developed cerebral palsy and epilepsy in the aftermath of the accident.

Gavin received his first service dog, a Labrador golden retriever called Elmer. Elmer assisted Gavin in overcoming his physical challenges by turning his physical therapy into a fun activity rather than a chore. To Gavin, Elmer is more than a pet; he is both a loyal companion and a friend.


“It’s magic,” his mom, Amanda Swearingen, 36, told TODAY. “I jokingly say they’re both puppies — they love to play. Gavin is 7 and Elmer is 2. They run and chase each other and they’re silly.”

Unquestionably, Elmer provided Gavin with the support that he needed to help compensate for his serious brain injury and gradually recover from his traumatic experience. For example, because Gavin has hemiplegic cerebral palsy, his right side is not as good as his left side, so he holds Elmer’s leash in his right hand, which allows him to appear neurotypical whilst walking. Gavin also lost his peripheral vision on his right side. But thankfully, Elmer works as a buffer for the young boy when walking in large crowds.

An article called, “Service Dog Saves Blind Owner’s Life During House Fire”, published in August 8, 2015, reports the following story:

A service dog, a golden Labrador named Yolanda, alerted authorities in time to save her blind owner from a perilous house fire in Philadelphia. The fire broke out in the house of Maria Colon, a Puerto Rico-native who lost her eyesight in 1992. At the time, she was sleeping when she was suddenly awoken by a smell of smoke. Once she realized what was going on, she cried out ‘danger’ to her service dog Yolanda. Yolanda at once recognized her cry for help and dialed 911 into a specialized phone; the dog was trained to dial for help when Colon used the emergency word.

“I hear the phone — tke, tke, tke. And she’s growling. And I said, ‘Oh my lord, she called the police,'” Colon recalled.

Firefighters responded to the 911 call, arriving at the scene in time to control the blaze. Maria Colon was taken to the Nazareth hospital to receive treatment for smoke inhalation. Yolanda, the service dog who saved Maria Colon’s life, suffered from smoke inhalation and a scratched eye and was taken to the Ryan Veterinary Hospital for treatment. The two were exhilarated to be reunited shortly thereafter on Friday night.

“I’m her Mommy, and she loves me too much,” she said.

This was not the first time that Yolanda saved her owner’s life either. A year prior to the fire incident, Yolanda called 911 when her owner had fallen in her home and lost consciousness.

An article called, “Hero Cat Saves Life of Owner After Waking Her Up When Fire Broke Out at Block of Flats”, published in June 29, 2018, reports the following story:

Owner Sharon Kane was in a deep slumber when a blaze from the flat below hers began tearing ferociously through the building. Once thick black smoke from the fire began encompassing the room where Sharon Kane lay unconscious, the six-year-old puss Prince Ozzy leapt onto the bed and started batting at her face with his paw to wake her up. Ms. Kane was awoken just in time to open her windows and place a white scarf outside the window to notify emergency services that arrived at the scene. After the terrible ordeal, Ms. Kane received treatment for smoke inhalation and was coughing up black stuff for days. Had it not been for Prince Ozzy, Ms. Kane would not be here today.

Prince Ozzy, Yolanda, and Elmer were there for their owners in times of trouble or emergency. Yolanda and Ozzy could have taken off and saved themselves from danger but chose to save the lives of their owners. These pets continue to provide their owners with the company, comfort, and support that they need. Gavin, Mario and Ms. Kane owe their lives to their pets. They would not be here if it was not for them. They should be pets hailed as heroes.

References: 2019. Hero cat saves life of owner after waking her up when fire broke out at block of flats | Nature | News | [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2019].

NBC 10 Philadelphia. 2019. Service Dog Saves Blind Owner’s Life During House Fire – NBC 10 Philadelphia. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2019]. 2019. Service dog helps 7-year-old boy prepare for 10th surgery. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2019].